Category Archives: Policies to Protect the Poor

What have we learned from all the agricultural microinsurance pilots?

This blog post is based on a keynote speech given by Daniel Clarke at the 8th International Microinsurance Conference, on 8 November 2012. Since 2003 there have been a large number of agricultural insurance pilots in low income countries.  Many … Continue reading

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The rise and fall of (Chinese) African apparel exports

Even the tiniest signs of industrial take-off in Africa always attract the attention of economists and policymakers, both of whom are eagerly waiting for the elusive African growth miracle. One such episode of excitement was the surge of apparel exports … Continue reading

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What comes after the Millennium Development Goals?

In 2000 the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Declaration, which committed their members to a new global partnership to tackle poverty and other development challenges. In 2005, under the leadership of Jeffrey Sachs, a number of time-bound targets were … Continue reading

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White man’s burden? How the presence of foreigners can change behaviour

In my fieldwork in Sierra Leone I often find myself in an uncomfortable position where I receive “special treatment” because of my identity. This is an experience shared by researchers and expat aid workers who try, but fail, to “fit in”. The … Continue reading

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Can large-scale public works programmes push up wages?

Most of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and at the bottom of the pyramid are landless workers subsisting on casual wage labour in agriculture. Policies that can put upward pressure on agricultural wages are therefore likely to be … Continue reading

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Are contract teachers worth the hype?

Everyone complains about ‘failing’ state schools, but some countries are entitled to more of a gripe. State school teachers in a lot of countries just don’t show up for work, students in these schools can’t add and multiply despite years … Continue reading

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The 2012 CSAE Conference

The 2012 CSAE Conference begins tomorrow at St. Catherine’s College, here in Oxford. The conference is probably the largest annual gathering of economists working on Africa. There will be an impressive array of speakers at the conference, including Stefan Dercon, … Continue reading

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The price of crossing a border

Crossing a national border in East Africa can be a ponderous, aggravating affair. I experienced this firsthand a few years ago while attempting to temporarily bring a car into Tanzania from Malawi. The process took several hours and involved a never-ending amount of … Continue reading

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