Category Archives: Development thinking

Maybe you studied abroad in Spain? Then you should watch El fin de ETA!

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Solid Africa political overview from Steven Feldstein

Africa often brings policy surprises. Two of the most significant political moments in Africa—the street demonstrations that toppled Compaoré in Burkina Faso, and the surprisingly free and fair elections in The Gambia that ended Jammeh’s rule—were wholly unanticipated. Smart and … Continue reading

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Ricci Shryock with daily glimpses of life, and death, in West Africa

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Oliver Mutukudzi’s song Todii

Oliver Mutukudzi’s song Todii is one of the saddest but most beautiful songs to emerge out of the Southern African music scene.   Worth a listen; here he is at Tiny Desk concert at NPR performing a quiet acoustic version. When … Continue reading

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Land tenure security and investment in African agriculture: Thoughts on Fenske

I assigned James Fenske’s excellent survey, meta-analysis, and re-analysis for my African Economic Development class.  In some ways, the lesson to draw is how little can be generalized.  There are many reasons for why few studies find a strong positive … Continue reading

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Helping farmers to grow new crops for export in Kenya: Lessons from failure?

For my African Economic Development class we are reading a paper that uses the randomized control trial methodology to evaluate a program to encourage farmers to produce crops for export.  The presumption is that new crops like french beans, passion … Continue reading

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The Hamar in southern Ethiopia

I am teaching African Economic Development this quarter, and I like to have students watch films and read novels to get a more humanistic understanding of the people behind the numbers.  If you have never spent any time in any … Continue reading

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