Complexity and the art of public policy

Roland Kupers interviewed by Viv Davies, 25 Jul 2014

Complexity science is changing the way we think about social systems and social theory. Unfortunately, economists’ policy models have not kept up and are stuck in either a market fundamentalist or government control narrative. This Vox Talk argues for a new, more flexible policy narrative, which envisions society as a complex evolving system that is uncontrollable but can be influenced.

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See Also

Complexity and the Art of Public Policy: Solving Society’s Problems from the Bottom Up (David Colander & Roland Kupers, 2014), Princeton University Press.

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Topics: Politics and economics
Tags: democracy, education, Society

Institutions, trade shocks, and regional differences in long-run educational and development trajectories

André Carlos Martínez, Aldo Musacchio, Martina Viarengo , 9 July 2014

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Understanding the determinants of long-run socio-economic development is a major concern for academics and policymakers in many countries around the world.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Education
Tags: Brazil, colonialism, development, education, extractive institutions, growth, Inequality, institutions, trade shocks

Curriculum and ideology

Davide Cantoni, Yuyu Chen, David Y. Yang, Noam Yuchtman, Y. Jane Zhang, 29 May 2014

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Education shapes young minds. Contemporary debates rage on whether it also shapes people’s political views, attitudes, and their values. Examples range from teaching of evolution in US schools, to the role of madrassas in the Islamic world, and the coverage of World War II in Japanese history textbooks.

Topics: Education
Tags: China, curriculum reform, education

The mainstream economics curriculum needs an overhaul

Diane Coyle, 4 May 2014

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One of the delayed consequences of the financial crisis is a widespread and apparently growing desire to change how economics is taught. Students in a number of countries, including vocal groups in Chile and the UK, have recently intensified the demand for reform.

Topics: Education, Global crisis
Tags: academia, economics education, education, financial crisis, global crisis, teaching, undergraduates

Human capital and income inequality: Some facts and some puzzles

Amparo Castelló-Climent, Rafael Doménech, 23 April 2014

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The rise of income inequality in many countries from 1985 onwards, and particularly during the recent crisis, has prompted a current debate on the causes and consequences of higher inequality and its effects on future growth (see, for example, OECD 2011, IMF 2014, or Ostry et al. 2014).

Topics: Development, Education, Poverty and income inequality
Tags: education, globalisation, human capital, Inequality, skill-biased technological change

What's in a name? Quite a lot it seems

Gregory Clark interviewed by Viv Davies, 4 Apr 2014

Gregory Clark talks to Viv Davies about his new book titled "The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility". Using surname data from eight countries, the study concludes that fate and social status is determined by ancestry and that social mobility rates are lower than conventionally estimated, they do not vary across societies and are resistant to social policies. Effectively, capitalism has not led to pervasive, rapid mobility. The interview was recorded in London in March 2014.

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Clark,G., N Cummins, H Yu, and D Diaz Vidal (2014) The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility, Princeton University Press.

 

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Topics: Poverty and income inequality
Tags: education, Intergenerational Mobility, social mobility

Drinking during pregnancy and children’s test scores

Sarah Lewis, Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, George L Wehby, Luisa Zuccolo, 8 March 2014

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The US Surgeon General first published a report on drinking during pregnancy in 1981, drawing attention to the link between prenatal alcohol consumption and birth defects (Office of the US Surgeon General 1981).

Topics: Health economics
Tags: alcohol, education, pregnancy

More time spent on television and video games, less time spent on studying?

Tomohiko Inui, Ryoji Matsuoka, Makiko Nakamuro, 16 January 2014

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Many parents believe that TV and video games are ‘idiot boxes’ that rot their children’s minds and crowd out study time. We agree with this general perception, but add the caveat that less time spent on TV or video games does not automatically lead to more time spent on studying. It is easy to detect the correlation but harder to determine causality.

Topics: Education
Tags: education, Japan, TV, videogames

Democracy in Africa

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 17 November 2013

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A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Until the second half of the 19th century, there were so few democratic states around the world that they could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Politics and economics
Tags: Africa, anocracy, autocracy, Corruption, democracy, education, fertility, growth, life expectancy

Understanding the mechanisms underlying peer group effects: The role of friendships in determining adolescent outcomes

Jason Fletcher, Stephen L. Ross, 3 November 2013

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Over the last decade, research on peer effects in secondary education has flourished – in part because of the within-school/across-cohort design for identifying peer effects popularised in early work by Hoxby (2000), and partly due to the increasing availability of quality data on K-12 students in the US and internationally.

Topics: Education, Gender
Tags: discipline, disruption, education, Peer Effects

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