"Consensus" on Strategies for Economic Growth.  Dani Rodik looks forward and sees a new consensus developing around the Spence report.    John Williamson looks backward and sees some redemptive qualities in the old Washington Consensus.

posted August 26, 2008 at 7:10 p.m.


Climate Change and Agricultural Yields.      A short essay published by the San Francisco Fed reviews some recent papers on this subject.  The Deschenes and Greenstone paper from the AER concluded that climate change would not have much impact on aggregate agricultural output in the US.  However a new unpublished paper by Schlenker and Roberts  estimates that rapid declines in yields occur as temperatures rise above the optimum temperature for the crop. Under the most severe climate change scenario, they estimate that crop yields could drop by as much as 70-80%.  However, these estimates do not tell us much about how aggregate output would change, because farmers would modify their cropping choices to crops more suitable to the new climate conditions.   If Kansas's climate becomes more tropical, wheat and corn will be replaced with more tropical crops.   In addition, some northern latitudes that are currently climatically unsuitable for corn or soybeans because of too-short growing seasons could become suitable for those crops.

posted August 26, 2008 at 9:40 a.m.


Child Undernutrition in India.  LATimes article

"Astonishingly, an estimated 40% of all the world's severely malnourished children younger than 5 live in this country, a dark stain on the record of a nation that touts its high rate of economic growth and fancies itself a rising power....Already, the proportion of malnourished children is several times greater than in China, Asia's other developing giant, and double the rate found in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa. "This is a stunning fact," said Abhijit Banerjee, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ... The World Bank estimates that malnutrition and its negative effects on health and productivity cost India as much as 3% of GDP a year."

posted August 26, 2008 at 7:30 a.m.


AIDS in Malawi.  This brief news item says that AIDS-related deaths have declined by 75% over the last four years in Malawi, due to "greater access to free medicine."

posted August 26, 2008 at 7:20 a.m.