Tag Archives: economics

Some Economics-related Links

  1. Some great mentoring for economists available on this blog.
  2. … and a lot more here.
  3. An interesting paper explaining why fewer young men are working.
  4. I love this retelling of the Brown v. Board landmark ruling.
  5. Never knew that multi generational disability is this prevalent.
  6. There are some ethical issues for me with this medicine for the wealthy offering.
  7. … And even more on healthcare inequality in the rural southern states.
  8. I enjoyed this podcast on the state of land and inequality in South Africa.

Decisions that have made me

little breakfast nook

I have to make some life decisions and that always makes me draw back on previous decisions I made and how those turned out. Some of the decisions I have made in life that I am quite proud of:

  1. The decision to accept Jesus as my Lord to live for Him after.
  2. To study Economics.
  3. To never try hard drugs.
  4. To settle down with my husband.
  5. To drop certain friendships.
  6. Financial discipline.
  7. To stop eating red meat and to a smaller extent chicken.
  8. To leave a straining job with no prospects at the time.

Are there any decisions I regret? Sure but that’s another days post 🙂 

Long Sunday Reads

  1. Thoughtful cards that recognise the many paths to parenthood.
  2. I would happily co-sign the petition to have all academic research freely distributed. (NY Times link)
  3. The top researchers on RePec (Research Papers in Economics) from a ” Developing Country” are all male and predominantly pale.
  4. Jeez, the ethics and externalities stemming from a privately owned city in India.
  5. Decorating together as a couple.
  6. Relationships aren’t always exciting or glamorous. And that’s fine. These 24 comics celebrate the more mundane bits of things #7, 12,16,17,19 and especially 22.
  7. I’m already so iffy about eating eggs, not sure it was wise to read this egg on whether to wash eggs or not, whether to keep them in the fridge or not.
  8. Daily life in a major Accra slum. Very riveting (but could be gross) read.
  9. Imagine if your hotel owner knowingly spied on you while you visited their hotel?
  10. Don’t let fear dictate how your life should be / the pressures that women face regarding marriage.
  11. Data sources for researchers, many free and easily available.
  12. No more boy only OR girl only books.
  13. Wearable baby tech marketed to parents based on fear mongering.So shameful and morally horrid.
  14. What will happen when African leaders take their election rigging online? I cannot even imagine!
  15. I am sometimes guilty of not taking my job THIS seriously!!
  16. Various recipes this week.

Sunday Reads

  1. This post reminded me that bloggers ARE real people.
  2. Useful apps for the travel bunnies in our midst.
  3. Five uses for your Baseline Survey.
  4. Imagine the impact on the enviroment if all take away coffee/tea mugs were recyclable?
  5. An old friend from home released a song recently, check it out!
  6. I suppose writing a cookery book is like any other project – emotional, time-consuming and involving.
  7. BUT WE are not here for THEM.
  8. Interesting article on food and the Vatican. (Aside: read the comments, ridiculous!)
  9. On travelling while Black IN AFRICA. One. Two. AfDB Report on the same.
  10. A beautiful conspiracy.
  11. Down with small talk or, how to do it better.

Last Sunday Reads of 2015

  1. A simple way to think of writing, in three parts.
  2. Now I am even more confused about Westgate,Nairobi (37 minute audio recording)
  3. Ten ways to help you improve your eating habits. Particularly #1 on doubbling up on veggies.
  4. A quick tuna chickpea salad.
  5. Light quick read on the history of Vlisco making fabrics for Africa (Won’t talk today about my feelings of appropriation where this is concerned)
  6. A longer history of Vlisco here
  7. So Rachel Dolezal does not get it at all! Still, six months later and with a baby on the way!!
  8. “​what’s the danger of not training the people who stay?” Another classic Seth Godin post.
  9. The NYT’s best pics for the year
  10. Pleased to hear there are measurable and positive benefits to the show 16 and Pregnant coz I really like the show!

Sunday Reads

  1. ​I read this article on miscarriage and for some reason it made me sooooooo sad 😦
  2. As a foreign worker, this paper obviously made sense to read. See also the comments, very useful.
  3. In case you are looking to stock your first kitchen, the kind folks of Food52 will help you out!
  4. How to help yourself eat a healthy lunch at the office!
  5. This life must not be easy and I am so grateful to God that I have been largely exempt from it.
  6. Beautiful ways to think of gift giving.
  7. Because beautiful book design covers.
  8. I would love to have this in my house.

Sunday Reads

  1. ​This is so true of my Undergrad experience of Economics as a whole​.
  2. Not really an Oatmeal fan, but this strip is very inspirational.
  3. Great writing advice!!
  4. Article had such promise only to wind up with me asking, and then? so what?
  5. ​This one too was well written about an emotionally evocative topic, white privilege.
  6. Practical tips to help us think through nutrition. Also, thinking of stopping to take dairy and switch to alternatives.
  7. Cue the farewell to 2015 posts!
  8. How to respond when things go wrong.

18. Sunday Reads

  1. Economists/ data nerds on Tinder might like this
  2. In this day and age of super processed foods, it still surprises me to learn that baby foods are not verboten
  3. I always wondered if Black Twitter is because the large majority of contributors are Black of whether it’s due to the ugliness of it.
  4. For the love of all things Malcolm Gladwell.
  5. Is there hope for us?” Such a heartbreaking story of the state of mankind.
  6. Please God do not let this become an actual thing! Please?
  7. Wanna know the music that played the year you were born?
  8. For my nephew that loves to bake cupcakes
  9. 15 Quick fish recipes
  10. All you need to know about cooking with all things coconut
 
 
 
 

6. Thomas Piketty at the 13th Nelson Mandela Lecture

Just as Jeffrey Sachs was the last celebrity Economist, the time has come for another and it is none other than Prof Thomas Piketty who has written one of the greatest Economic tomes of our lifetime. I had the opportunity to listen to him speak at the 13th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at the historic UJ Soweto Campus. Below I summarise some his talking points.

Introduction

Piketty begun by generally stating that inequality in South Africa is higher now than 20 years back stemming from both domestic and internationally influenced reasons. Wowza!! Further, that equality and human rights are not enough, more is still required in the form of secure and effective rights. He also raised the fact that Economists often talk of inequality and some of these issues as being too technical for the common man to understand, yet, when broken down, all people can understand it and many often have an opinion and/or solution. The talk was done in three parts: history of inequality, domestic and then international solutions to some of these issues.

History of inequality
  • Capitalism or market-based solutions are not the only solution to inequality. In the West, changes stemmed primarily from the First World War, the Great Depression and the Second World War.
  • Before 1914, the French Leaders felt that the French Revolution had generated in “sufficient” equality and nothing further was required of them.
  • This statement reminds me so much of the post-liberation African political parties that feel that after “winning” independence for the masses, that nothing further was required except to enrich themselves at the populace’s expense. Over time, this has come to explode in their faces as the masses get angry and start to demand more.
Domestic solutions

Country

Proportion of the wealth owned by the Top 10% of the population (in %)

South Africa

60 – 65

Brazil

50 – 55

USA

40 – 45

Europe

30 – 35

  • High unemployment is partly to blame but more as a symptom of deeper structural issues. Here he threw in the example of Greece and Spain that despite having high unemployment levels, have low inequality levels.
  • This inequality then has to stem from the Apartheid system. For instance, of the top 10% that own 60 – 65% of the total wealth in SA, 80% of that list consists of mainly Whites who benefited from the previous system and continue to do so even now. (Aside: never knew hearing the word apartheid could be sexy until Piketty said it Disappointed smile )
    • This reminds me of a comment that my workmate always makes of the fact that Middle class in SA starts with a monthly income level of R4000. Which proves the point that it’s fairly important to interrogate the data particularly when phrases such as “the Black Middle class in South Africa is constantly growing”.
    • Also, race in South Africa is often an indicator for other variables and should not be viewed in and of itself otherwise it can be misread.
  • Possible solutions:
    • National Minimum Wage – set it an adequate level and roll it out across the sectors.
    • Despite (free) primary and high school education, the quality is still inadequate and more must be done (clap, clap, clap as you can imagine from the audience)
    • Property rights – difficult and sensitive topic. Requires far-reaching land reforms and meaningful Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE), Transparency in terms of who-owns-what in RSA (Side note: Did you see that former president, Mothlanthe neither clapped nor cheered?)
    • Improve the Estate Tax Register in order to better monitor gains and declines in wealth levels. Also, consider an annual progressive tax on net wealth – this could start small and gradually build up.
    • Transparency, transparency, transparency, transparency particularly for the Business Sector.
    • Piketty also talked of considering an employee representative on Company Boards. South Africa does have employee rights to protect its workers, still, there is a feeling that workers often take advantage of this and that employers do not have any rights at all. I can say from my personal experience that wily employers do find ways around these labour regulations and that it is easy to run roughshod over employees. However, this proposal might be an important thing to consider to improve labour relations within the Company.
Lessons from the World
  • Talking through the example of Haiti  and France, Piketty called out the Western nations for their historical amnesia as to how they contributed to today’s inequality. Also, for the double language that they tend to often employ in their dealings with Developing nations.
  • More than aid, this is what Developing nations require:
    • One, international legal systems that force Multi-national CorporatIons to declare their earnings from doing business in developing nations and how much they pay in corporate taxes. This comes back to his whole theme of greater transparency from the Business sector.
    • He also gave an interesting anecdote that if we tested aid levels V. the official taxes paid, we would be surprised to learn that the latter far exceeds the former and that this increases significantly when the unofficial tax outflows are included. This is immoral and must be stopped.
    • Two, develop a World Financial Register for Financial Assets. Although currently in place, it is privately owned and highly decentralised.
Overall thoughts

The talk was not particularly earth-shattering i.e. there wasn’t anything in particular that I had never heard of BUT, you cannot discount how much data work he has done to be able to make some of the assertions he does. His work is based on data collected across 50+ countries for over 100 years. So he does know what he is talking about. I liked though that he gave solutions because often times you go to a talk and ask yourself later, so now what? It was a lovely way to spend my Saturday afternoon and I guess it forced me to write about Economic hard core stuff again after yonks!

4. Sunday reads

Happy new month and here are some lovely reads for you this morning!
  1. Interesting read on the long and short run effects of labour rigidity and the effects of being in a Union.
  2. Separating truth from myth when considering the focus, magnitude and nature of Chinese investment in Africa.
  3. Do married men or women give more and what does the success of household cash transfers depend on? Very interesting read – one of those where you wanna look at the underlying data.
  4. In true Economist style, here is a slightly different view of the trust games between spouses.
  5. What actually works where the intention is to keep girls in school. Here is a three part series attempting to answer that: One. Two . Three (Out in October, will update it later and link back to this).
  6. This is why we need more women in power, but generally, a closer consideration of who we select to positions of leadership.
  7. I don’t know, this just broke me!
  8. In light of Tuesday’s post, Kim Cattrall talks not having babies.
  9. All eleven of these successful relationship tips I FULLY AGREE WITH.
  10. How DO YOU tell your little child they are HIV Positive? I feel like the article was too simplistic but hey, let me know your thoughts …
  11. How do they get the writing on the Parmesan rind? Well now you know …
  12. Ever lost something? Wondered where it went? Wished you could track it down? Well this lady lost her iPhone and found out where it went.
  13. Stuff you can do to stay active mentally.
  14. This is a good primer on blogging and why I write a post or not sometimes.
  15. Recipes:
    1. Zuccini Rice gratin
    2. Ginger carrot salad with Quinoa
  16. A simple enough DIY Project
 
 
 
 

Sunday Reads …

  1. A bit delayed but goes to show my love for Serena Williams.
  2. Some inspiring and some not so inspiring toilet messages.
  3. 31 Make Ahead lunches for the days when you need inspiration.
  4. A beautiful profile of the Pope
  5. Always down to read many tips on how to style a bookshelf
  6. I must confess I have also stalked people online many a time before.
  7. I would love to read this book!
  8. An interesting take on differences (or lack thereof) in the productivity of Agricultural v Non-agricultural workers.
  9. Do you use Google or a Cookbook to get recipes!
  10. I promised to bake cake for my nephews upcoming 11th birthday so here are a few recipes I am considering:

Sunday Reads

Some great reads coming up from a less than warm Joburg morning 🙂

  1. Love this blogger, her pictures are spectacular. Check out her guide to the off-track places to visit in Joburg.
  2. Two very opposing views on Rihanna’s latest video. I watched the preview on the BET Awards then I caught twenty seconds of the actual video and I stopped. I think it’s gross and demeaning. View one, View two.
  3. Some reading lists from Africa and India.
  4.  Some influential Africans to watch on Twitter.
  5. The blogger herself is actually quite a lovely writer too!
  6. In case you are wondering what to do with an overload of cauliflower and zuccini.
  7. I am not my hair. I have my hair natural and locked but I accept that different versions work for different African women and people should select what they like and work with that and not judge other women for choosing to do something different with their hair.
  8. I love this lady’s home. VERY MUCH!!
  9. Definitely trying out this Chicken/Rice recipe this weekend.
  10. Might also try this chicken and couscous salad recipe.
  11. Wanna know how your income fares globally? Try this Calculator here.
  12. More about how Uber enters markets.
  13. Very interesting conversation around amateur porn by Rashida Jones (Be warned, the content could be offensive for sensitive readers)
  14. Looking to volunteer your time at a worthy cause? Here is a site that connects volunteers to need.
  15. Do you love to learn something new each day?

Sunday Reads

I had taken some time off work this week so I the reads will be fewer than usual!

  1. Ever wondered how headhunting happens for some of the more senior positions? Here’s how … (Audio)
  2. God definitely made bacon and this would make Him happy.
  3. Because I am really serious about hanging stuff on my walls and here is a lovely tutorial of how to do it properly.
  4. These shootings while wrong are so heartbreaking!
  5. I feel about this exactly what I feel about wedding financing! BAD IDEA!!
  6. For the econometric geeks out there – dealing with missing data!
  7. The solution for corruption is not as simplistic or clear-cut as increasing wages. So what to do?
  8. Caring for your locs. Also, I am sometimes fascinated by the actual voice of some of the blogs I read and this chick is nothing like I expected …

Enjoy!!

Sunday reads

  1. A very unfortunate Catch 22.
  2. Twenty cooking lessons for any cook.
  3. The Brief on SA Wines.
  4. My dad is always asking why economic growth in Africa is not visible to the ordinary man. Here’s why.
  5. Jeez, doing this job would drain me but I am grateful that some people really do it well. Or keep rising up against adversity.
  6. I certainly used these tips last night!
  7. Building great teams, some core ingredients. (I totally agree with this. Great read)
  8. Took this test and found out I am in the right profession. Thanks BBC!
  9. More on the problem of Economics in Africa
  10. Dreaming of donuts: One Two Three
  11. Such a great and inspiring read. Love the quote below:
But if you live for external achievement, years pass and the deepest parts of you go unexplored and unstructured. You lack a moral vocabulary. It is easy to slip into a self-satisfied moral mediocrity. You grade yourself on a forgiving curve. You figure as long as you are not obviously hurting anybody and people seem to like you, you must be O.K. But you live with an unconscious boredom, separated from the deepest meaning of life and the highest moral joys. Gradually, a humiliating gap opens between your actual self and your desired self, between you and those incandescent souls you sometimes meet.

Enjoy!

Late Sunday reads

Funny thing but I found this lying in my drafts … please enjoy the old-ish links. Hope you are all having a lovely week and hopefully the next one starts on a positive note.

  1. The economics behind standing in line. Who knew?
  2. Things ARE looking up in the Development world.
  3. Practical and very thoughtful approach to Development (please also look through the comments)
  4. Quantifying the sacrifices given up at Lent
  5. The next time you want to like sad news on social media (little hint: Don’t. Never. It’s not a good idea)
  6. Please read this for the comments and the shade. Yoh! the shade
  7. Double whammy! Black and a female economist!
  8. Women and negotiation. Damned if you, damned if you don’t
  9. Recipes to try this week: Chocolate cake, Cardamon crumb cake, Lentil and rice salad

Enjoy and please feel free to leave comments with interesting stuff you read this week.

My Crazy Happy List

I was challenged to do this post by a friend (snarky things these private blogs) so I will cite the initial source Karen.

“Grab a pen and paper, and list everything you love to do that fills you with joy and/or grace.  It can be shooting photographs, or cooking, or taking a shower, or running a mile, or singing or whatever.  Write deeply profound things, or silly little things, like organizing the junk drawer in your kitchen.  Write until it exhausts you.  Just write whatever fills you with joy or grace.”

In no particular order here are my favourites:

  1. Listening to Talk Radio and Podcasts.
  2. Reading. A good book, a great article, a lovely post. Even bad stuff, I will read as long as people write. I like the fact that reading allows a third dimension to come in and you can start to hear, smell or imagine stuff beyond what’s actually on the paper.
  3. Sitting with family to have easily six conversations running concurrently and speaking a mish-mash of all the different languages we speak or appropriating words to mean something new altogether.
  4. Chatting – whether on Gmail or on Whatsapp. I love the connection it gives me and the fact that it helps pass time.
  5. Getting a good work out and pushing my body really hard.
  6. Road trips with my Mr – gives us a chance to really talk and connect as well as listen to each others Music (his mainly).
  7. Cooking for family and seeing their appreciation S/O to my nephew who is so complimentary when you hit the happy spot. Also, getting a new cookbook and trying a new recipe and having it come out tasty and adding it to my repertoire of meals.
  8. Browsing in a bookstore or being in a Library. BOOKS, YUM!!!
  9. Journaling and my journals. I have journaled more on than off since I was 11 years old and have kept each of them.
  10. Writing lists. Anyone that knows me knows that I list everything for private and professional stuff. To-do lists, shopping lists, meeting notes, books to read, places to go, stuff I like – LISTS are my thang
  11. Reading an applied Economics paper that answers a really practical and useful question and actually getting it.
  12. I make a mean cup of tea.
  13. Friendship – catching up with a pal and connecting whether on silly or deep things. Just connecting.
  14. Getting my hair done. Ok, I will say that again, getting my hair done.
  15. Going to Church and being in a room with other believers.

What about you, what’s on your crazy happy list?

Sunday reads

Enjoy your afternoon of Sunday reads!

  1. What’s in a name?
  2. I hear you, but I still struggle with this
  3. There is always that one question that seems to be doing the rounds in interviews. Here is the latest one
  4. Yes these are stupid outbursts but what happens to their lives afterwards?
  5. I can only pray for these people. May God judge them ever so severely!
  6. Because I love Obama
  7. Cooking with wine? Here are a few tips
  8. Oh my heart, such a  cool dude. Please have a listen
  9. I might very well love to drink tea, as much as I love reading about it!

Cheers!

Shout out to Podcasts

So I have waxed lyric about my love for podcasts but I have never really said what I listen to and why I love it so much. Please note, I have subscribed to each of them on iTunes but if you go to the website I am sure you can play it directly or off another Media player.

State of the Re:Union logoI recently got into this podcast and so far I.LOVE.IT because the thing I love about podcasts are the stories they tell and the human angle to them. Best episodes so far: The Sorting of America, Trans Families and American Justice. The web pages of each episode also provide additional reading and listening material which is further educative.

image This podcast is hosted weekly by a husband and wife team and they speak about all sorts of random stuff. We are only at week three for now, so it would be easy for anyone to catch up. The reason I am so clued up (thank me later) is because I follow Chesca’s Tumblr and she made the announcement there. Listen and lemme know what you think.

image This might be of interest if you have read the books or if you like to explore data in unconventionally. There are quite a few episodes on various topics. I recently listened to the episode “Tell me something I don’t know” which is basically a game show of ideas. So hilarious but informative.

 image    This series touches on a wide variety of topics. For instance this week I listened to a podcast on the teenage brain, heroine treatment in Kentucky and just understanding an addicts’ brain, crime reporting and modern day parenting. Also, listening to this podcast really got me excited to watch Boyhood. I also think that the presenter, Terry Goss, also displays great sensitivity when speaking to her different guests and that’s quite appealing to me.

image  Because everyone was talking about this podcast in the second half of last year. Everybody. I finally got to it during the December break and listened to all 12 episodes. It basically retells the story of the disappearance and murder of a high school senior (Hae Min Lee) by her then boyfriend (Adnan Syed) and his subsequent mistrial and finally conviction. The host goes through some of the evidence and takes the viewer through each of them. It’s quite engrossing but it made me a bit sad that the focus is on Adnan and not so much on Hae’s family that must still be angry and/or grieving. Season two is bound to return soon and I wonder what it will be on. Must say, I liked the recommendation for it to to focus on another topic – like a chef starting up in a few weeks or a fashion designer or something like that.

I love the BBC and so it is no surprise that there are two podcast series on here.

 image The show’s by line talks of looking at the world through the feminist perspective. And that’s exactly what they do covering both serious and frivolous topics.

BBC Documentaries that covers all sorts of global stories in an in depth analytical way.

I also really like Focus on the Family and again here are two shows from that broadcasting family.

Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast– they cover more wholesome topics that are family friendly and that build the individual up as well. The show is also broadcast daily.

Focus on the Family: Focus on Marriage – because I believe it helps to get all the help one can when married.

So this is what I play in my ears during the work day, what podcasts do you likeFre

Double edition Sunday reads

Some stuff I read over the past week and liked.

  1. Wanna know what Obama eats?
  2. Avoiding sexism in the Economics field.
  3. Because I Love Viola Davis.
  4. Why Teenagers behave as they do.
  5. Hair through the decades
  6. Why are slow cookers sales on the rise?
  7. Why twelve weeks of maternity leave?
  8. Very interesting project related to books
  9. Should bosses allow workers to work from home?
  10. Top 50 movies of the 2010s so far. First 50. Second 50.
  11. What happens when a restaurant dies?
  12. The unlikely intervention of meritocracy and privilege
  13. My next little challenge (starting on Ash Wednesday)
  14. So sad to hear that Parenthood is over.
  15. LOVE this chick’s (Rachel Kerr) music. She sounds like Bay but she is so much better.
  16. BONUS: Don’t know what this writer expected but she got told in the comments.

Late afternoon reading

  1. Make an ordinary day happy
  2. Mapping the impact of ethnicity in Kenya
  3. 25 famous women talk aging
  4. And the Economics Nobel Prize goes to …
  5. 75 monumental pics of our lifetime (so far)