Category Archives: Political theory

Can we attract good political leaders? Hint – yes

Can a democracy attract competent leaders, while attaining broad representation? Economic models suggest that free-riding incentives and lower opportunity costs give the less competent a comparative advantage at entering political life. Moreover, if elites have more human capital, selecting on … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - international, Politics - national | 4 Comments

On the Origins and Consequences of Racism

We use a novel method to measure racism at both the individual and the country level. We show that our measure of racism has a strong negative and significant impact on economic development, quality of institutions and education. We then … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - international | 3 Comments

Slow Democracy: how representation by random selection can rebalance our stricken democracy

I’ve outlined some of the pathologies of what I call ‘vox pop’ democracy in various posts from time to time. As Western democracy degrades before our very eyes (President Donald Trump wasn’t really imaginable a decade or so ago and is still hard … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Political theory | 2 Comments

Elections and development #NeverLetAGoodDeedGoUnpunished

Do anti-poverty programs sway voters? Experimental evidence from Uganda By: Blattman, Christopher ; Emeriau, Mathilde ; Fiala, Nathan A Ugandan government program allowed groups of young people to submit proposals to start skilled enterprises. Among 535 eligible proposals, the government … Continue reading

Posted in Best From Elsewhere, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Political theory | Leave a comment

Little platoons of the left and right

The intimidatingly well informed Brad Delong used the following quote from Rosa Luxemburg to bid “good riddance” to Fidel Castro. I don’t know enough to agree or disagree, but as I read Luxemburg’s words, I wasn’t thinking of communism. I was … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, History, Political theory | 10 Comments

Dispatch no. 2 from the epistemic swamp

I’ve just posted the first version of the introduction to this post on the first dispatch from the epistemic swamp, but I thought I’d open up the discussion again on a new thread. The tweet above surely highlights different ideas of truth and authenticity. Of course, … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Political theory, Politics - international | Leave a comment

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

I gave a talk at the Lowy Institute last Wednesday to which I initially gave a long-winded title “Intellectual Property- Economics, Diplomacy and Australia’s strategic interests” but managed to get more cut-through under the pressure of Twitters 140 character limit “DFAT goes AWOL on IP”. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Intellectual Property, Law, Political theory, Politics - international | Leave a comment