Slums are often seen as a property of rapid economic growth in urban areas. Slums form on the outskirts of economic hubs.They are the product of urbanization and are often highlighted for stimulating upward mobility. Marx, Stoker and Suri (2013) pose an interesting discussion into the contemporary ideas on the value of slums. Slums were normally thought as home for migrants seeking economic opportunity. The wealth of a fast growing city can trickle out to the slums, but this might only leave crumbs. Many slums are characterized as having poor quality housing, lack of clean water or sanitation, and the Continue reading Slums, forward and backward mobility.
Road development is important in ensuring transportation is fast and efficient inside and outside of country borders. In most of the developing world, it would seem speed takes precedence over safety. An article in the Economist, highlights that deaths from road traffic accidents surpassed deaths from Malaria and Tuberculosis in most recent years. This is not the case in the rich countries. In particular Sweden has cut road deaths in half since 2000 and by four fifths since 1970. Banks and donors will fund large road projects, but there is little emphasis on the safety of these roads.The European Union Continue reading Congestion May not be the Biggest Problem in Road Development
I stumbled upon this interesting Freakonomics podcast that discusses the effects of video games and the internet. Dubner and Levitt would like to argue that playing video games may reduce the level of outward violence seen in adolescent males. This may happen because they are “getting it out of their system” by playing a violent game. If an adolescent boy (as the example goes in the podcast) is playing video games, then he cannot be out doing anything else, including violent crimes. The extreme case is that the child does not have time to commit any violent crime. The podcast Continue reading Getting it out of your System
Gender discrimination can be see in a number of ways, and often times these social barriers lead to market failures. Gender inequality in education has been shown to stunt economic growth and development. A recent article in the Economist provides empirical findings from Britain’s Department of International Development that show that an increase in enrollment for women in education caused and increase in annual income per head. Björkman-Nyqvist claims that in times of economic hardship, girls are more likely to be removed from schooling than boys. The author uses evidence from Uganda showing a relationship between average rainfall and school enrollment Continue reading Gender Inequality in Education
Busking has become apart of urban culture throughout America. From musicians, to clowns, human statues and theatrical arts, all have had their share of time on the busy street corners of New York, Chicago, Massachusetts, San Francisco and the like. But as The Economist highlights, each city deals with busking differently. Some cities have outright bans on busking. Arguments have been made that this suspends the first amendment right to free speech. Others require permits, which may be costly, but remove the risk of being harassed or arrested (Like Space Cowboy in the article above, arrested for “brandishing weapons in public”). Continue reading Busking: Free Speech or Free Pass?