That New, New Industrial Policy

Sep 21, 2010

In my last post, I promised a quick overview of what analysts, from those at the World Bank to those at Harvard, are saying about contemporary industrial policy.  That promise was in response to a dismissive article in The Economist in August.  While I concurred with the magazine that we do not know a lot […]

Costs and Benefits

Aug 24, 2010

The August 7 U.S. print edition of The Economist magazine carried a Briefing on “the global revival of industrial policy” (online version here).  The journal’s somewhat alarmist coverage of the resurgence of industrial policy actually begins with the print edition’s first opinion leader, titled “Leviathan Inc” and sub-titled: “Governments seem to have forgotten that picking […]

Constituency Development Funds: African Parliaments’ Faustian Bargain

Aug 12, 2010

The two core duties of parliamentarians are to represent the interests of the electorate in the making of laws and to oversee the work of the executive arm of government (the executive, in short). However, in a growing number of African countries, parliamentarians are choosing to forsake these duties for the pork barrel benefits of Constituency […]

Transparency Is Not Enough

Aug 09, 2010

A new article in the International Political Science Review, entitled “Transparency is not enough,” argues that to get from increased transparency to reduced corruption, societies must meet two additional conditions.  First, transparent information must be publicized in a way that makes it accessible at low mental and economic cost to citizens (the publicity condition).  Second, […]

Budget Reform in 5 Tweets

Aug 05, 2010

Paolo de Renzio and Ed Hedger wrote an excellent paper on the state of budget reform (Click here to read). Earlier today we did some violence to their excellent work by summarizing it into 5 Budget Reform Tweets: Budget Reform Tweet 1: Countries with high economic growth rates, political stability & that depend on taxes […]

Accounting for Value

Aug 03, 2010

Since 2004, the Prince of Wales has been leading the charge for new corporate accounting standards that would take into consideration social and environmental factors that affect the cost of doing business, but that are ignored by traditional standards.  This would include both factors that will impact a company’s bottom line, but also external costs […]

Ignoring Corruption’s Enablers: A Tanzanian Story

Jul 30, 2010

This post was written by Thokozile Madonko and Jennifer Sleboda of the International Budget Partnership All too often reports in the media and public discourse about cases of government corruption overlook two root causes: the lack of budget transparency and weak oversight in the management of public resources.  This is certainly the case in Tanzania […]

Jobs for Africa?

Jul 12, 2010

At least since 2004, the African Union has made employment generation a rhetorical priority.  At a summit that year, the AU adopted the so-called Ouagadougou Plan of Action, meant to commit African countries to employment generation strategies.  In 2007, the Millenium Development Goals were altered to add an explicit focus on employment (Target 1B of […]

Tax Heaven

Jun 19, 2010

A major theme in this year’s African Economic Outlook, an annual OECD review,  is domestic resource mobilization (read: taxation), a topic that clearly deserves more attention in the region.  In a position paper released in May, the OECD points out that African tax revenue has been on the rise in recent years, but that the […]