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Why formal credit eludes African smallholder farmers and the role of village moneylenders

Eyeballing the bowl of ugali lying on the rough-edged wooden table for eight, the African farmer feels once again let down by those more powerful than herself: weather, God and government. Rewinding this year’s events, the rain was unmoved by the collective prayers and tantalized villagers with an elusive appearance. With pest killers selling at […]

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Income inequality and educational inequality: Comparing the U.S. and Brazil

In 2014, stories about rising inequality in the United States made headlines. In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama focused on inequality, saying “Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.” A book by a French economist about inequality, Capital by Thomas Piketty, became an unexpected best seller. One of the most important […]

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Little Evidence that the National Food Authority can Influence the Price of Rice in the Philippines

Rice is the staple food in the Philippines. It accounts for 1/3 of the total food consumption (in terms of domestic utilization in metric tons) and is grown on about 4 million hectares of the total 13 million hectares of arable land (Glipo, Vibal and Cainglet, 2002). The Philippine government has made numerous attempts to […]

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Crushing on Cash

Cash is the new international development darling — lauded by researchers and practitioners as the new standard for foreign aid. Delivering cash to individuals rather than aid in-kind (such as cows, building materials, training), has gained increasing prominence in the past 15 years. It shows promise as a means to increase the efficiency and effectiveness […]

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Part 3: TTIP Negotiations on Foreign Investment Rules

In this third post, we consider the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) rules about foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2013 the governments of all European Union member states presented guidelines to the European Commission to include provisions for investment protection in the TTIP negotiations. These rules have been heatedly debated in the EU’s […]

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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Part 2 : TTIP, Regulatory Harmonization, and Non-tariff Barriers to Trade

The stated aims of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the United States and the European Union are to increase jobs, profits, and worker incomes on both sides of the Atlantic. At this still early date, four key studies have quantitatively assessed the projected economic benefits of such an accord (Ecorys, […]

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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Part 1

The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade and investment agreement currently being negotiated by the United States and the 28 nations forming the European Union. President Obama announced upcoming TTIP talks on February 13, 2013, and negotiations started in July 2013. The negotiations aim at reducing trade barriers in a wide […]

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