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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

9 Oct2018

Permettre aux filles de maîtriser leur destin

Published by Le Quotidien D' Oran

À la loterie de la vie, naître femme dans un pays pauvre vous expose à un double handicap. Dans les pays pauvres, le nombre de personnes pauvres est plus important chez les femmes que dans tout autre groupe démographique, et les femmes y sont aussi en moins bonne santé, ont plus difficilement accès à l’éducation, et ont plus de chance d’être victimes de violences. L’inégalité des sexes – résultant de la discrimination au travail et des inégalités de rémunération – coûte au monde l’équivalent exorbitant de 15,5 % du PIB global. En refusant aux femmes les possibilités de déployer leurs talents...

19 Jun2018

Which Anti-Poverty Policies Work?

Published by Project Syndicate

Some policies seem so altruistic that it is almost impossible to imagine any objection to them. For example, lending small amounts of money or writing off debts to help the extreme poor are intended to help the most vulnerable, and both approaches seem entirely sensible. However, scrutiny reveals these well-intentioned policies to be misguided. Around a decade ago, NGOs, international organizations, and philanthropists trumpeted microcredit as a silver bullet that would end extreme poverty. The United Nations designated 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit, and when the Nobel Peace...

16 Jun2018

The cost of easing access to electricity

Published by The Financial Express

Access to electricity is critical for a modern economy, and a key driver of social and economic development. Lighting, health, education, productivity, labour participation, enterprise development and income generation, all improve when households are provided with access. In India, rural areas had electrification rates of 74% compared to 97% in urban areas in 2016. The Union Government of India has launched several programmes to close gaps in electricity access, such as the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, and most recently, the Saubhagya...

16 Jun2018

Burgeoning Indian cities need infrastructure development to keep pace with growth

Published by The Economic Times

Cities are, in many ways, the future of India. The number of metropolitan cities with a population higher than one million jumped from 35 in 2001 to 50 in 2011, and is expected to reach 87 by 2031. Today, 40 crore people call an Indian metropolis home. That will double by 2050. This swift growth places huge pressure on infrastructure. A March 2011 report by a high-powered expert committee chaired by Isher Judge Ahluwalia (goo.gl/r5ZLM3) found that the duration of water supply in Indian.

3 Jun2018

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana: The arithmetics of housing for all

Published by The Economic Times

n 2014, GoI set out to improve housing conditions for the urban poor, and launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), a housing for all (HFA) by 2022 scheme. There are three possible paths to achieve this goal, some approaches stronger than others. Analysis by Amitabh Kundu of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, and Arjun Kumar of the Institute of Human Development (IHD), New Delhi (goo.gl/hBHskT and goo.gl/pGp8F6) also prompt the broader question as to whether non-housing policies may better help the urban poor. The first approach examined is...

31 May2018

Why cancelling the LPG subsidy is a poor option

Published by Hindustan Times

Air pollution kills more than 16 lakh people in India every year — more than smoking, malnutrition or even a lack of water and sanitation. And while the toxic soup of outdoor air pollution over Delhi and many other cities rightly gets a lot of attention, indoor air pollution from household cooking and heating with biomass fuels kills almost as many, or about eight lakh people, every year. A majority of rural households continue to use biomass (such as wood and cow dung) as their primary cooking fuel. Various measures have promoted cooking with LPG, a significantly cleaner fossil fuel. An LPG...

30 May2018

Is loan waiver a panacea for rural distress?

Published by The Financial Express

On the eve of the Karnataka election, waivers of farm loans were one of the major election promises. Now, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy wants to fulfill his pre-poll promise and even threatened to resign if he cannot fulfill his promise. As has been seen time and time again, “farmers first” provides political mileage. With more than 55% of Indians earning their livelihood from the agricultural sector, it comes as no surprise that political parties like to place their bets on the farmers’ cause. However, the real benefit to the farmers won’t come from loan waivers. We studied responses to...

25 May2018

Poverty: The direct approach isn’t always best

Published by Mint

Sometimes in life, it is clear that the direct approach isn’t the best one. This is true in many areas, even when it comes to policymaking. Take, as an example, the area of extreme poverty. It seems logical, at first, that the most effective response should be head-on: giving money and assets to protect people from income shocks. In recent times, microcredit schemes have been presented as a panacea, attracting a lot of money around the world. However, a series of trials have shown that microcredit doesn’t do much good—often not even increasing average incomes, and burying the poor in debt.

25 May2018

Ease of doing business: Land record reforms ahoy!

Published by The Economic Times

Ensuring clear property titles can go a long way in making the land market more transparent and efficient. Completion of survey and resurvey activities, and digitisation of cadastral maps will cost about Rs 213 crore. However, this will have multiple benefits. Evidence shows that strengthening property rights reduces the risk of expropriation and corruption. It also improves the mechanisms for peaceful resolution of disputes and contract enforcement.

21 May2018

Do Children Cause Global Warming?

Published by Project Syndicate

Across all cultures, raising a child is considered one of the most rewarding things a person can do. Yet a chorus of campaigners, scientists, and journalists suggest that everyone should think twice before procreating. The United States’ public radio broadcaster NPR asks, “Should We Be Having Kids in the Age of Climate Change?” The Nation magazine wants to know, “How Do You Decide to Have a Baby When Climate Change Is Remaking Life on Earth?” The Guardian counsels readers: “Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children.” And the New York Times warns that having a child is the worst...

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