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CEGA in the News

AIDS Treatment as an International Entitlement: Are We Ready for a Global Welfare Paradigm?

Sep 28, 2007 - On Wednesday, UNAIDS published “Financial Resources Required to Achieve Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support” to present the world with a bottom line: $50 billion a year. While acknowledging that “some might ask if the goal of universal access is worth the effort that will be required,” the report declares “the answer is a resounding yes.”

Double protection doesn't improve HIV prevention

Jul 12, 2007 - Dr. Nancy S. Padian and her colleagues tested the theory that covering the cervix with a diaphragm and still using a condom would enhance protection against HIV, in a medical trial involving some 5000 sexually active women living in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

If God Were an Accountant

Apr 28, 2007 - "Your money or your life." The choice traditionally presented by the highwayman is supposed to have only one sensible answer. Money is, after all, no use to a corpse. Yet, economists often study something rather like the highwayman's offer in an attempt to uncover the answer to an important question: How much is your life actually worth?

Stop Conflict Before It Starts

Sep 18, 2006 - Dozens of countries have suffered through civil conflicts in the past few decades. The humanitarian consequences have been staggering: 3 million civilian deaths in Congo and hundreds of thousands more in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. The direct human impacts for survivors are enormous, and there may be lasting economic setbacks for whole societies.

Academics dish the dirt on UN's worst New York parking violators

Aug 15, 2006 - Diplomats from countries with high levels of corruption, and those from countries that have a poor opinion of the US, are far more likely to commit parking violations in New York, according to a new study from Columbia and Berkeley Universities. Ray Fisman and Edward Miguel, the study's authors, focused on the United Nations headquarters' host city.

Diplomats and parking fines: A ticket for corruption

Aug 12, 2006 - “The UN needs a good smack in the face,” fumed one city councillor. New York has long been fed up with the United Nations and its diplomats. The city has 1,700 of them, about 1,699 too many. Their meetings cause endless traffic jams and annoying multi-car motorcades. As for their outstanding fines for traffic violations (more than $18m at the last count), these have so infuriated Michael Bloomberg, New York's mayor, that in 2002 he vowed to tow away illegally parked consular vehicles.

Africa's Condom-Wary Women, Hit by HIV, Await Protective Gels

Aug 11, 2006 - Cultural attitudes are spurring the search for ways to help women like Wagura protect themselves from being infected by HIV, the deadly virus that causes AIDS. Almost 60 percent of the people with HIV in the hardest-hit countries of Africa are women, and the rates of infection are increasing faster among females than males, according to the United Nations.

The Culture of Nations

Aug 1, 2006 - Diplomats in New York rack up a lot of unpaid parking tickets, but not all rack them up at the same rates. According to the economists Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel, diplomats from countries that rank high on the Transparency International corruption index pile up huge numbers of unpaid tickets, whereas diplomats from countries that rank low on the index barely get any at all.

Count Ethnic Divisions, Not Bombs, to Tell if a Nation Will Recover From War

Jul 20, 2006 - With repeated Shiite and Sunni killings in Iraq, the Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel, Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, the assaults by the Taliban and counterassaults by American forces in Afghanistan, and a train bombing in India, it has been quite a fortnight for at least two of the horsemen of the apocalypse -- war and death.

Corruption as a cultural phenomenon

Jun 30, 2006 - An 18-year old boy, whose mother worked as a maid, died in somewhat mysterious circumstances. Different hospital staff demanded bribes totalling Rs 500 to issue the death certificate -- after he had visited the place seven times, and fainted once because he was too poor to eat. No one knows why some of us are such unmitigated swine that we demand money from the poorest of the poor for even such things like dry firewood for cremation.

Diplomatic Scofflaws and the Culture of Corruption

Jun 30, 2006 - To a meter maid in New York City, here's the real axis of evil: Kuwait, Egypt and Chad. At least that's what two economists found when they studied unpaid traffic tickets racked up over five years by diplomats from 146 countries stationed in New York City. Raymond J. Fisman and Edward Miguel wanted to see whether diplomats from more corrupt countries tended to ignore parking tickets more often than those from nations where boodle, bribes and fraud were less ubiquitous.

Our opportunity to end poverty -- or fail to even try

May 21, 2006 - A group of young men ages 18 to 25 with beards and long unkempt hair meets in a back room and works long into the night on their mutual passion. Some attended college, others dropped out. They feel that by wiring up a few things just right, they can change the world. They sacrifice their social lives to this shared vision. Although their parents and neighbors endorse their work in vague terms, they are worried about the level of passion the young men have.

On My Mind: Reforming Tony Soprano's Morals

May 1, 2006 - Economists like to think that corrupt behavior can be changed through punishment and reward. In this view, there's no such thing as a culture of corruption. Alter the legal incentives, goes the reasoning, and law-abiding behavior will follow.

Incentives to Learn

Mar 1, 2005 - Proposals for education reform generally focus on teachers and curricula. But the most important factor in education may be the student himself or herself. A growing number of states, including Georgia, Michigan, New York, and Massachusetts, have established programs that provide financial rewards in the form of merit scholarships for college for students who perform well academically.

World Bank Challenged: Are the Poor Really Helped?

Jul 28, 2004 - Wealthy nations and international organizations, including the World Bank, spend more than $55 billion annually to better the lot of the world's 2.7 billion poor people. Yet they have scant evidence that the myriad projects they finance have made any real difference, many economists say.

Cash Talks

Nov 24, 2003 - A generation of reforms--including more school resources and new curricula--has failed to improve urban schools. In Oakland, Calif., near where I live, 20% of high school students drop out. Only a third meet the minimum requirements for entrance to the California state university system. The dropout problem is especially severe among African-American and Latino high school students, who are twice as likely to drop out as other students.

Interview with Ted Miguel

Nov 1, 2002 - There are three major pieces of the project that Gates is funding: improving source water quality through spring protection; investigating households’ use of point-of-use technologies, where we focus the most on chlorine; and focusing on the impact of increasing household water quantity rather than quality, using what are called multiple-use systems that could be used for agriculture, but also in the home.

Reward teachers but ensure output

Jun 30, 2002 - The discussion around expanding the capacity of India’s higher education system in these pages and elsewhere has correctly identified the biggest constraint: a lack of quality faculty in institutions of higher learning. Making salaries in academia more attractive is clearly a part of the solution to the problem of attracting quality faculty.