- Presentation: Amory Gethin presented his work with Aroop Chatterjee and Léo Czajka at RESEP’s Brown Bag Lunch in May this year. “Inequality, redistribution, and Growth: Evidence from South Africa, 1993-2019“. Suffice to say that it was the best presentation I’ve seen in 5 years and the paper, when published, is likely to lead to a lot of difficult conversations.
- Papers: Two great papers by South African economists: “Picketty comes to South Africa” (Pabon, Leibbrandt and Ranchhod, 2020) and “Exclusive growth? Rapidly increasing top incomes amidst low national growth in South Africa” (Bassier & Woolard, 2020).
- LRB: Stefan Collini always writes in a lucid and witty way and Snakes & Ladders is no exception. It’s about meritocracy and what it means. I’m currently working through McCloksey’s “Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics” so I really liked his riposte about the ladder of social mobility:
“Our social imagination is partly constituted by our ruling metaphors, and the key metaphor of the age of meritocracy is ‘the ladder’. As David Cameron put it in 2013: ‘You help people by putting up ladders that they can climb through their own efforts.’ But this may not paint quite as inviting a picture as Cameron hoped. Ladders are confining modes of ascent, which don’t leave much room for choice: there is no overtaking and the direction of travel is fixed, rung by rung. Ladder-speak tends to ignore the fact that ladders are used for descending as much as ascending, and has nothing to say about what happens when someone on the way down meets someone on the way up. And of course there will always be some people who prefer to take the lift. Where, in any case, are all these competitors in the Great Ladder-Climbing Championships trying to get to? The metaphor suggests a once-and-for-all ascent: you climb a ladder to get somewhere; ladder-climbing is not a way of life.”
- New Yorker: “Can Progressives be Convinced Genetics Matters?” Fascinating article – also nice to listen to it rather than read it.
- Tablet: The New National American Elite: America is now ruled by a single elite class rather than by local patrician smart sets competing with each other for money and power. I loved the register more than anything else!
- Debate: I came across this debate-by-letters and loved the banter between academics. “Deidre McCloskey & Economists’ Ideas about Ideas.” Read the whole thing –
- Assessment: SACMEQ is notoriously under-documented. This 2019 Kenya Report on SACMEQ IV (2013) is helpful in that regard.
- Martin Gustafsson’s pice in The Conversation about the incoming wave of teacher retirements. Watch this space.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with RTI (Ben Piper et al., who else 🙂 ) have published a series of really helpful reports on:
- Structured Pedagogy: How to guides and literature review
- Practical language choices for improving Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in sub-Saharan Africa,
- Language of instruction in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Programs in sub-Saharan Africa: The Basics,
- Classroom level assessment,
- System level assessment
- Reports: Useful OECD PISA-for-Development report (2020) on out of school youth in 5 countries (Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay & Senegal)
The weird thing is that the first graph in Martin Gustafsson’s piece has only 8 provinces, not 9 — WC is missing. But thanks for the list.