IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.


  • Heard about Universal Basic Income (UBI)? UBI, UBI, UBI, UBI, UBI, UBI.
  • A sad but fascinating long read, on what happened with the refugee crisis in Greece. It was a languishing overwhelmed and underfunded system, until the photo of the drowned 3-year-old boy Alan Kurdi circulated around the world. Money and pressure to act poured in, turning Greece into the center of one of the most expensive humanitarian responses in history. Refugee resources and professionals typically work in situations with little infrastructure. In this case though, they were layered on top of an existing political system in a relatively well-off country and it ended up in chaos. (h/t Michael Clemens I think)
  • A really nice conversation between Annie Lowrey and Angus Deaton. They cover a lot of topics including how to tell if it’s better to be poor in a rich country or a poor country, opioids and life in rural America, and meeting President Obama after Deaton’s Nobel.
  • South Sudan created a famine by impeding people’s access to resources. A few days after it was declared, the government raised the visa fee for foreigners (such as aid workers) from around $100 to $10,000.
  • Political scientist Aili Mari Tripp asks why in African countries recovering from conflicts, like Liberia, Uganda, and Rwanda, women’s public status advanced quickly, achieving changes in a few years that took a century in Nordic countries. She concludes that having fewer men around allows women to move into more public roles, and peace accords provide opportunities to formalize women’s rights, among other reasons. (h/t Rachel Strohm)

There’s a new book The Parent Track, on balancing parenting and academic careers. No better PR than the video going around this morning: