Links from Felix Salmon, Andrew Sheng, Xiao Geng, and others.
Today, due to the uneven application of methods and poor availability of data, any ranking of countries by GDP is misleading. The basic problem is that many countries have been using outmoded data and methods.
…One of the most urgent challenges in African economic development is thus to devise a strategy for improving statistical capacity. The system currently causes more confusion than enlightenment, yet governments, international organizations, and independent analysts do need development statistics to track and monitor efforts at improving living conditions on the continent. It’s unwise to proclaim that African economies are growing without better insight into the quality of the numbers.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I lived in Hong Kong (working for The Economist) and saw how that city was paired with the “special economic zone” of Shenzhen across the border on the Chinese mainland in Guangdong Province. Together, the two created a world-beating manufacturing hub: business, design and finance in Hong Kong, manufacturing in Shenzhen. The clear division of labor between the two became a model for modern China.
Today, what Shenzhen is to Hong Kong, Tijuana is becoming to San Diego.
After over 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, the Windy City’s violence epidemic continues – 2013 saw the deadliest January in over a decade – and continues to make national news.
…in most developing countries, an entry-level internet connections can cost as much as an individual’s monthly income. This is primarily due to high taxes on equipment like computers, mobile phones, and modems; a lack of the physical infrastructure (IXPs) to support the Web; and telecommunications monopolies that limit access to infrastructure or make it prohibitively expensive to set up.
New York City experienced a historic decline in crime rates during the 1990s, but it was not due to the implementation of CompStat or enhanced enforcement of misdemeanor offenses, according to an analysis by New York University sociologist David Greenberg. The study, which appears in the journal Justice Quarterly, did not find a link between arrests on misdemeanor charges and drops in felonies, such as homicides, robberies, and assaults. In addition, the analysis revealed no significant drop in violent or property crime attributable to the NYPD’s introduction of CompStat in 1994.