The Difference Between India's Stories and Statistics

There is a village in Southern India called Kadapakkam. It had been a home to farmers and fishermen whose thatched huts had no running water and no electrical appliances. At traditional tea shops located at the side of the local, narrow and potholed road, you could meet a friend. One 62…

Seeing Why African Development Is So Tough To Get Started

I just finished and do recommend The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty. Written by a Vanity Fair journalist, the book is a good read. On one level, The Idealist is about a dynamic economist who raised $120 million (and then…

Do Real Entrepreneurs Have to be Rich?

Because startups tend to be small, do not focus on innovation nor growth, they are a less accurate measure of entrepreneurship than self-made billionaires.

Note to Self… Entrepreneurial Activity Shapes Our World.

Asked about how much market research he did for the iPad, Steve Jobs said, “None. It’s not the consumer’s job to know that they want.” Art Fry could have said the same thing. His story is a good one… But first, where are…

What We Should Know About Monetary Policy

Having heard Janet Yellen’s press conference yesterday, I learned that the Federal Reserve expects that the economy will improve, their bond buying will diminish and, during the foreseeable future, interest rates will start to ascend. And yes, she spoke about unemployment and…

Software's Creative Destruction

During 1989, a computer scientist wrote a memo in which he explained how information could be shared through a computer network. Two years later we had the first web pages and by 1998, one quarter of the US population was using them. Just…

Do we spend more on Mother's Day or Father's Day?

Our Monday gender issue: While approximately 85% of us celebrate Mother’s Day, for Father’s Day, maybe 78%. Then, the numbers diminish after we reach 44 years old. And, by the time we are 65, there are only 60% (or so) of us that participate…

How and why does UPS get my package to me so fast?

Occasionally, I have asked the UPS man who is always so gracious to wait a moment at my front door while I go to the kitchen. Taking a minute or so, I grab an apple for him. In a Planet Money interview,…

Fast and Slow Stock Markets

Goldman Sachs is asking $30 million for a firm that, 14 years ago, it purchased for $6500 million ($6.5 billion). The story (sort of) starts 222 years ago. Wall Street was where our first Congress met, where Alexander Hamilton lived…

Tall and Short Populations

Princeton economist Angus Deaton estimates that it will take 500 years for Indian women to reach the height of English women. In The Great Escape, Dr. Deaton explains that a population could be short because of nutrition or disease. When babies…