Dr Alice Evans and leading experts discuss growth, governance, & gender inequalities.
Alice is a Lecturer at King's College London, and Faculty Associate at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Why are North & South India so Different on Gender?
Everyone knows that Southern and Northern India are very different in culture, language, and socio-economic development. But the most dramatic regional disparity may be in gender relations. Why is this?
Is it due to..
Conquests and purdah
Ancestral crop yields?
If you would rather read than listen, the blog is here:
"The WEIRDest People in The World": Professor Joe Henrich
Professor Joe Henrich (Harvard) presents his new book on 'how Westerners became psychologically peculiar and particularly prosperous'.
He suggests that the Western Church eroded kinship in Europe, which enabled a process of cultural evolution, resulting in democratisation, innovation, and economic growth.
I present an alternative hypothesis: through economic development, wage labour, non-familial employment, and rural-urban migration, people broaden their networks beyond kinship. So my suggestion is that economic development fosters cultural change.
Let me know what you think!!
Read more about Professor Henrich: https://henrich.fas.harvard.edu/
And his book: https://weirdpeople.fas.harvard.edu/
How Cities Erode Gender Inequalities
Support for gender equality has increased across the world, especially in cities. Why is this? And what does it tell us about the drivers of social change?
World Bank talk, followed by insightful audience questions. Sharing in case it's of wider interest.
My research in Zambia & Cambodia suggests that cities:
(i) raise the opportunity costs of the male breadwinner model,
(ii) increase exposure to women in socially valued roles, and
(iii) enable diverse associations, so people can collectively contest established practices. Interests, exposure, and association then reinforce a snowballing process of social change.
This work has been published in Gender & Society, and the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
Video: "The Decline and Rise of Democracy"
Here's the video of my interview with Professor Stasavage: https://youtu.be/T9VCP6ENJ6w
We discuss his new book, "The Decline & Rise of Democracy".
"The Decline and Rise of Democracy": Professor David Stasavage
Crops, technology, & exit options influenced whether societies became democratic or authoritarian - argues Professor David Stasavage.
Rulers wanted to tax their people at the right level: extract the maximum revenue without making the goose hiss! Their strategy would depend on crop yields and technology.
If caloric output is easy to predict (owing to stable temperature, irrigation, and other technology), rulers could easily calculate the agrarian surplus.
But if caloric output varies each year (owing to changing weather patterns and primitive technology), prediction is difficult.
Leaders could overcome these informational constraints either by surveying with bureaucrats or by soliciting council governance. Bureaucracies and councils performed the same role: providing information on crop yields.
If rulers lacked bureaucratic technology, they would solicit council governance, to ascertain how much to tax. This gave rise to large-scale representative governance - argues Stasavage.
In this podcast, we discuss whether this theory explains the dearth of democracy in China and MENA today, and the rise of the Communal Movement in Europe.
It's a great read, though I remain sceptical.. There remains a further question: why were European but not Chinese or MENA societies able to collectively organise, and secure democratising reforms?
Curious? Buy the book: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691177465/the-decline-and-rise-of-democracy
Greif & Tabellini: http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/files/GreifTabellini.pdf
Joe Henrich: https://weirdpeople.fas.harvard.edu/
Jonathan Schulz & others: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6466/eaau5141/tab-article-info
Frank Fukuyama: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Origins-Political-Order-Prehuman-Revolution/dp/1846682576
Klaus Mühlhahn: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674737358
Video - The Rise & Fall of the Male Breadwinner
I've made a special episode of Rocking Our Priors.
It's a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgnluTjB-YE
So, which do you prefer? Audio or video?