Sunday, May 23, 2010

Post No.1 (Playground Politics and Races)

Ok, Post number one! This funny clip reminds me of a paper on UN GA votes and US Aid. The authors find a that countries will vote in accord with the US directly after after receiving untied aid from the US. The data only runs up to 2002, but it is revealing nonetheless. It's not only natural resources that countries are willing to give up to get some fresh foreign cash. Ahh, the ol' race to the bottom.

But back to resources, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is a most excellent initiative that sets out rigorous standards for governments dabbling in the most profitable of extractive industries. In an effort to make natural resources beneficial for all, the EITI demands that countries reveal their resource revenues to the public in a consistent and honest fashion. An informed public is more likely to demand accountability, which in turn helps to combat corruption, elite capture and even perhaps ecological disaster. Of course, it is a completely voluntary initiative that doesn't carry much weight... yet. With any luck (and by luck I mean responsible citizens/investors/governments that demand nothing less than EITI certified products) this ought to slow that race down a bit.

The Africa kid is a great actor, by the way. :)

HT: Structurally Maladjusted

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