Are indigenous people’s livelihoods and conservation compatible?

In the early 1960’s, many environmental protection NGOs started to promote conservation of ecosystems all over the globe. Greenpeace’s first stated mission is to “protect biodiversity in all its forms”. For WWF its principal objective is to “conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.” Conservation and climate change have become an important part of the international discussion.

Academics

Ignorance is strength

Western liberal values have been the foundation of Western democracy for the past decades.  Its zealous defence on democracy, freedom of thought and religion, free speech and openness are some of the defining characteristics of this worldview. These values have been under pressure in the past by outside forces. Western democracy had an ideological warfare with Communism in the post-WWII era. With the fall of the Eastern block, Western liberal values became the dominant ideology. Yet, recent political events suggest that a new political order might be rising. This time the pressure does not come from outside. It comes from within.

Academics

Machine Learning, Causal Inference, and Normative Judgment

Scholars and judges have long made arguments about laws and regulations and justified their arguments with theories about the effects of these legal rules. What empirical law and economics scholars like to do is to evaluate these claims with data. Now a particularly challenging dimension of studying the effects of rules and regulations is that many other aspects of society change at the same time, so what we need are natural experiments.

Academics

Economics of the video game industry: Why an under-researched industry merits the attention of economists

We economists at Toulouse School of Economics have an intense romance with industrial organization. Few visiting scholars fail to mention the strong work being done here in this field. The study of industrial organization is always grounded in a deep and subtle understanding of the industry at hand, as Justin Wolfers wrote for the New York Times in an article about the work of Professor Tirole [1]. It is all the more surprising that there is no research nor teaching about one of the most interesting, dynamic, and complex sectors of the modern entertainment industry: The video game industry. In this article, I will write both about the research that has been done on this industry as well as the developments and phenomena that should put video games high up on the list of research priorities for every serious researcher in industrial organization.

Academics

A liar’s tale

Benjamin Disraeli (UK Prime Minister, 1874-1880) once said “There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Everybody lies to a certain extent. It is difficult to imagine a society where everybody is utterly honest in everything that they say or do – where it is impossible to lie. The 2009 film “The Invention of Lying” tried to, but the result was not something we would recommend watching.

 

Academics

Development Economics and Industrial Organization… Or Industrial Organization in Developing Countries .

A typical morning. An assembled-in-China tablet wakes me up. Half asleep, and still wondering why the made-inPakistan ball did not make it in yesterday’s soccer match, I reach the kitchen and prepare a strong Costa Rican coffee. Ok, running shoes from Vietnam on, time to get out… need to burn off all the amazing chocolate from Ghana eaten last night.

Academics