Oct 13


I am spending the weekend in Ottawa, where I am presenting my paper with Tara Steinmetz on female genital cutting at the 2013 Research in Economic Development (RECODE) conference.

For me, this means that two mutually exclusive worlds will collide. I spent the 1998 and 1999 summers in Ottawa working for a Cabinet minister, and development economics is what I have been doing since I began my Masters in the fall of 1999 and found something I liked even more than Canadian politics.


Canadian Museum of Civilization (Source: Wikimedia Commons).

The conference program is here, and I am especially looking forward to Michael Clemens‘ keynote during the Friday night reception at the Museum of Civilization.

Oct 13

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” Takes on Food Aid

Last Tuesday, my Cornell colleague, coauthor, and former advisor Chris Barrett was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart discussing food aid. The video segment in which he appeared managed to make a very serious point — the effectiveness of the Food for Peace program is greatly undermined by the shipping lobby — while remaining highly satirical, and you can watch it here:

According to an interview Chris gave to the Cornell Daily Sun, the taping of his part of the segment took about four hours.

For those of you who are not familiar with his work, Chris has worked on just about every aspect of food security, and I’d be hard pressed to pinpoint what he is most famous for. The above video, however, is about his work on food aid, the culmination of which has been his 2005 book with Dan Maxwell, Food Aid After Fifty Years.

For a more popular treatment of the weaknesses of US food aid because of the political economy landscape, I suggest reading Kilman and Thurow’s Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty.

Aug 13

Job Market Advice II: Interviewing at the Annual Meetings

It’s that time of the year again, when graduate students who are about to enter their final year in economics and related disciplines are getting ready to go on the job market.

Going on the job market is a harrowing experience for most people, however, so I thought I should help job-market candidates by sharing my advice.

This post is the second in a series of three. Today, I’d like to discuss what it’s like to interview at the annual meetings, and how you should prepare for it. The next installment will be posted in late fall and will cover on-campus interviews. Continue reading →