Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Workshop in Rio on Development Impact Evaluation

On June 6-10, 2011, I participated in a World Bank seminar in Rio de Janeiro on "Development Impact Evaluation in Finance and Private Sector", where I gave a presentation on "Public Support for Entreprise Innovation Policy" based on the innovation project that the World Bank is working on together with the Polish Ministry of Economy.

The workshop itself was surprisingly productive too, not only because it was held in Rio: it presented the state-of-the art methods for evaluating impact of policies using randomization and control group framework.

The take away from the workshop is that countries do not do enough of proper impact evaluations, which are needed to establish the true effect of policy interventions as well as the direction of causality. Without the new impact evaluations methods, policy interventions are likely to be much less informed/less efficient/and even plainly harmful.

For Poland, rigorous impact evaluations, subject to the availability of data, would be desperately needed to properly assess the efficiency of hundreds of public and EU-supported spending programs, worth billions of euros a year, whose efficiency is likely to leave much to be desired (to put it mildly)

Books read in 2010

Here is a list of (most) books I read in 2010, together with the assessment of their quality ranging from "*" - don't bother to "***" - you can't miss it!

1. The Beijing Consensus: How China's Authoritarian Model Will Dominate the Twenty-First Century - Stefan Halper*
2. The War of the World by Niall Ferguson***
3. I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away by Bill Bryson***
4. Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan***
5. Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn't Add Up by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Jean-Paul Fitoussi***
6. The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz**
7. Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz**
8. Wrong: Why experts* keep failing us--and how to know when not to trust them *Scientists, finance wizards, doctors, relationship gurus, celebrity CEOs, ... consultants, health officials and more by David H. Freedman***
9. Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram Rajan***
10. The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson***
11. Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson **
12. The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--and How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity by Paul Collier**
13. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis***
14. Truth, Errors, and Lies: Politics and Economics in a Volatile World by Grzegorz W. Kolodko***
15. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder***
16. Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt**
17. When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change by Mohamed A. El-Erian**
18. By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey by János Kornai**
19. W Pogoni za Straconym Czasem Wzrost Gospodarczy w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej by Orłowski Witold M.***
20. Stulecie Chaosu. Alternatywne Dzieje XX Wieku by Orłowski Witold M.**
21. Czas Wrzeszczących Staruszków by Ziemkiewicz Rafał A.**
22. Świat na Wyciągnięcie Myśli by Kołodko Grzegorz***
23. Globalizacja, Kryzys – i co Dalej? by Kołodko Grzegorz (eds)***
24. 20 Lat Transformacji. Osiągnięcia Problemy Perspektywy by Kołodko Grzegorz and Jacek Tomkiewicz (eds)***
25. On Economic Transformation in East-Central Europe: a Historical and International Perspective by Andres Solimano*
26. Cień Wiatru by Zafon Carlos Luis**
27. Koniec świata menadżerów? By Koźmiński Andrzej K.***
28. Trzecia Strona Medalu By Baliszewski Dariusz*
29. Transformacja Nieoczywista. Polska jako kraj imigracji by Agaty Gorny and others*
30. W Pogoni za Europą by Tazbir Janusz***
31. Protokóły Mędrców Syjonu by Tazbir Janusz*