Computers and convergence

by John Quiggin on May 16, 2004

When I first studied economics ( a long, long time ago) the textbook explanation of why income differed between countries was based on capital. In the simplest version for example, that of Harrod and Domar), rich countries had a bigger stock of capital than poor countries, and the problem was one of accumulating sufficient capital to catch up. In more sophisticated versions, rich countries had more modern capital stocks, and therefore benefited from embodied technological progress.

Even when I was a student, this kind of thinking was already being superseded by notions such as human capital theory[1]. Still, I’ve never seen a really convincing refutation. It strikes me that computers and the Internet provide one, at least as far as differences among developed countries are concerned.

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Bits and pieces

by Chris Bertram on May 16, 2004

A couple of bloggable bits from the programme booklet for last nights opera. There’s an advertisment for the “National Theatre’s production of Iphigenia at Aulis”:http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/?lid=7783 , where the copy reads

bq. Just how far will a leader go in order to save face and secure a military victory in the East?

How far indeed?

And the notes for Valerie Reid (mezzo soprano, Grimgerde in Valkyrie) tell us that her plans include

bq. Natasha [in] ” _The Electrification of the Soviet Union_ for Music Theatre Wales”:http://www.musictheatrewales.org.uk/electrification.html .

Comments from anyone who has seen that piece?

ENO’s The Valkyrie

by Chris Bertram on May 16, 2004

I saw the second installment (and therefore, confusingly “The first day … “) of Phyllida Lloyd’s _Ring_ for ENO: “The Valkyrie”:http://www.eno.org/whatson/full.php?performancekey=19 , last night. Some of it was rubbish, but other parts were truly splendid, and, as it became more and more splendid as the evening progressed, I was able to leave feeling quite satisfied.

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