Thinks 871

David Oks on the long, slow death of global development: “Despite attempts to find alternative models of economic development, there is no widely replicable strategy to develop a country—simply put, to turn it from poor to rich—that does not involve an economy becoming highly industrialized. But in recent decades, the growth of manufacturing sectors, and thus of economic development more broadly, has been overwhelmingly concen­trated in East Asia, particularly in China. Across the bulk of the poor world—here we have in mind Latin America, South Asia, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa—economies have been experiencing a more disturbing trajectory: simultaneous deagrarianization and deindus­trialization, especially in the years after 1980…Most emerging markets have not found an engine of durable growth comparable to manufacturing—most have indeed grown over the last few decades, but dependence on services and commodities exports has not made them rich. Thus most “developing” countries—we are skepti­cal of that euphemistic label—are in a worse structural position than they were a few decades ago: less economically complex and more socially unstable, with their developmental coalitions, if they ever exist­ed, badly frayed. For all the intermittent hype around “rising India” or “rising Africa,” systemic dynamics—deindustrialization, ecological dis­ruption, demographic headwinds—will pose severe challenges to eco­nomic development over the coming decades.”

NYTimes: “Remote workers may be paying a hidden professional penalty for that flexibility, according to a working paper from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the University of Iowa and Harvard. The research is among the first major studies to demonstrate the professional downside of remote work. The economists — Natalia Emanuel, Emma Harrington and Amanda Pallais — studied engineers at a large technology company. They found that remote work enhanced the productivity of senior engineers, but it also reduced the amount of feedback that junior engineers received (in the form of comments on their code), and some of the junior engineers were more likely to quit the firm. The effects of remote work, in terms of declining feedback, were especially pronounced for female engineers…“It’s what grandparents have been saying for a long time,” Ms. Emanuel, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in an interview this month. “Face-to-face meetings are very different from FaceTime.””

Wes Bush: “Businesses create a free version of their product and hope that users magically upgrade after they’ve signed up. Problem is, you’re likely following this traditional sales-led process you’ve always known: Acquire, Monetize, Engage, Expand. But in a product-led model, you need to engage your users before you monetize them. Acquire, Engage, Monetize, Expand. It might seem minor at first glance, but this switch is critical to your success as a product-led business. Engaging users before you ask them for money means you’re prioritizing value first. When they’re successful with your product, it’s much easier to get them as paying subscribers.”

WSJ: “If Hoover is today a bastion of democratic capitalism, limited government, robust national security and American exceptionalism, it is because [John] Raisian made it so. In his quarter-century as steward of Hoover, he turned a modestly good institution with a daunting fiscal deficit and prickly relations with the bien-pensant pooh-bahs at Stanford into one that enjoys universal renown, is better than solvent, and boasts a world-class roster of scholars. At one time under Raisian, three Nobel laureates in economics hung their hats at Hoover—Friedman, Gary Becker and Michael Spence. In a country where demonstrativeness is prized, Raisian was an anomaly, toiling behind the scenes to create an ecosystem in which conservative and libertarian ideas could thrive. He had an unerring eye for intellectual talent, recruiting to Hoover some of the finest minds in American scholarship. And he was adamant that the best scholars are those who make an active impact on policy and public life.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.