Author Archives: Mjerven

Book Reviews: Africa. Why Economists Get It Wrong

The response to my book has been an overwhelmingly positive. I always knew it would divide opinion. Alex De Waal did perhaps provide the most encouraging and ringing support with a review titled “Liberating African Economic History from the Tyranny … Continue reading

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Why did economists spend two decades explaining something that never happened ?

For the past two decades, mainstream economists who study African economic growth have been trying to explain something that never happened. Economists have focused almost exclusively on one question: Why has economic growth failed in Africa? You can read the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa Rising, Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong, Booktalk, Economic Growth, Economic History, Economics, Podcast, Poor Numbers | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Book Launch: Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong

On June 4 at 6 pm I will present my latest book at SOAS in London, UK. The title is Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong. In four chapters I deliver a critique of how mainstream macroeconomic literature has sought … Continue reading

Posted in Africa Rising, Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong, African Economic History, Booktalk, Economic Growth, Economics, History, Zed | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A reading list for the data revolution

If you have sat through more than two conferences and workshops on the post-2015 development agenda or the Sustainable Development Goals (or tracked #SDGs or #data2015 on Twitter) you will be aware that there is a certain repetition of ideas. … Continue reading

Posted in Africa's Statistical Tragedy, Book review, Data revolution, Economic Growth and Measurement Reconsidered, MDGs, Measuring African Development: Past and Present, National Accounts, Nigeria, Poor Numbers, SDGs, South Africa, World Bank | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

What did we learn from measuring the costs of monitoring the SDGs?

In response to my costing estimate of the MDGs, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network took the initiative to host a group of ‘experts’ to come up with a collective estimate. The group first met in October in Paris and New … Continue reading

Posted in Data revolution, MDGs, ODI, PARIS21, SDGs, United Nations | Tagged | 1 Comment

Development by Indicators: Knowledge and Governance

In this workshop organized at Nantes by Boris Samuel and me on May 5 and 6, 2015 we will investigate the role of indicators in economic development. We will explore how numbers structure knowledge about economic development and how they … Continue reading

Posted in Data revolution, Gerardo Serra, History, Poor Numbers, Poverty, SDG, Workshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Why so grumpy? The datarevolution and its discontents

In “Big Questions for Big Data and what it can do for African Economic Development” I wrote about some of the basic knowledge problems that remain in development statistics, and concluded that, as of yet, Big Data does not seem … Continue reading

Posted in Data revolution, MDGs, Poor Numbers, SDGs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Statistical Tragedy in Africa? Take 2

The launch of the special issue in the Journal of Development Studies took place at the Center of Global Development today. All the papers are available free here.

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Statistical Tragedy in Africa? Evaluating the Data Base for African Economic Development

On Monday, April 6, 2015 – 10:00am to 11:30am the special issue in the Journal of Development Studies: Statistical Tragedy in Africa? Evaluating the Data Base for African Economic Development which I edited with Deborah Johnston is being launched at … Continue reading

Posted in Africa Rising, Africa's Statistical Renaissance, Africa's Statistical Tragedy, African Development Bank, Agriculture, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, IMF, Measuring African Development: Past and Present, Poor Numbers, Poverty, World Bank | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Call for papers WEHC 2015: Counting people, understanding economies: global histories of registration and demographic statistics

Gerardo Serra (Sussex) and I are issuing a call for papers for the panel on ‘Counting People, Understanding Economies: Global Histories of Registration and Demographic Statistics’ that we set up for the forthcoming World Economic History Congress in Kyoto (3-7 August 2015). … Continue reading

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