Thursday Links

  • An important piece on sexual harassment and rape in India that gets to the crux of the issue: laws, rules, and regulations can only do so much – it’s up to the society to demand cultural change
  • A quote from Esther Duflo in this smart The Atlantic piece: “[N]either economic development nor women’s empowerment is the magic bullet it is sometimes made out to be… Equity between men and women is only likely to be achieved by continuing policy actions that favor women at the expense of men, possibly for a very long time”
  • Short take on the tension between Westerners trying to fully appreciate their past transgressions in Nigeria (to the point of being less effective at delivering the aid they’re there for) and getting things done
  • “That sounds crazy. What molecule could be responsible for a steep and sudden decline in violent crime?Well, here’s one possibility: Pb(CH2CH3)4.” It’s hard to believe that there is a singular cause for something as complex as the rising violence of the 70s and 80s – far too many factors likely weigh in, which Drum acknowledges – but  it’s pretty disconcerting to think that a simple decision by a car company for what was basically an aesthetic issue could lead to some portion of the rise. In any event, an excellent reminder that the proximate cause of a thing is often outside the field it exists, and that a broader view is sometimes needed
  • A long and wonky article by the excellent Jerome Groopman on the flaws with comparative effectiveness. I think his frame – between the “Nudgers” and the “Standardizers” – is misguided; it seems to me that there’s a significant zone of agreement between the two groups, and that the approaches aren’t all that different

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