Shane's Feed
Dec 10, 2013
via Counterparties

Mandela’s economic legacy

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Nelson Mandela’s economic legacy is intertwined with, and nearly as important as, his political one. Charles Kenny has the numbers: economic growth in South Africa rose to just under 3% between 1995 and 2003 (Mandela served as president from 1994 to 1999), up from roughly 1.5% in the 1980s. Average incomes in the country increased by 93%, secondary school enrollment increased to 70% from 50%, and “the proportion of the country that cooked using electricity from the mains climbed from 45 percent in 1993 to 73 percent by 2011”. Yet, inequality grew in the first decade after Mandela was elected in 1994.

Dec 10, 2013
via Data Dive

UPDATED: GM’s new CEO is another small crack in the glass ceiling

Today, GM announced its new CEO will be Mary Barra, the company’s current head of global product development. This is big news: Barra is the first woman to head a global auto company. This move, as the below Reuters chart shows, is just one small step in the march toward management equality. Women are still far from reaching parity in upper reaches of big American corporations.

Here’s more about Barra from Reuters:

With 33 years of experience at GM, Barra has risen through a series of manufacturing, engineering and senior staff positions, and is currently in charge of reducing the number of platforms on which GM builds its vehicles. A source close to Akerson’s thinking who asked not to be identified said the CEO valued Barra highly for “bringing order to chaos” in the product development process.

Dec 3, 2013
via Counterparties

The Saltwater-Freshwater divide

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There’s been a shakeup at the Minnesota Fed, and no one quite knows why. The news that president Narayana Kocherlakota dismissed two of the institution’s research economists — Patrick Kehoe and Ellen McGrattan — has sparked a debate in the macro community.

Nov 27, 2013
via Counterparties

Poor choices

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Recently, John Cassidy posted six charts presented by various researchers from the launch of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a new think tank that will fund research into inequality. “Taken together, the pictures convey a good deal of what we know about inequality”, he writes. However, he also says that there’s plenty we still don’t know, particularly about the relationship is between inequality and growth.

Nov 27, 2013
via Data Dive

Charting America’s Afghanistan withdrawal and troop fatalities

The US is considering a complete troop withdrawal in Afghanistan in 2014 if the country’s president, Hamid Karzai, refuses to sign a security deal. Without the deal, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said that the US will have no choice but to pull out all troops by next year, Reuters reports. While the US has been drawing down its presence in Afghanistan since 2011, it still has almost 50,000 troops in the country:

Reuters suggests that Karzai’s reluctance to sign the security agreement may have to do with the upcoming spring presidential elections:

Nov 27, 2013
via Equals

Corporate governance: Bring on the quotas!

This week, Germany’s ruling coalition announced that it’s set to institute a quota for the number of women involved in corporate governance at German companies. Lawmakers are set “to introduce legislation requiring German companies to allot 30 percent of their non-executive board seats to women from 2016,” Reuters reports. The European Union as a whole is moving closer to instituting a similar 40% quota.

This way of getting women into the upper rungs of the corporate ladder is relatively new, and somewhat controversial.

Nov 25, 2013
via Counterparties

MOOC ado about nothing

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This is how Max Chafkin describes how the first massive online open course (MOOC) which was designed by Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun in 2011:

Nov 22, 2013
via Data Dive

Why the Democrats voted to change the filibuster rules

Yesterday, the Senate voted to change the rule on filibusters, which the minority party can use to block votes from happening. The use of the filibuster by the Republican minority finally spurred Senate Democrats to use what they had been calling the “nuclear option” — voting the filibuster out of existence (supporters of filibuster reform have long called it the “Constitutional option”). ”The now-defunct rule, a symbol of Washington gridlock, has survived dozens of attacks over the years largely because both major political parties like to use it,” Reuters writes.

But in the chart below, you can see the spike in the number of cloture votes (which, if they pass by a three-fifths vote, end a filibuster) since President Obama was elected.

Nov 20, 2013
via Equals

Who is responsible for closing the gender pay gap?

Women respond differently to incentives in the workplace. Does that mean that it’s fair that women make less?

A few weeks ago, economists John List and Uri Gneezy wrote in Freakonomics about a new study they’ve done on the gender pay gap. Currently women make about 80% of what men do, and the paper takes a stab at explaining why.

Nov 20, 2013
via Equals

Hello and welcome to Equals!

Today we’re launching Equals, a new Reuters blog devoted to gender equality and the role women play in the economy. We’ll be tackling subjects like education, workplace performance, competitiveness, pay, and leadership. The topics will encompass virtually any subject that relates to gender differences in economics, finance, and management. The blog will lean heavily on data and new research, as well as the smart voices around the web already contributing to the discussion.

Ideas, tips or complaints? Send them to shane.ferro@thomsonreuters.com.