I’ll paste it below. The concerns he raises have been at the front of our minds here at r.i.c.e. – alas, we see that “the control of infectious disease” made his list of domains in which policy-making appears disconnected from evidence. Perhaps there is little reason to be surprised at all of this. Yet, it stands in glaring contrast to the stories we tell ourselves, especially in international development after the evidence revolution. We write about our policy impact if we are grant recipients, or we request reports if we are donors, and we all convene to talk about it six times a year. These expenses – and livelihood choices – are surely well-justified if evidence is changing policy to improve or even save lives (even if the effects are uncertain). But if not, we should think deeply about Krugman’s observations. Krugman highlights one candidate explanation from politics: many political actors reason backwards to their beliefs from their policy convictions, and many of these convictions favor the privileged. It is not difficult to find cases which are surely just that. But this cannot be the whole story. While Krugman focuses on the cases where the evidence is unambiguous, I think...Read More..
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