Is it Africa's Turn?
Edward Miguel
Boston Review
May 1, 2008

Things were certainly looking up when I last visited Busia, a small city in Kenya, in mid-2007. Busia, home to about 60,000 residents, spans Kenya’s western border with Uganda: half the town sits on the Kenyan side and half in Uganda. As befits a border town, Busia is well endowed with gas stations, seedy bars, and hotels catering to the truckers who spend the...

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Corruption and Culture
Edward Miguel and Raymond Fisman
National Post
December 8, 2006

Canada is not a corrupt country. Nigeria is. What is it that keeps us from slipping a 50 to a policeman who pulls us over for speeding, whereas such transactions are the norm on the roads of Lagos? That is, why do Nigerians bribe with impunity, while we in Canada have a collective reputation as a law-abiding society?...

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Bombing Vietnam: The Long-Term Economic Consequences
Edward Miguel and Gérard Roland
Milken Institute Review
December 1, 2006

The 20th century was witness to the most destructive wars in all history. Technological progress in weaponry as well as innovation in their manufacture made it possible to destroy lives and property on an unprecedented scale. What is less clear, though, is whether the unrivaled destructiveness of modern warfare has had enduring consequences on economic capacity. While bombing left many Japanese and...

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Stop Conflict Before It Starts
Edward Miguel
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 17, 2006

Dozens of countries have suffered through civil conflicts in the past few decades. The humanitarian consequences have been staggering: 3 million civilian deaths in Congo and hundreds of thousands more in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. The direct human impacts for survivors are enormous, and there may be lasting economic setbacks for whole societies. Likewise, the regional spillover effects are devastating for neighboring countries faced...

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Incentives to Learn: Merit Scholarships That Pay Kids to Do Well
Michael Kremer, Edward Miguel, and Rebecca Thorton
Education Next
April 1, 2005

Proposals for education reform generally focus on teachers and curricula. But the most important factor in education may be the student himself or herself. A growing number of states, including Georgia, Michigan, New York, and Massachusetts, have established programs that provide financial rewards in the form of merit scholarships for college for students who perform well academically. However, such programs are controversial with some...

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Cash Talks
Edward Miguel
November 24, 2003

A generation of reforms–including more school resources and new curricula–has failed to improve urban schools. In Oakland, Calif., near where I live, 20% of high school students drop out. Only a third meet the minimum requirements for entrance to the California state university system. The dropout problem is especially severe among African-American and Latino high school students, who are twice as likely to drop...

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