Prosperity or illusion?

In this reading from CDCP, the author claims that world has gone better over the past 200 years. He shows that although people generally don’t think so, that is not an accurate reflection of reality, but a result of their ignorance of statistical data. He first mentions the percentage of extreme poverty (Daily income < 1.9$), which has continuously decreased. He then examined literacy rate, which increased from 10% to 85%. The other variables, such as health, measured by infant mortality rate, freedom, measured by Polity IV index, as well as fertility and education, have all improve over the years. At last, he also mentioned the elephant chart.

An article from the Guardian on Oct.10/2018 highlights Nigeria. A UN General Assembly side event was held in New York. The article mentions that Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head of Sustainability at Access Bank Plc noted that the Nigeria needs to accelerate inclusive growth and also prioritize strategic investments to achieve demographic transition and reduce poverty and inequalities. Specifically, the government plans to invest in the country’s infrastructure in order to stimulate the growth of human capital and to facilitate growth in technology and health care.

What are the relationships between the different variables measured in the reading?

The reading seems to suggest that different measurement indices showed simultaneous improvement over the course of time. The relatively strong correlation between health, literacy, freedom, education, demographic transition, as well as low poverty rate, implies that there might exist a positive feedback loop between the variables. In other words, there is “endogeneity” between them. This is illustrated in the News article about Nigeria, which is trying to ameliorate poverty and improve its technology by pushing demographic transition. However, it is also important to note that fertility rate tends to increase with improving living conditions.

The reading seems to suggest that different measurement indices showed simultaneous improvement over the course of time. The relatively strong correlation between health, literacy, freedom, education, demographic transition, as well as low poverty rate, implies that there might exist a positive feedback loop between the variables. In other words, there is “endogeneity” between them. This is illustrated in the News article about Nigeria, which is trying to ameliorate poverty and improve its technology by pushing demographic transition. However, it is also important to note that fertility rate tends to increase with improving living conditions.

  1. J.Tyler Dickovick, Jonathan Eastwood, Current Debates in Comparative Politics, (Oxford University Press, 2018), 42-55.
  2. Adenike Fagbemi, “Stakeholders Say Technology Can Accelerate Nigeria’s Development,” Stakeholders Say Technology Can Accelerate Nigeria’s Development, https://guardian.ng/news/stakeholders-say-technology-can-accelerate-nigerias-development/.

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