Results for “africa”
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Monday assorted links

1. “Amid escalating concern over global access to Covid-19 vaccines, BioNTech (BNTX) disclosed details about its plans to boost production in Africa. But the effort was met with a mixed reaction because the approach snubs a parallel effort by the World Health Organization.”  No need to even click on the link, really (plus it is gated).

2. New study of the English Enclosures.

3. Maybe he should be on Metaculus?  And good Ulrich Speck thread on Putin and Ukraine.  Speck’s view is very close to my own.

4. “People are three times as likely to move to a county 15 miles away, but in the same state, than to move to an equally distant county in a different state.

5. Does the marshmallow test replicate?

6. Very good Noah Smith interview with Emi Nakamura on macro.

Thursday assorted links

1. MicroRNAs and the complex octopus brain.

2. How wealthy are the Irish?

3. How many Covid deaths in Kenya?

4. “Stunning stat from the latest issue of @TheEconomist: Chicago police clear (roughly, “solve”) around 45% of murders. By comparison, London police solve around 98% of murders.”  Link here.

5. Bolsonaro in solidarity with Russia.

6. Elks understand private vs. public property?

What should I ask Chris Blattman?

I will be having a Conversation with him, rooted in his forthcoming book Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace.  Though not only!

Chris is a political scientist at University of Chicago, but with training in other fields as well and indeed he is also an economist.  He has done extensive fieldwork in Colombia and East Africa, both on conflict and also on cash transfers.  He is active blogging and tweeting, and is a Canadian too.

Here is my previous Conversation with Chris.  So what should I ask him this time around?

Fractional Dosing Trials

My paper Testing fractional doses of COVID-19 Vaccines, co-authored with Kremer et al., has now been published at PNAS. I covered the paper in A Half Dose of Moderna is More Effective than A Full Dose of Astra Zeneca and other posts so I won’t belabor the basic ideas. One new point is that thanks to the indefatigable Michael Kremer and the brilliant Witold Wiecek, clinical trials on fractional dosing on a large scale have begun in Nigeria. Here are a few key points:

WHO SAGE Outreach: The authors have met and presented their work to the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), with follow-up meetings to present evidence coming from new studies.

DIL Workshop and Updates: In the fall of 2021, the Development Innovation Lab (DIL) at UChicago, led by Professor Kremer, hosted a workshop on fractional dosing, collecting updates from clinical researchers from multiple countries conducting fractional dosing trials for COVID-19 vaccines. The workshop also covered issues relating to trial design and included participants from Belgium, Brazil, Ghana, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Thailand, South Africa, UK and the US. 

CEPI Outreach: Professor Kremer has also presented this research to The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is now pursuing a platform trial of fractional dosing.

Country Trials – Nigeria: With the support of DIL and the research team and generous support and advice from WAM Foundation, the charitable arm of Weiss Asset Management and Open Philanthropy, a trial is being conducted in Nigeria by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, in coordination with the Federal Ministry of Health.

A comprehensive list of all the trials on fractional dosing conducted to date is at the link. Fractional dosing may come too late for COVID-19 vaccines but perhaps next time a shortage of a vaccine looms we will be more quick to consider policies to stretch supplies.

Gulf of Guinea fact of the day

Worryingly, the security threats in west Africa now include piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. In 2020, all but one of the world’s 28 kidnappings recorded at sea occurred in these waters. Similarly, in 2018, all six hijackings at sea, and 13 of the 18 incidents of ships fired upon occurred in the Gulf of Guinea. Of the 141 hostages held at sea that year, 130 were captured by pirates here.

Here is the full FT story.

Thursday assorted links

1. In Austin, Caplan and Razib Khan will comment on Hanania.  I am telling them to put it on YouTube.

2. Pushing Zambia to become a start-up hub?

3. Can software identify your chess-playing style?

4. Support for the child tax credit is waning (NYT).

5. Western Arkansas is offering 10k in Bitcoin and bike to relocate there.

6. Why are so many defectors from North Korea to South Korea women?

7. Bruno M. on Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Is the Beijing Consensus collapsing?

From my latest Bloomberg column:

The more dramatic developments have come from China itself. China did effectively wield state power to build infrastructure, manage its cities and boost economic growth. And most advocates of the Washington Consensus underestimated how well that process would go.

But along the way, China became addicted to state power. Whenever there was a problem in Chinese society, the government ran to the rescue. The most dramatic example was the extreme use of fiscal policy to forestall the 2008 financial crisis from spreading to China.

Yet this general application of state power, even if successful in a particular instance, brought a great danger: The Chinese were left with overdeveloped state-capacity muscles and underdeveloped civil-society capabilities. Over the last several years the Chinese government has done much to restrict civil society, free speech and religion within China. Now much of the world, including but not limited to China’s neighbors, is afraid of Chinese state power.

Now, because state power has its limits, it is difficult for China to solve many of its most fundamental problems. Chinese leaders are worried about the country’s low birth rate, for instance, but lifting restrictions on the number of children has not yet helped increase the birth rate. In many societies, it is religious families that have more children, but promoting religion is not a remedy that comes easily to China today.

And how will China deal with the pending spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19? The Communist Party staked its legitimacy on the claim that it could control Covid while the U.S. could not. Soon Chinese citizens may be in for a rude awakening, especially if the Chinese vaccines are not so effective.

Recommended.

Tuesday assorted links

1. Ethiopian government using foreign drones to turn the tide in the conflict (NYT).

2. “Taken together, these results suggest social scientists can learn a great deal by adding pulse rates to the metrics they use when evaluating people’s wellbeing.

3. Brian Eno on NFTs and also economics.

4. Andrew Lilley on Omicron severity.  And more Zvi on severity, including his own, which seems to be OK.

5. The surge of talent into crypto (NYT).

6. log4j summary.

Emergent Ventures winners, seventeenth cohort

Caleb Watney and Alec Stapp, to found a think tank related to progress studies.

Joe Francis, a farmer in Wales, to write a book on the economic and historical import of slavery in the American republic.

Ananya Chadha, freshman at Stanford, general career development, her interests include neurology and electrical engineering.

Eric Xia, Brown University to develop word association software and for general career development.  He is “making a metaphysical sport” and working on word.golf.

Isaak Freeman, from southeast Austria, in a gap year after high school, general career development.

Davis Kedrosky, undergraduate at UC Berkeley, for economic history and general career development.  Home page here, Substack here.

Katherine Dee and Emmet Penney, for general career development including collaboration.  Among other topics, Katherine has worked on reimagining tech and Emmett has worked on promoting nuclear fusion.

Grant Gordon, to remedy hunger and nutrition problems in East Africa and also more broadly.

Sofia Sigal-Passeck, Yale University, “Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Uniphage, a biotechnology start-up which aims to eradicate bacterial diseases using the combined power of bacteriophages and artificial intelligence.”

Brian Potter, to improve productivity in construction, through both writing and practice.  Here is his Substack.

Daniel Liu, attending UCLA, to study computational biology and for general career development.

Molly Mielke, founder and CEO of Moth Minds, a new company to find talent and revolutionize philanthropy: “Moth Minds is building the foundation that enables anyone to start their own grants program based on finding work that gets them excited about the future.”

Here are previous Emergent Ventures winners.