Monthly Archives: December 2012

Barriers to savings and investment for women

A recommended article in the latest issue of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics by Pascaline Dupas and Jonathan Robinson:

Does limited access to formal savings services impede business growth in poor countries? To shed light on this question, we randomized access to noninterest-bearing bank accounts among two types of self-employed individuals in rural Kenya: market vendors (who are mostly women) and men working as bicycle taxi drivers. Despite large withdrawal fees, a substantial share of market women used the accounts, were able to save more, and increased their productive investment and private expenditures. We see no impact for bicycle taxi drivers. These results imply significant barriers to savings and investment for market women in our study context.

Negative carbon

The Economist has posted a concise graph based on data from the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) that shows different scenarios of CO2 emissions over time:

Greenhouse-gas emissions are now about 50 gigatonnes of carbon equivalent (GtCO2e). That is 20% higher than they were in 2000 and, worryingly, 11% higher than where emissions need to be in 2020 in order to ensure global temperatures do not rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius (see light red range in chart). If emissions go on rising at their current rate, they will reach 58 GtCO2e in 2020, 14 GtCO2e more than they need to be then (current policy).

This implies that we are already far past our 2020 targets for limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. The only viable solution might therefore be negative carbon; that we actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere. However, one might ask how likely such an outcome is because, as can be seen in the graph, when UNEP projects the best-case scenario based on the most ambitious pledges that countries have made so far, the levels are still way above the 2020 targets.

Simon Hedlin