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Discussion: Trade and Orienteering

in: iansmith; iansmith > 2017-05-03

May 6, 2017 3:23 PM # 
rlindzon:
The April 22nd issue of The Economist has a full page article, titled in the US print edition "Donaldson's difficult idea" http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economic.... Donaldson being Dave Donaldson, very recognizable from his portrait accompanying the article even though I've not seen him in the last 20 years.

Connection to orienteering? When I was doing orange courses on beginning to orienteer, I was running against Dave, a former member of HKF, now DGL, orange being his elite course at the time (Canada used the colour system back then like the US).

Connection to trade? Dave is a leading proponent on how all communities/countries can benefit from expanded trade. Here's an excerpt: "This month the American Economic Association (AEA) chose to honour Mr Donaldson, now at Stanford University, with the John Bates Clark medal, which is awarded annually to a leading economist under the age of 40. He is a deserving winner: his paper on the railroads of the Raj is a particular marvel. But the AEA’s decision is particularly apt given Mr Donaldson’s focus on trade and, more narrowly, on comparative advantage. This counter-intuitive idea was first set out by David Ricardo, a great British political economist, in a book published on April 19th 1817: 200 years ago this week. It is fundamental to Ricardo’s argument that trade is not a zero-sum affair but creates opportunities for mutual gain. Mr Donaldson’s work provides an opportunity to reflect on precisely what that means."

Note that The Economist is not an unbiased source on trade. It was founded to oppose British protectionism.
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May 6, 2017 7:55 PM # 
Hammer:
Yeah as Dave's former coach I'm super proud of him. Bsc in physics at Oxford, PHd in economics at LSE. Asst Prof at MIT and now moved on to Stanford. Unfortunately injuries as an undergrad stopped his international O career but he was a multi NAOC junior champion. And he looks exactly the same today as when he was winning all those races 20 years ago
May 6, 2017 10:26 PM # 
j-man:
Yeah--it was great competing against Dave back then. He is a great guy.
May 7, 2017 6:05 AM # 
blairtrewin:
Not the first time I've seen an orienteering name pop up in that particular column of the Economist - saw John Asker (1994 Australian JWOCer) appear there a while back.

The specific work of Dave's which was the focus of the article involved using records of the price of salt in 19th century India to assess the impact on local incomes of the arrival of the railway. Trawling 19th century documents in the name of science is something I'm not unfamiliar with (historical climate information in my case), but 19th century Indian salt prices are more obscure than anything I can remember dealing with.

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