Friday, November 21, 2008

Recent life at MOFA

In addition to handling foreign student affairs, I'm also working under the National Defense and Security Unit at MOFA (They moved me now to this unit). Some of my work is to assist in coordination with government agencies such as the National Security Council and the Ministry of National Defense. We also have collaborations projects with think tanks domestic and abroad such as the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). The work is very interesting but very demanding as well.

Since most of the materials for my applications are almost complete, I have a bit more free time. Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations is the book I'm reading right now. It talks about how Romer, a professor at Stanford, divided economics into people, ideas and things (instead of labor, capital and land) and triggered off a revolution in the 70s and 80s. This leads to the now-dominant New Growth Theory in economics.

Knowledge is sharable and is different from materials such as capital and land which are excludable in nature. This has a huge implication on production because a certain knowledge can then be used by more people to create products, in economic jargon: an increasing return to scale. In the past, however, production was measured by the input of labor and capital at a given level of technology. It doesn't consider the effects of knowledge sharing and accumulation. Thus, Romer's redefinition of economic terms better explains the events that are happening in our life.

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