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  • Author: Lord Nicholas Stern, Jeremy Oppenheim, Amar Bhattacharya
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The agendas of accelerating sustainable development and eradicating poverty and that of climate change are deeply intertwined. Growth strategies that fail to tackle poverty and/or climate change will prove to be unsustainable, and vice versa. A common denominator to the success of both agendas is infrastructure development. Infrastructure is an essential component of growth, development, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Poverty, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mongi Boughzala, Mohamed Tlili Hamdi
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Regional disparities and inequality between the rural and the urban areas in Tunisia have been persistently large and perceived as a big injustice. The main regions that did not receive an equitable share from the country's economic growth, as compared to the coastal regions that are highly urbanized, are the predominantly rural western regions. Their youth often have to migrate to the cities to look for work and most of them end up with low-paying and frustrating jobs in the informal sector. The more educated among them face a very uncertain outlook and the highest rate of unemployment. This bias is strongest for female workers and university graduates living in the poor rural regions. The purpose of this paper is to study the underlying causes and factors of these disparities and to discuss policies and measures that may allow these regions to benefit from faster and more inclusive growth.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Tunisia
  • Author: Hafez Ghanem
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper examines how economic growth in Egypt can be made more inclusive through a focus on rural development and reducing regional disparities. Nearly all of the extremely poor in Egypt live in rural areas and 83 percent of them live in Upper Egypt. The youth in those rural areas feel particularly excluded.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia
  • Author: Carol Graham
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The United States has long been viewed as the "land of opportunity," where those who work hard get ahead. Belief in this feature of American national identity has persisted even though inequality has been rising for de¬cades. In recent years, the trend toward extremes of income and wealth has accelerated significantly, owing to demographic shifts, the skills bias of the economy and fiscal policy. From 1997 to 2007, the share of income accru¬ing to the top 1 percent of U.S. households increased by 13.5 percentage points, which is equivalent to shifting $1.1 trillion in total annual income to this group - more than the total income of the bottom 40 percent of households. The precise impact of inequality on individual well-being remains controversial, partly because of the complex nature of the metrics needed to gauge it accurately, but also because why it matters depends on what it signals. If inequality is perceived to be the result of just reward for individual effort, then it can be a constructive signal of future opportunities. However, if it is perceived to be the result of an unfair system that rewards a privileged few, inequality can undermine incentives to work hard and invest in the future. In this sense, current U.S. trends have been largely destructive. Economic mobility, for example, has declined in recent decades and is now lower than in many other industrialized countries. There is also a strong intergenerational income correlation (about 0.5) in the U.S.; children of parents who earn 50 percent more than the average are likely to earn 25 percent above the average of their generation. In a world in which individuals' fates are increasingly linked and effective gover¬nance depends on some kind of consensus on social and distributive justice norms, growing income differentials in one country - especially one that has long served as a beacon of economic opportunity - can affect behavior elsewhere, both in terms of investments in education and the labor market and the propensity to protest. More generally, declining economic mobility in the U.S. could undermine confidence in the principles of market econo¬mies and democratic governance that America has espoused for decades - principles that are fundamental to many countries' development strategies.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany
  • Author: Johannes F. Linn, Laurence Chandy
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Fragile states present one of the greatest challenges to global development and poverty reduction. Despite much new learning that has emerged from within the development community in recent years, understanding of how to address fragility remains modest. There is growing recognition that donor engagement in fragile states must look beyond the confines of the traditional aid effectiveness agenda if it is to achieve its intended objectives, which include state building, meeting the needs of citizens, and managing risk more effectively. Current approaches are constrained by relying heavily on small-scale interventions, are weakened by poor coordination and volatility, and struggle to promote an appropriate role for the recipient state.</p
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Laurence Chandy
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Is Australia's aid program effective? Measuring the effectiveness of aid is no easy feat. For a start, there is uncertainty about what aid is trying to achieve. Even seemingly straightforward objectives, like poverty reduction, throw up a range of questions as to what precisely ought to be measured. For instance, how should one balance the provision of temporary relief to those in need with catalyzing permanent transformation in people's lives (Barder, 2009)? Second, it is notoriously difficult to isolate the effect of a single aid program from other factors. Aid is delivered in an environment of enormous complexity where all manner of other events shape outcomes, including actions by recipient governments, aid from other countries, non-aid flows, and the performance of the global economy. To accurately attribute impact to aid therefore requires a thorough understanding of the setting in which aid is given. Third, the effects of aid are not always immediate or straightforward. For instance, improvements in people's skills or the performance of institutions may manifest gradually. Measurements of what aid achieves must be sensitive to the different ways change is brought about (Woolcock et al., 2009).
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Robert Mosbacher, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: To tackle global poverty, it is essential to craft a new and dynamic approach to economic development that refl ects the realities of a 21st century global economy and incorporates the participation of a wide variety of new players, particularly from the private sector. While investment, trade and innovation all represent basic components of building healthy economies, this paper focuses primarily on strategies to increase both in-country and international private capital investment in order to create jobs. To that end, it concentrates on two areas: strengthening and reforming the existing structures, coordinating mechanisms and policies that support U. S. economic development efforts; and improving public-private partnership models to promote broader fi nancing to local businesses, greater human capital support and technical assistance and improved physical and ICT infrastructure.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Johannes F. Linn, Richard Kohl, Homi Kharas, Arntraud Hartmann, Barbara Massler
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has for many years stressed innovation, knowledge and scaling up as essential ingredients of its strategy to combat rural poverty in developing countries. This institutional review of IFAD's approach to scaling up is the first of its kind: A team of development experts were funded by a small grant from IFAD to assess IFAD's track record in scaling up successful interventions, its operational policies and processes, instruments, resources and incentives, and to provide recommendations to management for how to turn IFAD into a scaling-up institution. Beyond IFAD, this institutional scaling up review is a pilot exercise that can serve as an example for other development institutions.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Food
  • Author: Peter Blair Henry, Conrad Miller
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Recent work emphasizes the primacy of differences in countries' colonially-bequeathed property rights and legal systems for explaining differences in their subsequent economic development. Barbados and Jamaica provide a striking counter example to this long-run view of income determination. Both countries inherited property rights and legal institutions from their English colonial masters yet experienced starkly different growth trajectories in the aftermath of independence. From 1960 to 2002, Barbados' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita grew roughly three times as fast as Jamaica's. Consequently, the income gap between Barbados and Jamaica is now almost five times larger than at the time of independence. Since their property rights and legal systems are virtually identical, recent theories of development cannot explain the divergence between Barbados and Jamaica. Differences in macroeconomic policy choices, not differences in institutions, account for the heterogeneous growth experiences of these two Caribbean nations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Caribbean
  • Author: William Easterly, Tobias Pfutze
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper does not address the issue of aid effectiveness—that is, the extent to which foreign aid dollars actually achieve their goals—but instead focuses on “best practices” in the way in which official aid is given, an important component of the wider debate. First, we discuss best practice for an ideal aid agency and the difficulties that aid agencies face because they are typically not accountable to their intended beneficiaries. Next, we consider the transparency of aid agencies and four additional dimensions of aid practice: specialization, or the degree to which aid is not fragmented among too many donors, too many countries, and too many sectors for each donor); selectivity, or the extent to which aid avoids corrupt autocrats and goes to the poorest countries; use of ineffective aid channels such as tied aid, food aid, and technical assistance; and the overhead costs of aid agencies. We compare 48 aid agencies along these dimensions, distinguishing between bilateral and multilateral ones. Using the admittedly limited in- formation we have, we rank the aid agencies on different dimensions of aid practice and then provide one final comprehensive ranking. We present these results as an illustrative exercise to move the aid discussion forward.
  • Topic: Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Third World, United Nations
  • Author: Lael Brainard, Vinca LaFleur
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The international development community as we have known it for sixty years is undergoing an extreme makeover. If its roots go back to the Marshall Plan and the founding of the Bretton Woods institutions, its modern incarnation has branched both up and out— dramatically altering the landscape of humanity's efforts to alleviate poverty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John Page
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: For a growing number of countries in Africa the current commodity boom is a huge opportunity. But if the economic history of resource-rich, poor countries-especially in Africa-is any guide, rather than bringing prosperity, the resource boom may drive them into what Paul Collier (2007) in his influential book The Bottom Billion terms the "Natural Resources Trap." In Africa, countries dependent on oil, gas, and mining have tended to have weaker long-run growth, higher rates of poverty, and higher inequality than Non mineral-dependent economies at similar levels of income.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Howard Wial, Robert Atkinson
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In the months running up to the 2004 election the issue of off- shoring—the movement of jobs from the United States to other nations—seemed to be on the front pages of newspapers every day. Some of the concern was about the loss of manufacturing jobs to lower-wage countries such as China and Mexico, a process that had been going on for decades. The offshoring of service jobs, though, was something new. Service workers—including college- educated professionals—who previously thought their jobs immune to foreign competition began to worry about this new source of job in security. Policymakers concerned about the American standard of living wondered whether service offshoring would eliminate the United States' advantage in high technology industries.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Mexico
  • Author: Patrick D. Walker, Robin Varghese, Ann Schnare, Alyssa Stewart Lee, Michael A. Turner
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Despite the vast accomplishments of the American credit system, approximately 35 million to 54 million Americans remain outside the credit system. For a variety of reasons, mainstream lenders have too little information on them to evaluate risk and thereby extend credit. As a result, those in most need of credit often turn to check cashing services and payday loan providers, with effective interest rates as high as 500 percent. The lack of reliable credit places them at a great disadvantage in building assets (such as homes, small businesses, or loans for education) and thereby improving their lives.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Elizabeth Kneebone, Alan Berube
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The first half of the current decade brought economic uncertainty and hardship for many Americans. In stark contrast to the late 1990s, when employment and wages were growing at historic rates, the 2000s have been marked by an economic recession, stagnant wages for many workers, and job losses followed by what some have termed a “jobless recovery.”
  • Topic: Civil Society, Demographics, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Conditions for children living in large cities are worse than those for children nationwide on most measures of well-being. Children growing up in large cities are at greater risk of dropping out of school, living with parents who are not in the labor force, and residing in single-parent families. Children in large cities are twice as likely as children nationwide to have difficulty speaking English (10 percent compared with 5 percent), creating potential barriers for children in school and for young adults who are entering the labor market. As a reflection of these underlying disadvantages, in 2004, more than one-fourth of children in large cities lived in poverty.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Rusk
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: An analysis of the relationship between the annexation patterns and fiscal health of the nation's largest cities shows that: A city's ability to annex land from its surrounding county is a primary determinant of its fiscal health. Cities with greater abilities to annex have much higher bond rating scores. Of cities in large metropolitan areas, every city that expanded its boundaries by as little as 15 percent between 1950 and 2000 had a high bond rating in 2002. Conversely, all cities with low bond ratings are those that had been unable to expand their boundaries. The ability to annex land varies widely by region and state. Most high- bond-rated cities are located in “big box” states (primarily in the South and West) where land is more easily annexed. Most low-bond-rated cities are in “little box” states (primarily in the Northeast and Midwest) where land is more difficult, or impossible, to annex. Annexation is far from an outmoded, dying practice. During the 1990s, about 90 percent of the central cities that could annex additional land did so. Collectively, in just one decade they expanded their municipal territory by more than 3,000 square miles.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matt Fellowes
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Public and private leaders have a substantial, and widely overlooked, opportunity today to help lower income families get ahead by bringing down the inflated prices they pay for basic necessities, such as food and housing.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Markets, Poverty
  • Author: Tiana Wertheim, Tim Flacke
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: For families struggling to make ends meet on earnings from low-wage jobs, the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has become an essential form of support, boosting the size of annual tax refunds by as much as several thousand dollars. The program is widely recognized for its accessibility (working through the tax code and tax filing system), administrative efficiency and simplicity, and its effectiveness in lifting working poor house- holds out of poverty. Why then shouldn't the EITC serve as a model for other programs for working families, particularly in parts of the country where high costs of living create added difficulties for lower-income residents?
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, San Francisco
  • Author: Pari Sabety
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: While some neighborhoods in American cities are resurgent, many others remain stubbornly entrenched in a cycle of underinvestment. A contributing factor is that—despite thriving immigrant populations, high volumes of cash transactions, and relatively stable housing markets—these neighborhoods are victims of an urban information gap which undervalues their commercial potential. The importance of good information for private and public investments is widely acknowledged, but fragmented funding, lack of standards, and spotty data has impeded either effective or universal use of these tools. This paper sets forth seven steps for practitioners and investors to follow in investing in local community information initiatives and, in turn, close the urban information gap and accelerate investment in these markets.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Lael Brainard
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, aging rockers have reclaimed young fans by joining movie stars, faith-based groups, and leaders of developing nations in a global campaign to "Make Poverty History." World leaders have taken note: the push is on for a massive boost in official assistance flows and the cancellation of official debt. But as preparations move forward for the first heads of state stocktaking of the Millennium Development Goals at the United Nations in September, scant attention is being directed at the most powerful engine of growth and poverty alleviation: the private sector. This despite the fact that the past two decades have witnessed an enormous shift in resources away from the public sector to private hands, and private flows to developing countries are now more than twice the level of public flows.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Lex Rieffel, James W. Fox
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is seriously wounded. Unveiled by President Bush in March 2002 as a promising new bilateral aid instrument for tackling global poverty, the most prominent sign of the MCC's distress was the mid-summer resignation of Paul Applegarth, its first CEO. More disturbing are the cuts imposed by the Congressional committees marking up next year's budget.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Author: Paul A. Jargowsky, Rebecca Yang
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: No single metric can capture all the dimensions of as complex a phenomenon as poverty in an affluent society. Several different empirical strategies, each with strengths and weaknesses, may all contribute to a more complete understanding of the experience of living in poverty in a modern urban setting. The standard federal measure of poverty focuses narrowly on the income of families in comparison to a standard meant to reflect the cost of basic necessities (Orshansky 1963, 1965). The concentration of poverty adds a geographic component, by gauging the extent to which poor families are spatially isolated (Jargowsky and Bane 1991; Jargowsky 1997, 2003). Neither of these measures, however, adequately conveys the extent of social disorganization in poor neighborhoods that has figured so prominently in the political debates over public policies that address poverty and urban development.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Poverty