Search

You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution United Nations University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: United Nations University Topic Development Remove constraint Topic: Development
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Jonna P. Estudillo, Yasuyuki Sawada
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates how the two types of globalization—i.e., integration of international trade and emigration—affected poverty reduction in the Philippines. Using the Family Income and Expenditure Surveys from 1985 to 2000, we found that both nontransfer and transfer incomes decreased poverty significantly but transfer income exerted greater impact. External openness reduced poverty significantly before the Asian currency crises but its impact had been reversed since. The effect of land reform in inducing transfer income from abroad was significant only in the 1990s. Yet, the ultra poor were bypassed in the land reform-credit-emigration-transfer nexus.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Migration
  • Author: Hyun H. Son, Nanak Kakwani
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper looks into the interrelation between economic growth, inequality, and poverty. Using the notion of pro-poor growth, this study examines to what extent the poor benefit from economic growth. First, various approaches to defining and measuring pro-poor growth are scrutinized using a variety of criteria. It is argued that the satisfaction of a monotonicity axiom is a key criterion for measuring pro-poor growth. The monotonicity axiom sets out a condition that the proportional reduction in poverty is monotonically an increasing function of the pro-poor growth measure. This paper proposes a pro-poor growth measure that satisfies the monotonicity criterion. This measure is called the 'poverty equivalent growth rate', which takes into account both the magnitude of growth and how the benefits of the growth are distributed to the poor and the non-poor. As the new measure satisfies the criterion of monotonicity, it is indicative that to achieve a rapid poverty reduction, the poverty equivalent growth rate ought to be maximized rather than the actual growth rate. The methodology developed in the paper is then applied to Asian countries, including the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand
  • Author: Wayne Nafziger
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper compares perspectives on the meaning of development in the late 1970s and early 1980s to the contemporary period, with a focus on the works of Dudley Seers and Amartya Sen. Both men were critical of the development literature of their times. Seers was especially critical of neoclassicism's universal claims and economic growth as the prime objective. For Sen, development involves reducing deprivation or broadening choice. One challenge for future work is for development economists, similar to Seers and Sen, to be more holistic, integrating economic development, human rights, and conflict reduction.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Gerald Epstein
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, there has been a global sea change in the theory and practice of central banking. The currently dominant 'best practice' approach to central banking consists of the following: (1) central bank independence (2) a focus on inflation fighting (including adopting formal 'inflation targeting') and (3) the use of indirect methods of monetary policy (that is, short-term interest rates as opposed to direct methods such as credit ceilings). This paper argues that this neo-liberal approach to central banking is highly idiosyncratic in that, as a package, it is dramatically different from the historically dominant theory and practice of central banking, not only in the developing world, but, notably, in the now developed countries themselves. Throughout the early and recent history of central banking in the US, England, Europe, and elsewhere, financing governments, managing exchange rates, and supporting economic sectors by using 'direct methods' of intervention have been among the most important tasks of central banking and, indeed, in many cases, were among the reasons for their existence. The neo-liberal central bank policy package, then, is drastically out of step with the history and dominant practice of central banking throughout most of its history.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, England
  • Author: Meredith Woo-Cumings
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the literature on the rule of law and economic development, and in particular the influential argument by La Porta et al., on the superiority of the Anglo-American common law system in fostering financial development. In this paper I show that however compelling their argument might be, legal traditions and institutions do not determine the nature of the state, nor its likely role in the economy—nor do they critically determine the course of economic development. I build my case by examining the real and informal mechanisms of state intervention in the economy in East Asia.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Law
  • Political Geography: America, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Joseph Toye, John Toye
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Max Weber believed that bureaucracy could be understood by analysing its ideal-typical characteristics, and that these characteristics would become more pervasive as the modern age advanced. Weber's horizontal account of bureaucracy can be criticised on various grounds, including its unrealistic notion of bureaucratic rationality. An alternative view is proposed, namely, that the development of state bureaucracies is driven by the trajectory of the highpower politics in which they are nested.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda, Daniel Zerfu, Abebe Shimeles
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper, using the rich household panel data of urban and rural Ethiopia that covers the period from 1994 to 2000, we attempted to establish the link between finance and poverty in Ethiopia. Our results show that access to finance is an important factor in consumption smoothing and hence poverty reduction. We also found evidence for a poverty trap due to liquidity constraints that limits the ability of the rural households from consumption smoothing. The empirical findings from this study could inform finance policies aimed at addressing issues of poverty reduction.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Ajit Singh, Sukti Dasgupta
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper uses a Kaldorian framework to examine the evidence of deindustrialization in developing countries at low levels of income, the jobless growth in these economies and the fast expansion of the informal sector. The questions are specifically examined for the Indian economy, using state level data but the analysis has a wider application for economic policy in developing countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Third World
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Mingxing Liu, Pengfei Zhang, Shiyuan Pan, Justin Yifu Lin
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the politically determined development objectives and the intrinsic logic of government intervention policies in east developed countries. It is argued that the distorted institutional structure in China and in many least developed countries, after the Second World War, can be largely explained by government adoption of inappropriate development strategies. Motivated by nation building, most least-developed countries, including the socialist countries, adopted a comparative advantage defying strategy to accelerate the growth of capital-intensive, advanced sectors in their countries. In the paper we also statistically measure the evolution of government development strategies and the economic institutions in China from 1950s to 1980s to show the co-existence and coevolution of government adoption of comparative advantage defying strategy and the trinity system.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Mark Sundberg, Franois Bourguignon
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The ability of low-income countries to productively absorb large amounts of external assistance is a central issue for efforts to scale-up aid. This paper examines absorptive capacity in the context of MDG-based development programmes in low-income countries. It first defines absorptive capacity, and proposes a framework for measuring it. Applying a dynamic computable general equilibrium model to link the macro framework to sector results, the paper simulates MDG scenarios for Ethiopia and examines the role of infrastructure, skilled labour, macroeconomic, and other constraints on absorptive capacity. The main policy conclusions are that careful sequencing of public investment across sectors is key to minimizing the costs of reaching the MDGs; the macro impact of large aid flows on the tradeables sector can potentially be serious in the short run; large-scale frontloading of aid disbursements can be costly as it pushes against absorptive constraints; and that improvement of governance and institutional structures can significantly reduce the cost of achieving the MDGs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Third World
  • Author: Erik Thorbecke, Machiko Nissanke
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: While the opportunities offered by globalization can be large, the question is often raised whether the actual distribution of gains is fair and, in particular, whether the poor benefit proportionately less from globalization and could under some circumstances actually be hurt by it. The paper discusses channels and transmission mechanisms through which the process of globalization affects different aspects and dimensions of poverty in the developing world. It examines how these numerous channels interact, as the net effects on poverty depend on the relative strength of the positive and negative forces of globalization. On the basis of our analysis of these transmission mechanisms from globalization to the world's poor, the paper discusses what may constitute a policy framework for encouraging globalization to be pro-poor.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: M.S. Quresh
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper revisits the pollution haven hypothesis in the context of Pakistan by offering a systematic analysis of its trade and production patterns. Using bilateral trade statistics from 1975-2003, we test the hypotheses that Pakistan's net exports of pollutionintensive products have increased to the OECD countries. We also investigate if the stringency of environmental governance in the importing countries plays a role in determining Pakistan's exports of pollution-intensive products. The results reveal that there has been a change in the composition of output and exports towards pollutionintensive manufacturing that parallels the opening of the economy. Overall, the findings appear to be in favour of the pollution haven hypothesis and call for effective environmental policy response for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Justin Yifu Lin, Peilin Liu
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper argues that both openness and poverty in a country are endogenously determined by the country's long-term economic development strategy. Development strategies can be broadly divided into two mutually exclusive groups: (i) the comparative advantage-defying (CAD) strategy, which attempts to encourage firms to deviate from the economy's existing comparative advantages in their entry into an industry or choice of technology; and (ii) the comparative advantage-following (CAF) strategy, which attempts to facilitate the firms' entry into an industry or choice of technology according to the economy's existing comparative advantages.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Arup Mirtra, N.R. Bhanumurthy
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper an attempt is made to assess the impact of economic reforms on the incidence of poverty by decomposing the change in poverty ratio between two time points into growth/mean effect, inequality effect and the population shift effect. Based on the National Sample Survey data an analysis has been carried out for two time periods: (i) 1983 to 1993-94 and (ii) 1993-94 to 1999-2000, broadly representing the pre-reform and reform-period respectively, for the rural and urban areas of the fifteen major states, and also for the all-India level. The growth/mean effect, which determines the extent of fall (rise) in poverty incidence due to rise (fall) in mean per capita consumption expenditure, dominates in both the periods over the inequality effect, that estimates the rise (fall) in poverty due to rise (fall) in inequality. It also dominates over the population shift effect, which assesses the net impact on all-areas combined poverty, of a decline (rise) in rural (urban) poverty caused possibly by rural-urban migration. The growth effect, which is beneficial for poverty reduction, seems to have gone up in the reform period. The adverse inequality effect also fell in magnitude in the second period compared to the first. States with a greater beneficial growth effect in the second period relative to the first, also show a fall in the magnitude of an adverse population shift effect in the urban areas, i.e., a relatively less rise in the incidence of urban poverty caused by rural-urban migration.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Brinda Viswanathan, S. Kavi Kumar
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The net impact of globalization on developing countries, and more specifically on the poorer sections of population in these countries, is complex and context dependent, and hence needs to be analysed empirically. This study in the context of globalization attempts to develop regional level indices of vulnerability with respect to welfare loss in India using a methodology based on fuzzy inference systems. The vulnerability of an entity is conceptualized (following the practice in global climate change literature) as a function of its exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Empirical analysis based on such multidimensional conceptualization demands use of indicator-based approach which is attempted in this study and uses fuzzy models that adequately capture vagueness inherent in such approaches.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Klasen, Kenneth Harttgen, Melanie Grosse
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In order to track progress in MDG1 and explicitly link growth, inequality, and poverty reduction, several measures of 'pro-poor growth' have been proposed in the literature and used in applied academic and policy work. These measures, particularly the ones derived from the growth incidence curve, allow a much more detailed assessment of the distributional impact of growth and its link to poverty reduction. However, there are no corresponding measures for tracking the distribution of progress in non-income dimensions of poverty, and thus the distribution of progress towards MDGs 2-7. In this paper, we propose to extend the pro-poor growth measurement to non-income dimensions of poverty (particularly health and education). We empirically illustrate the approach for Bolivia and show that it allows a much more detailed assessment of progress towards MDGs 2-7 by focusing on the distribution of progress. Furthermore, this extension also allows an explicit assessment of the linkage between progress in MDG1 and MDGs 2-7 as well as extends traditional incidence analysis by quantifying outcomes in non-income dimensions of poverty along the income distribution.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bolivia
  • Author: Stephen Klasen, David Lawson, Sudharshan Canagarajah, Mark Blackden
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study suggests that gender inequality acts as a significant constraint to growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and that removing gender-based barriers to growth will make a substantial contribution to realizing Africa's economic potential. In particular we highlight gender gaps in education, related high fertility levels, gender gaps in formal sector employment, and gender gaps in access to assets and inputs in agricultural production as particular barriers reducing the ability of women to contribute to economic growth. By identifying some of the key factors that determine the ways in which men and women contribute to, and benefit (or lose) from, growth in Africa, we argue that looking at such issues through a gender lens is an essential step in identifying how policy can be shaped in a way that is explicitly gender-inclusive and beneficial to growth and the poor. We also argue that in some dimensions and channels of the gender-growth nexus, the evidence is only suggestive and needs further detailed research and analysis. Investigations of the linkage between gender inequality and growth should therefore be a priority for development economics research in coming years.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Frances Stewart
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Karl Polanyi wrote The Great Transformation in 1944 which analysed the double movement Europe experienced, from a situation where the market was heavily regulated and controlled in the eighteenth century to a virtually unregulated market in the nineteenth century, and the huge transformation in which the market was once more brought under control as a reaction to the poverty, unemployment and insecurity brought about by the unregulated market. Yet in both developed and developing countries there has since been a reaction with a new move towards the market. This paper analyses such processes in contemporary developing countries, and considers whether, in the light of the consequences of the unregulated market, a new Great Transformation is needed. It also considers whether such a transformation is likely, reviewing moves towards increased regulation of the market, and also the challenges faced by any contemporary great transformation arising from globalization and the nature of politics.
  • Topic: Development, Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Valpy FitzGerald
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The level, tenor and instability of capital flows from global financial markets towards developing countries are a major source of concern for macroeconomic managers, while their causes remain largely unexplained by economic theory. Country 'fundamentals' (such as economic growth, monetary stability and institutional capacity) as sources of default risk have been the main focus of economic research and policy prescriptions. However, recent empirical research on the determinants of capital flows and the roots of market failure indicate that much of the explanation lies in the nature of the home (that is, the developed country) demand for emerging market assets. In this paper, the microeconomic roots of home bias and demand instability are explained in terms of investor risk perception and credit rationing, exacerbated by traders' behaviour. The consequences for host country macroeconomic balances and income distribution of varying investor risk tolerance are then demonstrated. Although the net impact also depends upon the host policy response, this transmission mechanism means that host 'fundamentals' are themselves strongly affected by capital flows and thus cannot be considered as to be independent of home asset demand. The paper concludes by examining the implications of these findings for the future of development economics in general and for policy response in particular.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Markets, Third World
  • Author: Annelies Zoomers
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This article aims to contribute to the discussion about how to make development interventions more effective by analyzing the factors contributing to the success or failure of rural development projects. We made an aggregate level analysis of 46 projects in the field of agricultural research (AR), water management (WM), natural resource management (NRM), and integrated rural development (IRD), financed by the Netherlands' Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) and carried out between 1975-2005 in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Making a distinction between the successful projects and failures, we showed the possibilities and limitations of evaluating projects on the basis of the official criteria (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact and/or using criteria such as poverty, gender, institutional development, governance and environment). We learned that project performance very much depends on whether interventions 'keep track' with local priorities and trends. This is much more important than 'measuring output' (are results in line with the project goal?) which is wrongly presented as a priority in monitoring and evaluation practices.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Central America
  • Author: Nora Lustig
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Health is an asset with an intrinsic value as well as an instrumental value. Good health is a source of wellbeing and highly valued throughout the world. Health is not only the absence of illness, but capacity to develop a person's potential. Health is also an important determinant of economic growth. Given the importance of health, both as a source of human welfare and a determinant of overall economic growth, the Popular Health Insurance (Seguro Popular) was first introduced in Mexico as a pilot programme by the federal government in 2001, becoming part of the formal legislation in 2003. This study looks at the current situation, and some of the early findings and improvements made so far with regard to public health coverage in Mexico.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health
  • Political Geography: Central America, Mexico
  • Author: Deepak Nayyar
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to analyze the prospects for development in a changed international context, where globalization has diminished the policy space so essential for countries that are latecomers to development. The main theme is that, to use the available policy space for development, it is necessary to redesign strategies by introducing correctives and to rethink development by incorporating different perspectives, if development is to bring about an improvement in the well-being of people. In redesigning strategies, some obvious correctives emerge from an understanding of theory and a study of experience that recognizes not only the diversity but also the complexity of development. In rethinking development, it is imperative to recognize the importance of initial conditions, the significance of institutions, the relevance of politics in economics and the critical role of good governance. Even if difficult, there is also a clear need to create more policy space for national development, by reshaping the rules of the game in the world economy and contemplating some governance of globalization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Globalization, Government
  • Author: Lakhwinder Singh
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Innovations spur science-based trade and industrial development in a fast changing pace of globalization. Knowledge accumulation and diffusion have been increasingly recognised as fundamental factors that play an important role in long-run economic growth. This paper focuses on the long-term innovation strategy of industrial and technological development in developing countries. Growth theory, empirical evidence and several indicators of innovation have been pressed into service to draw important lessons from historical experience of the developed and newly industrializing countries for the industrial development of the developing economies. Technology development and public technology policy experience of the East Asian countries have been examined to reinvent the role of public technology policy that can be adopted to develop national innovation system to nurture and build innovative capabilities in the developing economies in the dynamic global economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Author: Heli Virta, Pertti Haaparanta
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper studies the distribution of output per worker between the years 1980 and 2000 in different country groups. The study uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to decompose the changes in the distribution of labour productivity into changes in productive efficiency, changes in best practice technology, accumulation of physical capital, and accumulation of human capital. The study focuses on low-income countries and within them on highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs), which has not been possible in earlier studies.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Stephen Knowles
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There is a growing literature which analyses, using cross-country data, whether institutions or geography is the most important deep determinant of economic development. The empirical proxies for institutions used in this literature focus on the definition of institutions, formal and informal. This study argues that the concept of informal institutions is similar to social capital. However, the social capital and 'institutions as a deep determinant' literatures rarely acknowledge the existence of the other. It is argued that social capital meets the criteria for being a deep determinant of development and that both the cross-country literature on social capital, and the deep determinants of development literature, could be enriched by empirically modelling social capital as a deep determinant of development.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics
  • Author: Kostas Stamoulis, Leigh Anderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Many development policies and programmes are premised on a traditional economic model of rationality to predict how individuals will respond to changes in incentives. Despite the emphasis of these programmes on poverty reduction, economists and the development community in general are still unable to fully understand how the poor make decisions, especially under uncertainty and over time. Individuals avail themselves less than predicted in health programmes, participate less than expected in market opportunities, under or over insure themselves, and make short-run decisions that are inconsistent with their long-run welfare. The rise and fall of different descriptive models and paradigms of poor household behaviour can partly be attributed to this limited understanding. More helpful answers may lay within behavioural economics, that these insights are particularly important for poor populations, and that they can improve the future design, implementation and subsequent effectiveness of development programmes. Behavioural economics is an approach that rigorously combines the insights of psychology and economics to try to better understand and predict human decision making. Empirical evidence is helping us learn, for example, how cognitive limitations, fairness, loss aversion, framing of choices, variable discount rates, and the qualitative dimensions of risk—such as proximity and control—affect decision making. The regularity of many of these anomalies suggests that these behaviours are anomalous only to traditional models, but that they may otherwise be the norm.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Sebastian Torres, David Fielding
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we discuss the results of research into the impact of foreign aid on human development. Rather than focussing on per capita income, as is common in the existing literature, we look at how aid impacts on a range of human development indicators, including measures, of health, education and fertility, and allow for the fact that these different dimensions of wellbeing are likely to interact with each other. Overall, aid is found to have a substantial positive impact on many development outcome.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Author: Mihly Simai
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: At the beginning of the twenty -first century there is a rare coincidence of profound transformations in a number of areas, in population dynamics, in human settlements, in science and technology, economics, social stratification, in the role and functions of the states and in the global power structure and in governance. The systemic transformation of the former socialist countries is an important component of the ongoing changes Political, economic, and social conditions vary immensely throughout the world, influenced by the size, natural endowments, development level, economic structure, political and institutional patterns, and competitiveness of the countries. The new state and non-state actors make the system of interests and values more diverse. All these have a major influence on the future of the global development process. The paper concludes that developing societies do not need old textbook models, neoliberal or other utopias. There is widespread demand for a new scientific thinking on development, with realistic and humanistic alternatives helping collaborative global and national actions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Government
  • Author: Grzegorz W. Kolodko
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Institutions are not only created and built, but al so, and especially, need to be learnt. It is a process which takes place in all economies, but acquires a special importance in less advanced countries. Not only theoretical arguments, but also the practical experience over the past 15 years demonstrates that faster economic growth, and hence also more broadly, socioeconomic development, is attained by those countries which take greater care to foster the institutional reinforcement of market economy. However, progress in market-economy institution building is not in itself sufficient to ensure sustained growth. Another indispensable component is an appropriately designed and implemented economic policy which must not confuse the means with the aims.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Arjan de Hann
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the role migration has played in development studies, and in debates on economic growth and poverty. It argues that, despite a recent surge of interest in international migration and remittances, research on human mobility particularly for labour within poor countries does not have the place it deserves, and that it used to have in the classical development literature. Review of the empirical literature suggests that in fact much is known about the migration–development relationship, provided we are careful with definitions, and allow for context-specificity to be a key component of analyses. Against this richness of empirical detail, the paper reviews theoretical models of migration, finding significant differences in understandings of migration and its role in shaping wellbeing, but also complementarities. This highlights the importance of interdisciplinarity, and institutional understanding of processes of economic growth. In particular, it stresses that development economics need to draw more strongly on the insights by and approaches of non-economist social sciences.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Migration
  • Author: Marcia Byrom Hartwell
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A key issue for development in the late twentieth and early twenty -first centuries has been an escalation of violence during post-conflict transitions. A long-term goal for international donor involvement is to assist in building legitimate and effective political, economic, and legal institutions. However, research and observation has revealed that increased violence is commonplace during peace processes and strongly influences the ways in which these institutions are formed. In turn post-conflict violence itself is strongly influenced and motivated by the way in which peace agreements have been negotiated. This study addresses some of the reasons for escalation of violence following peace agreements. It describes the underlying dynamics including the relationship between perceptions of justice as fairness, formation of post-conflict identity, political processes of forgiveness and revenge; and the policy implications for development particularly in relation to peace conditionality tied to aid.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, International Trade and Finance, Peace Studies
  • Author: Robert J. McIntyre
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In most transitional and many developing countries institutions capable of supporting economic development with localized saving-investment cycles have not developed. This crucial gap is in no way addressed by either country-level macro programmes dealing with 'development finance' or by donor-driven 'micro credit' schemes of Grameen and other types operating at a lower (local) level. The latter seldom evolve into financial institutions able to sustain themselves on the basis of local resources, do not operate on a sufficient scale to trigger dynamic local-level economic growth, and are ultimately artificial manifestations of concessional or charitable aid. The advantages of credit co-operatives in mobilizing and financing local economic development a contrasted with the disadvantages of both conventional micro credit and the most recent neoliberal fashion of so-called 'new wave financial institutions'. Both precedent and the structural logic suggest that this is a promising space for the development of a localized financial system based on credit co-operatives, which elsewhere have overcome the SME credit famine and stimulated local saving-investment cycles. Recent Russian developments are placed in the context of earlier experience in structurally similar conditions. These lessons apply to all other former Soviet Union states, as well as other countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Third World
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Richard M. Auty
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Rents tend to be relatively high in developing countries and also very fungible, so that differences in the scale of the rent and in its distribution among economic agents profoundly affect the nature of the political state and the development trajectory. This paper identifies two basic trajectories to a high-income democracy linked to the scale and deployment of rents. Low-rent countries tend to engender developmental political states that competitively diversify the economy and sustain rapid per capita GDP (PCGDP) growth, which strengthens three key sanctions against anti-social governance (political accountability, social capital and the rule of law) to achieve endogenous democratization that is incremental. In contrast, rent-rich countries are likely to experience a slower and more erratic transition. This is because high rents tend to nurture non-developmental (predatory) politic al states whose deployment of the rent locks the economy into a staple trap, which carries a high risk of a growth collapse. The events presaging a growth collapse weaken sanctions against anti-social governance. However, a growth collapse may abruptly trigger democracy if exogenous factors are favourable, although such a change is likely to prove unstable and prone to regression. Very preliminary tests of the link between PCGDP growth and sanctions against anti- social governance suggest that social capital and law strengthen as predicted by the models for low-rent countries, but political accountability lags. Rent-rich countries exhibit the expected weaker link between PCGDP growth and democratization, an outcome consistent with a more erratic transition towards a high-income democracy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Third World
  • Author: Farhad Noorbakhsh
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The concept of convergence is extended to the human development index. Evidence of weak absolute convergence is found over 1975-2002. The results are robust and verified by various conditional β -convergence models and also supported by the evidence of weak σ -convergence. Population weighted analyses provide support for polarization in the human development index amongst developing countries but a slight reduction in world inequality. The dynamics of regional analysis reveal a movement of sub-Saharan Africa towards the low band of human development with Asia and Latin America making progress. High immobility of the early part of the period is followed by considerable upward and downward mobility in the latter part indicating a possible case of the 'twin peaks' type of polarization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Development, Education
  • Author: Lance Taylor
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Recent growth experience in developing countries is reviewed, with an emphasis on structural change and sources of effective demand. Ho w policy influences such outcomes is analyzed in light of historical experience. Options are discussed for macro and industrial/commercial policy, and how they may influence the growth process. The recent 'institutional turn' in development theory may obfuscate serious policy analysis.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Third World
  • Author: lvaro Garca Hurtado
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Chile, in the last 15 years, has shown remarkable results in terms of growth, poverty reduction and democratic governance. This pa per reviews the structural changes that were behind these positive outcomes, as well as the pending challenges for Chile's development. Also shows that Chile did better in terms of growth than social integration and that this is related to the weak representation and participation of a wide majority in the national debate and decision making process. It also draws conclusions valid for other Latin American countries' development.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: South America, Chile
  • Author: Guillermo Rozenwurcel
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: After the Great Depression and throughout the rest of the twentieth century, Latin American countries basically approached economic development following two successive and quite opposed strategies. The first one was import substitution industrialization. The second was the so-called Washington Consensus approach. While the two views were founded on quite opposite premises, neither the import substitution industrialization nor the Washington Consensus managed to deliver sustained economic development to Latin American countries. Two domestic elements are crucial to understand this outcome. One is the failure of the state. The second is the inability to achieve mature integration into the world economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Washington, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Leonardo Menchini
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper juxtaposes changes over the last forty years in income growth and distribution with the mortality changes recorded at the aggregate level in about 170 countries and at the individual level in 26 countries with at least two demographic and health surveys covering the last twenty years. Over the 1980s and 1990s, the infant mortality rate, under-5 mortality rate, and life expectancy at birth mostly continued the favourable trends that characterized the 1960s and 1970s. Yet, especially in the 1990s, the pace of health improvement was slower than that recorded during the prior decades. In addition, the distribution between countries of aggregate health improvements became markedly more skewed. These trends are in part explained by the negative changes recorded in sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe, but are robust to the removal of the two regions from the sample. This tendency is observed also at the intraregional level, with the exception of Western Europe. Thirdly, demographic and health survey data for 26 developing countries point to a frequent divergence over time in the within-country distribution of gains in the infant mortality and under-5 mortality rates among children living in urban versus rural areas and belonging to families part of different quantiles of the asset distribution. The paper concludes by underscoring the similarities and linkages between changes in income inequality and health inequality and suggests some tentative explanations of these trends without, however, formally testing them.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Much has changed in international finance in the twenty years since UNU-WIDER was founded. This paper identifies five broad contours of what we might expect in the next twenty years: the flow of capital from ageing societies to the more youthful economies of the South; the growth in the financial services industry in emerging economies and the consequences for their capital flows; the current strength in emerging market debt, and whether this represents a change in fundamentals or merely the effect of low global interest rates; the impact of globalization in goods markets in lowering inflation expectations, and therefore global bond yields; and the implications of the adjustment in global imbalances between Asia (in particular China) and the United States for emerging bond markets as a whole. The paper ends by noting the paradox that today we see ever larger amounts of capital flowing across the globe in search of superior investment returns, and yet the financing needs of the poorer countries are still largely unmet.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Louis Emmerij
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Why and when do turning points occur? How are they prepared? What are the choices before us when it comes to economic and social development policies? What is the role of culture in development? Do ideas play a role? What are the interests behind the ideas? The present paper tries to answer these and other questions and compares the advantages and disadvantages of global development theories with regional and local development policies that put more emphasis on the role of culture in economic development.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, United Nations
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Alessia Isopi
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper performs aid allocation analysis using OECD-DAC data covering 20 aid donors and 176 recipients over the period 1980-2003. We improve upon earlier work in this area by employing inter alia the variable 'past outcome' measuring aid effectiveness in order to link together aid allocation and aid effectiveness. In line with previous work, we also account for both altruistic and selfish donor motives in the empirical analysis. As expected, empirical results based on To bit estimates of aid allocation for individual donors vary quite significantly among donors. We also test the robustness of our results by estimating individual regressions for the major donors over the period 1990-2003 in view of major events in the aid arena during that time that could potentially have an impact on the aid allocation process. Our results seem to be similar to those derived over the 1980-2003 period, thus implying that this was not the case. Overall, both altruistic and selfish donor motives seem to motivate aid allocation for most donors over the two periods under examination. However, when we further restrict our time dimension to the 1999-2003 period, some important policy changes with regard to selectivity seem to emerge for a small group of donor countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Author: Ira N. Gang, Gil S. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the decentralization of decisionmaking in aid-giving in a theoretical rent-seeking framework. In this analysis the root donor establishes a necessary criterion for potential recipients: good governance. The potential recipients compete in hierarchal contests for funds. The paper investigates whether, under certain reasonable conditions, fashionable aid procedures will lead to the development of a poverty trap.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Politics
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Jan-Erik Antipin
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper contributes to the empirics of aid and growth by taking a fresh look at the aid-policies-growth nexus emanating from the very influential but also debatable paper on the subject by Burnside and Dollar: 'Aid, Policies and Growth'. We employ three different datasets (including the one used in the Burnside and Dollar paper) and Bayesian instrumental variable methods to test the robustness of the central finding of the Burnside and Dollar paper related to the aid and policy interaction coefficient. In doing so, we applied Bayesian instrumental variable technique s to find the most probable parameter values in the growth equation. We also test for the exogeneity of the instrumental variables used. We find that the marginal effect of the disputed (Aid/GDP) x Policy variable on real per capita GDP growth is substantially smaller than in Burnside and Dollar, thus casting serious doubts on the robustness of their findings, and most importantly, on the validity of the policy lessons emerged from the Burnside- Dollar study.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Author: Ayodele Odusola
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Nigeria is governed by a federal system, hence its fiscal operations also adhere to the same principle, a fact which has serious implications on how the tax system is managed. The country's tax system is lopsided, and dominated by oil revenue. It is also characterized by unnecessarily complex, distortionary and largely inequitable taxation laws that have limited application in the informal sector that dominates the economy. The primary objective of this paper is to prepare a case study on tax policy reforms in Nigeria, with the specific objectives of examining the main tax reforms in the country; highlighting tax revenue profile and composition; analysing possible distributional impacts on the poor; discussing major problems that could prevent effective tax implementation in the country; and offering suggestions for reforms.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Samuel Fambon
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In the beginning of the 1980s, Cameroon witnessed a sustained rate of growth, associated essentially with the boom in the oil sector. Increased budgetary and extra-budgetary resources generated by this sector helped to raise the investment rate in the economy, and to maintain a reasonable level of external indebtedness. But after this period of expansion, the country experienced unfavourable economic development caused by a successive decline in the terms of trade, leading to profound imbalances, notably in public finance and the external account. The government subsequently initiated a series of measures to reform its tax system and to adapt it to national economic realities. An efficient and equitable taxation encourages production and the accumulation of national wealth stimulates saving and investments and hence job creation. Such a tax system could, therefore, ensure sustainable growth and development in Cameroon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Third World
  • Author: P.B. Anand
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Access to water and sanitation (target 10) is an important ingredient of quality of life. As per WHO-UNICEF assessments, globally, 77 per cent of population had access to water in 1990. This proportion has increase d to 83 per cent in 2002, thus, on track to achieve the target of halving the proportion of population without safe access by 2015. However, there is considerable regional disparity in progress which remains significantly low in many countries in sub- Saharan Africa. Also, the question remains whether increased access is same as sustainable access. In 2002, some 2.6 billion people worldwide did not have access to safe sanitation options. Of these, nearly 2 billion were in the rural areas. While in almost all countries, the proportion of people having access to improved sanitation in 2002 has increased compared to the status in 1990, in 27 countries including India, Ne pal, Lao PDR, Namibia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Yemen, two out of three people did not have access to improved sanitation in 2002.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: India, Yemen, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Namibia
  • Author: Panicos O. Demetriades, Svetlana Andrianova
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Drawing on recent literature, the paper argue s that institutions and political economy factors hold the key to understanding why some countries have succeeded in developing their financial systems while others have not. The paper also reviews new evidence which suggests that institutional quality may influence the effectiveness of financial development in delivering economic growth. These new findings highlight the possibility that poor countries may be stuck in a bad equilibrium, in which weak institutions inhibit growth both directly and indirectly, through under-developed, low- quality finance. In addition, the paper identifies a number of unanswered questions in the financial development literature, including the precise role of important institutions like law in finance, and the influence of geographical factors.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Third World
  • Author: George Mavrotas, S. Mansoob Murshed
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The present paper utilises a short-run theoretical macroeconomic model of a small open economy to look at the impact of macroeconomic policies and financial deepening upon poverty through sectoral changes. This is because an expansion in certain sectors may cause greater poverty reduction. The model involves a non-traded and a traded sector on the formal side of the economy. The former is more capital intensive and the latter more unskilled labour intensive. Increased employment in the traded sector is more pro-poor compared to a similar rise in the non-traded sector as the former draws workers out of poverty in the informal sector. The model in our paper analyses short-run effects of devaluation, a rise in the money supply induced by financial deepening, and taxation to discourage non-traded goods consumption. Financial deepening can induce greater output and reduce poverty. Other results are mixed and taxonomic. We also attempt to differentiate between the stylised experiences of East Asia and Latin America. East Asian economies have relied more heavily on labour-intensive manufactured exports, whereas Latin America has had a relatively greater share of capital intensive and natural resource based exports. In recent decades countries in these two regions have had differing experiences in poverty reduction, with poverty arguably declining more in East Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Fabrizio Carmignani, Abdur Chowdhury
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We study whether financial openness facilitates the economic integration of formerly centrally planned economies with the EU- 15. Two dimensions of economic integration are considered: cross-country convergence of per-capita incomes and bilateral trade in goods and services. We find that more financially open economies effectively catch-up faster and trade more with the EU-15. These integration-enhancing effects occur over and above any effect stemming from domestic financial deepening and other factors determining growth and trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Iftekhar Hasan, Leonardo Becchetti
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We analyse two potential effects arising from regional (and with EU) integration—increased quality of institutions (including the quality of financial institutions) and, economic policies and reduced multilateral exchange rate volatility— in a conditional convergence growth framework for MENA countries. To this purpose we outline an ad hoc methodology which implements the traditional bilateral exchange rate measures to test effects of multilateral exchange rate volatility on growth of per capita GDP. Our estimates show that both factors (quality of institutions and reduction of multilateral volatility) significantly and positively affect growth and conditional convergence. We observe that MENA countries are not far from EU and OECD countries in terms of exchange rate volatility, but much below in terms of institutional quality. We finally simulate the potential effects of an improvement in institutional quality in MENA countries on their process of growth and conditional convergence. We conclude arguing that regional integration may be highly beneficial for such countries, mainly because of its effects on institutional quality.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Iftekhar Hasan, Leonardo Becchetti, George Mavrotas
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Our paper investigates the unexplored impact of education on inflation and of this relationship on economic growth. By using a sample of 102 countries observed on non-overlapping five-year data spells over the period 1963-2001, we find that average schooling years of the working population have a significant negative impact on inflation rates after controlling for the effects of the stance of domestic monetary policy. We also show that the negative impact of inflation on growth in conditional convergence estimates is significantly increased when the former is instrumented by educational variables. Our findings outline a third potential role of human capital on conditional convergence. They show that education is not only a production factor or a variable which may reduce demographic pressures, but also an important antidote against inflationary pressures which, in turn, negatively affect economic growth and conditional convergence. We interpret our findings by identifying three potential rationales for the education-inflation nexus: (i) education raises consumers' awareness of their power in contrasting producers' inflationary pressures; (ii) more educated individuals have lower inflationary expectations when they are also wealthier and their consumption bundle is relatively less (more) intensive in inferior (superior) goods with higher (lower) inflation potential; (iii) more (less) educated and wealthier (less wealthy) individuals tend to be net creditors (debtors) in their maturity, thereby contributing to increase (reduce) the power of anti-inflationary lobbies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Education
  • Author: Peter Quartey
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper primarily investigates the interrelationship between financial sector development and poverty reduction in Ghana. This is done using time-series data from the World Development Indicators from 1970-2001. The main findings are, first, that even though financial sector development does not Granger-cause savings mobilization in Ghana, it induces poverty reduction; and second, that savings do Granger-cause poverty reduction in Ghana. Also, the effect of financial sector development on poverty reduction is positive but insignificant. This is due to the fact that financial intermediaries in Ghana have not adequately channelled savings to the pro-poor sectors of the economy because of government deficit financing, high default rate, lack of collateral and lack of proper business proposals. Another interesting finding is that there is a long-run co integration relationship between financial sector development and poverty reduction.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Marco Mazzoli
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper introduces a discrete-time intertemporal investment model in which the flow of profits affects the risk premium on the cost of finance, and, as a consequence, the rate of discount of future profits. While public investments, according to a consolidated literature, constitute the main bulk of innovation policies, this model is used to comment and interpret the potential use of another, secondary, public policy, consisting of tax incentives for firms performing R expenditures and issuing securities in the stock market. Linking public policies for innovation to the stock market might help to reduce the problems of discretionality and the monitoring of public expenditure used to finance R and technical innovation.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Author: Robert Lensink, Niels Hermes
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the relationship between financial liberalization on the one hand and saving, investment and economic growth on the other hand, using a new dataset for measuring financial liberalization for a sample of 25 developing economies over the period 1973-96. We find no evidence that financial liberalization affects domestic saving and total investment (although there are some signs to believe that liberalization may actually reduce rather than increase domestic saving), whereas it is positively associated with private investment, as well as with per capita GDP growth. We find a negative relationship between financial liberalization and public investment. These results suggest that financial liberalization leads to a substitution from public to private investment, which may contribute to higher economic growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Subal C. Kumbhakar
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Recent years have witnessed important structural changes around the world as a result of the globalization process, the creation of new economic blocks and the liberalization of financial sector in many countries. Responding to these changes many sectors of the industrialized countries have gone through major deregulatory changes to acclimate themselves to new environments. At the same time, many countries have undertaken institutional reforms to build a market-orientated financial system in the hope that transition towards market economy will improve productivity. In the face of uncertainty resulting from changes in regulatory structure and the development of financial institutions to foster market economy, many countries may not be able to achieve their maximum growth potential. In other words, productivity growth is likely to depend on the development of financial institutions and the stage of economic development That is, a less developed country is likely to benefit more (in terms of output growth rate) from the development of financial institutions than a developed economy with well-developed financial system. In this paper we document this by using data covering 65 countries, varying substantially in term s of level of development and geographic location, and spanning the period 1960-1999. Empirical results obtained from the estimation of two different empirical models regarding the measurement of total factor productivity growth seem to confirm a priori expectations about the overall positive influence of financial systems on productivity in line with previous work on this front. Our results remain robust with respect to alternative definitions of financial sector development we tried.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Stephen Njuguna Karingi, Bernadette Wanjal
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In evaluating tax reform in the developing countries, one first needs to determine what is the unique role of the tax system in each particular country. One of the key reasons for undertaking tax reforms in Kenya was to ad dress issues of in equality and to create a sustainable tax system that could generate adequate revenue to finance public expenditures. In this respect, the tax modernization programme introduced in the country was to achieve a tax system that was sustainable in the face of changing conditions domestically and internationally. Policy was shifted towards greater reliance on indirect taxes as opposed to direct taxes. Consumption taxes were seen to be more favourable to investments and hence growth. Trade taxes, instead of being used for protection or revenue-maximization purposes, were viewed more as instruments to foster export-led industrialization. Trade taxes were therefore used to create a competitive exports sector rather than protect the import-competing manufacturing sector, as had been done in the past.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Peter Quartey, Robert Darko Osei
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Ghana's tax reforms constitute the major policy instrument needed to accelerate growth and poverty reduction. Over the past two decades, the government has consistently spent more revenue than it is able to generate and the gap is often financed with foreign aid which has perpetuated the country's aid dependency. Two options can be explored to reduce the gap between government revenue and expenditure; generate more revenue or reduce government expenditure. Although the latter sounds reasonable, the government needs to spend more on key sectors like education, health and infrastructure if the country is to significantly reduce poverty. The critical issue has been how to generate the needed resources domestically, using tax instruments that are least harmful to the poor. This will obviously involve reforming the tax system to ensure efficiency by widening the tax net without necessarily increasing the tax rate. This paper provides an assessment of the changing structure of the tax system in Ghana over the last two decades and suggests ways to improve tax administration in the country.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Bram Thuysbaert, Ricardas Zitikis
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: If uncertainty exists over the exact location of the poverty line or over which measure to use to compare poverty between distributions, one may want to check whether poverty dominance holds. We develop a consistent statistical test to test the null of poverty dominance against the alternative of nondominance. Dominance criteria corresponding to absolute and relative poverty measures are dealt with. The poverty line is allowed to depend on the income distribution. A bootstrap procedure is proposed to estimate critical values for the test. Our results cover both independent and paired samples.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Rafael E. De Hoyos
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper illustrates how the use of microeconometric techniques can be used to uncover the micro dynamics behind macro shocks. Using Mexican micro data we find out that—controlling for everything else—between 1994 and 1998 returns to personal characteristics in the tradable sector increase d particularly those of skilled labourers. By the year 2000 the positive shock upon the tradeable sector vanishes with returns to personal characteristics converging to the levels observed in the non-tradable sector. We use our model's results to simulate a scenario where the Mexican economy experienced the negative shock of the peso crises in the absence of trade liberalization (NAFTA) and find out that under such a scenario the poverty headcount ratio would have increased more than 2 percentage points above the one observed in 1996. The simulated second- order effect of these changes shows that the skill mixed changed in a way that favoured relatively skilled men and relatively unskilled women. These changes in labour participation and occupation had an overall positive income effect though adverse in distributive terms.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Central America
  • Author: S. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This note points to certain similarities of orientation and outcome between Derek Parfit's quest for a theory of beneficence and Amartya Sen's quest for a suitable real-valued representation of poverty. It suggests th at both projects, in a certain sense, have been instructive failures. Using Sen's own work, the note also suggests a logically natural way of dealing with some of the problems in poverty measurement reviewed in it—but only to reject this way out on other compelling grounds.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Robert Osei, Oliver Morrissey, Tim Lloyd
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: An important feature of aid to developing countries is that it is given to the government. As a result, aid should be expected to affect fiscal behaviour, although theory and existing evidence is ambiguous regarding the nature of these effects. This paper applies techniques developed in the 'macroeconometrics' literature to estimate the dynamic linkages between aid and fiscal aggregates. Vector autoregressive methods are applied to 34 years of annual data in Ghana to model the effect of aid on fiscal behaviour. Results suggest that aid to Ghana has been associated with reduced domestic borrowing and increased tax effort, combining to increase public spending. This constructive use of aid to maintain fiscal balance is evident since the mid-1980s, following Ghana's structural adjustment programme. The pa per provides evidence that aid has been associated with improved fiscal performance in Ghana, implying that the aid has been used sensibly (at least in fiscal terms).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Oliver Morrissey, Karuna Gomanee, Sourafel Girma
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper is a contribution to the literature on aid and growth. Despite an extensive empirical literature in this area, existing studies have not addressed directly the mechanisms via which aid should affect growth. We identify investment as the most significant transmission mechanism, and also consider effects through financing imports and government consumption spending. With the use of residual generated regressors, we achieve a measure of the total effect of aid on growth, accounting for the effect via investment. Pooled panel results for a sample of 25 Sub-Saharan African countries over the period 1970 to 1997 point to a significant positive effect of foreign aid on growth, ceteris paribus. On average, each one percentage point increase in the aid/GNP ratio contributes one-quarter of one percentage point to the growth rate. Africa's poor growth record should not therefore be attributed to aid ineffectiveness.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Peter Quartey
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There has been significant amount of aid inflow s to developing countries including Ghana, but these have been very volatile. Aid flows have been associated with low domestic resource mobilization and have reduced Ghana to a country heavily dependent on aid. The amount of official development assistance (ODA) inflow s has fallen in recent years and has become unpredictable. It is general knowledge that aid has not yielded the desired benefit. In an attempt to improve aid effectiveness donors have used tie d aid not just to promote commercial interests but also to target aid to particular projects that have direct links with poverty. However, this has not yielded the maximum benefits required. Recently, the government of Ghana and its development partners agreed on an aid package dubbed the multi-donor budgetary support (MDBS), which would ensure continuous flow of aid to finance the government's poverty related expenditures.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Ethan Ligon
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: 'Globalization' implies change, and uncertainty over future change may affect household welfare. We use data on Lorenz curves over the last fifty years for a sample of 53 (mostly developing) countries. Treating each country-quintile-year as an observation, we first account for variation in consumption expenditures, finding that global shocks are of less importance than country -level shocks in explaining variation in country-quintile consumption growth. While poorer households experience more rapid consumption growth than do wealthier households, they also bear much more risk. However, we find no evidence that this greater risk is related to globalization.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Simon Feeny, Robert Lensink, Niels Hermes
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper surveys 50 years of empirical research on the macroeconomic impact of aid, looking mainly at studies examining the link between aid and growth. It argues that studies dating until the late 1990s produced either contradictory or inconclusive results. Aid either worked, or it didn't, according to this research. The paper then highlights a major shift in the literature that coincided with the release of the World Bank's Assessing Aid: What Works, What Doesn't and Why. Practically all research published since that report agrees with its general finding that aid works, to the extent that in its absence growth would be lower. One controversy may therefore have been settled. Yet, we show, the report has set-off an intense de bate over the context in which aid works. That debate centres on whether the effectiveness of these inflows depends on the policy regime of recipient countries. Some possible avenues through which the heat might be taken out of this debate are considered.
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt, Development, Economics
  • Author: Alice Sindzingre
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper focuses on the non-linearity of the transmission of the impact of globalization on poverty and the existence of threshold effects. Institutions constitute a critical factor for the creation of threshold effects in the impact of globalization on poverty. Institutions—their credibility, ability to be transformed by globalization, and the ways they give the poor access to the beneficial effects of globalization—determine whether the benefits of globalization are spread to the poor or are locked in by particular groups. They also determine whether or not the negative shocks associated with globalization are transmitted in an unfettered manner. The paper presents a theory of institutions that distinguishes several components, which evolve differently and explain the threshold effects that institutions generate upon the impact of globalization on the poor. The paper then shows that social institutions and norms have a critical role in the generation of these threshold effects. It finally examines the interactions between social institutions and state policies institutions, which may contribute to the formation of poverty traps.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Poverty
  • Author: Indranil Dutta, Ajit Mishra
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We analyze the relation between inequality, corruption and competition in a developing economy context where markets are imperfect. We consider an economy where different types of households (efficient and inefficient) choose to undertake production activities. For production, households borrow capital from the credit market. They also incur non-input costs which they could avoid by bribing inspectors. Due to information asymmetry and wealth inequality, the credit market fails to screen out the inefficient types. In addition to the imperfect screening, the inefficient type's entry is further facilitated by corruption. We analyze the market equilibrium and look at some of the implications. We show that a rise in inequality can lead to an increase in corruption along with greater competition.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Human Welfare
  • Author: Ghassan Dibeh
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper studies the postwar economic and political reconstruction in Lebanon. The paper shows that the 'reconstruction boom' was short-lived. The economy experienced a growth trap early in the reconstruction period, and entered a cyclical crisis in 1998 which resulted from an ill-designed fiscal-monetary policy mix. The expansionary fiscal policy resulting from the high resource demands — due to economic and political reconstruction and from the needs of addressing horizontal inequality codified in the peace agreement known as the Taef Accords — led to a fiscal crisis of the state. The monetary and central bank policy was finance-biased with emphasis on financial and exchange rate stability and foreign capital inflows. Such a mix led to a real interest rate shock in the postwar period that played a role in the onset of the cyclical downturn. The finance-biased policy led to the rise of a rentier economy leading to deindustrialization during this period. The rise of a growth-impeding political economic structure resulting from the Taef Accords also played a role in intensifying the economic crisis through exerting pressures on public resources and through the engendering of a political crisis that brought to an end the era of postwar reconstruction.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Pierluigi Montalbano, Alessandro Federici, Umberto Triulzi, Carlo Pietrobelli
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper offers a substantive contribution to the debate on the role of international trade on the development of emerging countries. The aim is to detect empirically the phenomenon of vulnerability induced by trade openness. The methodology adopts a forward-looking approach and tries to fill a missing link in the theory between trade shocks, volatility, and the wellbeing of countries, distinguishing between 'normal' and 'extreme' volatility.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Dmitri Vinogradov
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We consider an overlapping generations model with two production factors and two types of agents in the presence of financial intermediation and its application to the Russian default of August 1998. The paper focuses on the analysis of the consequences of a sudden negative repayments shock on financial intermediation capacity and consequently on the economy as a whole. The model exhibits a 'chain reaction' property, when a single macroeconomic shock can lead to the exhaustion of credit resources and to the subsequent collapse of the whole banking system. To maintain the capability of the system to recover, regulatory intervention is needed even in the presence of the state guarantees on agents' deposits in the banks (workout incentives). We compare the results for an intermediated economy with those derived under the assumption of a market economy, and draw some broad conclusions on the consequences of the crises, which are contingent on the financial sector structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Heiko Nitzschke, David M. Malone
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The political economy of civil wars has acquired unprecedented scholarly and policy attention. Among others, the International Peace Academy's programme on Economic Agendas in Civil Wars (EACW) has aimed to contribute to a better understanding of the complex dynamics of civil war economies and has identified areas for policy development critical for improved conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and postconflict peacebuilding. While much of the earlier debate on the economic dimensions has been polarized around the 'greed versus grievance' dichotomy, there is now a better understanding of how economic dynamics can influence the onset, character, and duration of armed conflicts. This paper discusses key research findings and their policy relevance, provides a preliminary assessment of policy efforts to address the economic dimensions of conflict and conflict transformation, and offers some issues for further research and policy action.
  • Topic: Civil War, Development, Economics, Political Economy
  • Author: Rehman Sobhan
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper argues that poverty originates in the structural injustices of a social order which incapacitates the poor from participating in the growth generating sectors of the economy and leaves them captives in the so called informal sector, characterized by low productivity and low earning capacity. In such a system the poor remain individualized and hence disempowered which compels them to interface with the market economy on highly inequitable terms which relegates them to the lowest tiers of the value addition chain. The need for a macro-policy designed to eliminate poverty is premised on the argument that poverty originates in the structural features of society which can only be addressed at the macro-level. Policy interventions, to redesign the structural sources of poverty, bring into consideration issues of social, political as well as economic reform.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses development policy objectives, noting how these have changed over the years, with a more explicit focus on poverty reduction coming recently to the fore. It also examines the relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction. The paper then discusses how to achieve economic growth, starting with the caveat that growth must be environmentally sustainable, and moves on to the big question of the respective roles for the market mechanism and the state in allocating society's productive resources. The paper next discusses how economic reform has been implemented, and the political difficulties that arise. It concludes that getting development policy right has the potential to lift millions out of poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: S. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper points to some elementary conflicts between the claims of interpersonal and intergroup justice as they manifest themselves in the process of seeking a real-valued index of poverty which is required to satisfy certain seemingly desirable properties. It indicates how 'group—sensitive' poverty measures, similar to the Anand-Sen (1995) 'Gender Adjusted Human Development Index' and the Subramanian-Majumdar (2002) 'Group-Disparity Adjusted Deprivation Index', may be constructed. Some properties of a specific 'group-sensitive' poverty index are appraised, and the advantage of having a 'flexible' measure which is capable of effecting a tradeoff between the claims of interpersonal and inter-group equality is spelt out. The implications of directly incorporating group disparities into the measurement of poverty for poverty comparisons and anti-poverty policy are also discussed.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty, International Affairs
  • Author: Jorge Saba Arbache
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In the last twenty years, Brazil has undergone several attempts of improving sustainable growth through stabilization programmes, and more recently, structural reforms in line with the Washington Consensus Agenda. The results, however, have been disappointing, as the per capita output growth has remained below its historic trend, and poverty and inequality remain at high levels. This paper investigates why marketoriented reforms such as trade and capital account liberalization, privatization, deregulation and stabilization failed to boost growth in Brazil. We conclude that structural reforms may contribute to growth if accompanied by microeconomic policies tailor-made to address the country's needs, and by appropriate macroeconomic, institutional and political environments.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Washington, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Sarah White, Jethro Pettit
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers the use of participatory methods in international development research, and asks what contribution these can make to the definition and measurement of well-being. It draws on general lessons arising from the project level, two larger-scale policy research processes sponsored by the World Bank, and the experience of quality of life studies. It also considers emerging experiments with using participatory methods to generate quantitative data. The paper closes by assessing the future trajectory of participatory approaches in well-being research, and reflects on some dilemmas regarding the use of participatory data on well-being in the policymaking process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, International Cooperation
  • Author: John Knight, Li Shi, Zhao Renwei
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Two precisely comparable national household surveys relating to 1988 and 1995 are used to analyse changes in the inequality of income in urban China. Over those seven years province mean income per capita grew rapidly but diverged across provinces, whereas intra-province income inequality grew rapidly but converged across provinces. The reasons for these trends are explored by means of various forms of decomposition analysis. Comparisons are also made between the coastal provinces and the inland provinces. The decompositions show the central role of wages, and within wages profitrelated bonuses, together with the immobility of labour across provinces, in explaining mean income divergence. The timing of economic reforms helps to explain the convergence of intra-province income inequality. Policy conclusions are drawn.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Zhangyue Zhou
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A considerable literature exists on the measurement of income inequality in China and its increasing trend. Much less is known, however, about the driving forces of this trend and their quantitative contributions. Conventional decompositions, by factor components or by population subgroups, only provide limited information on the determinants of income inequality. This paper represents an early attempt to apply the regression-based decomposition framework to the study of inequality accounting in rural China, using household level data. It is found that geography has been the dominant factor but is becoming less important in explaining total inequality. Capital input emerges as a most significant determinant of income inequality. Farming structure is more important than labour and other inputs in contributing to income inequality across households.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ravi Kanbur, Xiaobo Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper constructs and analyses a long-run time-series for regional inequality in China from the Communist Revolution to the present. There have been three peaks of inequality in the last fifty years, coinciding with the Great Famine of the late 1950s, the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, and finally the period of openness and global integration in the late 1990s. Econometric analysis establishes that regional inequality is explained in the different phases by three key policy variables; the ratio of heavy industry to gross output value, the degree of decentralization, and the degree of openness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Somik V. Lall, Sanjoy Chakravorty
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We argue that spatial inequality of industry location is a primary cause of spatial income inequality in developing nations. We focus on understanding the process of spatial industrial variation—identifying the spatial factors that have cost implications for firms, and the factors that influence the location decisions of new industrial units. The analysis has two parts. First we examine the contribution of economic geography factors to the cost structure of firms in eight industry sectors and show that local industrial diversity is the one factor with significant and substantial cost reducing effects. We then show that new private sector industrial investments in India are biased toward existing industrial and coastal districts, whereas state industrial investments (in deep decline after structural reforms) are far less biased toward such districts. We conclude that structural reforms lead to increased spatial inequality in industrialization, and therefore, income.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: James B. Davies
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Alternative approaches to modelling distributional and welfare effects of changes in policy and the economic environment in developing and transition countries are surveyed. Microsimulations range from pure accounting approaches to models with behavioural equations based on econometric estimates and various dynamic models. Microsimulation accounting models are key to analysing the impact effects of tax and benefit changes and are becoming widespread. Computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling endogenizes price changes and changes in industry and labour market structure. An essential CGE input is a social accounting matrix (SAM), which can be used to do simple multiplier analyses. A wide range of macroeconomic models have also been used in developing countries, endogenizing variables like interest rates and exchange rates.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Author: Arsenio M. Balisacan, Nobuhiko Fuwa
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to establish some basic facts about income inequality in the Philippines, with a special focus on the importance of spatial income inequality. Despite major fluctuations in macroeconomic performances, income inequality remained relatively stable during the years 1985-2000. Spatial inequality accounts for a sizable but not overwhelming portion of the national-level income inequality, and the relative importance of spatial inequality was declining over time. We also find that mean income levels across provinces were converging at a much faster rate than those observed in currently developed countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ruut Veenhoven
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper deals with three questions: (1) What are 'subjective' measures? (2) What is 'well-being'? and (3) Are subjective measures of well-being of use for policymaking, in particular in developing nations?
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Des Gasper
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Economic measures of income have ignored large areas of human well-being and are poor measures of well-being in the areas to which they attend. Despite increased recognition of those distortions, 'GNP per capita continues to be regarded as the quintessential indicator of a country's living standard' (Partha Dasgupta). Well-being seems to have intuitive plausibility as a concept, but in practice we encounter a bewilderingly diverse family of concepts and approaches, partly reflecting different contexts, purposes, and foci of attention. Is there a unifying framework that yet respects the complexity and diversity of well-being? This paper presents an imperfect comparative and integrative framework that builds on the contributions by Sen and others. We move toward the framework gradually, since well-being concepts are in fact complex entitities which reflect pictures of personhood and of science. Insight grows through surveying a wide range of relevant experience and views, before risking blinkering one's vision in a framework. The paper then uses the framework to examine conceptualizations of human well-being, by Dasgupta, Sen, Nussbaum, Doyal and Gough, and Alkire.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Stephan Klasen
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the rationale as well as the challenges involved when constructing gender-related indicators of well-being. It argues that such indicators are critically important but that their construction involves a number of conceptual and measurement problems. Among the conceptual issues considered are the space in which gender inequality in well-being is to be measured, whether the indicators should track wellbeing of males and females separately or adjust overall measures of well-being by the gender inequality in well-being, whether gender equality in every indicator is necessarily the goal, how to assess gender inequality that is apparently desired by males and females, and what role indicators of agency or empowerment should play in genderrelated indicators of well-being. Among the most important measurement issues addressed are; the role of the household in allocating resources, the question of stocks versus flows, as well as significant data gaps when it comes to gender inequalities. Where appropriate, remedies to the conceptual and measurement issues are proposed. The paper also briefly reviews UNDP's gender-related indices to illustrate some of the challenges involved.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Petri Rouvinen
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Factors determining the diffusion of digital mobile telephony across 200 developed and developing countries in the 1990s are studied with the aid of a Gompertz model. The market size and network effects are found to play more important roles in the developing countries; there is also more need for complementing innovations in, for example, financial and payment systems. Even though the developing countries have disadvantages, being late entrants in digital mobile telephony is to their advantage and promotes cross-country convergence. Overall digital technologies are best seen as equalizers, and thus the divide is rather socio-economic or analog than digital.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Globalization, Science and Technology
  • Author: Erik Thorbecke
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to review a number of issues related to poverty, while taking stock of the ongoing research. Most of the remaining unresolved issues in poverty analysis are related directly or indirectly to the dynamics of poverty. Before the development community can become more successful in designing and implementing poverty-alleviation strategies, within the context of growth, we need to understand better the conditions under which some households remain permanently (chronically) poor and how others move in and out of poverty. In what follows we review the state of the art under a number of interrelated headings: (1) Chronic vs. transient poverty; (2) Poverty and vulnerability; (3) The determination of the poverty line across time and countries; (4) The quantitative vs. qualitative approach to poverty measurement; and (5) Growth, inequality and poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: W.F. Krugell, W.A. Naudé
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: South Africa is characterized by significant inequality in spatial economic activity. Whether future growth and development on a subnational level in South Africa will be such as to reduce this inequality may depend on the economic growth and development of South Africa's largest cities. Our local economic growth empirics show some indications of conditional convergence in output between poorer towns as well as overall between all cities and towns. Between 1990 and 2000 some limited sigma convergence was found but this was driven by declines in the standard deviation of per capita income amongst the poorest quintile of towns. An estimate of conditional beta convergence of 1.2 percent over the period 1990-2000 confirms that overall convergence has been taking place. From an estimation of the determinants of economic growth on a local level, using a dataset on 353 local areas in South Africa between 1990-2000 we found the most significant determinants to be stocks of human capital and distance from harbours and markets. The effect of human capital on economic growth was strongly associated with the presence of large cities, as one would predict from endogenous growth theory.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: David E. Sahn, David C. Stifel
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we examine the relative importance of rural versus urban areas in terms of monetary poverty and seven other related living standards indicators. We present the levels of urban-rural differences for several African countries for which we have data and find that living standards in rural areas lag far behind those in urban areas. Then we examine the relative and absolute rates of change for urban and rural areas and find no overall evidence of declining differences in the gaps between urban and rural living standards. Finally, we conduct urban-rural decompositions of inequality, examining the within versus between (urban and rural) group inequality for asset inequality, education inequality, and health (height) inequality.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ernest Aryeetey
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Efforts to realize the issue of development-focused Special Drawing Rights (SDR) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been on-going for many years. Recently, however, the campaign first gained a new momentum immediately after the Asian financial crises with the new liquidity problems of developing nations following the collapse of private capital markets. Currently the search for financing options towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals drives the interest in development-focused SDRs. Extending the uses to which SDR can be put is derived from the growing demands on the international financial system to respond to the development finance needs of poor nations. Apart from the need to provide emergency funds in times of crises and the whole area of crisis prevention, increasingly the facilitation of development in poor countries and assistance to make the best policy decisions is considered crucial.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Bart Capéau, André Decoster
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In the age of globalization, the question whether inequality in the world rose or fell down, is a hot topic. Leading scholars in the field of economic inequality measurement developed methods to estimate empirically the distribution of welfare (income) amongst world citizens. Despite their similar methodologies, they do not seem to agree about the conclusion. In the present paper we pinpoint what drives the two extreme positions apart. Sala-i-Martin (2002a, b), who claims that there can be no doubt that world inequality went down between the late 1970s and the late 1990s, has in fact calculated population weighted inequality between countries. Milanovic (2002a, b, c) does not deny this, but illustrates the empirical importance of divergent tendencies at the sub-national level (especially urban versus rural regions) for assessing true world inequality and comes to the reverse conclusion. Nevertheless, there seems to be unanimity, especially amongst the contributions quoted here, about the inequality measure(s) to be used for assessing world income distributions. We show that at least for international inequality, there is empirical evidence for rank reversals among the class of generalized entropy measures and expect the same to be true of world inequality. However, the normative debate about which inequality measure to use for assessing true world inequality has not yet begun.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Third World
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Anthony Shorrocks
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the theory and application of decomposition techniques in the context of spatial inequality. It establishes some new theoretical results with potentially wide applicability, and examines empirical evidence drawn from a large number of countries.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Poverty
  • Author: Simon Appleton
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Absolute poverty lines are often derived from the cost of obtaining sufficient calories. Where staples vary across regions, such poverty lines may differ depending on whether they are set using national or regional food baskets. Regional poverty lines are open to the objection that they may be contaminated by income effects. This paper explores this issue by focussing on Uganda, a country where widening spatial inequalities in the 1990s have caused concern. Conflicting results from earlier studies have suggested that the spatial pattern of poverty in Uganda is very sensitive to whether national or regional food baskets are used in setting poverty lines. We confirm this suggestion by comparing the spatial profile of poverty in 1993 using national and regional poverty lines. However, since the regions consuming the more expensive staple sources of calories are also those with higher incomes, using simple regional poverty lines is problematic. Instead, a method of setting regional poverty lines is considered that adjusts for income differentials between regions. Even with this adjustment, the use of regional food baskets implies a markedly different.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Andrés Solimano
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Remittances, after foreign direct investment, are currently the most important source of external finance to developing countries. Remittances surpass foreign aid, and tend to be more stable than such volatile capital flows as portfolio investment and international bank credit. Remittances are also an international redistribution from low-income migrants to their families in the home country.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Migration
  • Author: Anthony B. Atkinson
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In analysing proposals for new sources of development funding, there are several issues that arise across the board. What is the role of new sources in relation to existing overseas development assistance? Should we be seeking new sources that generate a double dividend? Can the key elements of a proposal be achieved by another route? What should be the fiscal architecture? Is there a modern transfer problem? It is with these general concerns that the present paper deals. Its aim is to bring to bear on global public finance the accumulated knowledge in the field of national public finance, and more generally public economics.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Robin Boadway
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers lessons from the practice of fiscal federalism for guidance on new approaches to development finance. Despite the fact that inter-regional redistribution in a federation relies on a central government with strong fiscal powers, the form of that redistribution can be used as a benchmark for international development assistance financing. In a federation, finance for less-developed regions takes the form of equalizing transfers to sub-national governments. The objective of these transfers is to enable sub-national governments to provide comparable levels of public services at comparable tax rates, called fiscal equity, leaving them discretion to implement interpersonal redistribution schemes within their jurisdictions. This same principle of assuming that national governments rather than donor nations are responsible for vertical equity within their borders leads to the view that the ideal form of development assistance is a system of equalizing inter-nation transfers intended to enhance fiscal equity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Agnar Sandmo
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers the role of global environmental taxes both as instruments for improving the global environment and as a source of revenue for funding economic development. It reviews the general case for environmental taxes and the particular issues that arise for the adoption of such taxes in an international setting without a single jurisdiction. It also discusses the possibilities for political acceptance of such taxes when tax revenue is linked to the goal of economic development. The revenue potential of global environmental taxes is evaluated with special reference to a global carbon tax. It is found that this tax alone has the potential to raise sufficient revenue to finance the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Salvatore Capasso
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper presents a model in which credit-constrained firms might delay the adoption of new and more productive technologies because of the very high external financing costs they face. Our point of departure is that the efficiency of the banking system can have a profound impact on real resource and investment allocation not only directly, by reducing the amount of resources channelled to the credit market, but also indirectly by affecting entrepreneurs' investment decisions. Along these lines of reasoning we develop a model of information asymmetries in the credit market in which high costs of processing bank loan applications might obstruct investments in high-tech projects and favour, instead, low-return, self-financed investments in mature sectors. The result is that these kinds of costs have a negative impact on the average capital productivity and on the rate of economic growth. In specific circumstances, the combination of these costs and the dynamics of capital accumulation can be such that the economy incurs in a 'technology trap', in which new technologies, even if readily available, will never be adopted because of high frictions and inefficiencies in the credit market, a situation that seems to be relevant to many developing countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Ilene Grabel
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores two proposals to tax financial flows in developing economies—the package of policies implemented to various degrees by Chile and Colombia during the 1990s, widely referred to today as the Chilean model—and securities transactions taxes (STTs). I find that each provides a viable mechanism to raise revenue in some developing countries. Both can be introduced unilaterally (with the prospect of multilateral coordination in the future); both are progressive in their incidence, and in the case of the STT, represents an administratively manageable form of revenue collection. I also find that each entails double dividends that manifest in greater domestic and international macroeconomic stability.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: John Micklewright, Anna Wright
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Charitable donations by private individuals and firms can help fund the Millennium Development Goals. What are the prospects for increasing donations for international development, whether from small-scale donors, the super-rich (as in the recent gifts by Bill Gates and Ted Turner), or the corporate sector? The paper starts by reviewing how large are the sums currently given in OECD countries (including gifts of time) and the problems development has in competing with domestic causes. It then looks at possibilities for the future, including tax deductions, the new 'global funds', corporate social responsibility and 'cause-related marketing', the use of the Internet, and long-term donor education.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Third World