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 Human Welfare Remove constraint Topic: Human Welfare
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Channing Arndt, M. Azhar Hussain, E. Samuel Jones, Virgulino Nhate, Finn Tarp1, James Thurlow
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Measuring poverty remains a complex and contentious issue. This is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa where poverty rates are higher, information bases typically weaker, and the underlying determinants of welfare relatively volatile. This paper employs recently collected data on household consumption in Mozambique to examine the evolution of consumption poverty with focus on the period 2002/03 to 2008/09. The paper contributes in four areas. First, the period in question was characterized by major movements in international commodity prices. Mozambique provides an illuminating case study of the implications of these world commodity price changes for living standards of poor people. Second, a novel 'backcasting' approach using a computable general equilibrium model of Mozambique, linked to a poverty module.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Mehmet Arda
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The importance of supermarkets in the world food economy has increased radically since the early 1990s. They are now major sellers and buyers of food items not only in developed but also in developing countries. Urbanization and the liberalization of the services sector have been important facilitators of this process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Zhang-Yue Zhou
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A comparative study of the public distribution systems of foodgrains in India and China is expected to reveal lessons and experiences that are valuable to policymakers. This is particularly important for developing countries in their endeavour to ensure food security. This paper undertakes such an exercise. The main features and developments of the two public distribution systems are first highlighted. This is followed by a comparative analysis of their similarities and differences. The role of public foodgrain distribution systems in ensuring food security is then evaluated. Finally, policy implications are drawn.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Prasanta K. Pattanaik, Craig Gundersen, Indranil Dutta
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Food insecurity and hunger have traditionally been measured by aggregate food supplies or by variables correlated with food insecurity. Because these measures often poorly reflect individuals' true deprivation, economists have turned to surveys with direct questions about food insecurity. Using these surveys, households have then been classified into broad categories, a classification system which ignores the richness of the multiple questions. In this paper, we propose food insecurity measures, along the lines of the well established poverty measures, which incorporates this richness and allow us to reflect the depth and severity, in addition to the incidence, of food insecurity. Using these indices, we calculate the extent of food insecurity and hunger in the United States. Along with giving a richer picture of food insecurity in the US, these food insecurity measures demonstrates that the ordering of various demographic categories differs depends on the choice of measure.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Benjamin Davis, Kathleen Beegle, Gero Caretto, Mauro Migotto
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Food security is a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon. As such, its measurement may entail and benefit from the combination of both 'qualitative-subjective' and 'quantitative-objective' indicators. Yet, the evidence on the external validity of subjective-type information is scarce, especially using representative household surveys. The aim of this paper is to compare information on self-perceived food consumption adequacy from the subjective modules of household surveys with standard quantitative indicators, namely calorie consumption, dietary diversity and anthropometry. Datasets from four countries are analysed: Albania, Indonesia, Madagascar and Nepal. Simple descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients, contingency tables and multivariate regression show that the 'subjective' indicator is at best poorly correlated with standard quantitative indicators. The paper concludes that while subjective food adequacy indicators may provide insight on the vulnerability dimension of food insecurity, they are too blunt an indicator for food insecurity targeting. An effort towards developing improved subjective food security modules that are contextually sensitive should go hand in hand with research into how to improve household survey data for food security measurement along other dimensions of the phenomenon, particularly calorie consumption.
  • Topic: Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Indonesia, Asia, Nepal, Albania, Madagascar
  • Author: Stephen Bach
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The consequences of health professional mobility have become a prominent public policy concern. This paper considers trends in mobility amongst doctors and nurses and the consequences for health systems. Policy responses are shifting from a reactive agenda that focuses on stemming migration towards a more active agenda of managed migration that benefits source and destination countries. Improved working conditions and effective human resource practice are required to encourage retention of health professionals in both source and destination countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Health, Human Welfare, Migration
  • Author: Sonia Bhalotra
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the extent to which the decline in child mortality over the last three decades can be attributed to economic growth. In doing this, it exploits the considerable variation in growth over this period, across states and over time. The analysis is able to condition upon a number of economic and demographic variables. The estimates are used to produce a crude estimate of the rate of economic growth that would be necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the under-5 mortality by two-thirds, from its level in 1990, by the year 2015. The main conclusion is that, while growth does have a significant impact on mortality risk, growth alone cannot be relied upon to achieve the goal.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: S.S. Acharya
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: India accounts for 16.7 per cent of the world's food consumers. With the exception of China, India's size in terms of food consumers is many times larger than the average size of the rest of the countries. At the time of independence in 1947, India was in the grip of a serious food crisis, which was accentuated by the partition of the country. The demand for food far exceeded supply, food prices were high and more than half of the population living below the poverty line with inadequate purchasing power. With high rates of population growth, the dependence on imported food increased further. However, the situation improved considerably after the mid-1960s, when new agricultural development strategy and food policies were adopted. The production of staple cereals increased substantially, mainly contributed by productivity improvements. The dependence on food imports decreased and the country became a marginal net exporter of cereals. There was also an improvement in physical and economic access of households to cereals and other nutritive food products. The proportion of households reporting hunger went down and the incidence of economic poverty reduced. This paper reviews the Indian approach to tackling the severe problem of food insecurity, which India faced immediately after independence. It reviews the evolution of food policy, the major policy instruments deployed, intervention in food marketing system, and the current status of food security/insecurity. The paper also identifies the lessons emerging from the experience of India. In developing countries characterized by large segments of the rural population dependent on food production for livelihood and by the high incidence of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, the strategy to improve food security must encompass programmes to increase food production that combine improved technology transfer, price support to food producers and supply of inputs at reasonable prices to farmers, improvements in food marketing system, employment generation, direct food assistance programmes, and improvement in the access to education and primary health care.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: K.L. Sharma
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the status of food security in selected South Pacific Island countries, namely Cook Islands, Fiji Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu at the national and household levels during the period 1991-2002. Due to narrow resource base and production conditions, Pacific Islands concentrate on a few primary commodities for production and exports. During recent years import dependency for food items has increased mainly due to a decline in per capita food production and a rapid rate of rural-urban migration. Currently, export earnings can finance food imports but earnings could fall short of the requirements needed after the expiry of some commodity preferential price agreements with importing countries. National food security is dependent on the continuation of subsistence farming and tapping ocean resources in conjunction with the on-going commercial farming of those crops in which Pacific Islands have a comparative advantage. Increased productivity is crucial for improving agricultural performance through government investment in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension, irrigation and appropriate price incentives. This would also help alleviate poverty for improvement in economic accessibility of food by households. There is also a need to design appropriate disaster risk management programmes to minimize any adverse effects on the food supply.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Australia/Pacific, Solomon Islands, Papua, Guinea, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji
  • Author: Vasco Molini
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Analysing the performance of ten developing countries, Hoddinot and Yohannes (2002) find a strong association between two measures of food security (calorie intake and mostly dietary diversity) and the increase in expenditures per capita. Using various indicators of food security, we describe the changes in food balances in Vietnam and find evidence of a substitution of poor micronutrients items (rice and cereals) with rich ones like fruit, vegetables fish and meat. Poor households, while increasing the amount of calories consumed, still lack vitamins, iron, calcium, etc. A preliminary assessment of the food security variation showed that improvements were, as expected, more concentrated among the richer Vietnamese households than the poor ones, although there was some improvement among poorer strata as well. We also focus on the calorie/expenditure elasticity and compare results for the years 1993 and 1998. Our findings confirm that this link is strong, and show that calorie income elasticity changed in the expected direction. We conclude that in general food security improved in Vietnam during 1990s although considerable differences still remain among expenditure deciles and among regions due to the accentuated spatial difference.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Samuel K. Gayi
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper examines the state of food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), based on an analysis of a selection of indicators of food security and nutritional wellbeing during the period 1990-2002 within the context of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. It argues that it may be advisable for those SSA countries with both static and dynamic comparative advantage in agriculture to pursue policies towards 'food self-sufficiency' as a means to attaining food security, considering their large rural farming population, at least until such time that international trade in agriculture is fully integrated into the WTO disciplines. This is particularly relevant in view of the fact that high agricultural protectionism in the north currently distorts price signals and thus the opportunity costs of allocating factors of production in these economies. The SSA countries that lack comparative advantage in agriculture may want to aim for a 'food self-reliance' strategy to attain food security.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance
  • 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: 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: 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: S. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In a heterogeneous population which can be partitioned into well-defined subgroups, it is plausible that the extent of measured aggregate poverty should depend upon the distribution of poverty across the subgroups. A judgment in favour of an equal inter-group distribution of poverty could arise in two ways. In the first approach, equality is upheld as an intrinsic social virtue, and the aggregate measure of poverty, in line with this view, is 'adjusted' to reflect the extent of inter-group disparity in the distribution of poverty that obtains. In the present paper, this approach is examined, with specific reference to the advancement of a diagrammatic aid to analysis called the group poverty profile. In the second approach, equality is upheld for instrumental reasons which arise from the observed fact that any individual's level of deprivation is a function not only of one's own income, but of the general level of prosperity of the group to which one is affiliated. Individual deprivation functions are specialized to a form which reflects this 'group-affiliation' externality, and the resulting poverty measure is studied with respect to its properties, and its implications for inter-group equity. The analysis is briefly extended to a review of the measurement of literacy, along externality-motivated lines suggested elsewhere by Basu and Foster. The paper concludes that social realism in the measurement of deprivation is often compromised by mainstream approaches to economic theorizing in which both heterogeniety and group-related externalities are generally de-emphasized.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • 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: 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: B. Oluwatayo
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of income risk on the level of well-being of rural households in Nigeria. While income risk is defined as the risks associated with variability in income well-being is defined in terms of the level of utility reached by a given individual. This level is a function of goods and services that the individual consumes. The study is based on primary data collected from a sample of 285 households in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Analysis of the data revealed that household heads' age, years of formal education, household size, size of land cultivated and total expenditure (on food and non-food items) are major determinants of income risks among households in the study area. Also, going by the indices of various social indicators of well-being considered, it was revealed that income risk impacts negatively on the well-being of households in the study area.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • 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: Peter Burnell
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study is premised on the view that reports circulating in the 1990s, claiming foreign aid was in terminal crisis, were premature. Aid's reviving fortunes are explained in terms both of a growing awareness of the uneven implications of globalization and the after-effects of the terrorist events of 11 September 2001. However these two 'drivers' make uneasy partners. Furthermore, aid for democratization, argued in the 1990s to be an instrument for indirectly addressing socioeconomic weakness and improving development aid's effectiveness—making it a positive feature in a bleak decade—is increasingly seen as problematic. For now, aid's resurgence should target pro-poor development rather than democratic reform, although the likelihood is that old fashioned determinants of realpolitik will continue to get in the way.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: S. Mansoob Murshed, Scott Gates
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The Maoist insurgency in Nepal is one of the highest intensity internal conflicts in recent times. Investigation into the causes of the conflict would suggest that grievance rather than greed is the main motivating force. The concept of horizontal or inter-group inequality, with both an ethnic and caste dimension, is highly relevant in explaining the Nepalese civil war. There is also a spatial aspect to the conflict, which is most intense in the most disadvantaged areas in terms of human development indicators and land holdings. Using the intensity of conflict (fatalities) as the dependent variable and HDI indicators and landlessness as explanatory variables, we find that the intensity of conflict across the districts of Nepal is significantly explained by the degree of inequalities.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Abebe Shimeles, Arne Bigsten
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines trends in income distribution and its linkages to economic growth and poverty reduction in order to understand the prospects for achieving poverty reduction in Africa. We examine the levels and trends in income distribution in some African countries and calculate pro-poor growth indices. Different growth patterns are simulated for Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, and South Africa. We conclude that the balance between policies aimed at growth and measures aimed at redistribution should depend on the elasticity of the growth-equity tradeoff. We also discuss what the appropriate ingredients of a pro-poor strategy would be in the African setting.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia
  • Author: Oleksiy Ivaschenko
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of changes in poverty and public health spending on inter-temporal variations in longevity using a unique regional-level dataset that covers 77 regions of Russia over the period 1994-2000. The dynamic panel data model is used as a tool for the empirical analysis. The model is estimated using the Arellano-Bond dynamic panel data estimator. The changes in regional levels of poverty and real per capita public health expenditure are identified to be significant determinants of the variations observed in longevity over time. The empirical results indicate that while male life expectancy responds more strongly than female life expectancy to economic circumstances, the latter appears to be more predisposed to the influence of public health spending. The results support the idea that the (positive) effect of public health spending on life expectancy is larger for those regions that experience higher incidences of poverty. The paper also finds that the financial crisis which hit Russia at the end of 1998 had a significant negative effect on longevity independently of the factors directly related to poverty and public health spending.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Abebe Shimeles, Arne Bigsten
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper addresses issues related to the dynamics of income poverty using unique household panel data for urban and rural areas of Ethiopia covering the period 1994-97. The percentage of households that remained in poverty was twice as large in urban areas as in rural areas. This suggests that income variability is a serious problem in rural areas, while the persistence is a key feature of urban poverty. The paper also discusses household characteristics that are correlated with the incidence of chronic poverty as well as vulnerability to poverty. A strategy that promotes consumption smoothing through say access to credit can work well in rural areas, while income or employment generation are required for poverty alleviation in urban areas.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Mozaffar Qizilbash
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: It is often argued that multi-dimensional measures of well-being and poverty—such as those based on the capability approach and related views—are ad hoc. Rankings based on them are not, for this reason, robust to changes in the selection of weights used. In this paper, it is argued that the extent of potential arbitrariness and the range of issues relating to robustness have been underestimated in this context. Several issues relating to both the identification of the poor and the use of dimension-specific data are distinguished. These issues are then discussed in the context of the inter-provincial ranking of poverty in South Africa in 1995-6. It turns out that this ranking is fairly robust, and that some important policy-relevant results about the distinction between 'income'/'expenditure' and 'human' poverty for the South African context are reinforced rather than undermined by checking for robustness. In particular, while KwaZulu Natal is in the best three in terms of the standard expenditure measures for various choices of poverty line, it is third worst in terms of all the multi-dimensional rankings presented here.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Kathryn Anderson, Richard Pomfret
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on inequality in living standards across oblasts and regions within Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Regional inequality is an important area of research and policy development. Inequality in income and consumption are logical outcomes in a market-based economic system. If inequality within countries exists because of barriers to competition, then inequality can foment internal tension, and economic and social development within countries is negatively affected. We examine Living Standards Measurement data from Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, and Kazakhstan and additional survey data from Uzbekistan. We find that the most important explanations for the variation in expenditures per capita in the region are household location, household composition, and education. We find large variation in per capita expenditure by location within each country, and the differences go beyond the simple rural-urban distinction. Family structure is also important, and in all countries, having a university educated household head significantly improves household welfare; expenditures are higher in these households than in households with less educated heads. We examine inequality in access to community services and find that provision of public goods reinforces regional inequality patterns in expenditures that we measure among households. The poorest households are likely to live in communities with the lowest access to public services.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Henning Tarp Jensen, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we calibrate two static computable general equilibrium (CGE) models with respectively 16 and 5,999 representative households. Aggregated and disaggregated household categories are consistently embedded in a 2000 social accounting matrix for Vietnam, mapping on a one-to-one basis to each other. Distinct differences in poverty assessments emerge when the impact of trade liberalization is analyzed in the two models. This highlights the importance of modeling micro household behavior and related income and expenditure distributions endogenously within a static CGE model framework. Our simulations indicate that poverty will rise following a revenue-neutral lowering of trade taxes. This is interpreted as a worst case scenario, which suggests that government should be proactive in combining trade liberalization measures with a propoor fiscal response to avoid increasing poverty in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • 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: Michael Grimm
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: I use a dynamic microsimulation model to analyse the distributional effects of an expansion of education in Côte d'Ivoire in the medium and long term. The simulations are performed in order to replicate several policies in force or subject to debate in this country. Various hypotheses concerning the evolution of returns to education and labour demand are tested. The direct effects between education and income as well as the different transmission channels, such as occupational choices, fertility, and household composition, are analysed. The effects of educational expansion on the growth of household incomes, their distribution and poverty depend very crucially on the hypothesis made on the evolution of returns to education and labour demand. If returns to education remain constant and the labour market segmented, the effects will be very modest.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Andrew Sumner
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the measurement of poverty and well-being. A historical overview is given of the last fifty years. This is followed by discussion of three groupings of indicators: those measures based primarily on economic well-being; those based on non-economic well-being and composite indicators. It is argued that the choice of indicator should reflect its purpose and that economic measures are best when quick, rough-and-ready, short run, aggregate inferences are required. In contrast, non-economic measures are better when greater depth on medium- or longer-term trends and/or dis-aggregation are required.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Mariano Rojas
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This investigation studies human well-being from a subjective well-being approach. On the basis of a Mexican database the investigation shows that there is a weak relationship between subjective well-being and indicators of well-being such as income and consumption. Therefore, subjective well-being provides additional useful information to study human well-being and, in consequence, poverty.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Steve Dowrick
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Internation comparisons of average national incomes omit important information about leisure, home production, health, etc. They are also bedevilled by index number problems. This paper suggests ways of combining working hours and life-expectancy with income comparisons, and shows that the fixed-price indexes of real income, such as those in the Penn World Table, substantially understate the income gaps between the poorest and richest countries.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • 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: 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: Mattia Romani
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There is increasing evidence to suggest that a fundamental source of information for farmers on how to access and use new agricultural technologies comes from interacting with neighbours. Economic research on adoption of innovations in a rural context has only partially addressed the issue of how the social structure of a village can affect adoption and the final impact on productivity of farmers. This paper investigates the role of proximity interpreted not only in geographical terms but also along the line of ethnic similarities among neighbours (what we define as 'social proximity'). We use a panel dataset collected in Côte d'Ivoire to define the probability of accessing the knowledge network. The main results indicate that farmers from ethnic minorities are less likely to access, and benefit less from, extension services. But they seem to try to re-equalize their condition by putting more effort than dominant ethnic group neighbours in sharing information among themselves.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: 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: Michael Bleaney, Akira Nishiyama
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The causes of the slow growth of CFA countries are investigated. There is little difference in this respect between the CFA and other sub-Saharan African countries. Since 1970, GDP growth in the CFA countries has shown no significant trend but one or two medium-term fluctuations (positive in 1979-83 and negative in 1989-93). Internationally, the income share of the poorest 20 per cent of the population of any country has improved most in poor countries, and there is no evidence that this does not apply to CFA countries also.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Fielding
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) has a history of monetary stability and low inflation. Nevertheless, there is substantial variation in relative prices within some UEMOA countries, in particular in the price of food relative to other elements of the retail price index (IHPC). Using monthly time-series data for cities within the region, we analyze the impact of changes in monetary policy instruments on the relative prices of components of the IHPC. We are then able to explore how the burden of monetary policy innovations is likely to be shared between the rich and poor.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anthony Shorrocks
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper establishes the principles which should govern the welfare and inequality analysis of heterogeneous income distributions. Two basic criteria—the 'equity preference' condition and the 'compensation principle'—are shown to be fundamentally incompatible. The paper favours the latter, thereby vindicating the traditional method of dealing with heterogeneous samples. However, inequality and welfare comparisons will usually be well defined only if equivalent incomes are obtained using constant scale factors; and researchers will need to distinguish clearly between inequality of nominal incomes and inequality of living standards. Furthermore, household observations must always be weighted according to family size.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Raimo Väyrynen
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: It is important to make a careful distinction between illegal immigration, human smuggling, and human trafficking which are nested, but yet different concepts. This distinction is relevant because these different categories of the illegal movement of people across borders have quite different legal and political consequences. Human smuggling and trafficking have become a world-wide industry that 'employs' every year millions of people and leads to the annual turnover of billions of dollars. Many of the routes and enclaves used by the smugglers have become institutionalized; for instance, from Mexico and Central America to the United States, from West Asia through Greece and Turkey to Western Europe, and within East and Southeast Asia. More often than not flourishing smuggling routes are made possible by weak legislation, lax border controls, corrupted police officers, and the power of the organized crime. Naturally, poverty and warfare contribute to the rising tide of migration, both legal and illegal.
  • Topic: Environment, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, East Asia, Greece, Asia, Latin America, Central America, North America, Mexico, Southeast Asia, Western Europe, West Asia
  • Author: Stephen Castles, Sean Loughna
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to outline trends and patterns in movements of asylumseekers to Western so-called industrialized countries from 1990-2001. The paper begins by characterizing three distinct phases of asylum migration since the end of the Second World War. It then provides background material on global refugee and asylum movements, using statistics from UNHCR. The data for selected receiving countries and regions is discussed, followed by some remarks on changing routes used by asylumseekers. The selected countries and regions are Australia, Canada, the EU and the USA. Finally, we examine some of the causal factors behind asylum migration and attempt to identify their significance upon flows migration.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Human Welfare, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, Australia
  • Author: Khalid Koser, Nicholas Van Hear
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to synthesize what is known about the influence of asylum migration on countries of origin. It combines an analysis of data, a review of the literature and empirical examples from our own research. In the first section we consider the effects of the absence of refugees on countries of origin, focusing on the scale of movements, the characteristics of refugees, where they go and their length of time in exile. In the second section, we review the evidence about the influence of asylum-seekers and refugees on their country of origin from exile. Third, we consider the implications for countries of origin of the return of asylum-seekers and refugees. The conclusion acknowledges the limited state of current knowledge and draws out some policy implications.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development, Human Welfare, Migration
  • Author: Claudia Tazreiter
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: During the last decade measures of overt and covert surveillance, information sharing and deterrence of the illegal movement of people has increased within and between states. Border security has come to dominate international relations, and increasingly to deflect the needs of asylum-seekers who search for a state that will offer them substantive protection under the Refugee Convention. Measures of internal and external deterrence diminish the reality of protection to genuine refugees as some of the most vulnerable individuals in the world today. Australia, as a country of relative geographic isolation, has not experienced the large-scale influxes of asylum-seekers seen in many parts of the world. Notwithstanding this, the Australian Government has in recent years implemented harsh policy and administrative measures directed at asylum-seekers with a substantial measure of public support. In August 2001, an incident involving 433 asylum-seekers was branded in popular discourse an 'asylum crisis'. This incident involved a Norwegian freighter, the Tampa, which picked up survivors from a sinking boat who were making their way to Australian waters in order seek protection under the Refugee Convention. The Tampa was repelled by Australian security forces from disembarking the people they had picked up in distress on Australian soil. In this article, I explore the Tampa incident against the backdrop of refugee policy development from 1999. I argue that rather than responding to a crisis, the Australian government has generated the perception of a crisis in the Australian community. Implications of the Australian response to asylum-seekers are significant not only in the Asia/Pacific region, but further afield, as policy responses toward asylum-seekers by receiving states have converged in the recent past.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Human Welfare, Migration
  • Political Geography: Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Ritva Reinikka, Jakob Svensson
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Using panel data from an unique survey of public primary schools in Uganda we assess the degree of leakage of public funds in education. The survey data reveal that on average, during the period 1991-95, schools received only 13 percent of what the central government contributed to the schools' non-wage expenditures. The bulk of the allocated spending was either used by public officials for purposes unrelated to education or captured for private gain (leakage). Moreover we find that resource flows and leakages are endogenous to school characteristics. Rather than being passive recipients of flows from government, schools use their bargaining power vis-à-vis other parts of government to secure greater shares of funding. Resources are therefore not necessarily allocated according to the rules underlying government budget decisions, with potential equity and efficiency implications.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Finn Tarp, Tarp Jensen Henning
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper makes use of a 1997 computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to analyse three potential strategies that Mozambique can pursue unilaterally with a view to initiating a sustainable development process. They include (i) an agriculture-first strategy, (ii) an agricultural-development led industrialization (ADLI) strategy, and (iii) a primary-sector export-oriented strategy. The ADLI strategy dominates the other development strategies since important synergy effects in aggregate welfare arise from including key agro-industry sectors into the agriculture-first development strategy. Moreover, the ADLI strategy can be designed so it has a relatively strong impact on the welfare of the poorest poverty-stricken households, and still maintain the politically sensitive factorial distribution of income.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa