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  • Author: J.W. Sanders, Ukachukwu Ndukwu
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Reasoning about a distributed system that exhibits a combination of probabilistic and temporal behaviour does not seem to be easy with current techniques. The reason is the interaction between probability and abstraction, made worse by remote synchronisation. In this paper the recently proposed language ptsc (for probability, time and shared-variable concurrency) is extended by constructs for interleaving and local block. Both enhance a designer's ability to modularise a design; the latter also permits a design to be compared with its more abstract specification, by concealing appropriately chosen design variables. Laws of the extended language are studied and applied in a case study consisting of a faulty register-transfer-level design.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Organization, United Nations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Vicar Valencia, William E. Griffiths, D.S. Prasada Rao, Duangkamon Chotikapanich
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the nature and extent of global and regional income distribution and inequality using the most recent country level data on income distribution drawn from World Bank and UNU-WIDER studies for the period 1993–2000. The methodology used is a recently developed technique to fit flexible income distributions to limited aggregated data. Empirical results show a very high degree of global inequality, but with some evidence of inequality decreasing between the two years.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Globalization
  • Author: Erik Thorbecke
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The evolution of the development doctrine over the last six decades is analysed in some detail in this paper. The development doctrine is defined as the body of knowledge consisting of four interrelated components: (1) the prevailing development objectives; (2) the conceptual state of the art relating to development theories, models, techniques and applications; (3) the underlying data system; and (4) the resulting development strategy. The main contributions and changes in these four components are traced through, decade by decade, starting with the 1950s.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Politics, Third World
  • Author: James C. MacGee
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Does the existence of formal title to land and real estate matter for the distribution of wealth? This paper reviews the empirical literature on the economic impact of land and real estate administration systems across countries. This paper argues that a functioning credit market for secured credit is necessary to realize the full benefits of legal title to private real estate. This paper also reviews quantitative economic theory on wealth distribution to assess the likely impact of different land registration systems on wealth inequality. The implication of current theory is that poor land administration systems may sometimes lead to lower levels of wealth inequality than better land registration systems.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Economics, Markets
  • Author: Frances Stewart
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The design of policies towards countries where major conflicts have ended is becoming a major issue in the development agenda partly because of the numbers of countries where such policy is relevant and partly because their situation tends to be among the most desperate. This paper is concerned with one major requirement in reconstruction policies that is often overlooked: that is to design policies which will reduce the horizontal inequalities which are often a major source of conflict. If they do not, there will be a danger of renewed mobilization around them and a further outbreak of violence. The paper reviews the range of policies which would contribute to reducing horizontal inequalities. It also considers some political issues surrounding such policies, including potential political risks which can arise in adopting these types of policy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development, Peace Studies
  • Author: Fang Cai, Meiyan Wang
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper describes and decomposes wage differences between female and male workers. The results indicate that females receive low wages because of unequal pay within sectors, and that the wage gap caused by the difference in sectoral attainment is small. The results also reveal that a lion's share of the wage differential between females and males is attributable to discrimination rather than to the human capital difference between the genders. Eliminating discriminations against females with a focus on intra-sectoral inequality is crucial for reducing female/male wage differentials.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Christian Rogg
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers asset holdings in rural Ethiopia. It shows that households own mostly non-financial assets and that the composition of asset portfolios varies significantly with the household's overall wealth and its exposure to uncertainty. As regards the distribution of assets, inequality is lowest for land holdings and much higher for all other assets. More generally, asset inequality is higher than consumption inequality but, somewhat surprisingly, lower than income inequality. Less surprising is the finding that asset holdings are positively correlated with income and consumption. An analysis of how asset holdings vary with key demographic variables shows that assets increase with the size of the household and the education of the household head. Finally, the paper concludes by exploring the role that assets play in marriage markets in rural Ethiopia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Frikkie Booysen, Ronelle Burger, Servaas van der Berg, Michael von Maltitz
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study uses an asset index of consumer durables to track changes in household wealth in Ghana during the recent period of strong growth. Using the Ghana Living Standards Survey of 1998 that contains both wealth data and consumer durable data, the authors demonstrate that the asset index approximate marketable wealth adequately. Although asset index estimates of wealth cannot match the precision of wealth surveys, this approach can provide useful information on marketable wealth in countries where more appropriate sources are not available. The asset index analysis with the three demographic and health surveys for 1993, 1998 and 2003 suggests that the solid economic growth seen over this period has been accompanied by a strong rise in the average asset index scores.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Juliano Assunção
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Land and wealth are closely related in rural Brazil, a country characterized by high levels of inequality in terms of income or landholdings. After presenting a historical retrospective of land concentration and land reform in Brazil, this study evaluates the impact of the land reform programme undertaken in the 1990s on land ownership and land distribution. It is shown that the programme increased landownership among poor rural families and those with less educated household heads, reducing the fraction of the other families with landholding. Also, the land reform programme increased land inequality among landowners.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Ying Chu Ng
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Gender earnings differentials in urban China by region and their changes during the first decade of economic reform are examined. It is found that the female–male earnings ratio increased during the early stage of reform. The male earnings premium, overall, showed an increasing trend in the later stage of reform. Decomposition of the gender earnings differential reveals that a relatively lower percentage of the differential could be explained by gender differences in productive characteristics in the fast growing regions and in regions with a rapid pace of reform. The cross-sectional results highlight the possible existence of gender discrimination, particularly in the later stages of economic reform and development. Both market competition and the effects of wage decentralization play a role in shaping the gender earnings differentials. Gender earnings differentials varied by region and over time, generally in tandem with the pace of economic reform and development. The decomposition of the overtime changes in the earnings gap indicated that improvement in females' productive characteristics during the reform period constantly enhanced the earnings of females relative to those of males. The overtime changes in the returns to females' characteristics, however, work to counter any narrowing of the gender earnings gap.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Shi Li, Ximing Yue, Terry Sicular, Björn Gustafsson
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Using new household survey data for 1995 and 2002, we investigate the size of China's urban-rural income gap, the gap's contribution to overall inequality in China, and the factors underlying the gap. Our analysis improves on past estimates by using a fuller measure of income, adjusting for spatial price differences and including migrants. Our methods include inequality decomposition by population subgroup and the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition. Several key findings emerge. First, the adjustments substantially reduce China's urban-rural income gap and its contribution to inequality. Nevertheless, the gap remains large and has increased somewhat over time. Second, after controlling for household characteristics, location of residence remains the most important factor underlying the urban-rural income gap. The only household characteristic that contributes substantially to the gap is education. Differences in the endowments of, and returns to, other household characteristics such as family size and composition, landholdings, and communist party membership are relatively unimportant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: George Cheriyan
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, a series of events in India have brought the question of food security into sharp focus. Vast famine-affected areas versus surplus production and stocks of grains, the impact of globalization and World Trade Organization laws on agriculture and farmers, the media's spotlight on starvation deaths and, finally, the Supreme Court of India's strong reaction to the plight of the hungry—all make a case for recognizing the right to food.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Nira Ramachandran
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The food security scenario in South Asia has witnessed rapid progress over the last few decades, yet nutrition outcomes, especially those related to women and children, have failed to keep pace. This paper contends that the role of women in providing food and nutrition security at the household and individual level needs to be examined, if the paradox of persisting malnutrition amid macro level food sufficiency is to be resolved. Food security, in its broader connotation, results from the availability of adequate food, effective consumption, and desirable nutrition outcomes. As such, it is intricately linked with a woman's multiple roles expressed in her productive, reproductive, and caring functions. However, even focussed efforts aimed at resolving the problems faced by women in performing one or other of their roles, may fail to produce expected results, if the issues underlying each function and their inter-linkages are not fully understood. The paper thus attempts to review various aspects of the relationship between women and food security in South Asia, highlight the issues that require urgent focus and indicate emerging concerns in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia
  • Author: Ramesh Chand
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Agriculture contributes substantially to output and employment in South Asian countries. Therefore, any change, like trade liberalization, that impacts on the agriculture sector has widespread ramifications in terms of employment, nutrition, livelihood and food security. Implementation of various provisions of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture causes serious concern with regard to the performance of the agriculture sector and food security, and these countries have become quite sensitive to consequences of future WTO agreements. The cautious approach towards the WTO is mainly caused by the increased dependence on food imports and deterioration in self-reliance in agriculture in the post-WTO period because of a much higher growth in food import as compared to exports. Decline in international prices and trade distortions are the underlying causes for an adverse impact on agriculture during the post-WTO period. South Asian countries should address these two issues in future negotiations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia
  • Author: Manju Balana, Pradeep Bhargava
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Basic human rights recognize the intrinsic value of freedom, only not for the value of freedom itself, but also for its instrumental role enabling an individual to choose a bundle of commodities and wellbeing. The role of food, a basic necessity of life, in fostering freedom is important, to say the least. South Asian countries have witnessed a substantial increase in food production but nutritional emergency prevails in large regions indicating both failure in food distribution and the lack of capacity to acquire food. Acquiring food is intrinsically related to the availability of work, and people's capacity to undertake work.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia
  • Author: Andrei Rachinsky, Sergei Guriev
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study discusses the evolution of personal wealth in transition economies. While data availability is still a problem, the available indirect evidence suggests privatization has resulted in an increase in personal wealth but also in personal wealth inequality, especially in the countries that lagged behind in building effective institutions. Another source of wealth inequality is the high income inequality due to wage decompression coupled with the low saving rates among the poor. We pay a special attention to one of the most noticeable implications of this rise in personal wealth and wealth inequality— the emergence of so called 'oligarchs'. Using the comprehensive dataset of Muscovites' incomes we show that surveys that do not take into account the first- and second-tier rich (billionaires and millionaires) may drastically underestimate inequality.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: D. Jayaraj, S. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the principal source of India's wealth distribution statistics, which is constituted by the five decennial Reserve Bank of India National Sample Survey Organization Surveys on Debt and Investment of 1961-62, 1971-72, 1981-82, 1991-92, and 2002-03. The data available are described, critically appraised, and analyzed to present some salient findings in terms of the levels of debt, the levels of asset-holdings across the states of the Indian Union and over time, wealth composition, and aspects of vertical and horizontal inequality in the distribution of wealth. The centrality of land and real estate in the wealth status of India is underlined, and some broad aspects of redistributive anti-poverty policy are spelt out.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Cheryl R. Doss, Carmen Diana Deere
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Only recently has it been recognized that women may not share in the wealth of men, even within the same household or family. Moreover, there is growing evidence that the gender distribution of wealth matters. This paper first reviews the available evidence for developing countries on the gender asset gap and finds that it is significant. It then considers the constraints on women's asset ownership with particular attention to the role of legal marital and inheritance regimes. The paper then turns to a more detailed examination of women's land ownership in Latin America and Africa. The final section considers the impact of women's land ownership on household income and welfare.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Seymour Spilerman, Florencia Torche
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper provides a descriptive analysis of wealth ownership and wealth inequality in Latin American countries, using diverse published sources and primary data analysis for 16 nations. We produce estimates of the distribution of home ownership, land, and financial assets, and find very high wealth concentration in all these types of assets, with the partial exception home ownership. The relevance of informal assets and the historical patterns of wealth accumulation and concentration since colonial times are discussed. Mechanisms of intergenerational wealth transmission are analyzed for the Chilean case.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since 1992 Ethiopia has been engaged in liberalizing its financial sector. The hallmark of the strategy is gradualism. The approach is not without problems especially from Bretton Woods Institutions that saw the reform as a sluggish process. This study examines this liberalization program by analyzing the performance of the sector before and after the reform. The study notes that given the nascent development of the financial sector in the country, the relatively good shape in which the existing financial institutions find themselves, and given that supervision and regulation capacity of the regulating agency is weak, the government's strategy of gradualism and its over all reform direction is encouraging. However, we argue for charting out clearly defined time frame for liberalization and exploring the possibility of engaging with foreign banks to acquire new technology that enhance the efficiency of the financial sector in general and the banking sector in particular.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia