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  • 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: 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: Anthony B. Atkinson
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), substantial additional external funding needs to be mobilized. Estimates differ, but a 'ballpark' figure is an annual increase of US$50 billion. This could be achieved by a doubling of official development assistance (ODA). Welcome steps have been made in that direction, but this takes time, and time is of the essence. For this reason alone, it is necessary to consider new sources.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthew Odedokun
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: External development finance consists of those foreign sources of funds that promote or at least have the potential to promote development in the destination countries if delivered in the appropriate form. This rather broad definition qualifies all forms of external finance, and the quality and quantity of their inflows to developing countries are thus covered in the studies that form the background to this Policy Brief. These include official bilateral and multilateral, private commercial, and private noncommercial flows. A common characteristic is that all these types of flows are inadequate or becoming inadequate on the one hand and that their distribution is lopsided geographically and/or temporally, on the other.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Author: Christina Boswell, Jeff Crisp
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In recent years, the issues of international migration and asylum have risen to the top of the international agenda. The pressures and opportunities linked to the process of globalization have led to an increase in the number of people moving from one country and continent to another. At the same time, insecurity and armed conflict in many of the world's poorest and economically marginalized states have triggered new waves of displaced people.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Poverty, United Nations
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper uses an aid disaggregation approach to examine the impact of different types of aid on the fiscal sector of the aid-recipient country. It uses time-series data on different types of aid (project aid, programme aid, technical assistance and food aid) for Uganda, an important aid recipient in recent years, to estimate a model of fiscal response in the presence of aid which combines aid disaggregation and endogenous aid. The empirical findings clearly suggest the importance of the above approach for delving deeper into aid effectiveness issues since different aid categories have different effects on key fiscal variables—an impact that could not be revealed if a single figure for aid was employed. More precisely, project aid and food aid appear to cause a reduction in public investment whereas programme aid and technical assistance are positively related to public investment. The same applies for government consumption. A negligible impact on government tax and non-tax revenues, and a strong displacement of government borrowing are also found.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • 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: Machiko Nissanke
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper assesses the potential of currency transaction taxes (CTT, widely known as the Tobin tax), to raise revenue for global development. Though Tobin proposed and others assessed CTTs in terms of reducing exchange rate volatility and improving macroeconomic policy environments, this paper considers the CTT first and foremost from the standpoint of revenue. With a view of establishing a 'permissible' range of tax rates to obtain realistic estimates of revenue potential, it first reviews the debate over the effects of CTT on market liquidity and the efficiency of foreign exchange markets, and assesses the Spahn proposal for a two-tier currency tax. It then moves to a discussion of the technical and political feasibility of CTT, followed by an evaluation of several new proposals, such as those advanced by Schmidt and Mendez. The paper presents revenue estimates from CTT in light of recent changes in the composition and structure of foreign exchange markets.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Tony Addison, Abdur R. Chowdhury
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The world lottery market now amounts to at least US$126 billion in sales. World market sales for all gaming products (public, charitable and commercial) total some US$1 trillion, of which Internet gambling accounts for US$32 billion. This paper assesses the prospects for harnessing this large and growing market for the purposes of development finance by means of a global lottery and a global premium bond (with the successful UK scheme providing a model for the latter). Each has different strengths: the global lottery can add to the supply of grant finance for development, while the global premium bond could be an attractive savings instrument for ethical investors. The paper concludes that global versions of both a lottery and a premium bond are viable and complementary in mobilizing more development finance.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: George J. Borjas
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The most important economic feature of immigration to the United States in the post-1965 period has been a significant deterioration in the economic performance of successive immigrant waves. The policy reaction to this trend would obviously differ if the entry wage disadvantage disappeared quickly, as the immigrants assimilated in the American economy and acquired skills and information valuable in the American labour market. This paper examines the determinants of economic assimilation, and discusses how the experience of earlier immigrant waves can provide valuable information about the assimilation process the new immigrants will likely experience.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper documents the convergence of incomes across Indian states over the period 1965 to 1998. It departs from traditional analyses of convergence by tracking the evolution of the entire income distribution, instead of standard regression and time series analyses. The findings reveal twin-peaks dynamics-the existence of two income convergence clubs, one at 50 per cent, another at 125 per cent of the national average income. Income disparities across states seem to have declined over the 1960s, only to increase over the subsequent three decades. The observed polarization is strongly explained by the disparate distribution of infrastructure, and that of education, and to an extent by a number of macroeconomic indicators; that of capital expenditure and fiscal deficits.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Using panel data this paper examines the effects of institutions on the success of reforms and integration in the Maghreb. Institutional quality measures are developed using fuzzy-set based transformations of civil liberties and political rights. We posit that these transformations are quite appropriate given the nature of freedom indicators. We show that using fuzzy-set transformed measures provides useful insights regarding the quality of institutions in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Furthermore, our empirical results suggest that institutions play a significant role in the success or failure of economic reforms. This conclusion is in clear contrast to views that propose a sequencing in which civil liberties and political rights should come after economic reforms are already in place and fully operational.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Algeria, North Africa, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Anthony Shorrocks, Stanislav Kolenikov
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper applies a new decomposition technique to the study of variations in poverty across the regions of Russia. The procedure, which is based on the Shapley value in cooperative game theory, allows the deviation in regional poverty levels from the all- Russia average to be attributed to three proximate sources; mean income per capita, inequality, and local prices. Contrary to expectation, regional poverty variations turn out to be due more to differences in inequality across regions than to differences in real income per capita. However, when real income per capita is split into nominal income and price components, differences in nominal incomes emerge as more important than either inequality or price effects for the majority of regions.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Luc Christiaensen, Lionel Demery, Stefano Paternostro
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study traces the interactions between economic growth, income inequality and consumption poverty in a sample of African countries during the 1990s. It draws on the much-improved household data sets now available in the region. It finds that experiences have varied: some countries have seen sharp falls in income poverty; others have witnessed marked increases. Economic growth has been 'pro-poor' in that the incomes of poor households have typically grown at similar or faster rates than average income. But the aggregate numbers hide significant and systematic distributional effects which have caused some groups and regions to be left behind. The paper explores the contours of these effects, and draws three key conclusions. First, agricultural market liberalization has been conducive to reductions in rural poverty. Second, market connectedness is crucial for poor producers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by economic growth. Some regions and households by virtue of their sheer remoteness have been left behind when growth picks up. The availability of infrastructure (especially roads) and proximity to markets are crucial. And finally risks, such as rainfall variations and ill health are found to have profound effects on poverty outcomes, underscoring the significance of social protection in poverty reduction strategies in Africa.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Almas Heshmati
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we present two composite indices of globalization. The first is based on the Kearney/Foreign Policy magazine and the second is obtained from principal component analysis. They indicate which countries have become most globalized and show how globalization has developed over time. The indices are composed of four components: economic integration, personal contact, technology and political engagement, each generated from a number of variables. A breakdown of the index into major components provides possibilities to identify sources of globalization and associate it with economic policy measures. The empirical results show that a low rank in the globalization process is due to political and personal factors with limited possibility for the developing countries to affect. The high ranked developed countries share similar patterns in distribution of various components. The indices were also used in a regression analysis to study the causal relationship between income inequality and globalization. Globalization indices explain only 7 to 11 per cent of the variations in income inequality among countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization
  • Author: Ruslan Yemtsov
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses regional data on inequality and poverty in Russia during 1994-2000 using published series from the regionally representative Household Budget Survey. The paper finds that the share of inequality in Russia coming from the between-regions component is large (close to a third of the total inequality), growing, and accounts for most of the increase in national inequality over 1994-2000. The paper demonstrates an absence of interregional convergence in incomes across Russian regions using various techniques. On the other hand, the paper finds evidence of convergence in inequality within regions, trended towards an internationally high level. Based on these two findings, the paper projects dynamics of inequality and poverty in Russia over a ten-year time horizon. The projections show that if the observed trend continues, by 2010 the absolute majority of Russia's poor will be concentrated in a few permanently impoverished regions, while relatively more affluent regions will become virtually free of poverty. Finally, the paper relates fluctuations in inequality within regions to a set of factors classified into four broad categories: endowments and initial conditions, preferences, policies, and shocks. Among these factors short-run fluctuations of the unemployment rate are revealed as significant and strong signals of inequality.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Oliver Morrissey, Dirk Willem te Velde
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper uses data on individual earnings in manufacturing industry for five African countries in the early 1990s to test whether firms located in the capital city pay higher wages than firms located elsewhere, and whether such benefits accrue to all or only certain types of workers. Earnings equations are estimated that take into account worker characteristics (education and tenure) and relevant firm characteristics (notably size and whether foreign owned). Any location effect identified is therefore additional to appropriate control variables. There are two main findings. First, we find evidence of a 'pure capital city premium' equivalent to between 12 per cent and 28 per cent of nominal average earnings in the five countries. In some countries this location premium exceeds plausible consumer price differentials, between the capital and other urban areas. This does suggest that real (purchasing power) manufacturing wages are higher in the capital city (although this real premium is no more than ten per cent). Second, we find that skilled workers earn a higher wage premium in the capital city than those less skilled. However, this is not because of location effects on earnings per se, but rather because of other firm characteristics of firms located in the capital city, such as size and foreign ownership. This suggests that spatial inequality in itself does not directly contribute to skilled–less-skilled wage differentials.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: With the help of a simple model of production and trade, we examine the differential impact of tariff escalation on skilled and unskilled wages in an economy. Our findings provide a lobbying-based explanation of the prevalence of tariff escalation in developed countries. It also predicts the possible response of a developing country and shows how similar lobbying activity in that country can slow the pace of liberalization of service sector trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Javier Sánchez-Reaza
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper analyses the impact trade liberalization and economic integration have had on regional growth and regional disparities in Mexico over the last two decades. It is highlighted that the passage from an import substitution system to membership of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) first, and to economic integration in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) later, has been associated with greater concentration of economic activity and territorial polarization. The analysis also shows that these changes herald a period of transition between two growth models. Regional growth in the final stages of the import substitution period was mainly characterized by convergence and linked to the presence of oil and raw materials and proximity to Mexico City. Economic liberalization and regional integration in NAFTA has been related to regional divergence, a reduction of the importance of Mexico City as the main market and to the emergence of an economic system in which the endowment of skilled labour starts to play a more important role.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico
  • Author: André Decoster, Inna Verbina
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The interplay of a differentiated indirect tax structure and the variation in expenditure patterns across households, leads to a possibly unequal distribution of indirect tax liabilities across the population. This paper uses the ninth round of the RLMS survey to assess the distributional consequences of the two major components of the indirect tax system: VAT and excise taxes. The global indirect system can be considered to be progressive overall, according to the Kakwani index. Decomposition into constituent terms shows that this is due not only to a progressive VAT structure, but also to progressive excise taxes. This surprising result is mainly explained by the progressivity of the excise tax on car fuel, but might also be sensitive to peculiarities in the data about alcohol consumption.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Carlos Azzoni, Naercio Menezes-Filho, Tatiane Menezes
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we address the issues involved with the use of microeconomic data, that is, household surveys, to compare the patterns of income growth among different regions instead of the commonly used aggregate data. In particular, we investigate the issues of aggregation of household income to regional income and the problem of demography. As returns to experience generally differ across regions, differences in the patterns of income growth across regions in the same time interval will differ across age groups, which means that convergence or divergence of aggregate income among regions will depend on the age structure of their population. We apply these concepts to the case of the states of Brazil, for which we have repeated cross sections from a rich household survey. We find that patterns of income growth vary a great deal across birth cohorts, depending on the economic returns to experience.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Alan Heston, Bettina Aten
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Accurate regional estimates of output are desired as an indicator of level of development and as a variable used to explain internal migration, demand patterns, fertility and other aspects of behaviour. This chapter explores one often neglected aspect of regional income differences, namely that due to price differences or regional purchasing power parities. When nominal regional income measures are adjusted for these price level differences they are termed real regional incomes. The preferred method of estimating regional purchasing power parities by detailed price comparisons is discussed for Brazil, the United States and the European Union. The empirical thrust of the chapter is an investigation of different methods for estimating regional real incomes based on PPP data for 167 countries and nominal regional incomes and other data for about 870 administrative areas at the subnational level. Even in their present form we believe the real income estimates provided for the geographical units present opportunities for understanding the world economic structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: Jed Friedman
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper uses six nationally representative household consumption surveys to develop successive poverty profiles for Indonesia over a fifteen-year period of sustained high growth followed by rapid contraction. Adopting a 'cost-of-basic-needs' approach to poverty determination (an approach particularly suited to measures of absolute poverty), this paper develops price indices and calculates poverty lines from unit value data, an oft neglected source of information. The summary findings confirm that Indonesia has witnessed broadbased gains in poverty reduction over the period 1984-96 and then a dramatic reversal during the recent financial crisis. These summary findings, however, mask substantial diversity in growth, inequality, and poverty change across Indonesian regions and so subsequent analysis focuses on the links between growth, inequality, and changes in poverty at the regional level. As opposed to previous studies of poverty change that have used short panels of cross-national data to identify the relationship between growth and poverty, this study employs a longer panel for a single country in order to investigate how poverty change at the provincial level varies with province growth rates and province changes in inequality (while controlling for time invariant province characteristics). The results indicate that poverty change is highly responsive to overall growth. However closer analysis reveals that regional differences in poverty levels persist even after controlling for the effects of provincial income levels, particularly for rural areas. These findings suggest that local factors play an important role in poverty determination and may interact with growth to impact poverty reduction in differing ways across Indonesia. Future investigations will need to take a more careful look at these local determinants of poverty change and attempt to identify the types of growth toward which poverty measures are particularly responsive.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Indonesia
  • Author: Martin Ravallion
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper tests for external effects of local economic activity on consumption and income growth at the farm household level using panel data from four provinces of post-reform rural China. The tests allow for nonstationary fixed effects in the consumption growth process. Evidence is found of geographic externalities, stemming from spillover effects of the level and composition of local economic activity and private returns to local human and physical infrastructure endowments. The results suggest an explanation for rural underdevelopment arising from underinvestment in certain externality-generating activities, of which agricultural development emerges as the most important.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Chris Elbers, Peter Lanjouw, Johan Mistiaen, Berk Ozler, Ken Simler
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Based on a statistical procedure that combines household survey data with population census data, this paper presents estimates of inequality for three developing countries at a level of disaggregation far below that allowed by household surveys alone. We show that while the share of within-community inequality in overall inequality is high, this does not necessarily imply that all communities in a given country are as unequal as the country as a whole. In fact, in all three countries there is considerable variation in inequality across communities. We also show that economic inequality is strongly correlated with geography, even after controlling for basic demographic and economic conditions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South America
  • Author: Almas Heshmati, Jaan Masso
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: For transition economies labour market flexibility is necessary for successful restructuring and reallocation of labour force and for coping with the requirements of the European Monetary Union. In this paper we apply a novel approach to the issue of labour market flexibility in transition countries by studying the optimality and efficiency of labour usage among Estonian manufacturing enterprises. A dynamic model is employed where both the long run optimal level of employment and the speed at which actual employment is adjusted to the optimal are modelled as functions of several variables. Firm level panel data from 1995 to 1999 were used. The results showed that in the long run employment responds greatest to wages, followed by valueadded and capital stock. Speed of adjustment and labour use optimality and efficiency show much greater variations over firms than over time. In the course of time there occurs both labour saving technical change and an increase in the efficiency of labour usage. On average there is shortage of labour compared to firm's own optimal level, while over use of labour compared to best-practice technology. Capital seems to be a binding constraint on the development of employment in the Estonian labour market.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: Ghosh Nilabja
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Trade liberalization, by aligning domestic prices with world prices, is envisaged to bring welfare gains to a country. In the case of Indian agriculture, owing to the vastness and diversity of the sector, the impact is likely to be profoundly unequal across regions especially when liberalization is double-edged, acting on both output and input sides. This paper views returns from land resource as a primary determinant of farmers' economic well-being and production incentive and considers paddy both as the dominant support for the rural population and as a product with comparative advantage, as most studies have demonstrated. Working with state and sub-state level data and taking account of the differences in technologies, productivities and transport costs, the paper finds that the gains vary regionally and may not be positive in all cases when both output and input prices are globally aligned.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Jon D. Haveman, Howard J. Shatz
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The Doha Ministerial Declaration emphasized that priority should be given to improving market access for products originating in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). In this paper, we analyze the importance of this proposition with respect to market access in the Triad economies. We first present a brief history of non-reciprocal preferences granted by the Triad. This covers Generalized System of Preference (GSP) programmes in each, and further preferences granted to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries by the EU and preferences granted to Caribbean Basin, Andean, and African countries by the US. This history is followed by an assessment of trade generated by these preferences in the year 2000, and of the extent to which LDC exports might be expected to increase should the preferences be made comprehensive. Preferences in 2000 are shown to have led to an increase of US$3.5 billion in LDC exports, while a complete duty-free treatment could expand LDC exports by as much as US$7.6 billion, 90 per cent of which will be absorbed by the US. As this represents a doubling of LDC exports to these countries, we interpret these results as an endorsement of this priority in the Doha Round of negotiations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Caribbean
  • Author: Tony Addison, Almas Heshmati
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased dramatically in recent years. However, the distribution of FDI is highly unequal and very poor countries face major difficulties in attracting foreign investors. This paper investigates the determinants of FDI inflows to developing countries, with a particular emphasis on the impact of the 'third wave of democratization' that started in the early 1980s and the spread of information and communication technology (ICT) that began in the late 1980s. These two global developments must now be taken into account in any explanation of what determines FDI flows. Using a large sample of countries, together with panel data techniques, the paper explores the determinants of FDI. The causal relationship between FDI, GDP growth, trade openness and ICT is investigated. The main findings are that democratization and ICT increase FDI inflows to developing countries. The paper concludes that more assistance should be given to poorer countries to help them to adopt ICT and to break out of their present 'low ICT equilibrium' trap.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Mario Reyna-Cerecero
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper deals with the success of price controls in stabilizing high inflation rates and their effects on the real economy under an imperfect competition setting derived by optimal maximization. Our model builds on Helpman's work of price controls and imperfect competition, and incorporates inflation inertia through adaptive expectations. The model predicts that under these circumstances price controls can be an effective method of curving inflation when they accompany an orthodox monetary restriction programme; incomes policies alone cannot curve inflation substantially. Efforts where monetary growth is decreased gradually and price controls are implemented to achieve zero inflation result in the boom-recession cycle observed in many real life programmes. When monetary growth is curved immediately and price controls are implemented to achieve zero inflation, there follows a recession and not a boom. Orthodox money-based stabilization programmes implemented on their own need more time to control inflation and always produce a recession.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Matthew Odedokun
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper is an attempt to rectify some of the problems that characterize most earlier studies that seek to explain private capital flows to developing countries or, at least, to examine the subject from a different and complementary perspective. To accomplish this, we propose a model framework that approaches the issue from the perspective of a capital-exporting developed country and which also takes cognizance of developments in other industrialized countries that could be competing with developing countries for private capital flows. The model is operationalized and estimated with annual panel data over 1970-2000 for 19 capital-exporting developed countries. Specifically, we estimate equations for total private flows, FDI, total portfolio capital flows (PCF) and various categories of PCF. We also test for the effects of a number of factors, each of which has its own 'push' and 'pull' components. The specific explanatory factors are the level of per capita income, interest rate, economic growth, the prevailing phase of economic cycle, the degree of openness of the economy in the balance-of-payment capital account, macroeconomic imbalances, and external debt burden. The empirical findings confirm the posited effects of the 'push' and/or 'pull' component of each of the above factors.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Jörg Mayer
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Market access liberalization has influenced product-specific growth of world exports and contributed to the shift in the structure of world exports of manufactures towards electrical and electronic goods (including parts and components), goods that require high R expenditures, and labour-intensive products such as clothing. Multilateral trade liberalization has strongly improved market access conditions for manufactures and partly explains why manufactures have experienced particularly strong growth in exports. The increased importance of vertical international production sharing and the associated preferential trading arrangements between geographically close countries with significantly different wage rates have been a key determinant of differences in export-value growth across individual manufactured products, as well as of the distribution of market shares for some of these products among developing countries. Projections based on a standard trade model suggest that moving to full trade liberalization would lead to an increase in the share of agricultural products in total world trade by almost two percentage points and give greater weight to the textile, clothing and automotive sectors within manufactured exports.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Jonathon Moses, Bjørn Letnes
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we elaborate on the findings produced by an applied equilibrium model that is used to calculate the annual efficiency gains from free international migration. These findings suggest that we can expect significant gains from liberalizing international labour flows. In particular, we expand on two implicit aspects of the estimates: the actual number of migrants being generated by the various counter-factual scenarios, and the per-migrant cost/benefits associated with each. These estimates are then compared with contemporary migration flows and the findings of studies that analyse their economic impact. In light of these comparisons, we conclude that our original findings are not unreasonable.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Migration
  • Author: Stéphane Gagnon
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A firm's business model describes the way in which it creates, delivers, and appropriates value. In the debate about the ongoing demise of several e-commerce ventures, only a few analysts have looked at the relative sanity of innovative e-business Models, relying mostly on static environmental variables and the inherent economic logic of each industry. Our study sheds new light on this debate by concentrating on a set of more complex factors, namely the relative difficulty to build new capabilities, whether by creating or acquiring them. We interviewed 60 e-commerce ventures between 2 and 3 years old, both independent and corporate ones, in order to measure their performance, the innovativeness of their e-business model, their obstacles to capability building, and their exploitable resource base. By performing cluster, discriminant, and regression analyses, we demonstrate that a number of typical obstacles to capability building can significantly affect the relative success or failure of innovative e-business models, but that a richer resource base may alleviate this relationship. We end with a discussion of the implications for the e-business model literature, and point out to some new directions to explain how various e-commerce firms, whether 'pure-play' or 'click-and-mortar', can successfully innovate despite rampant capability building difficulties.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Inna Verbina
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Traditionally, the difference between income and expenditure reported in household surveys is used for estimation of savings at the household level. However, persistent deviation in consumption–income ratios by household income brackets raises questions about both the quality of data and the estimation method employed. This paper provides statistical evidence to accentuate the endogeneity bias, which is connected with the choice of welfare proxy for ranking process, in savings estimates by income groups. Also, two different estimators for households spending behaviour are discussed and the statistical properties of their difference are derived by the delta method.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Author: Maiju Perälä
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper extends the history of thought narrative on Allyn Young to recognize the close relationship that the classical growth theory has with the early development theory, as Young's externalities-fuelled, cumulative growth process influenced the theoretical thought of the early development theory pioneers, Paul Rosenstein-Rodan and Ragnar Nurkse. The conditions that prevent the development of underdeveloped regions, indivisibilities and inelasticities of supplies and demands, represent the breakdown of the conditions that Young highlights as necessary for self-sustaining growth to occur. Hence, Young's cumulative growth process underlies the view of these early development theorists, though their focus is on the malfunctioning and restarting of this process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Author: Maiju Perälä
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines growth successes and failures across countries and notes the latter's perplexing predominance among ex ante low-income economies. An explanation for this persistence of underdevelopment is proposed through an empirical investigation that brings forth evidence on the importance of natural resource endowment type on growth or, more appropriately, lack of it. The results show that, in the absence of social cohesion, the nature of natural resource abundance bears great significance as a natural resource endowment characterized by oil and/or mineral resources is more negatively correlated with growth than a resource endowment that is agricultural. The robustness of this result is tested across a number of growth regression specifications within the literature.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Kræn Blume, Björn Gustafsson, Peder Pedersen, Mette Verner
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper focuses on the problems of low income among immigrants, analysed by using comparable panel datasets for two Scandinavian welfare states. After a brief survey of a few earlier studies on immigrant poverty, we present Denmark and Sweden as interesting cases for comparative research. Cyclical profiles have been very different since the 1980s and both countries have experienced considerable differences with regard to the number and composition of immigrants from the less developed countries. Poverty rates, analysed relative to different background factors, are fairly high, in particular when considering the welfare state background of Denmark and Sweden. A number of differences are found in spite of the institutional similarities between the two countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Denmark, Sweden
  • Author: Philip Martin
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explains the evolution and effects of Mexico-US migration, and highlights the NAFTA approach to economic integration, viz., free up trade and investment while stepping up efforts to prevent unauthorized migration. The European Union approach is different: provide aid first, and later free up trade and migration in the expectation that moves toward convergence will ensure minimal migration because trade has become a substitute for migration. The paper concludes that NAFTA will reduce unwanted Mexico-US migration in the medium to long term, and that different initial conditions in Europe mean that there will be relatively little east-west migration when nationals of new entrant EU members achieve freedom of movement.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Mexico
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Bazoumana Ouattara
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of foreign aid on public sector fiscal behaviour in Côte d'Ivoire. A special interest is the relationship between aid, debt servicing and debt, given that Côte d'Ivoire is a highly indebted country. The theoretical model employed differs from those of previous studies by highlighting the interaction between debt servicing and the other fiscal variables. This model is estimated using 1975–99 time series data. Key findings are that the bulk of aid is allocated to debt servicing and that aid is associated with increases in the level of public debt.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Betina Dimaranan, Thomas Hertel, Roman Keeney
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: An AGE model with detailed farm supply and substitution relationships is used to analyze impacts of OECD domestic support reform on developing economy welfare. Stylized simulations indicate reforms best suited for reducing trade distortions with least impact on farm incomes. Comprehensive reforms result in welfare losses for LDCs and large declines in OECD farm incomes. Shifting from market price support to land-based payments designed to maintain farm incomes results in increased welfare for most developing countries. LDCs should focus on improved market access to OECD economies while permitting said economies to continue domestic support payments not linked to output/variable inputs.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Almas Heshmati, Rohieh Gholami, Sang-Yong Tom Lee
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the simultaneous causal relationship between investments in information and communication technology (ICT) and foreign direct investment (FDI), with reference to its implications on economic growth. For the empirical analysis we use data from 23 major countries with heterogeneous economics development for the period 1976–99. The results of unit roots and Johansen co-integration tests indicate variations in degrees of integration among the sample countries. Our causality test results suggest that there is a causal relationship from ICT to FDI interpreted as the higher level of ICT investment leads to increased inflow of FDI. ICT contributes to economic growth indirectly by attracting more foreign direct investment. In developed countries there already exist a build up ICT capacity which causes inflow of FDI, while in developing countries ICT capacity must be build up to attract FDI. The inflow of FDI causes further increases in ICT investment and capacity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Political Economy
  • Author: Ana María Iregui
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper computes the worldwide efficiency gains from the elimination of global restrictions on labour mobility using a multiregional CGE model. A distinctive feature of our analysis is the introduction of a segmented labour market, as two types of labour are considered: skilled and unskilled. According to our results, the elimination of global restrictions on the mobility of skilled and unskilled labour generates worldwide efficiency gains that could be of considerable magnitude. When only skilled labour migrates, the worldwide efficiency gains are smaller, as this type of labour represents a small fraction of the labour force in developing regions.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Political Economy, Migration, Regional Cooperation
  • Author: Tony Addison, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Sampsa Kiiski
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the trends in within-country inequality during the post- World War II period, with particular attention to the last 20 years, on the basis of a review of the relevant literature and of an econometric analysis of inequality trends in 73 countries accounting for 80 per cent of the world's population and 91 per cent of world GDP-PPP. The paper suggests that the last two decades have been characterized by a surge in within-country inequality in about two-thirds of the developing, developed and transitional nations analysed. It also suggests that in those countries where the upsurge in inequality was sizeable or where inequality rose from already high levels, growth and poverty alleviation slowed down perceptibly. While this trend towards higher inequality differs substantially across countries in its extent, timing and specific causes, it marks a clear departure from that observed during the first 30 years of the post-World War II period during which, with the exception of Latin America and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, a widespread move towards greater egalitarianism was noted in the majority of the socialist, developing and industrialized economies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Matthew Odedokun
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study seeks to identify donor-specific factors that cause donors to delay aid disbursement, and to apply a double standard in dealing with the non-compliance of a recipient with regard to aid conditionalities, a practice that promotes uncertainty in the receipt of aid. Annual panel data over 1970-2000 for the 22 members of OECD's DAC donor group are employed in the empirical study. Our findings suggest that the proportion of pledged aid being disbursed, which shows an increasing trend, is positively affected by the extent to which aid is procurement-tied and by the size of the donor government's expenditure in relation to GDP. On the other hand, the proportion of aid commitments being disbursed, which appears lower for the G7 countries, is negatively influenced by factors such as abundant donor generosity, the predominance of grants in total aid, the specific targeting of aid to lower-income recipients, high growth in donor economy, as well as high level of checks and balances, and polarization between the executive and legislative branches of government in the donor country.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Author: Kym Anderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper offers an economic assessment of the opportunities and challenges provided by the WTO's Doha Development Agenda, particularly through agricultural trade liberalization, for low-income countries seeking to trade their way out of poverty. After discussing links between poverty, economic growth and trade, it reports modelling results showing that farm product markets remain the most costly of all goods market distortions in world trade. It focuses on what such reform might mean for countries of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa in particular, both without and with their involvement in the MTN reform process. What becomes clear is that if those countries want to maximize their benefits from the Doha round, they need also to free up their own domestic product and factor markets so their farmers are better able to take advantage of new market-opening opportunities abroad. Other concerns of low-income countries about farm trade reform also are addressed: whether there would be losses associated with tariff preference erosion, whether food-importing countries would suffer from higher food prices in international markets, whether China's WTO accession will provide an example of trade reform aggravating poverty via cuts to prices received by Chinese farmers, and the impact on food security and poverty alleviation. The paper concludes with lessons of relevance for low-income countries for their own domestic and trade policies.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Susan Martin, Andrew Schoenholtz, David Fisher
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Whereas asylum seekers and the systems for adjudicating their claims to refugee status in developed countries have garnished considerable attention and, often, have been at the centre of political controversy, there has been relatively little research on their actual impact on receiving countries. This article discusses the factors that determine the impact of asylum, as distinct from other forms of migration, concluding that the number of asylum seekers, government policies and socioeconomic characteristics all determine the impact of asylum. Hence, the impacts of asylum can differ significantly from country to country. Even within the same country, one could expect to see varied impacts depending on the age, education and skill level of individual asylum seekers. The paper then examines the fiscal, economic, and social impacts of asylum, as well as its impact on foreign policy and national security. It concludes with an examination of the impact of developed countries' asylum policies on the protection of refugees in developing countries. When refugee protection has been weakened in economically strong states and asylum restrictions are perceived as burden shifting, international protection in the developing world where most refugees try to survive has been undercut.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Migration, National Security
  • Author: Jeffrey Williamson, Timothy Hatton
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Governments in the OECD note rising immigration with alarm and grapple with policies aimed at selecting certain migrants and keeping out others. Economists appear to be well armed to advise governments since they are responsible for an impressive literature that examines the characteristics of individual immigrants, their absorption and the consequences of their migration on both sending and receiving regions. Economists are, however, much less well armed to speak to the determinants of the world migrations that give rise to public alarm.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Migration, Poverty
  • Author: Birgitte Andersen, Marva Corley
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper offers a critical review of the conventional economic classification, measurement and valuation of output, and related performance indicators, for the service sector. The paper also explores and contrasts long-standing views on the service knowledge base and service innovations, as well as the global aspects of many services. A problem arises when historical industrial classification schemes treat services as being 'immaterial' (i.e. everything that is not manufacturing and agriculture), while ignoring that the activities of services in the economy, as well as the corporate structures of firms, transcend such classification schemes at any level of aggregation. Other problems arise when associated traditional analytical methods measure services input and output and related performance indicators using the same conceptual framework and indicators as those that are applied for problem solving for agriculture and manufacturing. Such entanglements have other and wider consequences for understanding the impact of the new economy and for designing appropriate policy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Author: Mark McGillivray
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Studies of the inter-recipient allocation of aid may be categorized threefold. First, there are those which attempt to explain the observed allocation of aid. Second, there are those which seek to describe or evaluate the allocation of aid against normative criteria. Third, there are those which seek to prescribe the inter-recipient allocation of aid by calculating the amounts of aid each country should receive, also based on normative criteria. This paper looks at the second and third categories of studies. It commences by looking at the different approaches or descriptive measures used, and then repeats this exercise for the prescriptive literature. It then compares the prescribed allocations of the different approaches used in the literature. These allocations are compared to actual allocations and then evaluated against various normative criteria. This reveals significant differences, both between prescribed and actual allocations and the evaluations of the different prescriptive approaches.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Non-Governmental Organization, Poverty
  • Author: Svetlana Glinkina, Dorothy Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We argue that the conflicts in the Caucasus are the result of the abrogation by the elite of the earlier, Soviet era, social contract. This process was accompanied by the collapse of the formal economy; evidenced by huge national income compression, falling public goods provision, and growing inequality and poverty. In the absence of state provision of basic amenities and governance, ordinary people are compelled to fall back on kinship ties. Declining standards of governance facilitate state-sponsored corruption and criminality in a setting where the shadow economic activity is increasingly important to individual survival strategies. Oil pipelines and the right to control the transit of goods both legal and illegal also underlie conflict in the region. Criminality has replaced ethnicity as the major motivation for conflict and conflict per se has become a lucrative source of income.
  • Topic: Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Robbie Mochrie
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Differences in economic and theological approaches to debt cancellation result from differences in disciplinary assumptions in respect of purpose, method, and argument. We argue that they provide alternative commentaries upon the need for debt cancellation, but that it is not possible to demonstrate the superiority of one over the other, so practitioners in one are likely to continue to find it difficult to respond meaningfully to arguments from the other.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Non-Governmental Organization, Religion
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Bazoumana Ouattara
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The present paper examines the impact of different aid types, namely project aid, programme aid, technical assistance and food aid on the fiscal sector of the aid-recipient economy by using time-series data for Côte d'Ivoire over the period 1975–99. Empirical results obtained by estimating correctly the solution of the theoretical model show that when a single value (or aggregated) for aid is used, foreign aid is fully consumed in the case of Côte d'Ivoire. However, results obtained under the assumption of aid heterogeneity clearly suggest that the government responds differently according to the nature of the aid inflows. Our approach sheds plenty of light on how the aid-recipient government reacts to different categories of foreign aid inflows and the empirical findings clearly demonstrate the importance of the aid disaggregation approach for delving deeper into aid effectiveness issues.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Roger Kelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper documents the financial and institutional developments of China during the past two decades, when China was successfully transformed from a rigid centralplanning economy to a dynamic market economy following its unique path. We empirically examine the relationship between financial development and economic growth in China by employing a panel sample covering 31 Chinese provinces during the important transition period 1986-2002. Our evidence suggests that the development of financial markets, institutions, and instruments have been robustly associated with economic growth in China.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South Asia
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Samuel Manzele Maimbo
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper explores the relationship between financial sector reforms and savings mobilization in Zambia. Although there exists an extensive literature on financial sector development and savings levels in developing countries, there does not seem to exist satisfactory work on the above nexus for sub-Saharan African countries, particularly Zambia. Along these lines, the paper examines the linkages between the financial reforms of the early 1990s and savings mobilization. It considers the characteristics of banks and non-bank financial institutions, especially micro finance institutions, and savings levels and identifies problems associated with the relatively poor performance of savings in recent years and concludes with a set of policy guidelines for strengthening savings mobilization, highlighting the expected effect on povertyreducing growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nordic Nations
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Roger Kelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper uses different measures of financial sector development for a dynamic heterogeneous panel of 17 African countries to examine the impact of financial sector development on private savings. An innovative econometric methodology is also employed related to a series of cointegration tests within a panel. This is an important contribution since traditional panel data analysis adopted in previous studies suffers from serious heterogeneity bias problems. The empirical results obtained vary considerably among countries in the panel, thus highlighting the importance of using different measures of financial sector development rather than a single indicator. The evidence is rather inconclusive, although in most of the countries in the sample a positive relationship between financial sector development and private savings seems to hold. The empirical analysis also suggests that a change in government savings is offset by an opposite change in private savings in most of the countries in the panel, thus confirming the Ricardian equivalence hypothesis. Liquidity constraints do not seem to play a vital role in most of the African countries in the group, since the relevant coefficient is negative and significant in only a small group of countries
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Bazoumana Ouattara
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Building on recent work in the fiscal response literature, the present paper develops a new fiscal response model, which, for the first time in the relevant literature, combines the ideas of both endogenous and disaggregated aid. We endogenized aid on the grounds that the recipient government has some influence over aid disbursements. Regarding aid disaggregation, it is argued that each of the main four categories of aid, namely project aid, programme aid, technical assistance and food aid may exert different effects on the recipient economy. Furthermore, in case the preferences of the aid-recipient government are higher for some of these types of aid, neglecting aid disaggregation would lead to aggregation bias in the results and conclusions. The model adds an important new dimension to the vast aid effectiveness literature and calls for further modelling as well as empirical work in this promising research area so that significant policy implications can be derived.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Non-Governmental Organization, Poverty
  • Author: Matthew Odedokun
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study seeks to identify donor-specific factors that cause donors to delay aid disbursement, and to apply a double standard in dealing with the non-compliance of a recipient with regard to aid conditionalities, a practice that promotes uncertainty in the receipt of aid. Annual panel data over 1970-2000 for the 22 members of OECD's DAC donor group are employed in the empirical study. Our findings suggest that the proportion of pledged aid being disbursed, which shows an increasing trend, is positively affected by the extent to which aid is procurement-tied and by the size of the donor government's expenditure in relation to GDP. On the other hand, the proportion of aid commitments being disbursed, which appears lower for the G7 countries, is negatively influenced by factors such as abundant donor generosity, the predominance of grants in total aid, the specific targeting of aid to lower-income recipients, high growth in donor economy, as well as high level of checks and balances, and polarization between the executive and legislative branches of government in the donor country.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Author: Matthew Clarke
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The world economy has recently changed. A new world economy has emerged over the last decade as two long-run broad trends, globalization and advances in information and communication technology (ICT) have converged. This 'new economy' is significantly different to the 'old economy', as knowledge has replaced traditional productivity inputs, such as labour and natural resources, as the primary ingredient for economic growth. A new landscape exists and countries must adapt their approaches and policies for development to achieve progress in the future.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, Science and Technology
  • Author: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The period 1990-2000 saw 19 major armed-conflicts in Africa, ranging from civil wars to the 1998-2000 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Peace has been elusive, and the term 'post-conflict' is often a sad misnomer.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea
  • Author: Grzegorz W. Kolodko
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study discusses conditions and prospects for fast and durable growth in emerging market economies. In the course of history less than 30 nations have become rich and still more than 80 per cent of the world population lives in the middle and low-income countries, some of them in extreme poverty. It is true not only for the majority of economies traditionally considered as 'developing countries', but also for the new, post-socialist emerging markets. Thus the questions arise: what is the influence of globalization process on economic growth and how real are the prospects for these emerging markets to catch up with more advanced countries? What factors may contribute to sustained and rapid growth over the long term? The paper examines strategies that can help taking the contemporary wave of globalization to the advantage of fast growth of less advanced countries and hence containing the existing development gaps.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Stijn Claessens, Joseph P.H. Fan, Larry H.P. Lang
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the benefits and associated agency costs of using internal capital markets through affiliating with groups using data of two thousand firms from nine East Asian economies between 1994-6. We find that mature and slow-growing firms with ownership structures more likely to create agency problems gain more from group affiliation, while young and high-growth firms more likely lose. Agency problems are important explanatory factors of firm value in economies outside Japan, but less so in Japan. Consistent with the literature, financially constrained firms benefit from group affiliation. Our results are robust to different time periods and estimation techniques.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Paul Collier
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper considers the macroeconomic impact of shocks to agricultural output and of negative and positive price shocks. It is shown that negative price shocks have particularly large externalities: it is estimated that the overall impact of these negative shocks on GDP may well be double their direct impact. In terms of policy, the presence of externalities justifies subsidising the provision of insurance. If insurance is not feasible, then foreign aid may be helpful. Turning to other systemic shocks, it is argued that the macroeconomic consequences of negative output shocks are far less important. Positive price shocks also have substantial macroeconomic externalities via their effect on asset demand. Appropriate central bank policy is crucial and requires a detailed understanding of asset demand changes in response to price shocks. Since this may well be unlikely, dollarization may be a better strategy.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Barbara Stallings, Rogerio Studart
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper deals with changes in the regulation and supervision of the Latin American financial sector in the aftermath of the 'Tequila Crisis' of 1994–95. While it finds that both have improved, regulation and supervision cannot resolve all problems; good macroeconomic policy and performance are essential complements. This is especially true because of the procyclical nature of financial activity. The paper presents both regional data for Latin America, contrasting it with other emerging markets, and four country case studies (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico). The latter show how individual country characteristics and experiences affect the operation of the financial systems. We close with some policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America, North America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Lisandro Abrego, Doris C. Ross
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses debt relief efforts by creditors to alleviate the debt burden of low- income countries. The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative builds on traditional debt relief, and for the first time involves relief on multilateral debt. It seeks to reduce debt to sustainable levels and eliminate any debt overhang that might hinder growth and investment. It provides substantial debt relief to eligible countries by reducing their overall debt stocks by about one-half, or, together with traditional relief over time, by some 80 per cent. It lowers debt service payments of HIPCs substantially, provides room for increased social spending, and provides a solid basis for debt sustainability. The latter requires efforts by both debtors and creditors. To find poverty reduction efforts, HIPC relief is important, but much broader international support is needed as external transfers to HIPCs in the past far exceeded debt service paid. Experience has shown that external support can only be effective if it reinforces sound policies implemented by HIPCs themselves. Thus debt relief and ODA are most important not in isolation, but as help for self-help.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Andrew McKay
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Fiscal policy measures are a key means by which governments can influence distribution and poverty, but in fact the relationships between fiscal policy and poverty are not well understood. The most commonly used technique for assessing the distributional impact, benefit incidence analysis, is straightforward, but applied by itself it suffers from a number of serious limitations. Assessment of the impact of fiscal policy needs to be developed in various directions, including allowing for behavioural responses and incorporating a broader range of information. In parallel with this careful attention needs to be paid to more effective monitoring of the poverty impsact of fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: John Hawkins
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: International bank lending is a major component of capital flows between advanced and emerging economies. However, in recent years these flows have been going the wrong way, like water flowing uphill. Even four years after the Asian crisis, there is a net flow of funds from emerging economies to banks in advanced economies. This paper looks at this phenomenon, starting by setting out the relevant data, and then looking at factors influencing these flows. These include both cyclical influences (both 'push' and 'pull') and structural changes within the banking industry. There is some evidence that international lenders are now discriminating more between the various emerging economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Carlos Budnevich L.
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: For many emerging market economies, over reliance on monetary policy may bring worse macro results, when compared to a more balanced framework of countercyclical fiscal and monetary policy. The use of countercyclical fiscal policy requires as a precondition solvent and sustainable fiscal accounts and the re-engineering of fiscal institutions to increase the timeliness and flexibility of fiscal policy. A higher degree of tax or pension fund and/or unemployment insurance contribution flexibility may help in economies subject to significant external shocks. Automatic indexing rules to terms of trade or country risk spreads for pension contributions and interest payments on public debt may also contribute to the stabilization effort. If fiscal revenues are highly volatile, structural budget rules and commodity stabilization funds may provide the necessary framework to achieve saving (dissaving) during expansions (contractions).
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Simon Feeny
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper looks at public sector debt in developing countries, being concerned specifically with the relationship between aid inflows and the public sector borrowing requirement net of aid loans. After examining the public sector budget constraint and various conditions under which aid might lead to an increase in this borrowing, the paper surveys the empirical results of literature on aid and public sector fiscal behaviour. It finds that the results of a number of studies are consistent with aid leading to increases in this borrowing. Further investigation, in the form of econometric analysis of panel data, also points to this outcome. The paper then looks at a number of theoretical scenarios in which aid leads to increases in borrowing net of aid loans.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Chris Elbers, Peter Lanjouw, Johan Mistiaen, Gabriel Demombynes, Jenny Lanjouw, Berk Özler
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper implements a methodology for estimating poverty in Ecuador, Madagascar and South Africa, at levels of disaggregation that to date have not generally been available. The methodology is based on a statistical procedure to combine household survey data with population census data, imputing into the latter a measure of per capita consumption from the former. The countries are very unlike each other—with different geographies, stages of development, quality and types of data, and so on. Yet the paper demonstrates that in all three countries the poverty estimates produced from census data are both plausible (in that they match well stratum-level estimates calculated directly from the household surveys) and satisfactorily precise (at a level of disaggregation far below that allowed by household surveys).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Danny Quah
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper studies growth and inequality in China and India—two economies that account for a third of the world's population. By modelling growth and inequality as components in a joint stochastic process, the paper calibrates the impact each has on different welfare indicators and on the personal income distribution across the joint population of the two countries. For personal income inequalities in a China-India universe, the forces assuming first-order importance are macroeconomic: Growing average incomes dominate all else. The relation between aggregate economic growth and within-country in- equality is insignificant for inequality dynamics.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Günther Rehme
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In many OECD countries income inequality has risen, but surprisingly redistribution as well. The theory attributes this partly to the redistributive effect of education spending. In the model income inequality and growth depend in an inverted U-shaped way on education. To maintain a given level of human capital it is shown that a less efficient schooling technology requires more resources, which lowers pre-tax and post-tax income inequality as well as growth. Using consistently defined income data from the Luxembourg Income Study suggests that there is a negative relationship between growth and income inequality in rich countries. It is argued that using some unadjusted inequality measures in growth regressions may yield estimates that are biased upwards. The evidence suggests that a rich country would raise growth with lower pre-tax and post-tax inequality if it spent more on education.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education
  • Author: Graciela Moguillansky
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This article studies the currency risk management of multinational companies with investments in Latin American countries. The analysis is centred on episodes of currency or financial shocks, searching into the behaviour of the financial management of a firm expecting a significant devaluation. This allowed us to explore the interaction and transmission mechanisms between the microeconomic behaviour and the macroeconomic impact on the foreign exchange market. The analysis was carried out interviewing financial managers of multinational companies from different sectors with headquarters in the United Kingdom and Spain, by reviewing literature on business and currency risk management, and by analysing some surveys on financial risk management in developed countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, South America, Latin America, Spain
  • Author: Elisabetta Bertero, Laura Rondi
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study examines the effect of the hardening of the budget constraint on the investment behaviour of Italian state owned enterprises (SOEs). It carries out a natural experiment that exploits the 1987 shift of budget regimes due to the pressure of European Union economic policies on the Italian government.Drawing from the theory of capital market imperfections, we apply the empirical framework for the analysis of investment-cash flow sensitivity to a panel of state-owned manufacturing firms during the period 1977-93. We parallel state firms to Anglo-Saxon public corporations which, under separation of ownership and control, are afflicted by agency problems, managerial discretion, misallocation of free cash-flow and overinvestment. We argue that, under a soft budget constraint, state firms' managerial discretion and, in particular, collusion between managers and vote-seeking politicians, lead to wasteful investment.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Jonathan Conning, Michael Kevane
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper proposes to organize thinking about the opportunities for improving and extending financial markets and safety nets for the poor, by focusing on factors that may explain why the linkage of local financial networks and safety nets with the larger economy often fails or is incomplete. Understanding the nature of these impediments is the first step in proposing policies to help promote more effective linkage and intermediation. We propose four explanations for the slowness of adoption of intermediation (high costs of delegated monitoring aggravated by limited intermediary capital; lock-in and crowding out effects from local insurance arrangements, social norms against cooperation with intermediaries; and political resistance to new institutions that shift the balance of power in local polities). Of course, financial repression and weak legal systems remains important as cause of lack of intermediation. We conclude with a review of public policy for more effective intermediation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Author: Clas Wihlborg
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Insolvency and debt recovery procedures are as crucial to a well-performing financial sector as credit provision itself. They are even more important in Africa, where attempts are underway to create fully-fledged financial markets. For the financial system to be credible, creditors must be ensured that lenders will meet their obligations and that cases against them will be brought to closure. A good legal framework for insolvency also ensures distressed firms a form of orderly exit, thereby enabling their owners to start afresh. However, institutions of this nature take time to take effect, and need to be supported politically and by reforms in other sectors of the economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jean-Philippe Platteau
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Customary rules governing access to land and other natural resources in village societies have characteristics that allow them to fulfil social security functions and achieve equity objectives. This is true of both common-property resources and land parcels held under individualized tenure. However, when land pressure increases under the combined influences of population growth and market integration, a shift occurs from extensive to intensive resource use patterns. As a result, the efficiency costs of erstwhile equity-and insurance-oriented arrangements rise, thus forcing them to evolve significantly. In particular, land tenure arrangements undergo a major transformation towards more individualized forms with the consequence that property rights in land are increasingly defined without regard for equity and insurance concerns.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Author: Rasmus Heltberg
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: How much does economic growth contribute to poverty reduction? I discuss analytical and empirical approaches to assess the growth elasticity of poverty, and emphasize that the relationship between growth and poverty change is non-constant. For a given poverty measure, it depends on initial inequality and on the location of the poverty line relative to mean income. In most cases, growth is more important for poverty reduction than changes in inequality, but this does not render inequality unimportant. Reduction in inequality may be triple effective: (1) it will reduce poverty for a given level of income, (2) it will accelerate the poverty reducing impact of economic growth, and (3) according to cross-country growth regressions, it may contribute to a larger rate of growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Peter G. Warr
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In recent decades, absolute poverty incidence declined in most countries of Southeast Asia, even though in some of these countries inequality increased at the same time. This paper examines the relationship between these outcomes and the rate of economic growth in the agricultural, industrial and services sectors. It develops a time series of available data on the headcount measure of poverty incidence for Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines over the period from the 1960s to 1999, in aggregate and in both rural and urban areas. It then uses this pooled data set to analyze the economic determinants of changes in poverty incidence.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Peter G. Warr, George Fane
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Do changes in poverty and inequality depend directly on the rate of economic growth, or does the source of the growth also matter? This paper uses a computable general equilibrium model of the Indonesian economy to explore this question by simulating increases in GDP arising from (i) technical progress in each of seven broad sectors, and (ii) the accumulation of each of six types of physical and human capital. The more a given amount of growth raises the returns to the factors that are more important sources of income for the poor than for the non-poor, the more it reduces poverty and inequality. Different sources of growth affect poverty and inequality differently because they affect factor returns differently, and because the poor and the non-poor own factors in different proportions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Elisabetta Bertero, Laura Rondi
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on the role of decentralization in hardening the budget constraint of public enterprises. Following Qian and Roland the study adopts a 'federalist' approach. However, it interprets federalism as the upward devolution of domestic economic policies to a supranational authority and examines its role in disciplining public enterprises operating in a soft budget regime. The methodology is a case study of the shift in budget regime in Italy in the late 1980s. The study shows that a determinant role in driving this shift was played by European economic policies. The discipline imposed by participation in the EMS, the Single Market Programme and, later, the requirements to enter the EMU pushed the Italian government toward a much tougher approach to its budget deficit.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Although privatization has been a key feature of economic policy in Africa since the early 1990s its sequencing and intensity have varied from country to country, with donor leverage being an important determinant of the pace of implementation. However, although many privatization schemes were undertaken in response to donor demands for reduced government participation in business, the process soon achieved its own dynamics. The positive view of privatization suggests that it went ahead, in spite of domestic opposition, because politicians and bureaucrats perceived real benefits to themselves and their supporters. They could influence the sales to their own benefit, while, on the other hand, a more focused public sector improved service delivery.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Masahiko Aoki, Hirokazu Takizawa
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the "Silicon Valley model" as a novel economic institution in the domain of technological product system innovation such as computers. We focus on the information structural relationship as well as governance relationships between venture capitalists and a cluster of entrepreneurial firms. The informational conditions under which the Silicon Valley model is efficient are identified, leading to understanding the significance of standardization of interfaces, modularization and information encapsulation. We then examine the governance/incentive aspect of the model by integrating the models by Aoki (2001) and Baldwin and Clark (2000) to give comparative statics results regarding the optimal number of entrepreneurial firms competing in the same component product. The analyses enable us to evaluate the applicability of the model beyond specific localities and industries.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Martin Ravallion, Jyotsna Jalan
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: It is well known in theory that certain forms of non-linear dynamics in household incomes can yield poverty traps and distribution-dependent growth. The potential implications for policy are dramatic: effective social protection from transient poverty will be an investment with lasting benefits, and pro-poor redistribution will promote aggregate economic growth. We test for non-linearity in the dynamics of household expenditures and incomes using panel data for rural south-west China. While we find evidence of non-linearity, there is no sign of a dynamic poverty trap. Existing private and social arrangements in this setting appear to protect vulnerable households from the risk of destitution. However, the concavity we find in the recursion diagram does imply that the speed of recovery from an income shock is lower for the poor, and that current inequality reduces growth in mean incomes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Stuart L. Gillan, Laura T. Starks
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We examine the role of institutional investors in financial markets and in corporate governance. In many countries, institutional investors have become the predominant players in financial markets and their influence worldwide is growing, chiefly due to the privatization and development of pension fund systems. Moreover, foreign institutional investors are becoming a significant presence, bringing their trading habits and corporate governance preferences to international markets. In fact, we argue that the primary actors prompting change in many corporate governance systems are institutional investors, often foreign institutional investors. In other countries the role of institutional investors is limited. Instead, large blockholders, often in the form of individuals, family groups, other corporations, or lending institutions are the dominant players. We present the theoretical arguments for the involvement of investors in shareholder monitoring and a brief history of institutional ownership and activism in the United States and other countries. We also discuss studies of the efficacy of such activism.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Marcel Fafchamps
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There has been a lot of interest in the risk coping strategies of the poor in the recent literature but little work on the relationship between these strategies and inequality (Fafchamps 1999). Some have begun to suspect that certain risk coping strategies further impoverish the poor (e.g. Dasgupta 1993, Sen 1981). Labor bonding and debt peonage are examples that have been discussed in the literature (e.e. Srinivasan 1989, de Janvry 1981). Patronage, that is, the protection of the poor by the rich in exchange for labor and services, is also suspected of perpetuating poverty (e.g. Platteau 1995, Platteau 1995, Fafchamps and Quisumbing 1999).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Pedro Albarran, Orazio P. Attanasio
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper will use the data from the PROGRESA evaluation to show the extent to which such a programme crowds out private transfers. An interesting aspect of the paper is the fact that it can use the randomization (one-third of the villages in the sample were randomized in the programme for evaluation purposes).
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Hulya Dagdeviren, Rolph van der Hoeven, John Weeks
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Recent development literature has placed priority on poverty reduction, and on possible growth enhancement from a more equal distribution of assets and income. At the same time, empirical work consistently shows that economic growth is no more than distribution neutral. In that context, this paper explores the relationship among growth, inequality and poverty, and demonstrates the following general conclusions: 1) a redistributive growth path is always likely to be superior to a distribution neutral path ('trickle down') for reducing poverty; 2) a redistributive growth path is always superior if a country's per capita income and inequality are relatively high; and 3) a static redistribution from the rich to the poor is superior to a redistributive growth path in its effect on poverty for most countries, but not for all. The paper then considers policy that might be used to make growth more equitable.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Author: John Williamson
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines what might be done to limit the boom-bust cycle in the flow of capital to emerging markets. Although the paper accepts that some types of capital flow (notably foreign direct investment) are much less problematic in this respect than others (notably short-term bank loans), it argues that influencing the mix would have to be done by capital controls by capital-importing countries rather than supply-side policies. Where supply-side reforms might help is in making some types of flow less unstable: for example, the Buiter/Sibert proposal for a Universal Debt Rollover Option (which needs amendment to alter the term for which rollover might apply); allowing investors with fiduciary responsibilities to hold (though not to buy) bonds of sub-investment grade; penalizing put options in bond contracts and inserting collective action clauses; requiring foreign loans to be denominated in domestic currency; and modifying the remuneration practices of portfolio managers.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Helmut Reisen
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The increased importance of rating agencies for emerging-market finance has brought their work to the attention of a wider group of observers - and under criticism. This paper evaluates whether the importance of ratings for developing-country finance has changed since the Asian Crisis and whether rating agencies have modified the determinants for their rating decisions. It also provides an analysis on recent suggestions by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, as these are very important for gauging the future role of sovereign ratings for foreign debt finance in developing countries. While the explanatory power of conventional rating determinants has declined since the Asian crisis, recent rating performance for Argentina and Turkey can still be qualified as lagging the markets, as variables of financial-sector strength and the endogenous effects of capital flows on macroeconomic variables seem to remain underemphasized in rating assessments. The market impact of sovereign ratings is predicted to decline as agencies have started to modify their country ceiling policy and as market participants try to exploit bond trading opportunities arising from the lagged nature of ratings. The paper presents theory and evidence to suggest that the Basel II Accord will destabilise private capital flows to the developing countries, if the current proposal to link regulatory bank capital to sovereign ratings is maintained: Assigning fixed minimum capital to bank assets whose risk weights are in turn determined by market-lagging cyclically determined ratings will reinforce the tendency of the capital ratio to work in a pro-cyclical way.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Asia, Argentina
  • Author: Youssoufou Congo
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study tests the performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Burkina Faso using indicators such as the sustainable interest rate and the subsidy dependence index. The results indicate that MFIs outreach performance remains very low compared with potential demand, and the factors responsible appear to be both the refusal of most MFIs to mobilize local savings and the high costs of supply of microfinancial services. The results also show that MFIs are not viable and sustainable. Their interest rates are kept low and do not allow them to cover all the costs. In addition, the results indicate that MFIs are dependent on subsidies. However, the oldest MFIs and/or institutions providing deposit services have the lowest subsidy dependence index. It is suggested that more attention should be placed on savings mobilization and ceilings on interest rates should be removed in order to allow MFIs to charge sustainable interest rates.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Deepak Nayyar, Julius Court
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: It is now more than fifty years since the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions were created. However, the world has changed dramatically during the second half of the twentieth century. The technological revolution in transport and communications has eroded the barriers of distance and time. National economies have become ever more closely integrated through cross-border flows of trade, investment and finance. In the political realm, communism has collapsed and capitalism has emerged triumphant. The context has obviously changed. But thinking about development is also very different. And there is now a myriad of new actors—from transnational firms to NGO—participating in the global economy and polity.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Migration, United Nations
  • Author: Julius Court, Giovanni Andrea Cornia
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Eradicating poverty has become the international community's number one development objective. The overriding target—endorsed at the recent United Nations Millennium Summit by virtually all world leaders—is to reduce the incidence of income-poverty in developing countries from 30 percent to 15 percent between 1990 and 2015. The problem is that that further progress has stalled and the number of people living in poverty has remained at around 1.2 billion people—a fifth of the world's population.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Cooperation, Poverty