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  • Author: Pierluigi Montalbano, Alessandro Federici, Umberto Triulzi, Carlo Pietrobelli
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper offers a substantive contribution to the debate on the role of international trade on the development of emerging countries. The aim is to detect empirically the phenomenon of vulnerability induced by trade openness. The methodology adopts a forward-looking approach and tries to fill a missing link in the theory between trade shocks, volatility, and the wellbeing of countries, distinguishing between 'normal' and 'extreme' volatility.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Dmitri Vinogradov
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We consider an overlapping generations model with two production factors and two types of agents in the presence of financial intermediation and its application to the Russian default of August 1998. The paper focuses on the analysis of the consequences of a sudden negative repayments shock on financial intermediation capacity and consequently on the economy as a whole. The model exhibits a 'chain reaction' property, when a single macroeconomic shock can lead to the exhaustion of credit resources and to the subsequent collapse of the whole banking system. To maintain the capability of the system to recover, regulatory intervention is needed even in the presence of the state guarantees on agents' deposits in the banks (workout incentives). We compare the results for an intermediated economy with those derived under the assumption of a market economy, and draw some broad conclusions on the consequences of the crises, which are contingent on the financial sector structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Erik Thorbecke, Machiko Nissanke
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper offers a critical literature review of the debate surrounding the globalization-poverty nexus, focusing on channels and linkages through which globalization affects the poor. After introducing four different concepts used to measure trends in world income inequality, it examines first the 'growth' conduit through which globalization affects poverty. Treating inequality as the explicit filter between growth and poverty reduction, the causal chain of openness-growth-inequality-poverty is scrutinized, link by link. The paper then moves on to examine other channels in the globalization-poverty nexus that operate through changes in relative factor and good prices, factor movements, the nature of technological change and diffusion, the impact of globalization on volatility and vulnerability, the worldwide flow of information, global disinflation, and institutions, respectively. The paper concludes with a discussion of strategic policy issues within the context of the globalization debate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, Poverty
  • Author: Heiko Nitzschke, David M. Malone
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The political economy of civil wars has acquired unprecedented scholarly and policy attention. Among others, the International Peace Academy's programme on Economic Agendas in Civil Wars (EACW) has aimed to contribute to a better understanding of the complex dynamics of civil war economies and has identified areas for policy development critical for improved conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and postconflict peacebuilding. While much of the earlier debate on the economic dimensions has been polarized around the 'greed versus grievance' dichotomy, there is now a better understanding of how economic dynamics can influence the onset, character, and duration of armed conflicts. This paper discusses key research findings and their policy relevance, provides a preliminary assessment of policy efforts to address the economic dimensions of conflict and conflict transformation, and offers some issues for further research and policy action.
  • Topic: Civil War, Development, Economics, Political Economy
  • Author: George Mavrotas, David Fielding
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Issues related to the volatility of aid flows are now becoming crucial in view of their relevance to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The paper examines aid volatility using data for 66 aid recipients over the period 1973-2002. We improve upon earlier work in this important area by disaggregating total aid inflows into sector and programme aid. In this way we avoid focussing on a single aggregate, unlike most previous studies on aid volatility. We also adopt a different methodology to capture aid volatility. The institutional quality of the aid recipient affects the stability of sector aid but not that of programme assistance. Moreover, more open economies, which tend to be smaller and richer, ceteris paribus, are associated with more volatile sector aid flows.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Author: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Angola, and Sierra Leone are now attempting to recover from major wars, often amidst continuing insecurity. The challenge is to achieve a broad-based recovery that benefits the majority of people. The economic and social recovery of conflict-affected countries cannot be separated from their interaction with the rest of the world through flows of finance, goods, and people. Unfortunately, the global economy is not working well for peace. Trade reform, in particular, must take account of the need to create better, and non-violent, livelihoods for the world's poor: rich-country protectionism in agriculture hinders broad-based recovery and thereby harms the new international security agenda. Post-conflict economies also need more external finance to support early institutional development and reform, thereby increasing the effectiveness of longer-term aid inflows.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, Sierra Leone, Angola
  • Author: Anne Trebilcock
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The ILO was founded for social justice, a mandate expressed today in terms of decent work as a global goal, for all who work, whether in formal or informal contexts. In June 2002, the delegates to the International Labour Conference from governments, workers' and employers' organizations adopted a resolution incorporating conclusions on decent work and the informal economy. The four components of decent work – opportunities for employment and income, respect for rights at work, social protection and stronger social dialogue – form the backbone of the ILO's approach to the informal economy. These elements can also be seen through a development lens, and necessarily feature a strong gender dimension. To make the action foreseen by the ILC conclusions more easily operational in a cross-disciplinary way, the issues they address can be cast in terms of macro policy, governance, enhancement of productivity, markets and employment, social protection/addressing vulnerabilities, and representation and voice. All play key roles in poverty reduction. Moreover, recognizing the importance of measuring progress towards decent work, developments in relation to indicators are briefly described. This paper includes annexes reproducing the ILC conclusions along with two relevant resolutions adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians and a list of ILO websites that address various aspects of decent work and the informal economy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Economics, Government
  • Author: Rehman Sobhan
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper argues that poverty originates in the structural injustices of a social order which incapacitates the poor from participating in the growth generating sectors of the economy and leaves them captives in the so called informal sector, characterized by low productivity and low earning capacity. In such a system the poor remain individualized and hence disempowered which compels them to interface with the market economy on highly inequitable terms which relegates them to the lowest tiers of the value addition chain. The need for a macro-policy designed to eliminate poverty is premised on the argument that poverty originates in the structural features of society which can only be addressed at the macro-level. Policy interventions, to redesign the structural sources of poverty, bring into consideration issues of social, political as well as economic reform.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Reema Nanavaty
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This is a brief sketch of the Self Employed Women's Association's (SEWA) three-decade-long journey from the local to global and informal to formal sector in search of finding work and income for now 720,000 women workers. Though SEWA remains a local and an informal economy workers' organization, its aim has always been to mainstream its issues, hopes, and achievements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Elinor Ostrom
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Unlocking human potential requires a rich network of institutional arrangements in both private and public spheres. Opening the private sphere to entrepreneurship and complex market organization is well understood as a key to increasing the level and quality of private goods available to consumers. Opening the public sphere to entrepreneurship and innovation at local, regional, and international levels is also a key to increasing the level and quality of public goods – e.g., peace, safety, and health – available to citizens. This paper reviews studies of urban service delivery that have repeatedly found communities of individuals who have self-organized to provide and co-produce surprisingly good local services. In addition to unlocking individual freedom, we need to unlock the public sector from rigid, top-down, hierarchical organization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Zhao Chen, Ming Lu
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: China's recent accession to the WTO is expected to accelerate its integration into the world economy, which aggravates concerns over the impact of globalization on the already rising inter-region income inequality in China. This paper discusses China's globalization process and estimates an income generating function, incorporating trade and FDI variables. It then applies the newly developed Shapley value decomposition technique to quantify the contributions of globalization, along with other variables, to regional inequality. It is found that (a) globalization constitutes a positive and substantial share to regional inequality and the share rises over time; (b) capital is one of the largest and increasingly important contributor to regional inequality; (c) economic reform characterized by privatization exerts a significant impact on regional inequality; and (d) the relative contributions of education, location, urbanization and dependency ratio to regional inequality have been declining.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses development policy objectives, noting how these have changed over the years, with a more explicit focus on poverty reduction coming recently to the fore. It also examines the relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction. The paper then discusses how to achieve economic growth, starting with the caveat that growth must be environmentally sustainable, and moves on to the big question of the respective roles for the market mechanism and the state in allocating society's productive resources. The paper next discusses how economic reform has been implemented, and the political difficulties that arise. It concludes that getting development policy right has the potential to lift millions out of poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: B. Oluwatayo
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of income risk on the level of well-being of rural households in Nigeria. While income risk is defined as the risks associated with variability in income well-being is defined in terms of the level of utility reached by a given individual. This level is a function of goods and services that the individual consumes. The study is based on primary data collected from a sample of 285 households in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Analysis of the data revealed that household heads' age, years of formal education, household size, size of land cultivated and total expenditure (on food and non-food items) are major determinants of income risks among households in the study area. Also, going by the indices of various social indicators of well-being considered, it was revealed that income risk impacts negatively on the well-being of households in the study area.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Tun Lin
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The present paper is a first attempt to develop a theoretical model using a short-term vis-á-vis long-term contract framework within which donor countries' endorsement or rejection decision towards the recently proposed International Finance Facility (IFF) is rationalized. The current foreign aid system is portrayed as being similar to a series of short-term contracts, where donor countries are able to adjust the aid amount to reflect environmental change (broadly defined to take into account changes in public opinion, domestic situation, etc.). The benefit of this system is in its flexibility. Frontloading aid, on the other hand, as proposed by the IFF proposal, has the benefit of smoothing out the flows over time. In the model presented in this paper, donor countries balance these two contract schemes to determine the endorsement or rejection of the IFF proposal. By using historical aid data covering the period 1990-2003 for all DAC donor countries, our empirical analysis shows the payoffs and relative advantages of these two contract schemes.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: S. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper points to some elementary conflicts between the claims of interpersonal and intergroup justice as they manifest themselves in the process of seeking a real-valued index of poverty which is required to satisfy certain seemingly desirable properties. It indicates how 'group—sensitive' poverty measures, similar to the Anand-Sen (1995) 'Gender Adjusted Human Development Index' and the Subramanian-Majumdar (2002) 'Group-Disparity Adjusted Deprivation Index', may be constructed. Some properties of a specific 'group-sensitive' poverty index are appraised, and the advantage of having a 'flexible' measure which is capable of effecting a tradeoff between the claims of interpersonal and inter-group equality is spelt out. The implications of directly incorporating group disparities into the measurement of poverty for poverty comparisons and anti-poverty policy are also discussed.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty, International Affairs
  • Author: Sarah White, Jethro Pettit
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers the use of participatory methods in international development research, and asks what contribution these can make to the definition and measurement of well-being. It draws on general lessons arising from the project level, two larger-scale policy research processes sponsored by the World Bank, and the experience of quality of life studies. It also considers emerging experiments with using participatory methods to generate quantitative data. The paper closes by assessing the future trajectory of participatory approaches in well-being research, and reflects on some dilemmas regarding the use of participatory data on well-being in the policymaking process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, International Cooperation
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Yin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy underwent cyclical fluctuations in growth and inflation in the reform period. Contrasting views exist on the role of money in such fluctuations. This paper assesses these views employing structural VEC models based on the exchange equation. It is found that in the long run money accommodates, rather than causes, changes in output and prices. In the short run, price fluctuations are mostly attributable to shocks that have permanent effects on prices and money but not on real output. These shocks also account for a large proportion of fluctuations in money, and strongly influence the movements of output.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Yin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper proposes a structural VAR model which extends the frameworks of Hoffmaister and Roldós (2001) and Prasad (1999). The model is then used to analyse the sources of China's trade balance fluctuations in the period of 1985–2000. Efforts are made to distinguish the forces which underlie the long-run trend in trade balance from those with transitory impacts. The effects of four types of shock are examined—the foreign supply shock, the domestic supply shock, the relative demand shock, and the nominal shock. Among other findings, two emerge as important. First, the movements in China's trade are largely the result of real shocks. Second, the Renminbi is undervalued, yet changes in the exchange rate bear little on the trade balance. Therefore, monetary measures would not suffice to redress China's trade 'imbalance'.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Yin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper represents a first attempt to study China's business cycles using a formal analytical framework, namely, a structural VAR model. It is found that: (a) demand shocks were the dominant source of macroeconomic fluctuations, but supply shocks had gained more importance over time; (b) the driving forces of demand shocks were consumption and fixed investment in the first cycle of 1985–90, but shifted to fixed investment and world demand in the second cycle of 1991–96 and the post-1997 deflation period; and (c) macroeconomic policies did not play an important part either in initiating or counteracting cyclical fluctuations.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Shatakshee Dhongde
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, India has been one of the fastest growing economies, and has experienced considerable decline in overall income poverty. However, in a vast country like India, poverty levels vary significantly across the different states. In this paper, we analyze the differences between poverty at the state and national level, separately for the rural and urban sector, in the year 1999-2000. Instead of following the usual practice of decomposing the changes in poverty over time, we decompose the changes in poverty across regions. Such decomposition reveals that differences in state and national poverty levels were largely explained by differences in the state and national mean income levels. Differences in the state and national distributions of income were less important in explaining spatial differences in poverty. An important policy implication of our results is that states with extremely high levels of poverty would have reduced poverty significantly by raising their mean income levels to the national mean income, instead of changing their distribution of income to match the national income distribution.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: John Knight, Li Shi, Zhao Renwei
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Two precisely comparable national household surveys relating to 1988 and 1995 are used to analyse changes in the inequality of income in urban China. Over those seven years province mean income per capita grew rapidly but diverged across provinces, whereas intra-province income inequality grew rapidly but converged across provinces. The reasons for these trends are explored by means of various forms of decomposition analysis. Comparisons are also made between the coastal provinces and the inland provinces. The decompositions show the central role of wages, and within wages profitrelated bonuses, together with the immobility of labour across provinces, in explaining mean income divergence. The timing of economic reforms helps to explain the convergence of intra-province income inequality. Policy conclusions are drawn.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Zhangyue Zhou
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A considerable literature exists on the measurement of income inequality in China and its increasing trend. Much less is known, however, about the driving forces of this trend and their quantitative contributions. Conventional decompositions, by factor components or by population subgroups, only provide limited information on the determinants of income inequality. This paper represents an early attempt to apply the regression-based decomposition framework to the study of inequality accounting in rural China, using household level data. It is found that geography has been the dominant factor but is becoming less important in explaining total inequality. Capital input emerges as a most significant determinant of income inequality. Farming structure is more important than labour and other inputs in contributing to income inequality across households.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ravi Kanbur, Xiaobo Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper constructs and analyses a long-run time-series for regional inequality in China from the Communist Revolution to the present. There have been three peaks of inequality in the last fifty years, coinciding with the Great Famine of the late 1950s, the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, and finally the period of openness and global integration in the late 1990s. Econometric analysis establishes that regional inequality is explained in the different phases by three key policy variables; the ratio of heavy industry to gross output value, the degree of decentralization, and the degree of openness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Somik V. Lall, Sanjoy Chakravorty
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We argue that spatial inequality of industry location is a primary cause of spatial income inequality in developing nations. We focus on understanding the process of spatial industrial variation—identifying the spatial factors that have cost implications for firms, and the factors that influence the location decisions of new industrial units. The analysis has two parts. First we examine the contribution of economic geography factors to the cost structure of firms in eight industry sectors and show that local industrial diversity is the one factor with significant and substantial cost reducing effects. We then show that new private sector industrial investments in India are biased toward existing industrial and coastal districts, whereas state industrial investments (in deep decline after structural reforms) are far less biased toward such districts. We conclude that structural reforms lead to increased spatial inequality in industrialization, and therefore, income.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Tomoki Fujii
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this study, we combined the Cambodian socioeconomic survey for 1997 and the country's population census of 1998 to produce poverty measures at the commune-level in Cambodia using the small-area estimation technique developed by Elbers, Lanjouw and Lanjouw. While there are a number of communes for which the standard errors associated with the estimates are too high, we found that they are on average small enough to be useful. We illustrate the application of poverty maps with reference to education programmes.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Jeremy Heimans
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Multiactor global funds (MGFs) are emerging as important new mechanisms for the financing of development and other global priorities. MGFs like the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are distinctive because they are administered and financed by multiactor coalitions of governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society, they operate independently of any one institution and are tied to particular issue or policy areas. This paper considers the desirability of MGFs as instruments for international financial mobilization, resource allocation and as a form of experimentation in global governance. It is argued that MGFs hold considerable promise as focal points for generating additional public and private resources to address urgent global problems and to finance global public goods. They may be more operationally nimble than traditional mechanisms and capture some of the benefits of collaboration among different actors. However, MGFs may also result in a less coherent response to global problems, duplicate existing structures and be weakly democratically accountable.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Author: Renu Kohli
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: India's capital account displays a sharp swing in external financing from official assistance to private capital transfers in the 1990s. This paper examines the implications of this transition for the country. An analysis of the private resource transfer reveals that unlike official flows, private capital flows are associated with real exchange rate appreciation, expansion in domestic money supply and stock market growth, liquidity and volatility. The paper concludes with a discussion on the implications of the transition for economic policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Peter Burnell
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study is premised on the view that reports circulating in the 1990s, claiming foreign aid was in terminal crisis, were premature. Aid's reviving fortunes are explained in terms both of a growing awareness of the uneven implications of globalization and the after-effects of the terrorist events of 11 September 2001. However these two 'drivers' make uneasy partners. Furthermore, aid for democratization, argued in the 1990s to be an instrument for indirectly addressing socioeconomic weakness and improving development aid's effectiveness—making it a positive feature in a bleak decade—is increasingly seen as problematic. For now, aid's resurgence should target pro-poor development rather than democratic reform, although the likelihood is that old fashioned determinants of realpolitik will continue to get in the way.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Abebe Shimeles, Arne Bigsten
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines trends in income distribution and its linkages to economic growth and poverty reduction in order to understand the prospects for achieving poverty reduction in Africa. We examine the levels and trends in income distribution in some African countries and calculate pro-poor growth indices. Different growth patterns are simulated for Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, and South Africa. We conclude that the balance between policies aimed at growth and measures aimed at redistribution should depend on the elasticity of the growth-equity tradeoff. We also discuss what the appropriate ingredients of a pro-poor strategy would be in the African setting.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia
  • Author: Abebe Shimeles, Arne Bigsten
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper addresses issues related to the dynamics of income poverty using unique household panel data for urban and rural areas of Ethiopia covering the period 1994-97. The percentage of households that remained in poverty was twice as large in urban areas as in rural areas. This suggests that income variability is a serious problem in rural areas, while the persistence is a key feature of urban poverty. The paper also discusses household characteristics that are correlated with the incidence of chronic poverty as well as vulnerability to poverty. A strategy that promotes consumption smoothing through say access to credit can work well in rural areas, while income or employment generation are required for poverty alleviation in urban areas.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Mozaffar Qizilbash
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: It is often argued that multi-dimensional measures of well-being and poverty—such as those based on the capability approach and related views—are ad hoc. Rankings based on them are not, for this reason, robust to changes in the selection of weights used. In this paper, it is argued that the extent of potential arbitrariness and the range of issues relating to robustness have been underestimated in this context. Several issues relating to both the identification of the poor and the use of dimension-specific data are distinguished. These issues are then discussed in the context of the inter-provincial ranking of poverty in South Africa in 1995-6. It turns out that this ranking is fairly robust, and that some important policy-relevant results about the distinction between 'income'/'expenditure' and 'human' poverty for the South African context are reinforced rather than undermined by checking for robustness. In particular, while KwaZulu Natal is in the best three in terms of the standard expenditure measures for various choices of poverty line, it is third worst in terms of all the multi-dimensional rankings presented here.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Kathryn Anderson, Richard Pomfret
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on inequality in living standards across oblasts and regions within Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Regional inequality is an important area of research and policy development. Inequality in income and consumption are logical outcomes in a market-based economic system. If inequality within countries exists because of barriers to competition, then inequality can foment internal tension, and economic and social development within countries is negatively affected. We examine Living Standards Measurement data from Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, and Kazakhstan and additional survey data from Uzbekistan. We find that the most important explanations for the variation in expenditures per capita in the region are household location, household composition, and education. We find large variation in per capita expenditure by location within each country, and the differences go beyond the simple rural-urban distinction. Family structure is also important, and in all countries, having a university educated household head significantly improves household welfare; expenditures are higher in these households than in households with less educated heads. We examine inequality in access to community services and find that provision of public goods reinforces regional inequality patterns in expenditures that we measure among households. The poorest households are likely to live in communities with the lowest access to public services.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Henning Tarp Jensen, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we calibrate two static computable general equilibrium (CGE) models with respectively 16 and 5,999 representative households. Aggregated and disaggregated household categories are consistently embedded in a 2000 social accounting matrix for Vietnam, mapping on a one-to-one basis to each other. Distinct differences in poverty assessments emerge when the impact of trade liberalization is analyzed in the two models. This highlights the importance of modeling micro household behavior and related income and expenditure distributions endogenously within a static CGE model framework. Our simulations indicate that poverty will rise following a revenue-neutral lowering of trade taxes. This is interpreted as a worst case scenario, which suggests that government should be proactive in combining trade liberalization measures with a propoor fiscal response to avoid increasing poverty in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • Author: James B. Davies
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Alternative approaches to modelling distributional and welfare effects of changes in policy and the economic environment in developing and transition countries are surveyed. Microsimulations range from pure accounting approaches to models with behavioural equations based on econometric estimates and various dynamic models. Microsimulation accounting models are key to analysing the impact effects of tax and benefit changes and are becoming widespread. Computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling endogenizes price changes and changes in industry and labour market structure. An essential CGE input is a social accounting matrix (SAM), which can be used to do simple multiplier analyses. A wide range of macroeconomic models have also been used in developing countries, endogenizing variables like interest rates and exchange rates.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Author: Arsenio M. Balisacan, Nobuhiko Fuwa
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to establish some basic facts about income inequality in the Philippines, with a special focus on the importance of spatial income inequality. Despite major fluctuations in macroeconomic performances, income inequality remained relatively stable during the years 1985-2000. Spatial inequality accounts for a sizable but not overwhelming portion of the national-level income inequality, and the relative importance of spatial inequality was declining over time. We also find that mean income levels across provinces were converging at a much faster rate than those observed in currently developed countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Michael Grimm
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: I use a dynamic microsimulation model to analyse the distributional effects of an expansion of education in Côte d'Ivoire in the medium and long term. The simulations are performed in order to replicate several policies in force or subject to debate in this country. Various hypotheses concerning the evolution of returns to education and labour demand are tested. The direct effects between education and income as well as the different transmission channels, such as occupational choices, fertility, and household composition, are analysed. The effects of educational expansion on the growth of household incomes, their distribution and poverty depend very crucially on the hypothesis made on the evolution of returns to education and labour demand. If returns to education remain constant and the labour market segmented, the effects will be very modest.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Andrew Sumner
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the measurement of poverty and well-being. A historical overview is given of the last fifty years. This is followed by discussion of three groupings of indicators: those measures based primarily on economic well-being; those based on non-economic well-being and composite indicators. It is argued that the choice of indicator should reflect its purpose and that economic measures are best when quick, rough-and-ready, short run, aggregate inferences are required. In contrast, non-economic measures are better when greater depth on medium- or longer-term trends and/or dis-aggregation are required.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Mariano Rojas
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This investigation studies human well-being from a subjective well-being approach. On the basis of a Mexican database the investigation shows that there is a weak relationship between subjective well-being and indicators of well-being such as income and consumption. Therefore, subjective well-being provides additional useful information to study human well-being and, in consequence, poverty.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Steve Dowrick
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Internation comparisons of average national incomes omit important information about leisure, home production, health, etc. They are also bedevilled by index number problems. This paper suggests ways of combining working hours and life-expectancy with income comparisons, and shows that the fixed-price indexes of real income, such as those in the Penn World Table, substantially understate the income gaps between the poorest and richest countries.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: David Fielding, Kevin Lee, Kalvinder Shields
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we fit a VECM in output and prices to data from ten countries of the CFA Franc Zone. This model allows for various cross-country interactions in both the short run and the long run. The VECM parameters are used to estimate persistence profiles of different kinds, in order to identify the degree of homogeneity in the way in which the countries respond to macroeconomic shocks. In this way we can shed light on questions about the likely size of the costs incurred from these countries' membership of a monetary union.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anja Shortland, David Stasavage
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines to what extent the central bank for the West African Economic and Monetary Union (BCEAO) has used interest rate policy in response to domestic economic developments. We show that while in the long run the BCEAO matches changes in French (Eurozone) interest rates one for one, in the short run it retains freedom to react to domestic economic variables, such as inflation, the output gap, its foreign exchange position and government borrowing.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, France, West Africa
  • Author: Jean-Paul Azam
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper brings out that poverty increased massively in the wake of the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc, despite a significant recovery of economic growth. Although this increase affected all the social groups, it fell mostly on the urban poor. An analytical model is presented, which explains this puzzle by the stratification of the labour market, assuming that the formal sector workers are at the same time the investors in the informal sector. Then, capital intensity in the latter increases as the former anticipate the cut in formal sector wages that the long-awaited devaluation brings about. Ex post, they run down their assets for consumption-smoothing purposes, thus de-capitalizing the informal sector firms, with a negative impact on incomes in the (urban) informal sector.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Fielding, Kalvinder Shields
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we use data from 17 African nations in order to investigate the hypothesis that monetary union – represented in this case by the CFA Franc Zone – augments the extent of macroeconomic integration. The paper covers a number of dimensions of integration including the volume of bilateral trade, real exchange rate volatility and the magnitude of cross-country business cycle correlation.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anja Shortland, David Stasavage
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines whether the BCEAO has made use of the various policy instruments at its disposal for steering credit in the individual CFA zone member countries to complement interest rate policy at the zone level. We estimate whether private sector credit has responded systematically to different monetary policy variables using iterated 3-stage least squares regressions for Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and Togo. If we constrain the coefficient estimates there is some support for the hypothesis that the BCEAO has contracted private sector credit in response to a higher inflation differential with France. However, there seems to be no policy rule to restrict private sector credit in response to increasing government borrowing from the central bank or increased foreign borrowing. If the coefficient estimates are unconstrained, there does not appear to be any systematic policy to control credit expansion at the domestic level.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, France
  • Author: Mireille Linjouom
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper determines an analytical framework defining the choice of an optimal exchange rate regime for a typical CFA country. The policymakers behave strategically to decide to adopt alternative exchange rate regime by minimizing their loss function under specific constraints like economic characteristics and political consideration. One concludes a CFA economy with less inflationary propensity and greater external shocks volatility will tend to select a flexible exchange rate regime. Moreover, the model suggests that a CFA country with a more unstable political system and a higher propensity to apply inflationary policies will prefer a flexible arrangement than a fixed one.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Simeon Coleman
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts and responses of macroeconomic shocks in some domestic economies in Sub-Saharan Africa over the period 1961-99; more specifically, it seeks to answer the question of whether there are any systematic differences in the responses of the CFA franc zones and the non-CFA franc zone countries to macroeconomic shocks. Based on the Blanchard-Quah methodology, we identify shocks to the changes in real exchange rate and output using a structural VAR (SVAR) model for these small open economies. Our finding that the real exchange rate innovations in the CFA franc zones are largely independent of domestic variables suggests that external influence is more important in the CFA zones. There is also some evidence that money demand shocks are more significant in the non-CFA franc zone countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Erik Thorbecke
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to review a number of issues related to poverty, while taking stock of the ongoing research. Most of the remaining unresolved issues in poverty analysis are related directly or indirectly to the dynamics of poverty. Before the development community can become more successful in designing and implementing poverty-alleviation strategies, within the context of growth, we need to understand better the conditions under which some households remain permanently (chronically) poor and how others move in and out of poverty. In what follows we review the state of the art under a number of interrelated headings: (1) Chronic vs. transient poverty; (2) Poverty and vulnerability; (3) The determination of the poverty line across time and countries; (4) The quantitative vs. qualitative approach to poverty measurement; and (5) Growth, inequality and poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: W.F. Krugell, W.A. Naudé
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: South Africa is characterized by significant inequality in spatial economic activity. Whether future growth and development on a subnational level in South Africa will be such as to reduce this inequality may depend on the economic growth and development of South Africa's largest cities. Our local economic growth empirics show some indications of conditional convergence in output between poorer towns as well as overall between all cities and towns. Between 1990 and 2000 some limited sigma convergence was found but this was driven by declines in the standard deviation of per capita income amongst the poorest quintile of towns. An estimate of conditional beta convergence of 1.2 percent over the period 1990-2000 confirms that overall convergence has been taking place. From an estimation of the determinants of economic growth on a local level, using a dataset on 353 local areas in South Africa between 1990-2000 we found the most significant determinants to be stocks of human capital and distance from harbours and markets. The effect of human capital on economic growth was strongly associated with the presence of large cities, as one would predict from endogenous growth theory.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Barry McCormick, Jackline Wahba
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores entrepreneurship amongst return migrants, how their business locations and characteristics differ from other businesses, and the implications for rural urban inequality. First, we examine, amongst returnees, the determinants of investment in a project/enterprise. Second, we study the impact of return migration on the characteristics and nature of non-farm small enterprises using a sample of return migrants and non-migrant owners of enterprises. Our data indicate that although the share of return migrants originating in urban areas is almost equal to those from rural areas, and that migrants tend to return to their origin region, urban areas benefit more than rural areas from international savings. The empirical evidence suggests that overseas savings, and the duration of stay overseas, have positive separate effects on the probability of investing in a project/enterprise amongst returnees. Furthermore, returnees from urban-origin are more likely than rural ones to invest in a non-farm enterprise. The findings also indicate that there is a regional bias in the location of firms and jobs created by returnees compared to non-migrants, in favour of the capital city. Thus, overall, the results support a positive impact of return migration on enterprise investment in urban areas driven by the preference of returnees to invest in urban areas.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Migration
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Mattia Romani
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There is increasing evidence to suggest that a fundamental source of information for farmers on how to access and use new agricultural technologies comes from interacting with neighbours. Economic research on adoption of innovations in a rural context has only partially addressed the issue of how the social structure of a village can affect adoption and the final impact on productivity of farmers. This paper investigates the role of proximity interpreted not only in geographical terms but also along the line of ethnic similarities among neighbours (what we define as 'social proximity'). We use a panel dataset collected in Côte d'Ivoire to define the probability of accessing the knowledge network. The main results indicate that farmers from ethnic minorities are less likely to access, and benefit less from, extension services. But they seem to try to re-equalize their condition by putting more effort than dominant ethnic group neighbours in sharing information among themselves.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa