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  • Author: Hyun H. Son, Nanak Kakwani
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper looks into the interrelation between economic growth, inequality, and poverty. Using the notion of pro-poor growth, this study examines to what extent the poor benefit from economic growth. First, various approaches to defining and measuring pro-poor growth are scrutinized using a variety of criteria. It is argued that the satisfaction of a monotonicity axiom is a key criterion for measuring pro-poor growth. The monotonicity axiom sets out a condition that the proportional reduction in poverty is monotonically an increasing function of the pro-poor growth measure. This paper proposes a pro-poor growth measure that satisfies the monotonicity criterion. This measure is called the 'poverty equivalent growth rate', which takes into account both the magnitude of growth and how the benefits of the growth are distributed to the poor and the non-poor. As the new measure satisfies the criterion of monotonicity, it is indicative that to achieve a rapid poverty reduction, the poverty equivalent growth rate ought to be maximized rather than the actual growth rate. The methodology developed in the paper is then applied to Asian countries, including the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand
  • Author: Wayne Nafziger
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper compares perspectives on the meaning of development in the late 1970s and early 1980s to the contemporary period, with a focus on the works of Dudley Seers and Amartya Sen. Both men were critical of the development literature of their times. Seers was especially critical of neoclassicism's universal claims and economic growth as the prime objective. For Sen, development involves reducing deprivation or broadening choice. One challenge for future work is for development economists, similar to Seers and Sen, to be more holistic, integrating economic development, human rights, and conflict reduction.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Hyun H. Son, Nanak Kakwani
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper suggests how the targeting efficiency of government programmes may be better assessed. Using the 'pro-poor policy' (PPP) index developed by authors, the study investigates the pro-poorness of not only government programmes geared to the poorest segment of the population, but also basic service delivery in education, health and infrastructure. This paper also shows that the targeting efficiency for a particular socioeconomic group should be judged on the basis of a 'total-group PPP index', to capture the impact of operating a programme within the group. Using micro-unit data from household surveys, the paper presents a comparative analysis for Thailand, Russia, Vietnam and 15 African countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand
  • Author: Gerald Epstein
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, there has been a global sea change in the theory and practice of central banking. The currently dominant 'best practice' approach to central banking consists of the following: (1) central bank independence (2) a focus on inflation fighting (including adopting formal 'inflation targeting') and (3) the use of indirect methods of monetary policy (that is, short-term interest rates as opposed to direct methods such as credit ceilings). This paper argues that this neo-liberal approach to central banking is highly idiosyncratic in that, as a package, it is dramatically different from the historically dominant theory and practice of central banking, not only in the developing world, but, notably, in the now developed countries themselves. Throughout the early and recent history of central banking in the US, England, Europe, and elsewhere, financing governments, managing exchange rates, and supporting economic sectors by using 'direct methods' of intervention have been among the most important tasks of central banking and, indeed, in many cases, were among the reasons for their existence. The neo-liberal central bank policy package, then, is drastically out of step with the history and dominant practice of central banking throughout most of its history.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, England
  • Author: Meredith Woo-Cumings
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the literature on the rule of law and economic development, and in particular the influential argument by La Porta et al., on the superiority of the Anglo-American common law system in fostering financial development. In this paper I show that however compelling their argument might be, legal traditions and institutions do not determine the nature of the state, nor its likely role in the economy—nor do they critically determine the course of economic development. I build my case by examining the real and informal mechanisms of state intervention in the economy in East Asia.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Law
  • Political Geography: America, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Joseph Toye, John Toye
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Max Weber believed that bureaucracy could be understood by analysing its ideal-typical characteristics, and that these characteristics would become more pervasive as the modern age advanced. Weber's horizontal account of bureaucracy can be criticised on various grounds, including its unrealistic notion of bureaucratic rationality. An alternative view is proposed, namely, that the development of state bureaucracies is driven by the trajectory of the highpower politics in which they are nested.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda, Daniel Zerfu, Abebe Shimeles
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper, using the rich household panel data of urban and rural Ethiopia that covers the period from 1994 to 2000, we attempted to establish the link between finance and poverty in Ethiopia. Our results show that access to finance is an important factor in consumption smoothing and hence poverty reduction. We also found evidence for a poverty trap due to liquidity constraints that limits the ability of the rural households from consumption smoothing. The empirical findings from this study could inform finance policies aimed at addressing issues of poverty reduction.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis, Saibal Kar
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Traditionally, firms in India have shown a low preference towards debt financing, despite its advantages. Using panel data from 450 firms during 1992-93 and 2003-04, we attempt to identify factors which could explain the pattern of financing of manufacturing firms in India and the key determinants of their debt structure. We examine the roles of age of the firm, long term borrowing and net sales in affecting its debt structure.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Ajit Singh, Sukti Dasgupta
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper uses a Kaldorian framework to examine the evidence of deindustrialization in developing countries at low levels of income, the jobless growth in these economies and the fast expansion of the informal sector. The questions are specifically examined for the Indian economy, using state level data but the analysis has a wider application for economic policy in developing countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Third World
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Mingxing Liu, Pengfei Zhang, Shiyuan Pan, Justin Yifu Lin
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the politically determined development objectives and the intrinsic logic of government intervention policies in east developed countries. It is argued that the distorted institutional structure in China and in many least developed countries, after the Second World War, can be largely explained by government adoption of inappropriate development strategies. Motivated by nation building, most least-developed countries, including the socialist countries, adopted a comparative advantage defying strategy to accelerate the growth of capital-intensive, advanced sectors in their countries. In the paper we also statistically measure the evolution of government development strategies and the economic institutions in China from 1950s to 1980s to show the co-existence and coevolution of government adoption of comparative advantage defying strategy and the trinity system.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Justin Yifu Lin, Peilin Liu
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper argues that both openness and poverty in a country are endogenously determined by the country's long-term economic development strategy. Development strategies can be broadly divided into two mutually exclusive groups: (i) the comparative advantage-defying (CAD) strategy, which attempts to encourage firms to deviate from the economy's existing comparative advantages in their entry into an industry or choice of technology; and (ii) the comparative advantage-following (CAF) strategy, which attempts to facilitate the firms' entry into an industry or choice of technology according to the economy's existing comparative advantages.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Yin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the distributional impact of globalization on the poor in urban China. Employing the kernel density estimation technique, we recovered from irregularly grouped household survey data the income distribution for 29 Chinese provinces for 1988-2001. Panels of the income shares of the poorest 20, 10 and 5 per cent of the urban residents were then compiled. In a fixed-effect model, two of the central conclusions of Dollar and Kraay (2002)—that 'the incomes of the poor rise equi-proportionately with average income' and that trade openness has little distributional effect on poverty—were revisited. Our results lend little support to either of the Dollar-Kraay conclusions, but instead indicate that average income growth is associated with worsening income distribution while globalization in general, and trade openness in particular, raises the income shares of the poor. It is also found that openness to trade and openness to FDI have differential distributional effects. The beneficial effect of trade was not restricted to the coastal provinces only, but also weakened significantly after 1992. These findings are robust to allow for nonlinearity in the effect of globalization and to control for the influence of several other variables.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Brinda Viswanathan, S. Kavi Kumar
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The net impact of globalization on developing countries, and more specifically on the poorer sections of population in these countries, is complex and context dependent, and hence needs to be analysed empirically. This study in the context of globalization attempts to develop regional level indices of vulnerability with respect to welfare loss in India using a methodology based on fuzzy inference systems. The vulnerability of an entity is conceptualized (following the practice in global climate change literature) as a function of its exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Empirical analysis based on such multidimensional conceptualization demands use of indicator-based approach which is attempted in this study and uses fuzzy models that adequately capture vagueness inherent in such approaches.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Klasen, Kenneth Harttgen, Melanie Grosse
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In order to track progress in MDG1 and explicitly link growth, inequality, and poverty reduction, several measures of 'pro-poor growth' have been proposed in the literature and used in applied academic and policy work. These measures, particularly the ones derived from the growth incidence curve, allow a much more detailed assessment of the distributional impact of growth and its link to poverty reduction. However, there are no corresponding measures for tracking the distribution of progress in non-income dimensions of poverty, and thus the distribution of progress towards MDGs 2-7. In this paper, we propose to extend the pro-poor growth measurement to non-income dimensions of poverty (particularly health and education). We empirically illustrate the approach for Bolivia and show that it allows a much more detailed assessment of progress towards MDGs 2-7 by focusing on the distribution of progress. Furthermore, this extension also allows an explicit assessment of the linkage between progress in MDG1 and MDGs 2-7 as well as extends traditional incidence analysis by quantifying outcomes in non-income dimensions of poverty along the income distribution.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bolivia
  • Author: Stephen Klasen, David Lawson, Sudharshan Canagarajah, Mark Blackden
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study suggests that gender inequality acts as a significant constraint to growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and that removing gender-based barriers to growth will make a substantial contribution to realizing Africa's economic potential. In particular we highlight gender gaps in education, related high fertility levels, gender gaps in formal sector employment, and gender gaps in access to assets and inputs in agricultural production as particular barriers reducing the ability of women to contribute to economic growth. By identifying some of the key factors that determine the ways in which men and women contribute to, and benefit (or lose) from, growth in Africa, we argue that looking at such issues through a gender lens is an essential step in identifying how policy can be shaped in a way that is explicitly gender-inclusive and beneficial to growth and the poor. We also argue that in some dimensions and channels of the gender-growth nexus, the evidence is only suggestive and needs further detailed research and analysis. Investigations of the linkage between gender inequality and growth should therefore be a priority for development economics research in coming years.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Eric M. Uslaner
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Economic inequality provides a fertile breeding ground for corruption and, in turn, leads to further inequalities. Most corruption models focus on the institutional determinants of government dishonesty. However, such accounts are problematic. Corruption is remarkably sticky over time. There is a very powerful correlation between crossnational measures corruption in 1980 and in 2004. In contrast, measures of democracy such as the Freedom House scores are not so strongly correlated over time, and changes in corruption are unrelated to changes in institutional design. On the other hand, inequality and trust-like corruption are also sticky over time. The connection between inequality and the quality of government is not necessarily so simple. The aggregate relationships between inequality and corruption are not strong. The path from inequality to corruption may be indirect, through generalized trust, but the connection is key to understanding why some societies are more corrupt than others. This study estimates a simultaneous equation model of trust, corruption, perceptions of inequality, confidence in government, and demands for redistribution in Romania, and shows that perceptions of rising inequality and corruption lead to lower levels of trust and demands for redistribution.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Jolly
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Adam Smith, Tom Paine, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx were all bold and outspoken about the injustices of extreme inequality, nationally and internationally. Yet by almost every standard, global inequality has grown substantially since they were writing, and national income inequality also over the last two or three decades. There is a case today for more outspokenness about the extremes of inequality, both about the causes and how these causes are linked to extreme injustices in the past.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Human Rights
  • Author: Nora Lustig
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Health is an asset with an intrinsic value as well as an instrumental value. Good health is a source of wellbeing and highly valued throughout the world. Health is not only the absence of illness, but capacity to develop a person's potential. Health is also an important determinant of economic growth. Given the importance of health, both as a source of human welfare and a determinant of overall economic growth, the Popular Health Insurance (Seguro Popular) was first introduced in Mexico as a pilot programme by the federal government in 2001, becoming part of the formal legislation in 2003. This study looks at the current situation, and some of the early findings and improvements made so far with regard to public health coverage in Mexico.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health
  • Political Geography: Central America, Mexico
  • Author: S. Mansoob Murshed
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper is concerned with the problems of achieving lasting peace. One dimension includes fairly sharing the post-war economic and political pie or the peace dividend. This requires post-war allocations that are envy free. Many peace agreements that end civil wars are notoriously unstable in that they are often not implemented, or break down after some time. Commitments to the peace treaty are simply not credible. One reason for that could be certain indivisibilities in perceived shares of power and income in the peace settlement, as well as the inability to correctly infer the value of path dependence when future reputation depends on present actions but the future is heavily discounted. The paper also discusses the role of another type of unfairness, namely a deep sense of humiliation, in determining acts of transnational terrorism, where force may not be the answer in attempting to deter deeply motivated persons.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Peace Studies, War
  • Author: Lakhwinder Singh
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Innovations spur science-based trade and industrial development in a fast changing pace of globalization. Knowledge accumulation and diffusion have been increasingly recognised as fundamental factors that play an important role in long-run economic growth. This paper focuses on the long-term innovation strategy of industrial and technological development in developing countries. Growth theory, empirical evidence and several indicators of innovation have been pressed into service to draw important lessons from historical experience of the developed and newly industrializing countries for the industrial development of the developing economies. Technology development and public technology policy experience of the East Asian countries have been examined to reinvent the role of public technology policy that can be adopted to develop national innovation system to nurture and build innovative capabilities in the developing economies in the dynamic global economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: East Asia