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  • 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
  • Author: Heli Virta, Pertti Haaparanta
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper studies the distribution of output per worker between the years 1980 and 2000 in different country groups. The study uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to decompose the changes in the distribution of labour productivity into changes in productive efficiency, changes in best practice technology, accumulation of physical capital, and accumulation of human capital. The study focuses on low-income countries and within them on highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs), which has not been possible in earlier studies.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Stephen Knowles
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There is a growing literature which analyses, using cross-country data, whether institutions or geography is the most important deep determinant of economic development. The empirical proxies for institutions used in this literature focus on the definition of institutions, formal and informal. This study argues that the concept of informal institutions is similar to social capital. However, the social capital and 'institutions as a deep determinant' literatures rarely acknowledge the existence of the other. It is argued that social capital meets the criteria for being a deep determinant of development and that both the cross-country literature on social capital, and the deep determinants of development literature, could be enriched by empirically modelling social capital as a deep determinant of development.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics
  • Author: Kostas Stamoulis, Leigh Anderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Many development policies and programmes are premised on a traditional economic model of rationality to predict how individuals will respond to changes in incentives. Despite the emphasis of these programmes on poverty reduction, economists and the development community in general are still unable to fully understand how the poor make decisions, especially under uncertainty and over time. Individuals avail themselves less than predicted in health programmes, participate less than expected in market opportunities, under or over insure themselves, and make short-run decisions that are inconsistent with their long-run welfare. The rise and fall of different descriptive models and paradigms of poor household behaviour can partly be attributed to this limited understanding. More helpful answers may lay within behavioural economics, that these insights are particularly important for poor populations, and that they can improve the future design, implementation and subsequent effectiveness of development programmes. Behavioural economics is an approach that rigorously combines the insights of psychology and economics to try to better understand and predict human decision making. Empirical evidence is helping us learn, for example, how cognitive limitations, fairness, loss aversion, framing of choices, variable discount rates, and the qualitative dimensions of risk—such as proximity and control—affect decision making. The regularity of many of these anomalies suggests that these behaviours are anomalous only to traditional models, but that they may otherwise be the norm.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Sebastian Torres, David Fielding
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we discuss the results of research into the impact of foreign aid on human development. Rather than focussing on per capita income, as is common in the existing literature, we look at how aid impacts on a range of human development indicators, including measures, of health, education and fertility, and allow for the fact that these different dimensions of wellbeing are likely to interact with each other. Overall, aid is found to have a substantial positive impact on many development outcome.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Author: Mihly Simai
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: At the beginning of the twenty -first century there is a rare coincidence of profound transformations in a number of areas, in population dynamics, in human settlements, in science and technology, economics, social stratification, in the role and functions of the states and in the global power structure and in governance. The systemic transformation of the former socialist countries is an important component of the ongoing changes Political, economic, and social conditions vary immensely throughout the world, influenced by the size, natural endowments, development level, economic structure, political and institutional patterns, and competitiveness of the countries. The new state and non-state actors make the system of interests and values more diverse. All these have a major influence on the future of the global development process. The paper concludes that developing societies do not need old textbook models, neoliberal or other utopias. There is widespread demand for a new scientific thinking on development, with realistic and humanistic alternatives helping collaborative global and national actions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Government
  • Author: Grzegorz W. Kolodko
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Institutions are not only created and built, but al so, and especially, need to be learnt. It is a process which takes place in all economies, but acquires a special importance in less advanced countries. Not only theoretical arguments, but also the practical experience over the past 15 years demonstrates that faster economic growth, and hence also more broadly, socioeconomic development, is attained by those countries which take greater care to foster the institutional reinforcement of market economy. However, progress in market-economy institution building is not in itself sufficient to ensure sustained growth. Another indispensable component is an appropriately designed and implemented economic policy which must not confuse the means with the aims.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Arjan de Hann
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the role migration has played in development studies, and in debates on economic growth and poverty. It argues that, despite a recent surge of interest in international migration and remittances, research on human mobility particularly for labour within poor countries does not have the place it deserves, and that it used to have in the classical development literature. Review of the empirical literature suggests that in fact much is known about the migration–development relationship, provided we are careful with definitions, and allow for context-specificity to be a key component of analyses. Against this richness of empirical detail, the paper reviews theoretical models of migration, finding significant differences in understandings of migration and its role in shaping wellbeing, but also complementarities. This highlights the importance of interdisciplinarity, and institutional understanding of processes of economic growth. In particular, it stresses that development economics need to draw more strongly on the insights by and approaches of non-economist social sciences.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Migration
  • Author: Robert J. McIntyre
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In most transitional and many developing countries institutions capable of supporting economic development with localized saving-investment cycles have not developed. This crucial gap is in no way addressed by either country-level macro programmes dealing with 'development finance' or by donor-driven 'micro credit' schemes of Grameen and other types operating at a lower (local) level. The latter seldom evolve into financial institutions able to sustain themselves on the basis of local resources, do not operate on a sufficient scale to trigger dynamic local-level economic growth, and are ultimately artificial manifestations of concessional or charitable aid. The advantages of credit co-operatives in mobilizing and financing local economic development a contrasted with the disadvantages of both conventional micro credit and the most recent neoliberal fashion of so-called 'new wave financial institutions'. Both precedent and the structural logic suggest that this is a promising space for the development of a localized financial system based on credit co-operatives, which elsewhere have overcome the SME credit famine and stimulated local saving-investment cycles. Recent Russian developments are placed in the context of earlier experience in structurally similar conditions. These lessons apply to all other former Soviet Union states, as well as other countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Third World
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Richard M. Auty
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Rents tend to be relatively high in developing countries and also very fungible, so that differences in the scale of the rent and in its distribution among economic agents profoundly affect the nature of the political state and the development trajectory. This paper identifies two basic trajectories to a high-income democracy linked to the scale and deployment of rents. Low-rent countries tend to engender developmental political states that competitively diversify the economy and sustain rapid per capita GDP (PCGDP) growth, which strengthens three key sanctions against anti-social governance (political accountability, social capital and the rule of law) to achieve endogenous democratization that is incremental. In contrast, rent-rich countries are likely to experience a slower and more erratic transition. This is because high rents tend to nurture non-developmental (predatory) politic al states whose deployment of the rent locks the economy into a staple trap, which carries a high risk of a growth collapse. The events presaging a growth collapse weaken sanctions against anti-social governance. However, a growth collapse may abruptly trigger democracy if exogenous factors are favourable, although such a change is likely to prove unstable and prone to regression. Very preliminary tests of the link between PCGDP growth and sanctions against anti- social governance suggest that social capital and law strengthen as predicted by the models for low-rent countries, but political accountability lags. Rent-rich countries exhibit the expected weaker link between PCGDP growth and democratization, an outcome consistent with a more erratic transition towards a high-income democracy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Third World
  • Author: lvaro Garca Hurtado
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Chile, in the last 15 years, has shown remarkable results in terms of growth, poverty reduction and democratic governance. This pa per reviews the structural changes that were behind these positive outcomes, as well as the pending challenges for Chile's development. Also shows that Chile did better in terms of growth than social integration and that this is related to the weak representation and participation of a wide majority in the national debate and decision making process. It also draws conclusions valid for other Latin American countries' development.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: South America, Chile
  • Author: Guillermo Rozenwurcel
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: After the Great Depression and throughout the rest of the twentieth century, Latin American countries basically approached economic development following two successive and quite opposed strategies. The first one was import substitution industrialization. The second was the so-called Washington Consensus approach. While the two views were founded on quite opposite premises, neither the import substitution industrialization nor the Washington Consensus managed to deliver sustained economic development to Latin American countries. Two domestic elements are crucial to understand this outcome. One is the failure of the state. The second is the inability to achieve mature integration into the world economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Washington, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Laura Sabani, Silvia Marchesi
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 1970s, prolonged use of resources by the IMF has consistently expanded, among both low- and middle-income countries. Overall, this phenomenon suggests a lack of effectiveness of Fund supported programmes. In the literature conditional lending failure has been explained by looking both at the characteristics of the borrowing countries (demand-side factors) and at the possible influence of IMF specific interests (supply-side factors). Among the latter it has been suggested that non- compliance with conditionality might be attributed to the lack of credibility of the IMF threat of interrupting financial assistance in case of policy slippages. In this paper we critically review this literature and we propose a novel explanation, according to which it is the repeated nature of the IMF involvement, together with the fact that the Fund acts simultaneously as a lender and as a monitor (and as an advisor) of economic reforms, that weakens the credibility of the IMF threat. Specifically, we argue that Since the 1970s, prolonged use of resources by the IMF has consistently expanded, among both low- and middle-income countries. Overall, this phenomenon suggests a lack of effectiveness of Fund supported programmes. In the literature conditional lending failure has been explained by looking both at the characteristics of the borrowing countries (demand-side factors) and at the possible influence of IMF specific interests (supply-side factors). Among the latter it has been suggested that non- compliance with conditionality might be attributed to the lack of credibility of the IMF threat of interrupting financial assistance in case of policy slippages. In this paper we critically review this literature and we propose a novel explanation, according to which it is the repeated nature of the IMF involvement, together with the fact that the Fund acts simultaneously as a lender and as a monitor (and as an advisor) of economic reforms, that weakens the credibility of the IMF threat. Specifically, we argue that the IMF desire to preserve its reputation as a good monitor/advisor may distort its lending decisions towards some laxity, which may be exacerbated by the length of the relationship between a country and the Fund. Therefore, we claim that prolonged use of IMF resources is not only a consequence of a lack of effectiveness of conditional lending but it might itself be a determinant of conditionality failure.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Author: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Much has changed in international finance in the twenty years since UNU-WIDER was founded. This paper identifies five broad contours of what we might expect in the next twenty years: the flow of capital from ageing societies to the more youthful economies of the South; the growth in the financial services industry in emerging economies and the consequences for their capital flows; the current strength in emerging market debt, and whether this represents a change in fundamentals or merely the effect of low global interest rates; the impact of globalization in goods markets in lowering inflation expectations, and therefore global bond yields; and the implications of the adjustment in global imbalances between Asia (in particular China) and the United States for emerging bond markets as a whole. The paper ends by noting the paradox that today we see ever larger amounts of capital flowing across the globe in search of superior investment returns, and yet the financing needs of the poorer countries are still largely unmet.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Louis Emmerij
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Why and when do turning points occur? How are they prepared? What are the choices before us when it comes to economic and social development policies? What is the role of culture in development? Do ideas play a role? What are the interests behind the ideas? The present paper tries to answer these and other questions and compares the advantages and disadvantages of global development theories with regional and local development policies that put more emphasis on the role of culture in economic development.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, United Nations
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Alessia Isopi
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper performs aid allocation analysis using OECD-DAC data covering 20 aid donors and 176 recipients over the period 1980-2003. We improve upon earlier work in this area by employing inter alia the variable 'past outcome' measuring aid effectiveness in order to link together aid allocation and aid effectiveness. In line with previous work, we also account for both altruistic and selfish donor motives in the empirical analysis. As expected, empirical results based on To bit estimates of aid allocation for individual donors vary quite significantly among donors. We also test the robustness of our results by estimating individual regressions for the major donors over the period 1990-2003 in view of major events in the aid arena during that time that could potentially have an impact on the aid allocation process. Our results seem to be similar to those derived over the 1980-2003 period, thus implying that this was not the case. Overall, both altruistic and selfish donor motives seem to motivate aid allocation for most donors over the two periods under examination. However, when we further restrict our time dimension to the 1999-2003 period, some important policy changes with regard to selectivity seem to emerge for a small group of donor countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Author: Ira N. Gang, Gil S. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the decentralization of decisionmaking in aid-giving in a theoretical rent-seeking framework. In this analysis the root donor establishes a necessary criterion for potential recipients: good governance. The potential recipients compete in hierarchal contests for funds. The paper investigates whether, under certain reasonable conditions, fashionable aid procedures will lead to the development of a poverty trap.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Politics