Economics

Are we heading for another debt crisis? If so, what should we be doing?

Duncan Green - December 1, 2016

Just when you thought life couldn’t get more retro (Leonard Cohen on the radio, post-Brexit trade negotiations, impending nuclear war), here comes another debt crisis. Probably. Had a good briefing from some key wonks in Development Finance International and the Jubilee Debt Campaign, two small but vital watchdogs that play a vital role in maintaining capacity on important issues when they drop down the policy …

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Payment by Results in Aid: What’s new?

Duncan Green - November 24, 2016

Development Economist Paul Clist discusses some of the ideas from his new paper (Link to paywalled article version, link to free draft version) Payment by Results (PbR) is a fairly new idea in aid, where a donor decides how much money to disburse on the basis of how much a recipient has achieved against a target. For example, a donor could pay an NGO for …

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What’s happening on Global Inequality? Putting the ‘elephant graph’ to sleep with a ‘hockey stick’

Duncan Green - October 26, 2016

For our second post on how to measure inequality (here’s the first), Muheed Jamaldeen, Senior Economist at Oxfam Australia, discusses absolute v relative Back in December 2013, two economists at the World Bank – Christopher Lakner and Branko Milanovic; produced a paper on ‘Global Income Distribution’, which presented a newly compiled and improved database of national household surveys between 1988 and 2008. As part of …

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The Politics of Measuring Inequality: What gets left out and why?

Duncan Green - October 25, 2016

Two posts on the measurement of inequality this week, so you’ll need to activate the brain cells. First up Oxfam researcher Franziska Mager summarizes a paper co-authored with Deborah Hardoon for a panel at the recent Development Studies Association conference on the power and politics behind the statistics. A version of this post appeared on Oxfam’s shiny new real geek blog. Inequality is a touchy …

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How can we make Disasters Dull? Book review

Duncan Green - October 13, 2016

Oxfam Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser Debbie Hillier can barely contain her excitement – today is International Day for Disaster Reduction. To celebrate, she reviews a new book on the issue While policy frameworks on Disaster Risk Reduction have proliferated – the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework – the practicality remains elusive. This is the issue addressed by Dull Disasters? How Planning ahead will make a …

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Talk is cheap, but will the World Bank really step up on inequality?

Duncan Green - October 4, 2016

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Development Finance and Public Services raises the curtain this week’s World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings before hopping on the plane to Washington I have been going to the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF longer than I care to remember, certainly since most Oxfam policy wonks were still at school. Every time I go to the office …

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The world’s top 100 economies: 31 countries; 69 corporations

Duncan Green - September 15, 2016

The campaigning NGO Global Justice Now (formerly World Development Movement) have done us all a favour by updating the table comparing the economic might of the largest countries and corporations. Headline finding?  ‘The number of businesses in the top 100 economic entities jumped to 69 in 2015 from 63 in the previous year’ according to the Guardian’s summary. The last such table that I know …

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Please help sharpen up the World Bank’s theory of change on governance and law

Duncan Green - September 14, 2016

The World Bank is helping us hone our speed reading skills this week, by publishing a draft of its forthcoming World Development Report 2017 on Governance and the Law and asking for comments by Friday. Someone has helpfully put a track changes version online here, comparing the new (‘green cover’) draft with the previous (‘yellow cover’) one, which I blogged about in July, but it’s …

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Precarious Lives: Food, Work and Care after the Global Food Crisis. Launch of new report, 9th September

Duncan Green - August 31, 2016

Oxfam researcher John Magrath profiles a new joint Oxfam/IDS report and tries to convince you to come along to the launch in London on 9th September Duncan has written previously about one of the projects he was most proud of initiating while in (nominal!) charge of Oxfam’s Research Team. This started out as Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility’ and was a four year study …

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What sort of trade campaigns do we need around Brexit?

Duncan Green - August 18, 2016

Not all conference calls are as terrible as the one depicted in ‘a conference call in real life’. Had a really good one yesterday with Oxfam/Exfam trade wonks on the impact of Brexit on Britain’s trade relations. Here’s my take. Around the early 2000s, I spent about 7 years as a trade wonk, first at CAFOD and then at DFID. Highlights includewandering through the tear gassed …

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