Do we need to ration growth, and if so, who gets what's left?

Spoke at a Quaker conference on the ‘zero growth economy’ at the weekend. Quaker meetings are different: when I finished speaking to an audience of 350 people, there was total hear-a-pin-drop silence. Instead of clapping, people reflect, eyes closed, on what they have just heard. And no, even though it was after lunch, they weren’t asleep (well, […]

Read More »

What happened at the Pittsburgh G20?

I didn’t attend the G20 summit in Pittsburgh last week, but I’ve been poring over the communiqué. Here are some initial thoughts on what it all means (numbers in square brackets refer to paragraphs in the original), incorporating analysis and intel from the Oxfam team at the event. Headline: Pittsburgh formally enshrined the rise of […]

Read More »

Do poorer countries have less capacity for redistribution? A new paper

When can a country end poverty by redistributing wealth from its rich people, and when must it instead rely on aid or growth? That’s a question Martin Ravallion, head of the World Bank’s research department seeks to answer in a new paper. Essentially he is trying to put precise numbers on the relatively obvious point […]

Read More »

G20 curtain raisers; Will China integrate Africa?; using humour for healthcare reform; Congress and New York Post v climate change: links I liked

A handy websearch of G20 curtain-raisers from Michael Harvey at Global Dashboard .  ‘While 82% of the IMF’s newly loaned resources have gone to European area countries, just 1.6% have gone to countries in Africa.’ Ngaire Woods analyses the development response to the global meltdown since the April G20 summit in a paper for the […]

Read More »

All the latest stats on the global crisis and its development impact

In time for the G20 summit later this week, my indefatigable colleague Richard King has revised and updated his invaluable synthesis of the key data on the global economic crisis and its development impact. Here goes: Unemployment (ILO)  Gender impact of the economic crisis in terms of unemployment rates is expected to be more detrimental […]

Read More »

GDP v Well-being – the Stiglitz Commission and other news

According to Otto von Bismarck, the father of modern Germany, ‘Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.’ Having skimmed the report of the ‘The Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress’, commissioned by President Sarkozy and released last week, I would say GDP (Gross Domestic Product, the […]

Read More »

What’s happening in Brazil? Round up from a quick visit

I spent last week racing round Brazil launching the Portuguese-language edition of From Poverty to Power (Da Pobreza ao Poder, the publishers are looking for distributors in Portugal, Angola and Mozambique – any suggestions?). Here are a few impressions: A year after the Lehman’s collapse hit the global panic buttons, there’s a striking level of […]

Read More »

China rising; a dirty development mechanism; this week's G20 summit; the Indian drought and why climate change will ruin your beer: links I liked

‘China has emerged as the most significant winner from the global financial and economic crisis’. Martin Wolf feels the geopolitical plates shifting in the FT Alex Evans lays into the Clean Development Mechanism and provides a handy curtain raiser for the G20 summit in Pittsburgh later this week The Economist charts the impact of climate change […]

Read More »

Is this guy the world's best lecturer on development?

I’m conscious that this blog has been somewhat heavy going this week, so here’s a reward to anyone who got through to Friday (especially for any saddoes like me who end up watching youtube at the weekend). Hans Rosling is a youtube phenomenon, a Swedish economist whose lectures on data and development have deservedly become […]

Read More »

The UN lays into finance, speculation and the IMF: UNCTAD's Trade and Development Report 2009

Another day, another UN report, this time the Trade and Development Report 2009, from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), released last week. It’s surprisingly forthright. Set up in 1964, in the table-thumping days of the New International Economic Order, in recent years UNCTAD had become markedly more cautious, not least under its current […]

Read More »

Cash for Climate: how the financing numbers break down

Cash will be king in the next few months as the crescendo of climate change negotiations builds to the big December summit in Copenhagen. In the words of Alf Wills, a South African negotiator, ‘no money, no deal’ (although European Commission President José Manuel Barroso is also credited with the soundbite). If developing countries are […]

Read More »

World Bank pronounces on climate change: WDR 2010, published today

This year’s World Bank flagship publication, the World Development Report 2010, is on climate change – a significant departure from the tradition of devoting turn of the decade WDRs to an overview of poverty. It’s an unabashed bit of climate change advocacy, remorselessly upbeat and optimistic (even when the story it tells suggests rather more […]

Read More »