Guest blog: World Bank chief economist replies on his industrial policy proposals

Last week I wrote about Justin Lin’s intriguing suggestions for how developing countries can best pursue a low risk/high return form of industrial upgrading. Here Justin responds to some of the concerns and questions raised in that post: “I am grateful to Duncan Green for his comments on my recent paper “Growth Identification and Facilitation”,…

By admin July 7, 2010 6

Brazil's boom; Africa's pentecostals; food fears and more reasons to invest in health: highlights from this week's Economist

Another bumper issue of the Economist this week. Here are some snapshots from my four favourite articles: Politics: A three page feature on Brazil, as its election campaign kicks off today. Constitutional term limits means that Lula is stepping down, despite 75% approval ratings (amazing, after eight years in office), but the country’s success means…

By admin July 6, 2010 7

A surprising World Bank recipe for industrial policy: new proposal from Justin Lin

Justin Lin, the World Bank’s chief economist, was in London last week and presented his new paper on ‘Growth Identification and Facilitation’. Two years ago he came through just after being appointed, promising to bring a ‘new perspective’ to the Bank (see post here). His new paper certainly does that, as its subtitle ‘the role of…

By admin July 2, 2010 6

The Plundered Planet: review of Paul Collier's new book and impending personal crisis

A new Paul Collier book is always a good workout in the brain gym and his latest, The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature, is no exception. You can either be seduced by his writing, conceptual acrobatics, anecdotes and soundbites (who isn’t sick of hearing ‘Bottom Billion’ in every seminar?) or you can…

By admin July 1, 2010 9

Social protection – have aid agencies got it wrong?

‘Has social protection in sub-Saharan Africa lost its way?’ asks a brilliant new paper from a consortium of thinktanks, including IDS and ODI. Their overall finding is that donors’ preference for evidence and pilots, and lack of engagement with national political realities, have undermined their impact. Hard to summarize – it’s a treasure trove –…

By admin June 24, 2010 5

What is the point of conferences?

Last week I sat dazed through an EU conference on aid, grappling with presentations in Spanish, English and Portuguese and fending off powerpoint poisoning (the acute version produced by academics putting up page after page crammed with tiny text and saying ‘you probably can’t read it, but what the table says is…..’). During brief periods…

By admin June 15, 2010 4