How the economic meltdown and climate change are hitting Asia – new reports

The Asian Development Bank produces a remarkable amount of frequently high quality analysis. Here are two recent examples on climate change and the impact of the economic meltdown. On the meltdown, a recent ADB Economic Working Paper uses the latest national projections for growth and past poverty performance to refine the predicts that poverty across…

By admin May 8, 2009 0

IMF 2.0 or same old, same old – has the Fund really changed its tune?

Has the G20 revived the neoliberal, austerity-wielding IMF of the 1980s and 90s, are has it ushered in a new IMF 2.0 (in the words of Time Magazine) that cares about countercyclical economic policies, public services and jobs? In late April, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Khan wrote to NGOs saying ‘I would like to make it…

By admin May 7, 2009 3

Why equity matters more than growth: The Spirit Level

‘Growth with Equity’ is motherhood and apple pie in economic policy-making these days. But in a great new book, Spirit Level, authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that ‘economic growth, for so long the great engine of progress, has, in the rich countries, largely finished its work.’ Above a certain average income (the authors…

By admin May 6, 2009 2

China as the world's biggest aid donor; water grabs; how the FT overthrows governments; road safety in Kenya; why rich countries question capitalism more than poor ones and a new initiative on greening urban economies in poor countries: Links I liked

Paul Collier argues that China is the world’s biggest donor, and that it shows the case for attaching more conditions to lending. Alex Evans passes on some interesting thoughts from Nestle boss Peter Brabeck-Letmathe – the recent spate of land grabs are actually about getting access to the water that goes with the land, more…

By admin May 5, 2009 0

Developing country governments are dragging their feet over the global crisis

What are developing country governments doing to respond to the damage being inflicted by the global economic crisis? Answer, according to two new papers: not much, and they could be doing a lot more. A study from the Overseas Development Institute pulls together the draft findings from studies in ten countries. The ODI finds that…

By admin May 1, 2009 2

How do poor people see the impact of the global crisis? New research from five countries.

Some excellent new research on the impact of the global economic crisis: ‘Accounts of Crisis: Poor People’s Experiences of the Food, Fuel and Financial Crisis in Five Countries’. The project was run by the Institute of Development Studies, UK and builds on its pioneering work in participatory research methods to try and get inside poor…

By admin April 29, 2009 0

The rise of the informal sector and why it should be taxed

I’ve been reading a couple of interesting things on the informal economy recently. The OECD has a new book out with the engaging title ‘Is Informal Normal?’ which gives a pretty decent overview. Informal employment refers to jobs or activities that are not registered or protected by the state. Informal workers are excluded from social…

By admin April 28, 2009 6

Who's grabbing land?; Afghan women rise up; will corporate social responsibility survive the crisis?; China's global moment; the story of ‘oh dear-ism’ and I'm speaking in Dublin tonight: links I liked

Dani Rodrik takes the long view and asks if it actually matters whether globalization is in retreat Global Dashboard provides a helpful map of the current spate of land grabs in which wealthy countries ensure their food security by buying up large chunks of poor ones. ‘Afghanistan’s women find their voice’, according to the Guardian,…

By admin April 27, 2009 0

Why the UK held the line on aid spending, despite the recession

Apologies for a bit of British parochialism, but this story has wider ramifications. A combination of political leadership and grassroots activism scored a real victory for the UK aid budget yesterday. Here’s why. All the headlines on Wednesday’s budget statement by Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Alistair Darling were about the dire state of…

By admin April 23, 2009 1