Working Papers 2008


ST/ESA/2008/DWP/71 The TRIPS Agreement and Transfer of Climate-
Change-Related Technologies to Developing Countries

Despite numerous international commitments to promote transfer of climate-change related
technologies to developing countries, such transfers are not occurring at a sufficient rate to aid
these nations in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. The impact of the WTO
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on transfer of these
technologies is discussed through a detailed examination of relevant TRIPS provisions. The paper
also addresses options for improving technology transfer through exploitation of existing TRIPS
flexibilities, modification of the Agreement, and other public and private legal and policy avenues.
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ST/ESA/2008/DWP/70 Programmes to Protect the Hungry:
Lessons from India

Evidence on calorie intake and nutritional outcomes establishes that chronic hunger and food insecurity persist today on a mass scale in India. The liberalization-induced policy of narrow targeting of the Public Distribution System (PDS), a programme of food security that provides a minimum quantity of cereals at subsidized prices, has resulted in worsening food insecurity. Recent evidence from the 61st round of the National Sample Survey in 2004-2005 establishes that targeting has led to high rates of exclusion of needy households from the system and clear deterioration of coverage in States like Kerala where the universal PDS was most effective.
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ST/ESA/2008/DWP/69 Should there be a coordinated response to the problem of global imbalances? Can there be one?

This paper analyzes the options for international policy coordination in order to redress the global imbalances. The case for policy coordination rests on a number of assumptions such as the existence of important spillover effects of national policies and a common understanding of the nature of the problem. In reality, important obstacles exist to get to effective policy coordination, including resistance from domestic interest groups and disagreement of the effectiveness of policy instruments. These obstacles can be reduced by developing a multilateral consensus on common goals and by addressing commitment problems via issuing multi-year schedules for policy adjustments.
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ST/ESA/2008/DWP/68 Latin America and the Caribbean’s Challenge to Reach the MDGs: Financing Options and Trade-offs

The present study analyzes the determinants of improving outcomes in education, health and basic sanitation and the macroeconomic trade-offs caused by scaling up public spending for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), using an integrated modelling approach. At variance with other assessments, the analysis shows that most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are “off track” towards many of the goals. The study shows that while achieving the goals is affordable for most countries in the region, governments will need to put greater emphasis on tax reforms to mobilize resources for increased social spending while avoiding undesirable macroeconomic trade-offs.
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ST/ESA/2008/DWP/67 Economic liberalization and constraints to development in sub-Saharan africa

This paper critically reviews the impact of globalization on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the early 1980s. The large gains expected from opening up to international economic forces have, to date, been limited, and there have been significant adverse consequences. FDI in SSA has been largely confined to resource, especially mineral, extraction, even as continuing capital flight has reduced financial resources available for productive investments. Premature trade liberalization has further undermined prospects for SSA economic development as productive capacities in many sectors are not sufficiently competitive to take advantage of any improvements in market access.Go back to list of papers

ST/ESA/2008/DWP/66 Obstacles to Implementing Lessons from the 1997-1998 East Asian Crises

Various different and sometimes contradictory lessons have been drawn from the 1997-1998 East Asian crisis experiences. The ideological implications and political differences involved have complicated the possibility of drawing shared lessons from the crises. The seeming calm and increased growth in most developing countries in the period since 2001 have also undermined the possibility of far-reaching developmental reforms following the experience. Perhaps most importantly, the vested interests supporting existing international financial governance arrangements continue to impede the possibility of implementing lessons drawn from the experience. Such interests are generally supported by conventional wisdom and reinforced by the financial media.
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ST/ESA/2008/DWP/65 New Thinking on Poverty: Implications for Globalisation and Poverty Reduction Strategies

Three main changes in thinking about poverty have gained increasing currency over the past decade. First, the concept of poverty has broadened, with increasing attention to issues of vulnerability, inequality and human rights. Second, the causal structure has broadened to include causal variables, such as social, political, cultural, coercive and environmental capital. Third, the causal structure has deepened to focus on flows of individuals into and out of poverty, rather than on changes in the stock of poverty, and on strategies of social protection versus poverty reduction. The paper reviews these changes and their implications for globalisation and policy.
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ST/ESA/2008/DWP/64 Excess liquidity, oligopolistic loan markets and monetary policy in LDCs

Evidence about commercial banks’ liquidity preference says the following about the loan market in LDCs: (i) the loan interest rate is a minimum mark-up rate; (ii) the loan market is characterized by oligopoly power; and (iii) indirect monetary policy, a cornerstone of financial liberalization, can only be effective at very high interest rates that are likely to be deflationary. The minimum rate is a mark-up over an exogenous foreign interest rate, marginal transaction costs and a risk premium. The paper utilizes and extends the oligopoly model of the banking firm. A calibration exercise tends to replicate the observed stylized facts.
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ST/ESA/2008/DWP/63 A Framework for Analyzing Tariffs and Subsidies in Water Provision to Urban Households in Developing Countries

This paper aims to present a basic conceptual framework for understanding the main practical issues and challenges relating to tariffs and subsidies in the water sector in developing countries. The paper introduces the basic economic notions relevant to the water sector; presents an analytical framework for assessing the need for and evaluating subsidies; and discusses the recent evidence on the features and performance of water tariffs and subsidies in various regions, with a special focus on Africa. The discussion is limited to the provision of drinking water to urban households in developing countries.
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