Working Papers 2010

 

Growth, Poverty and Inequality: From Washington Consensus to Inclusive Growth

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/100
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This paper reviews recent economic policy debates about the relationship between growth, poverty and inequality. These debates have tended to focus on whether market-led growth is sufficient to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality, or whether specific policies are necessary because untargeted growth may be insufficient or even perverse. The paper charts the degenerating outcomes of these debates, and the emergence of the inclusive growth (IG) paradigm within the World Bank. A critical examination of IG suggests that its weaknesses are best addressed through a more ambitious restatement of the pro-poor goals of economic policy.

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Labour Markets Trends, Financial Globalization and the current crisis in Developing Countries

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/99
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The current wave of globalization has profound labour market effects, accentuated, in many cases, by the current financial and economic crisis. This paper reviews general labour market trends and country examples, arguing that the current globalization process makes labour’s position more precarious, a trend magnified by the current crisis. This is consistent with the policy reactions to the crisis: governments have (rightly) acted as a banker of last resort to avoid the collapse of the financial system, but, despite stimulus plans and monetary easing and some labour market policies, have not really acted as an employer of last resort.

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Social Policy in Development: Coherence and Cooperation in the Real World

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/98
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Research and practice related to social policy and poverty alleviation have left a legacy of a very
broad agenda of “things that need to be done”, along with important unanswered questions about
how to integrate social and economic development. These suggest the fruitfulness of focusing more
on the distinctions among countries, in terms of their capacities, generating ideas about priorities
and sequences, and working to reduce the agenda. Instead of new big ideas and new paradigms,
the development community needs to get better at matching ideas to realities, and at generating
contextually grounded processes for taking the next step.

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Impact of the Global Economic Crises on Civil Society Organizations

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/97
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The food, environmental and economic crises have challenged civil society organizations (CSOs) and the communities they serve. A broad-based survey, initiated by the United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development and guided by a Civil Society Steering Committee, was undertaken in 2009 that measured the impact of the crises on the operating capacity of CSOs around the world and their expectations as they look ahead. This study examines the current situation of CSOs as indicated by responses from 640 civil society organizations worldwide. It also asks what strategies they are undertaking to cope with a drop of revenues and how to strengthen social-service delivery capacities of CSOs during crisis periods.

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CRED:A New Model of Climate and Development

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/96
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This paper describes a new model, Climate and Regional Economics of Development (CRED), which is designed to analyze the economics of climate and development choices. Its principal innovations are the treatment of global equity, calculation of the optimum interregional flows of resources, and use of McKinsey marginal abatement cost curves to project the cost of mitigation. The model shows more equitable scenarios have better climate outcomes; the challenge of climate policy is to persuade high-income countries to accept the need for both international equity and climate protection.

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Resource abundance: A curse or blessing?

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/93
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Is resource abundance a blessing or a curse? Typically, in resource rich countries, domestic fuel prices are lower, and energy intensity of GDP is higher. But they have higher investment in R&D and fixed capital stock, larger foreign exchange reserves and more inflows of FDI. They also have lower budget deficits and lower inflation. These are conducive for long term growth. We also find that in resource rich countries, real exchange rate is generally higher, accumulation of human capital is slower and institutions are worse, especially if they were not strong initially, which are detrimental for growth.

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Estimating the Amount of a Global Feed-in Tariff for Renewable Electricity

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/95
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We present a simple model to estimate the subsidy cost embedded in a global feed-in tariff (GFIT) to simultaneously stimulate electrification and the take-up of renewable energy sources for electricity generation in developing countries. The GFIT would subsidize developing countries for investments they make in generation capacity for renewable electricity up to a threshold level of electricity consumption per capita. Between 2010 and 2025, countries below this threshold strive to bridge the gap by 2025, when subsidies—based on the difference between the costs of renewable technologies and conventional energy sources-end.

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A Non-Parametric Microsimulation Approach to Assess Changes in Inequality and Poverty

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/94
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This paper presents a non-parametric microsimulation methodology for assessing the determinants
of changes in income inequality and poverty. One great advantage of this method over alternatives
is that it is not very demanding in terms of modelling labour supply and household behaviour while
still providing a plausible link between changes in overall labour market conditions and the full
household income distribution. The paper also shows how the method can be adapted to assess the
poverty and inequality effects of changes in non-labour incomes (such as through a government
transfer programme) and how it can be combined with economy-wide models.

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Poverty reduction in China and India: Policy implications of recent trends

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2010/DWP/92
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This paper compares the experience of poverty reduction in China and India. It finds that more than economic growth per se, what has mattered crucially is the nature of the growth: whether it is associated with growing inequalities that do not allow the benefits of growth to reach the poor; whether the structural change involved in the growth process generates sufficient opportunities for productive non-agricultural employment; whether basic needs and essential social services are provided. Government mediation of these and of global economic integration is important in determining different outcomes.

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