Working Papers 2011


Beyond market access: Trade-related measures for the least developed countries. What strategy?

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/109
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This paper assesses the effectiveness of non-tariff special and differential treatment (SDT) offered exclusively to the least developed countries by WTO agreements. SDTs are inefficient in at least four aspects. First, they are not easily accessed as they require a certain level of institutional capacity. Second, when accessible they either need to be complemented by other policy interventions or are offset by measures taken elsewhere. Third, some do not respond to LDC needs. Fourth, many are too vaguely defined to provide concrete benefits. Effectiveness can be enhanced by increased LDC ownership and improved policy coherence by trading and development partners.

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Macroeconomic Policy for Growth and Poverty Reduction: An Application to Post-Conflict and Resource-Rich Countries

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/108
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A fundamental shift in macroeconomic policy thinking is taking place. This shift opens a space for
implementing policies that promote growth and reduce poverty in developing countries. In this
paper, policies for post-conflict and resource-rich economies are outlined. Fiscal policy would focus
on revenue mobilization, scaling-up public investment, and preventing over-heating. Monetary
policies would revive the financial sector, prevent inflationary pressures and stimulate private sector
investment. Exchange rate policies should focus on achieving slow depreciation and maintaining
international competitiveness. These policies should not be considered in isolation from each other,
but in coordination.

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Food Crises and Gender Inequality

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/107
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This paper examines the current food crises, the projected effect of climate change, the vulnerabilities
created by regional concentrations of food production, imports and exports, and the significant
role of women as food producers, consumers and family food managers. Bridging productivity
differentials between male and female farmers, by helping women overcome production constraints,
would significantly increase agricultural output. This becomes an imperative, given the feminization
of agriculture. Institutionally, a group approach to farming would help women and other small
holders enhance their access to land and inputs, benefit from economies of scale, and increase their
bargaining power economically and socially.

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The Scorecard on Development, 1960-2010: Closing the Gap?

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/106
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This paper examines data on economic growth and various social indicators for 193 countries over
the past 50 years, divided into three periods: 1960-1980, 1980-2000, and 2000-2010. The paper
finds that after a sharp slowdown in economic growth and in progress on social indicators during
the second (1980-2000) period, there has been a recovery on both economic growth and, for many
countries, a rebound in progress on social indicators (including life expectancy, adult, infant, and
child mortality, and education) during the past decade. The paper discusses some of the economic
and policy changes that might explain the slowdown and rebound.

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Credit to Private Sector, Interest Spread and Volatility in Credit-Flows: Do Bank Ownership and Deposits Matter?

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/105
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With bank-level data from 81 developing countries, the paper shows that increased foreign bank
presence is associated with increased reliance on non-deposit based funding, which leads to higher
interest rate spreads, less credit to the private sector, and higher volatility in bank loans. Foreign
bank entry significantly reduces domestic banks’ share of deposits while foreign banks typically
allocate less of their assets and deposits to lending. As domestic banks lose their deposit base, they
rely on non-deposit based funding, but its higher costs and uncertainty force domestic banks to
reduce their lending activities.

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Adapting the international monetary system to face 21st century challenges

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/104
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Recent calls for more intense debate on and reforms to the international monetary system imply
that the current system is unable to respond appropriately and adequately to challenges that have
appeared, or become more acute, in recent years. This paper focuses on four such challenges:
ensuring an orderly exit from global imbalances, facilitating more complementary adjustments
between surplus and deficit countries without recessionary impacts, better supporting international
trade by reducing currency volatility and better providing development and climate finance. After
describing them, it proposes reforms to enable the international monetary system to better respond
to these challenges.

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Behavioural Factors as Emerging Main Determinants of Child Mortality in Middle-Income Countries: A Case Study of Jordan

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/103
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This paper uses data from Jordan’s 2007 Demographic and Health Survey to reassess the main determinants of child mortality in this middle-income country. Running different logit estimations to allow for different time windows and sets of variables, we find that behavioural factors have gained importance, compared to the household and community factors that were found to be important in earlier studies. We conclude that once a country has passed a certain threshold in household income, education and access to health care and safe drinking water, policies targeting behavioural changes are the most promising for achieving further reductions in mortality rates.

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Globalization and development in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/102
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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. Foreign direct investment 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 the economic development of SSA as productive capacities in many sectors are not sufficiently competitive to take advantage of any improvements in market access.

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Economic Integration, Inequality and Growth:Latin America vs. the European economies in transition

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2011/DWP/101
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This paper presents a simple theoretical framework to explain variations in income inequality
over time and between countries. It also analyses the factors responsible for the widespread rise
in inequality during the neo-liberal reforms of 1980-2000 in the fields of trade, foreign direct
investment (FDI) and capital flows, and the rises in migration. Finally, it compares the decline in
inequality observed in most of Latin America over 2000-2008 with the steady increase of inequality
in many European transition economies during this period despite their return to robust growth.
The paper argues that such divergence is explained by differences in policies.

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