Working Papers 2014 Abstract


Absorbing innovative financial flows: Looking at Asia

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2014/DWP/138
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This paper explores the scope for Innovative Development Finance (IDF) to compensate for declining Official Development Assistance (ODA) and/or to enhance the efficiency of ODA. It
shows that IDF has not helped much to increase the volume of aid. With regard to efficiency, the
role of IDF-related mechanisms remains controversial. In view of the above, it may be more productive to focus on other resources available to Asia. The paper points to two such resources, namely the surpluses accumulated in the form of reserves, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), etc. and the migrant remittances. Efficient utilization of these two sources can vastly change the development finance landscape in Asia.

Recent Downturn in Emerging Economies and Macroeconomic Implications for Sustainable Development: A case of India

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2014/DWP/137
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The paper discusses the progress of Indian economy and its policies since the broad-based structural reforms initiated in 1991 with a special focus on the recent downturn following the global financial crisis. The paper is structured into two parts: first part discusses the major economic and social achievements of India since 1991, it identifies the causes of the recent downturn, and the policy responses to revive the economy. In the second part, the paper outlines the major challenges India is facing and the policies and reforms that need to be implement to achieve sustainable development.

Towards a sustainable social model:Implications for the post-2015 agenda

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2014/DWP/136
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Implementation of the Agenda 21 bifurcated into two tracks. While the economic and social development agenda gelled into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the environmental protection agenda moved along a different track, represented by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), etc. This bifurcation also led to very different “domain configurations.” While there were some advantages of this bifurcation, it led to a conflict between the human development and the environmental goals. This paper presents a framework for bringing environment and development together in the UN post-2015 agenda.

Recipients and Contributors: Middle income countries and the future of development cooperation

The new role that middle-income countries (MICs) play in the global landscape obliges international community to review the configuration of the development cooperation system. On the one hand, MICs still face considerable structural deficits that affect their process of development; on the other, international community needs MICs to participate more intensively in the international agenda. Development cooperation can support both purposes, although for that to happen, substantial changes are required in traditional approaches and procedures of current international aid. This paper analyses these subjects with the objective of helping decision-makers come to good decisions

Recent macroeconomic trends in emerging economies and implications for development

Country Study: Brazil1

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2014/DWP/134
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The paper reviews the sluggish growth and inclusive developments of the Brazilian economy in the last decade. The first section analyzes the macroeconomic performance pointing export growth as the engine of growth. The second evaluates social policies and their relationship with the improvements in the labor market. The third examines Brazilian policy reactions to the global crisis that managed to recover consumption but failed to sustain investment and growth. The discussion of challenges for a sustainable development concludes the paper. Investment in education and infrastructure are consensual policy advices but there are plenty of disagreements and controversies with regards to industrial policies, financing strategies and the role to be played by the public sector.

A comparative study of the forecasting performance of three international organizations

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2014/DWP/133
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This article evaluates and compares the forecasting performance of three international organizations: the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The annual forecasts made by the United Nations in the period of 1981-2011 are found to be fairly robust, in terms of bias and efficiency. In comparison, the forecasting performance of the United Nations is found to be marginally better than the other two organizations during the period of 2000-2012. However, the forecasts of all these organizations missed the Great Recession of 2009 by a large margin.

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Crisis mismanagement in the US and Europe: impact on developing countries and longer-term consequences

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2014/DWP/132
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There are two major failings in policy interventions in the crisis in the US and Europe: the reluctance
to remove the debt overhang through timely, orderly and comprehensive restructuring and the shift to fiscal austerity after an initial reflation. These have resulted in excessive reliance on monetary means with central banks entering uncharted policy waters, including zero-bound interest rates and the acquisition of long-term public and private bonds. This ultra-easy monetary policy has not been very effective in reducing the debt overhang and stimulating spending. It has, however, generated financial fragility, at home and abroad, particularly in the case of the US as the issuer of the key reserve currency, and exit is full of pitfalls. Although ultra-easy money is still with us, the markets have begun pricing-in the normalization of monetary policy in the US and this is the main reason for the turbulence in emerging economies. Policy response to an intensification of the stress in the South needs to depart from past practices and should include measures to involve the private creditors in crisis resolution and provision of market support and liquidity by central banks in major advanced economies.

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