DESA News Vol. 11, No. 9 September 2007

Publications and websites

Technical reports

Review of National Action Plans on Youth Employment: Putting Commitment into Action

Review of National Action Plans on Youth Employment: Putting Commitment into Action

Innovative initiatives to address youth employment at the country level are urgent. While young people make up a quarter of the total labour force, but they constitute almost half of the world’s total unemployed, and are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. This report presents a review of national action plans, and is especially useful as it allows countries at all levels of development to share experiences in addressing youth employment challenges. The title, based on the report of the Secretary-General on global analysis and evaluation of national action plans on youth employment, shows that some countries are making significant strides to tackle youth unemployment while others are only beginning to address the issue in an integrated fashion. Measures to boost employability, entrepreneurship, employment creation and equal opportunities continue to be key. Produced in collaboration with the Youth Employment Network, a joint initiative of the UN, ILO, and World Bank.

For more information: https://unp.un.org/details.aspx?pid=16938

Toward Participatory and Transparent Governance: Reinventing Government

Toward Participatory and Transparent Governance: Reinventing Government

Participation and transparency improve the quality of governance within a society, and the living conditions of its citizens. Participation entails access to all stages of the policy process – policy formulation, implementation and review. Transparency enables all actors to participate as informed contributors. Building on discussions held at the sixth Global Forum on Reinventing Government held in Seoul in 2005, this title focuses on public service ethics and trust in government, governance-oriented innovations to enhance state capacity, and e-government as a tool for participation and transparency. Produced by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management, and issued as part of DESA’s Government Reinvention Series.

For more information: https://unp.un.org/details.aspx?pid=7399


Statistical compilations

Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook, 2004

Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook, 2004

The Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook, 2004 is the thirty-eighth in a series of annual compilations of statistics on world industry designed to meet both the general demand for information of this kind and the special requirements of the United Nations and related international bodies. This edition of the Yearbook contains annual quantity data on production of about 200 industrial commodities by country and geographical region. The statistics refer to the ten-year period 1995-2004 for about 200 countries and areas. Publication symbol ST/ESA/STAT/SER.P/44. Sales no. E/F.06.XVII.14.

For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/industry/icsy_intro.asp

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

MBS provides monthly statistics on more than 50 indicators from over 200 countries and areas, together with special tables illustrating important economic developments. Quarterly data for significant world and regional aggregates are included regularly.

Vol. LXI, no. 6, June 2007, ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/414

Special features in this issue: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Fuel imports of developed economies (unit value indices, volume indices and value); Indicators on fuel imports of developed economies; Registration of new motor vehicles; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports (unit value indices, volume indices and value); Selected series of world statistics.

Vol. LXI, no. 7, July 2007, ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/415

Quarterly and annual tables included in this issue: Civil aviation traffic (passenger-kilometres and cargo net tonne-kilometres); Total exports and imports by countries or areas (volume, unit value, terms of trade and purchasing power of exports, in US dollars); World exports by provenance and destination.

For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mbs


Working papers

Humanizing the Digital Age

Humanizing the Digital Age

This book examines entrepreneurship, the need for global governance, and the importance of South-South cooperation in the ICT sector, drawing on country practices from Ireland, Spain, India, China and Turkey. Edited by √úner Kirdar, a senior adviser to the United Nations, the book argues that the information revolution provides unprecedented opportunities for economic and human development, as long as countries are capable of tapping its potential. Published by the Global Alliance for ICT for Development, in collaboration with UNDP.

 

For more information: https://unp.un.org/details.aspx?pid=16003

What We Do and Don’t Know about Trade Liberalization and Poverty Reduction

Strong opinions about the impact of globalization on poverty are not always backed by robust factual evidence. As argued in this paper, however, it is not all that easy to lay our hands on ‘robust’ facts. Quantitative analyses of trade liberalization appear highly sensitive to basic modelling and parameter assumptions. Altering these could turn the expectation that, for instance, Africa’s poor stand to gain from further trade opening under the Doha Round into one in which they would stand to lose. Most studies agree though that trade opening probably adds to aggregate welfare, but gains are small and unevenly distributed.

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2007/wp50_2007.pdf

Openness and Growth: What Have We Learned?

This paper discusses recent evidence regarding the existence of a cross-country empirical relationship between openness to international trade and economic growth. I discuss the empirical contributions of Warner (2003), Dollar and Kraay (2002), and Wacziarg and Welch (2003), and argue that these studies fail to convincingly establish a positive link between trade and growth. I also discuss the 1990-03 experience and show that growth does not display a significant correlation with any measure of trade openness over this period.

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2007/wp51_2007.pdf

Have Collapses in Infrastructure Spending led to Cross-Country Divergence in Per Capita GDP?

This paper explores whether the post-1980 decline in infrastructure investment in developing countries is a source of growing disparities in world per capita GDP. I start by reviewing the literature on the infrastructure-productivity link, arguing that a balanced reading of previous studies points to a significant effect of infrastructure provision on productivity. I then empirically study whether retrenchments in infrastructure provision have played a role in growing disparities using a data set of country-level infrastructure stocks for 121 countries since 1960. Cutbacks in infrastructure investment appear to be at most a minor cause of growing divergence in per capita incomes.

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2007/wp52_2007.pdf

Industrial Policy and Growth

The paper highlights how the rationales and instruments of industrial policy have changed since the 1960s. It finds that theories of industrialization have come full circle, as many of the assumptions behind the market failure paradigm have made a comeback. The policy implications of these theories, however, have not been similarly resurrected. It makes an explicit comparison between the strategies of East Asia and Latin America, and reviews the explanations for their divergent performance. It identifies a back-to-the-future quality of Latin America’s situation, pointing to the region’s balance of payments constraint and dependence on commodity-like industrial products.

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2007/wp53_2007.pdf

Governance, Economic Growth and Development since the 1960s

Liberal economists have developed a framework of good governance as market-enhancing governance, focusing on governance capabilities that reduce transaction costs and enable markets to work more efficiently. In contrast, heterodox economists have stressed the role of growth-enhancing governance, which focuses on governance capacities to overcome entrenched market failures in allocating assets, acquiring productivity-enhancing technologies and maintaining political stability in contexts of rapid social transformation. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but current policy exclusively focuses on the former, and ignores the strong empirical and historical evidence supporting the latter to the detriment of the growth prospects of poor countries.

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2007/wp54_2007.pdf


Outreach material

World Abortion Policies 2007

World Abortion Policies 2007

This wall chart, published by DESA’s Population Division, provides the most up-to-date, accurate and objective information available on the legal status of induced abortion for the 195 Member and non-Member States of the UN. Data on abortion rates, contraceptive prevalence, total fertility and maternal mortality are also included.

 

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/2007_Abortion_Policies_Chart/2007AbortionPolicies_
wallchart.htm


Websites

ECOSOC Innovation Fair

ECOSOC Innovation Fair

To showcase innovative experiences and mobilize a wide range of stakeholders in support of successful development activities, the United Nations organized an innovation fair during the main part of the annual substantive session of the Council on the theme of strengthening of efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, including through the global partnership for development. Participants included UN system agencies, private sector and civil society organizations.

For more information: http://www.un.org/ecosoc/innovfair/innovfair.shtml

Seminars on Global Statistical Systems

Seminars on Global Statistical Systems

A collection of material from seminars offered by the DESA Statistics Division on the global statistical system and the challenges it presents.

 

For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/statcom_seminar/global_statistical_systems.html

Environment Statistics Country Snapshots

This site includes a selection of national environmental statistics, complemented by key economic and social indicators, organized by country.

For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/Questionnaires/country_snapshots.htm