Looking over recent UNU-WIDER publications, I am struck by the diversity of topics and countries that we have managed to cover. Our new output includes Andrea Cornia’s book Falling Inequality in Latin America: Policy Changes and Lessons (Oxford University Press for UNU-WIDER); the Open Access special issue of the Review of Income and Wealth, on ‘Poverty, Development, and Behavioral Economics’, edited by Markus Jäntti, Ravi Kanbur, and Jukka Pirttilä; and many papers including Rachel Gisselquist on ethnic politics (in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics) and Katarina Juselius, Niels Framroze Møller, and Finn Tarp on aid’s long-run impact in Africa (in the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics), to mention just a few.
This range of interesting research is one reason why UNU-WIDER is such a stimulating place to work in, and to visit—whether through our visiting scholar and PhD internship programmes, or via our conferences and project meetings. One learns something every day—at least I do. Full article
Foreign aid is often seen as different from other forms of investment, and some argue that rather than having a positive effect it tends to distort economies and may potentially slow growth and development. UNU-WIDER research shows that foreign aid has had a positive effect on growth in the long run. Furthermore, aid has been crucial in supporting the broader human development process, and facilitating transitions to democracy. Full article
The Nordic countries have a long-standing commitment to development, and their work in peace-building has taken Nordic peacemakers into some of the toughest places in the world. The Nordic countries have been firm supporters of the United Nations system, when other countries have wavered. UNU-WIDER is thus fortunate to be located in a region, and in a country, that values openness in dialogue, the intrinsic worth of democratic processes, and the construction of inclusive societies. Full article
Africa is growing, with The Economist noting that 6 out of 10 of the world’s fastest growing economies for 2000-10 were in Africa. But how optimistic should we be? UNU-WIDER’s new research priorities for 2014-18 are transformation, inclusion, and sustainability. All three played important roles in the conference ‘Inclusive Growth in Africa’, 20-21 September 2013, held in Helsinki. Full article
How can aid help agriculture become more resilient to climate change? - WIDER Working Paper 2013/047
Given the urgent food security situation and detrimental climate change predictions, it is imperative that climate change mitigation and adaptation measures be incorporated into an increased number of agricultural development strategies, particularly those reliant on foreign aid. This UNU-WIDER study examined the important role foreign aid plays in achieving the joint objectives of development, mitigation and adaptation of agriculture under climate change by examining which strategies have been successful, which strategies could prove effective in the future, and how lessons learned can be scaled up and transferred to additional countries. Full article
The development process - escaping the capability trap - WIDER Working Paper 2012/64
Development projects have generally been successful when their aim has been to build physical things. Schools, hospitals, irrigation canals, roads and even government ministries, agencies and courts have all been successfully built as part of the development agenda. However building human capability can be more difficult. This is particularly problematic as many of the successes in terms of building physical capacity do not mean much in the face of insufficient human capacity. Schools serve little purpose if the state cannot use them to educate children, and hospitals are merely symbolic if they cannot effectively cure patients. Full article
According to UNU-WIDER Research Fellow Jukka Pirttilä there is a need to utilize knowledge from the field of public economics and apply it to development economics. In this interview he explains how he will use his interest in publicly provided goods, social protection and tax policy. Full interview
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