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30 Years of economics for development

WIDERAngle November/December 2014

From the Editor’s Desk

Tony Addison

As we move towards the year’s end, UNU-WIDER can look back on a remarkable series of events in 2014, and forward to our 30th anniversary in 2015. The WIDER Annual Lecture 18, by Peter Timmer, took place at the UN in New York on 18th November. This followed our well-attended inequality conference in September, and our Hanoi conference on institutional reform in June. Along the way, we had numerous other project meetings and presentations, including a policy seminar in Geneva on Giovanni Andrea Cornia’s new book on Latin American inequality. Meanwhile, we published oveR 160 working papers, not to mention journal papers and journal special issues. It’s been a great 2014. Full article

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WIDER Annual Lecture 18: managing structural transformation

Roger Williamson

At the UN headquarters in New York on 18 November 2014, Peter Timmer, emeritus professor from Harvard, showed how the three transformations (structural transformation, changes in agriculture, and diet) relate to development. He commented on the challenges of food security in Asia and Africa and the impact of climate change on the issue. Full article

Africa's failure to industrialize: bad luck or bad policy?

John Page

On 20 November 2014 the United Nations celebrated the 25th Africa Industrialization Day. But perhaps ‘celebrate’ is not exactly the right word. Africa’s experience with industrialization over the past quarter century has actually been disappointing. In 2010, sub-Saharan Africa’s average share of manufacturing value added in GDP was 10 per cent, unchanged from the 1970s. At the same time, manufacturing output per person was about a third of the average for all developing countries, and manufactured exports per person about 10 per cent. Thus I pose the question: is Africa’s failure to industrialize in the 25 years since the first African Industrialization Day due to bad policy or bad luck? Full article

UNU-WIDER inequality conference 2014: country comparisons and conceptual approaches

Roger Williamson

In an earlier article I reviewed a number of the high-profile contributions to the September 2014 conference on inequality. It is now time to dig deeper into the material presented at the event. This article features a few of the country case studies and methodological approaches. Full article

RESEARCHAngle

The causes of the decline in income inequality in Latin America - an empirical analysis

In recent years, many Latin American countries have enjoyed sizeable drops in income inequality. Such a decline has no parallel in other developed or developing regions. The reasons behind this have differed from country to country, but a few common factors stand out from the research. ​Full article


The rise and fall in income inequality in Ecuador

Ecuador experienced notable increases in income inequality during the 1990s, a development which by and large has been undone during the 2000s. Although active social transfer policies by successive governments played a role in reducing inequality, the rise and fall in inequality seem to have been associated for the most part with swings in macroeconomic conditions, not government policies. Full article


Structural change – critical for poverty reduction in Africa

Donors have focused much attention on African development but have mostly failed to assist the region in making the transition from low value added agricultural activities to more sophisticated and productive manufacturing alternatives. In order to rectify this, an ambitious new approach to aid in Africa is needed. Full article

VIDEOAngle

Taxation: inequality, equity, and efficiency - an interview with Michael Keen

Roger Williamson

Michael Keen from the International Monetary Fund addressed the UNU-WIDER Development Conference  in September 2014 'Equity Objectives and Puzzles in Linking Tax and Spending'.

In this interview he explains that subsidies might well not be the best way to help the poor, and that the overall balance of tax and spending measures is what needs to be taken into account. Watch interview

WIDERAngle newsletter
November/December 2014
ISSN 1238-9544

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