WIDERAngle

Expert commentary from our network

35 years of research for change – what's next?

by Armida Alisjahbana, Kunal Sen, Andy Sumner, Arief Yusuf
To celebrate its 35th birthday, UNU-WIDER has looked back at some of its greatest achievements. As the year closes, Armida Alisjahbana, Kunal Sen, Andy Sumner, and Arief Yusuf highlight the continued impact of UNU-WIDER’s flagship work and the future of knowledge about building more just societies. UNU-WIDER’s inaugural director — the senior Sri Lankan civil servant and Keynesian economist, Lal Jayawardena — was deeply committed to equity. He helped create...

The developer’s dilemma in India – the role of politics and economic ideology

by Saon Ray, Sabyasachi Kar
Policy makers seeking inclusive growth frequently face the developer’s dilemma between prioritizing structural transformation, which is potentially inequitable, and keeping a check on rising economic inequality. How this dilemma is resolved by different countries and what factors influence the choices made, are important research questions. In a new working paper, we analyse the Indian developmental experience since independence. We identify two episodes (1960–80 and 1980...

Late development, early adoption – how new technology is reshaping the future of structural change

by Lukas Schlogl
Technological catch-up is bringing new asynchronies to development pathways. What does this mean for employment, globalization, and inequality? A chapter in the forthcoming volume The Developer’s Dilemma, which traces trends of structural transformation, offers a framework for understanding the emerging global techno-economic constellation. Digital technologies are conquering the developing world. From app-based e-commerce to self-checkout and smart-card technology, cutting-edge...

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Research Brief
Does exchange rate volatility amplify existing inequalities in South Africa? December 2020

Even though poverty and inequality have been of overriding concern in South Africa’s development policies and programmes since its democratization in 1994, measures of poverty, inequality, and related phenomena in the country do not show a clea...

Functional distribution Income distribution Economic inequality
Research Brief
Job duration in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa December 2020

The two primary features of a job are its wage and how long it lasts. Today, there is an extensive literature on wages in the developing world thanks to the expansion of national household survey data...

apartheid Labour market dynamics job duration
Research Brief
Unlocking a regional plastics value chain between Mozambique and South Africa: Natural gas as a key December 2020

Plastics are universal and integrated into different sectors of the economy...

feedstocks polymers plastic
Research Brief
Special economic zones in Zambia and South Africa: Blueprint, experiences and outcomes December 2020

East Asia’s successful experience in accelerating the process of industrial development with SEZs paved way for the use of SEZs as policy instruments in Africa...

Special Economic Zones Agglomeration Industrialization
Research Brief
Technology, tourism, malls and metros: Promises and pitfalls of tradable services in Africa December 2020

There is growing recognition around the world that tradable services can play a valuable role in economic development. Africa is no exception, with the need for multiple routes to growth, particularly vis-à-vis the COVID-19 pandemic...

Africa International trade South Africa
Research Brief
Extreme inequalities: The distribution of household wealth in South Africa December 2020

South Africa is, by most contemporary measures, the most unequal country in the world. Yet, relatively little attention has been given to country’s wealth inequality...

Administrative data households balance sheets income capitalization
Blog
Coronavirus: five ways some states have used the pandemic to curtail human rights and democracy

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, at least 95 countries declared a national emergency, empowering governments to act in ways they would not normally to protect citizens...

Blog
35 years of research for change – what's next?: Building just societies

To celebrate its 35 th birthday, UNU-WIDER has looked back at some of its greatest achievements...

Structural transformation Economic inequality Economic development
Blog
The developer’s dilemma in India – the role of politics and economic ideology

Policy makers seeking inclusive growth frequently face the developer’s dilemma between prioritizing structural transformation, which is potentially inequitable, and keeping a check on rising economic inequality...

Structural transformation Economic inequality Economic development
Blog
Late development, early adoption – how new technology is reshaping the future of structural change

Technological catch-up is bringing new asynchronies to development pathways. What does this mean for employment, globalization, and inequality?...

Structural transformation Technology developer's dilemma
Blog
Studying COVID-19 through the lens of microsimulation: The role of tax and benefit policies in alleviating poverty and inequality

As the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, developing nations are struggling to deliver economic assistance and public services to their citizens, under pressures of fiscal constraints and tax revenue losses...

Tax-benefit microsimulation tax-benefit policy Individual poverty
Blog
Evidence matters for inclusive growth policy: Reflections from the annual conference of the Inclusive growth in Mozambique programme

Like many developing countries, Mozambique is struggling with problems of poverty, inequality, low productivity, unemployment, and low institutional capacity. The COVID-19 pandemic is now adding to these challenges...

Inclusive growth Mozambique
Blog
Slow death or new direction for the UN?
Placeholder

For most of its 75-year existence, the United Nations has struggled to strike a balance between its lofty founding aspirations and realities on the ground...

United Nations Annual lecture
Blog
Promoting industrialization in Africa: Global versus regional value chains

As COVID-19 ravages international trade and production, policy-makers are shifting their sights from global value chains (GVCs) to regional value chains (RVCs) as pathways to industrialization...

value chain directionality textiles apparel
Blog
Headline data suggests low-income states are coping better with the pandemic than high-income states. But is this true?

States with fragile state health systems have been commended for effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic...

COVID-19 Capable states state capacity
Blog
Changing the lives of very young children: Evidence from Rwanda

Globally, around 250 million children under the age of five do not meet key development milestones, which reduces their ability to reach their full potential...

Social mobility Human capital Cognitive ability
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