Expert commentary from our network

In memory of Martin Ravallion

by Finn Tarp, Tony Addison, Kunal Sen
Martin Ravallion
(19 March 1952 – 24 December 2022) It is with the greatest sadness and a deep sense of grief and shock that we received the news of the passing of Professor Martin Ravallion at the age of 70. He was to us a long-time friend and colleague, and a much-valued contributor to our research and conferences at UNU-WIDER. His first paper with the Institute was published in 1987, and since the 2000s, he was regularly engaged in our research projects and events. During his impressive career,...

Climate resilience and sustainable sovereign debt

by Leora Klapper
2022 is already a record-breaker in the number of climate change-related events, and developing countries must now pay for the repairs and remediation needed to combat the consequences. Although the international community pledged support at the UN Climate Conference (COP27), the costs of shoring up economies for the reality of a changing climate also fall on developing countries themselves and require supportive fiscal policies. One key element underpinning those policies is sustainable...

Pay inequality is high in South Africa

by Ihsaan Bassier
South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. This income inequality is mostly due to high unemployment and large differences in wages. In South Africa today, economists and policymakers typically focus on worker characteristics such as education to address wage inequality. Elsewhere, however, attention has recently returned to the power that bosses have to set the wages of workers. In my study, I document that employer wage-setting explains over a third of...

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Discussion forum seeks new ways to improve learning outcomes

How can differences in children and young people’s learning outcomes be reduced?...

Fintech and domestic savings: A perfect match coming true in sub-Saharan Africa

Financial technology (FinTech) is a major force disrupting the structure of financial services in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and enabling access of unbanked people to financial services...

Technological innovations Domestic savings Technology
The inheritance of human capital: Rethinking how much parents’ influence children’s human capital in low- and middle-income countries

The measure of human capital —the economic value of one’s skills and experience— acknowledges that investments in people’s cognitive and emotional skills, and health and nutrition, increase their productivity...

In memory of Ela Ramesh Bhatt — The gentle revolutionary

Ela Ramesh Bhatt, the founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association ( SEWA ) of India, passed away on 2 November 2022...

Informality Labour unions Labour movement
The 1918-20 influenza pandemic: A retrospective in the time of COVID-19

The influenza pandemic of 1918 (the Spanish Flu) is by far the greatest humanitarian disaster caused by an infectious disease in modern history. It infected over a quarter of the world’s population and killed over 50 million people...

COVID-19 Pandemic Spanish flu
Reducing inequality — the great challenge of our time

Early in October 2022, international and Colombian researchers gathered together for three days at the UNIANDES campus, located at the foot of the impressive Monserrate in Bogotá, Colombia...

Inequality Social mobility Group-based inequality
Inequality, fiscal space, and crisis response — A matter of priority, affordability, or both?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments financed more than 5000 fiscal support policies worldwide in 2020–21...

Fiscal policy Fiscal capacity Inequality
Report from the WIDER Development Conference on reducing inequality

For several decades, UNU-WIDER has actively worked on pathfinding and groundbreaking research on inequalities. We host one of the most extensive collections of income inequality statistics in the world freely available and updated annually...

Inequality Social mobility Group-based inequality
Urban poverty: cities, slums, and the need for policy action

Developing countries will be predominantly urban by 2030...

Social mobility India Urbanization
What would be the economic consequences of a military stalemate in Ukraine?

Russia’s war in Ukraine may reach a stalemate as neither side appears in reach of a military victory. Unless a settlement can be agreed, a frozen conflict may emerge, which will delay economic recovery in Ukraine...

Tools for effective tax administration

The importance of conducting high-quality analysis for policy advice cannot be understated. The UNU-WIDER Winter School for tax policy research delivered the right tools for my day-to-day work...

Tax administration Tax policy UNU-WIDER Winter School
Opportunities beyond lecture rooms – widening my career perspectives as a UNU-WIDER PhD fellow

It was surreal to take a springtime walk along the harbor in Helsinki on my way to UNU-WIDER’s headquarter offices for the first time. My initial application to the UNU-WIDER PhD Fellowship programme had been rejected...

UNU-WIDER PhD Fellowship Capacity building Capacity development
Lives can be improved when policymakers and researchers collaborate

My motivation for doing economics research comes from the wish to see every human being have their basic needs met and enjoy their life. My interest is in public economics...

Public economics Tax policy Tax-benefit microsimulation
Experiences from UNU-WIDER Winter School 2022: One of the best global training programmes in tax research

Across Africa, governments are now waking up to the fact that taxation targets or economic development goals will not be met without policies that are based on scientific evidence...

Tax policy Public economics UNU-WIDER Winter School
Electoral politics and Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

Government responsiveness is an integral feature of representative democracy. Its importance could be amplified in times of crisis, especially if citizens cannot rely on market actors for help...

COVID-19 COVID-19 policy response COVID-19 vaccine
Digital platforms and job search: Experimental evidence from Mozambique

Digital technologies can be deployed to improve job search, but their effectiveness in practice is disrupted...

Informality Job search Unemployment
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