From the Editor’s Desk (November 2012)
This month saw the visit of Kaushik Basu, the World Bank’s new Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics, to talk about the global crisis and the impact on emerging economies at a UNU-WIDER seminar. You can see a video interview with Kaushik here. Kaushik is an old friend of UNU-WIDER; he gave the 2003 WIDER Annual Lecture, and participated in UNU-WIDER projects in the 1980s led by Amartya Sen which dealt with issues like quality of life and food security. Kaushik made a number of interesting observations about the state of the world economy, and its implications for developing countries, and also drew on his recent experience as chief economic advisor to the government of India. The video of the seminar will be shortly uploaded to our website.
UNU-WIDER’s climate change and development conference in September attracted considerable interest from policy makers and researchers. You can view videos from the conference here. In this issue, James Thurlow reflects on some of the lessons from the conference. You can read about UNU-WIDER’s work on climate change here; and there is a great deal more to come.
The video of the WIDER Annual Lecture given by Lant Pritchett of Harvard University is continuing to attract many viewers. If you haven’t seen the lecture, the first to feature juggling, go here. Other UNU-WIDER videos from the last few months also include the ReCom results meeting held in Copenhagen on the theme of ‘Jobs–Aid at Work’ (there is also a working paper on aid, growth, and jobs by Gary Fields, one of the ReCom panelists in Copenhagen).
We have been pleased this year to have so many interesting topics covered in our GUESTAngle slot. This month is no exception. Duncan Green, strategic advisor for Oxfam Great Britain, joins us with reflections on the second edition of his highly successful book, From Power to Poverty. Duncan runs one of the most interesting blogs around: recent posts include an interview with Lant Pritchett. Go here for more. http://www.oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/
More work from ReCom is presented to you in ResearchAngle. James Stewart writes the summaries. The first of the two research briefs is based on the WIDER working paper by Graciana del Castillo, which deals with the transition from economics of war to economics of peace. The second summary is on the WIDER working paper by Matthew Clarke on the role of religious organizations in overcoming development challenges, with a focus on the work of an AusAID project in Papua New Guinea.
We now have 99 working papers out so far in 2012 (go here for the latest). The most recent include two papers on the impact of the global food price spikes of the last few years (this has been a major project at UNU-WIDER since 2009). Bernardo Mueller and Charles Mueller discuss the case of food prices in Brazil, while Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim investigates the political economy of food price policy in Egypt. Other papers include: Florencia Torche and Luis F. Lopez-Calva on Latin America’s middle class; Pranab Bardhan and Dilip Mookherjee on political clientism and capture in West Bengal; Winnie V. Mitullah on decentralized service delivery in Nairobi and Mombassa; Joelle Malokele Nanivazo and Lucy Scott on gender mainstreaming in the Nordic development agencies; and John Page and Måns Söderbom on small enterprises, aid and employment in Africa (this and a number of our other working papers are from the ReCom project, please go here to see their presentation on the topic).
As for the weather, Helsinki this week saw the first snow of the winter. Angle returns in December, with our last issue for 2012.
Tony Addison is Chief Economist-Deputy Director, UNU-WIDER.