From the Editor's Desk (January 2013)

Tony Addison

We start the new year at a fast pace, preparing for the ReCom results meeting on ‘Aid and the Social Sectors’ in Stockholm on 13th March, and the development conference in June on ‘Learning to Compete: Industrial Development and Policy in Africa’. Coming up later in the year is our conference on ‘Inclusive Growth in Africa’, 20-21 September. Underway at the moment is a project meeting on ‘Reconciling African’s Growth Poverty and Inequality Trends’ (GAPP). Also you will see a call for papers under our ReCom theme on Aid and Gender Equality. Meanwhile, it was announced last week that UNU-WIDER maintains its position in the top ten of the international development category in the Global Think Tank Report at number 6 (the position we held last year). It’s just as well that the snow (a lot), and temperatures that range from minus 20oc to minus 5oc, keep us mostly indoors, and hard at work.

You can look forward to many more working papers this year (we published 111 last year). To start 2013 we have two papers on the political economy of food price shocks; Assefa Admassie on the Ethiopian case and Selim Raihan on Bangladesh (these are both from our Political Economy of Food Price Policy project, undertaken in collaboration with Cornell University and the Institute of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen). Also in the new crop of working papers are Paul Collier on aid as a catalyst for investment (from ReCom), Augustin Fosu on African economic growth and productivity, Marguerite Duponchel on post-apartheid South Africa, and Muhammad Badiuzzaman, John Cameron, and Syed Mansoob Murshed on the impact of conflict on livelihood decisions in the Chittagong Hills of Bangladesh (from our project on New Approaches to Measuring Poverty and Vulnerability).

Books just published and forthcoming include: Development Success: Historical Accounts from More Advanced Countries, edited by Augustin K. Fosu; Pathways to Industrialization in the Twenty-First Century: New Challenges and Emerging Paradigms, edited by Adam Szirmai, Wim Naudé, and Ludovico Alcorta; Achieving Development Success: Strategies and Lessons from the Developing World, edited by Augustin K. Fosu. And in February we have new UNU-WIDER Special Issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution, on Entrepreneurship and Conflict, edited by Tilman Brück, Wim Naudé, and Philip Verwimp.

Turning to this month’s Angle Omar McDoom, visiting us from LSE, has written the featured article titled 'To Aid or Not to Aid?' looking into the case of Rwanda from a donor’s point of view. We also have an interview by Carl-Gustav Lindén with Imed Drine, a former UNU-WIDER Research Fellow—Imed has only recently moved to the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia as a senior economist. In the interview he reflects on his work at UNU-WIDER, and the time with his family spent in Helsinki.

Our selected video for January is an interview with Martin Rama of the World Bank, on the topic of ‘jobs as development’. Martin was a member of the panel at the ReCom results meeting on aid and employment in Copenhagen, held in October 2012, and the director of the World Bank’s World Development Report on jobs. This was an activity under the aid, growth and employment theme of our ReCom programme.

Our GUESTAngle slot this month is by Luis F. Lopez-Calva of the World Bank. Luis’ theme is ‘What does it mean to be in the middle? Mobility and vulnerability in Latin America and the Caribbean’. Luis was a visitor to UNU-WIDER last year on our sabbatical programme. He reflects on pace of social inclusion in the region, the growth and robustness of the growing Latin American middle class.

RESEARCHAngle this month, features two summaries prepared by James Stewart. The first is by Stefan Leiderer on ‘The Fungibility Problem: Budget Support, Aid on Delivery or Project Aid?’. Stefan, from DIE, was a visitor at UNU-WIDER in 2012 through our sabbatical programme. The second RESEARCHAngle is by Arne Bigsten and Sven Tengstam on ‘Can the coordination of aid cut costs for donors?’. Both papers come out of our ReCom programme. The summaries link to the papers themselves, which have been published in our working paper series.

And so as we look forward to 2013 with enthusiasm, it remains for us to wish all our readers a great new year. Angle returns in February. 

Tony Addison is Chief Economist-Deputy Director, UNU-WIDER.

WIDERAngle newsletter
January 2013
ISSN 1238-9544