From the Editor's Desk (March 2012)
With the ice floes now gone from the harbour outside the UNU-WIDER building, and with the snow replaced by an icy hail, there is a glimmer of better days to come. I heard birdsong for the first time last week, and the great annual bird migrations into our northern lands are now underway, with the migratory birds concentrating across the Baltic states which lie to the south of Finland before heading north. The southern winds are bringing skylarks, and rooks to our shores, together with geese and swans seeking ice-free water. Then come the lapwings and starlings. Such is the annual miracle of nature.
Development researchers also have their seasonal migrations. Since the last Angle UNU-WIDER has held meetings on its projects on ‘The Political Economy of Food Price Policy’ and ‘Learning to Compete’ in Addis Ababa, as well as a presentation on development assistance and growth at a SIDA Development Talk in Stockholm, and a presentation on aid and growth at DFID in London (both of these events were under ReCom). And we launched the new UNU-WIDER book ‘Fragile States: Causes, Costs, and Responses’ edited by Wim Naudé, Amelia U. Santos-Paulino, and Mark McGillivray (published by Oxford University Press) at the CSAE annual conference, in Oxford and at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence. Read also the new UNU policy brief by Wim Naudé's ‘What is the (New) Deal with Fragile States?’
You will be seeing a lot more video coming out of UNU-WIDER over the rest of the year. This month’s Angle includes a link to a video interview of Lant Pritchett as well as his presentation titled ‘It’s a Deals World: The Dynamics of Capitalism with Weak Institutions’ given at the joint UNU-WIDER and HECER seminar in December 2011.
Also in this Angle is the second part of my piece with Miguel Niño Zarazua on poverty in India and China (the first part appeared in the January Angle), and Joanna Gravier-Rymaszewska looks at the supply side of aid, and the impact of the post-2008 growth crisis on the volume of aid.
We have had a busy time producing new working papers, with many from the ReCom project. For a taste of our recent research on the governance and fragility theme under ReCom take a look at Danielle Resnick’s working paper on Malawi’s democratization and Rachel Gisselquist’s working paper on good governance and its relationship to development policy (see also Rachel’s Angle article on this back in January). Other working papers coming out of ReCom include ‘Foreign Assistance and the Food Crisis of 2007–08’ by Philip Abbott, ‘Aid as a Second-Best Solution: Seven Problems of Effectiveness and How to Tackle Them’ by Richard Manning, and Paul Mosley’s ‘Fiscal Composition and Aid Effectiveness’.
More UNU-WIDER working papers are coming out of our project on the new development model in Latin America. New papers include ‘Macroeconomic Policies, Growth, Employment, and Inequality in Latin America’ by Mario Damill, and Roberto Frenkel, and ‘The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Mexico, 1989–2010’ by Raymundo Campos, Gerardo Esquivel, and Nora Lustig. There are many more on Latin American themes.
As the weather warms up we look forward to seeing more of our migratory visitors to WIDER, both the human as well as the feathered kind. Angle is back in April.
Tony Addison is Chief Economist-Deputy Director, and Editor of WIDERAngle newsletter.