A summer reading list of our latest papers, articles, and books

At the UNU-WIDER offices here in Helsinki, Finland, the summer holidays are almost upon us. Looking at the list of new UNU-WIDER publications, it is easy to see how much we accomplished this past year, despite the many constraints faced. By my latest count, we have 25 new working papers and 12 new journal articles out this month, since we last shared our monthly newsletter on 31 May (you can subscribe here). I share here a handful of these works that easily deserve to be on your summer reading list. There is something for everyone.  

Political economy

Our first guidebook on encouraging growth spells in fragile and conflict-affected states is now out. The guidebook is designed to help advisers working with development agencies who design interventions that enable growth and reduce fragility. In a similar vein, major contributions in the political economy of development from us include: The corruption–growth relationship: Does the political regime matter? by Shrabani Saha and Kunal Sen, Clientelism and development: is there a poverty trap? by Susan Stokes, Clientelism, public goods provision, and governance by Maria C. Lo Bue et al., The political economy of the resource curse: A development perspective by Antonio Savoia and Kunal Sen, and Fiscal decentralization and efficiency of public services delivery by local governments in Ghana by Isaac Otoo and Michael Danquah.


We recently released a major open access volume with detailed analysis of economic inequality — both globally and in five major emerging market countries — with chapters from Joseph Stiglitz, Nora Lustig, Martin Ravallion, Anthony Shorrocks, Murray Leibbrandt, and many others. It is well worth checking out. Our latest articles on inequality and inequalities make new empirical contributions in a number of understudied countries and intersectional aspects outside of income or wealth. These include:

Gender equality

It was already out last month, but the latest from Naila Kabeer et al. deserves a place on your list. Material barriers, cultural boundaries: A mixed-methods analysis of gender and labour market segmentation in Bangladesh artfully demonstrates the use of interdisciplinary methods in serious research, with illuminating results. Young women’s transitions from education to the labour market in Ethiopia — A gendered life-course perspective by Yeshwas Admasu et al. pioneers new research tools. Three other papers really bring the empirics:

In case the labour market is not your cup of tea, the following papers explore other aspects of gender-based economic inequality:

Other topics in development

There is much to read from Inclusive Growth in Mozambique, including many case studies on prospects and policies for weathering major shocks in least developed countries (LDCs), including the COVID-19 pandemic and Cyclone Idai.

These include Cash grants to manufacturers after Cyclone Idai — RCT evidence from Mozambique and Cyclone impacts on manufacturing firms in Mozambique by Hanna Berkel et al., The macroeconomic impact of COVID-19 in Mozambique — A social accounting matrix approach by Rosário Betho et al., and Informal freelancers in the time of COVID-19 — Insights from a digital matching platform in Mozambique by Sam Jones and Ivan Manhique.

Two very good papers also explore The socioeconomic impact of coal mining in Mozambique (by Eva-Maria Egger et al.) and The legacy of conflict: aggregate evidence from Sierra Leone (by Tillman Hönig).

And, finally, Forecasting recovery from COVID-19 using financial data — An application to Viet Nam by Jesse Lastunen and Matteo Richiardi deserves a look for its novel approach and potential relevance for countries all over the world coping with the ongoing pandemic.

Signing off

Wow! I know these will keep me busy throughout July. The summer issue of the WIDERAngle is jam-packed and is intended to get you through both June and July. Our next newsletter will drop into inboxes near the end of August, with a special focus on LDCs as we set our sights on the upcoming United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) Achieving Sustainable Development in the Least Developed Countries - LDC Future Forum. Until then, stay safe and happy reading!


Timothy Shipp is a Communications Associate at UNU-WIDER with a focus on mobilizing knowledge related to the achievement of SDG10: Reduced Inequalities and SDG5: Gender Equality. He is the managing editor of the WIDERAngle.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute or the United Nations University, nor the programme/project donors.