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Publications (223)

– Making a case for universal social protection in Latin America
Santiago Levy - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

The 2019 WIDER Annual Lecture discusses the challenges of social protection in economies with large informal sectors, such as in Latin America. Making a critical distinction between social insurance and social assistance programmes — the former address risks which are common to all workers...

UNU-WIDER, Ludvig Wier - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

The study uses a comparative analysis of foreign-owned firms operating in South Africa to show that firms with a parent registered in a tax haven tend to report 80% less in profits than similar firms without a parent in a tax haven. This is highly suggestive, but not conclusive, evidence of...

Jukka Pirttilä - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Social protection has attracted increasing interest in developing countries in recent decades and policies have been initiated in all developing regions. When countries build up their social protection systems, they need reliable information and tools on how the systems should be designed. They...

– Growth and beyond
Rachel M. Gisselquist, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

The questions of whether aid has impact and is effective have been the subject of considerable attention. This thematic issue brings together nine studies that speak to the diverse ways in which aid affects development outcomes including, but not limited to, growth. It takes stock of what we know...

Rachel M. Gisselquist - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

‘Legal empowerment’ is defined as a process of systemic change through which the poor and excluded become able to use the law to protect and advance their rights and interests as citizens and economic actors. Since the 2000s, legal empowerment initiatives have established a widely...

– Are they persistently high-growth firms?
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

The analysis of firm growth has been a topic of consistent economic interest as a growing body of literature has lent support to the possibility that the majority of growth and new employment creation is the result of a small sub-sector of high-growth firms (HGFs). While this has been...

– Can South African firms compete with Chinese imports?
UNU-WIDER, Sofia Torreggiani, Antonio Andreoni - Helsinki, 0 - Finland

China’s growing edge in export manufacturing has caused concern for low-income and middle-income countries seeking to develop robust manufacturing sectors. China’s recent transition from an exporter of lower-tech goods, such as garments, to more advanced products, such as components...

– Impacts on economic development
UNU-WIDER, Morné Oosthuizen - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Over the past 20 years, researchers have been looking at the economic lifecycle of individuals around the world using National Transfer Accounts (NTA) data. The focus of this research has been on understanding how societies produce, consume, share, and save resources across generations, how these...

– Diversity in Development
Deepak Nayyar - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

In 1820, Asia accounted for two-thirds of world population and over half of world income. The subsequent decline of Asia was attributable to its integration with a world economy shaped by colonialism and driven by imperialism. By 1970, Asia was the poorest continent in the world, marginal except...

Deepak Nayyar - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

When Gunnar Myrdal published his magnum opus, Asian Drama: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations, in 1968, he was deeply pessimistic about the development prospects in Asia. The fifty years since witnessed a remarkable economic transformation in Asia — even if it has been uneven across...

– Socioeconomic class and poverty in South Africa
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

South Africa is often cited as the most unequal economy in the world. Its experience of having to overcome both colonialism and apartheid makes it unique from the vantage of studies on socioeconomic class, economic mobility, and poverty — with household characteristics like race, gender,...

– The case of value-added tax in South Africa
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

In a democratic system, taxation is a critical part of the social contract between the state and its citizens. The tax system can be used to help address the unacceptably high levels of poverty, inequality, and unemployment in South Africa. An increase in VAT from 14% to 15% caused a modest...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

The World Bank reports that the world loses US$160 trillion in human capital wealth due to gender wage inequality every year. Inequality is not just an issue of fairness. It is also undesirable because it hampers poverty reduction strategies and leads to suboptimal allocation of resources. In...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Regional integration is making steady progress in Southern Africa, leading to the development of regional value chains (RVCs) that could strengthen the competitiveness of the region. Importantly, the development of RVCs also creates pressure for further integration. While integration brings major...

– Addressing the lack of data and observing the structure of the economy
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

With the recent democratic elections, Myanmar has entered a new development phase. To support this process there is amongst others a need for sound economic policies that have an economy-wide perspective. To enable such policies, appropriate analytical methods and the relevant underlying data,...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Social protection systems in Africa are still in their infancy. As countries develop their systems, it is crucial to look at how existing tax-benefit programmes affect poverty and inequality and how countries can learn from each other’s systems.​​ Microsimulation models can be used to...

– Are non-farm jobs the driver or a brake?
Chris Elbers, Peter Lanjouw - UNU-WIDER, 2019

The increasing proportion of non-agricultural work in rural India has commonly been associated with widening income inequality. However, our simulations from the village of Palanpur in the north suggest that without this diversification inequality might well have increased even more. From...

– The case of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Much discussion of climate change in the developing world focuses on if, when, and to what extent developing countries should be subject to any global attempts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Little work has been done on the likely economic impacts resulting from the interplay of climate change...

– Correcting the data on top incomes in China
Qinghai Li, Shi Li, Haiyuan Wan - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

China has experienced fast economic growth over the last forty years. The number of Chinese billionaires has grown exceptionally fast and their wealth has increased enormously. At the same time, official statistics report decreasing inequality over the most recent decade. However, correcting data...

– Progress on equality thwarted by slow growth and success of top earners
Murray Leibbrandt, Timothy Shipp - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

South Africa has the highest rate of measured inequality in the world. Often thought to be a legacy of the apartheid system, inequality in South Africa has stubbornly persisted.  South Africa’s position as highest inequality country in the world has not changed Progressive...

– Inclusive growth trend of this millennium is over
Marcelo Neri - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

After three decades of persistently high inequality, Brazil has been experiencing a downward trend since 2001, accompanied by a rise in household incomes. These trends lasted until 2014 when a major reversal took place on both fronts. Since the 1970s Brazil has been one of the most unequal...

– A tax-benefit microsimulation
Remmy Kampamba, Luca Pellerano, Charles Banda, Obbie Musama - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

In an attempt to reduce poverty and vulnerability in a sustainable and cost-effective way, in 2003 the Zambian Government introduced a social cash transfer (SCT) scheme. However, a recent review of Zambia’s social assistance system revealed that this scheme provided insufficient coverage to...

Björn Gustafsson, Haiyuan Wan - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

From an international perspective, growth in average wages has been very impressive in urban China during recent decades. Average wages were about ten times as high in 2013 as in 1988. But how has wage inequality evolved during this period? Wage inequality increased rapidly in urban China...

Hai‐Anh H. Dang, Peter Lanjouw - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Following the introduction of economic reforms in the early 1990s, India today is achieving unprecedented per capita growth rates. Poverty reduction has also accelerated and is justly celebrated. There is great concern, however, that this growth is being accompanied by rising inequality. ...

– On the rise again
Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez, Nora Lustig, John Scott - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Since 1989, inequality in Mexico has risen, declined, and risen again. The evolution of labour income inequality is at the core of this pattern. To reverse the current trend of rising inequality, access to secondary and tertiary education should continue to expand, minimum wages should be...

– Income growth for the poor, but more for the rich
Shi Li, Terry Sicular, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

In the late 1970s, China embarked on a major programme of economic transition and reform. Since then, China’s economy has been transformed from a socialist planned economy to a predominately market economy characterized by a combination of state, private, and mixed forms of ownership. Over...

Gary S. Fields, Guillermo Cruces, David Jaume, Mariana Viollaz - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Some questions have been present since the very first days of development economics but have gained increased attention in recent years: Has economic growth resulted in gains in standards of living and reductions in poverty via improved labor market conditions? How do the rate and character of...

– New gas finds, investments, and their implications in Mozambique
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Large flows of foreign investments have not been translated into a boom for the Mozambican economy. On the contrary, they have foreshadowed a sustained period of deep economic difficulty for the country. What is the story behind this phenomenon and what are its implications? Mozambique has...

– Will local content do the trick?
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Extractives and interlinked industries are expecting a boom in Mozambique. This could be good news for the country’s economy, in theory. But can extractives really work as a driver to diversify the Mozambican economy? It is unlikely that the extractives sector can any time soon be...

– Industrialization in Africa reconsidered
Richard Newfarmer, John Page - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Our research shows that structural change in Africa is relying on a new set of economic activities, called ‘industries without smokestacks’, created by recent technological changes and a changing global market place. Adopting a broad concept of industrialization is crucial to...

Jean-Philippe Platteau - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

There are three main channels of women’s empowerment: legal or policy reforms, outside economic opportunities, and collective action. Legal (or policy) reforms are generally based on statutory laws that enact rules to be followed or prohibit certain practices. External economic...

– Results from a baseline survey
Ricardo Santos, Sam Jones - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Before now, there has been no systematic study of the transition of university students as they finish their studies and enter the labour market. This Policy Brief summarises the findings of a baseline survey of such university students, who form the sample of a longitudinal tracking survey that...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

As with many other developed and emerging economies, in recent decades Mexico has experienced a long-term decline in the labour income share. The decline is observed in both the share of wages in value added and in more comprehensive measures that include the labour income of the self-employed....

– Lessons from international experience
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Mozambique has seen a significant expansion of interest and investment in its extractive industries. New gas finds in the past ten years have led to expectations that these industries will contribute very significantly to the country’s future economic development and its long-term...

Ricardo Santos - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Weak supply chains, both in quantity and quality, impose logistical challenges on Mozambican manufacturing firms. The Mozambican regulatory and legal environment continue to be perceived as a hurdle. Regulatory barriers hinder firm capacity to export. Access to credit remains...

Ricardo Santos - UNU-WIDER, 2018 - Helsinki, Finland

Firms that survived the economic downturn adopted restrictive human resources management, reducing the workforce and making it more flexible, which in turn made employment more vulnerable. In 2017, manufacturing sector leadership appears both more satisfied and more inclined to support...

– What is known and where are the knowledge gaps?
Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

Under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) remarkably progress has been made on health issues. Globally, under-five mortality rate has decreased by 56%, from an estimated rate of 93 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 41 deaths per 1000 live births in 2016. To build health-care systems that...

Channing Arndt, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

The importance of reducing poverty is universally acknowledged, and represents an important part of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the appropriate measurement of poverty and wellbeing remains complex and controversial. A UNU-WIDER study addresses means to significantly lower the...

– The latest evidence on the effectiveness of ODA
Tony Addison, Finn Tarp, Oliver Morrissey - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

The death of aid has often been declared, and private capital flows as well as earnings from natural resources now far exceed official development assistance (ODA) in aggregate. However, the recent and sharp downturn in resource earnings, the ability of ODA to fund public goods that private...

Channing Arndt, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

Development aid by itself cannot ‘save the planet’. Yet, development aid and institutions have the potential to remain important catalytic actors in achieving developmental and global environmental objectives. Developing countries must be crucial players in successful climate change...

Channing Arndt, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

In broad terms, the climate challenge is relatively straightforward. Global average temperatures are rising because of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Continuation of current levels of emissions or (worse) continued growth in emissions throughout the twenty-first century could result...

– Four lessons for Africa
John Page, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

Industrial policy has finally moved away from the arid debate on ‘picking winners’ versus ‘levelling the playing field’. Today, there is growing understanding that the market imperfections on which the theoretical arguments for industrial policy rest are pervasive,...

– Three challenges limiting the potential for inclusive growth
Haroon Bhorat, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

Historically, the African continent has been largely dismissed as a case of regional economic delinquency, with the levels of growth necessary to reduce poverty and inequality deemed to be consistently unattainable. In the last decade, however, significantly higher levels of...

– The case of Viet Nam
Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

​The quality and availability of data has become an international priority highlighted by the call for a data revolution in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Researchers and policy makers have responded to this call in the Vietnamese context through the Viet Nam Access to Resources...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

Climate change is one of the most complex and urgent of global issues due to its potential impacts and the policies and measures needed to address those impacts. Both are potential game changers for the Earth’s biosphere, ways of life, and economic development into the twenty-first century...

– How inflated expectations of oil revenues led to a deterioration in macroeconomic management
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

Prior to the discovery of oil, Ghana was one of the stars of the ‘Africa rising’ story, with an established track record of macroeconomic stability and fiscal discipline. When oil was discovered, there were great hopes that Ghana would avoid the ‘resource curse’. Initial...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

Driven by rapid growth in mining and related infrastructure investment, exports of machinery and equipment from South Africa to other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries more than quadrupled from 2003 to 2013. Growth has, however, since slowed due to a more subdued commodity...

– Success and failure in the extractive sector
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2017 - Helsinki, Finland

A central difficulty for extractive activity is that benefits accrue at the national level but disruptions are highly localized. Companies recognise that these imbalances need to be addressed and adopt active programmes to improve local benefits. These programmes have had mixed past success,...

Displaying 48 of 223 results.