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Publications (250)

Rachel M. Gisselquist, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Building knowledge about migration governance and policy in the Global South is a priority for research and policy. Migration is a defining feature of our time and one closely linked with processes of economic and political development. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 10.7 prioritizes...

– Transnational growth corridors as a solution
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Comprehensive harmonization is crucial to eliminate inefficiencies that hamper free movement of goods and services in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Territorial collaboration between metropolitan clusters and rural areas connected by transport corridors is a potential...

– What are the challenges?
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Diversifying the agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa is important for the combat against poverty and climate change. In Malawi there are plans for legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp, which would at best bring possibilities for Malawi and South Africa to complement each other...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Special economic zones (SEZ) in Africa are generally regarded as underperforming relative to their peers in the rest of the world. To explain this underperformance and to support success in the future it is important to analyse the key features and what is lacking in the design of African special...

– Can foreign direct investment help South Africa increase the complexity of its exports?
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa’s economic challenges have disrupted efforts to establish a society of inclusive growth and prosperity. Understanding how South Africa can break the pattern of sluggish growth, high unemployment, inequality and poverty is a pressing policy issue....

– A pathway to effective tax collection in South Africa
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Many governments, particularly those in developing countries, have set an objective to improve tax revenue mobilization to offer more and better public services to their citizens. To develop effective revenue-raising strategies it is necessary to determine whether there is a tax revenue gap and...

– A snapshot of Mozambique in 2015–2018
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

After decades of war and conflict, Mozambique and its economy experienced a strong recovery from the 1990s into the 2000s. However, between 2015 and 2018 multiple crises unfolded in Mozambique — the economic crisis and the scandal of hidden debt, severe weather shocks, and increasing...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Given the weight of micro, small, and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) in total employment in Vietnam, and because the long-awaited development process is occurring through productivity gains, there is value in understanding the mechanisms that foster or limit their expansion. In particular there...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Over the last 50 years, Asia has emerged as the most important laboratory for understanding the roots of state effectiveness and the consequences of different modes of state action for delivering enhanced wellbeing. While in the mid-twentieth century social science researchers were focused on...

– Five key issues and solutions
Jukka Pirttilä, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Taxation, and public sector matters more generally, are high on the agenda for the international development community. This is clearly reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG17 stipulates the need for improving domestic resource mobilization directly, and most of the other...

– The framing of social protection policies in Tanzania
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Until 2010s, social protection was not high on the political agenda in Tanzania. Yet in 2012, the government approved the implementation of a nationwide conditional cash transfer programme. What led the government to commit to a policy area that was otherwise of low priority? The...

– Example from Malawi
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Social assistance programmes have proliferated across Africa alongside redemocratization — the return of multi-party systems with regular, competitive elections. Competitive elections in Africa can provide an incentive to welfare policy reform because they push presidential candidates and...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

The Rwandan government introduced the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) with donor support in 2008. The VUP comprises public works, unconditional direct support for those unable to work, and a financial services component that promotes financial literacy and provides credit. This new elite...

– Experience over the last fifty years
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

Asia has achieved remarkable economic growth and seen hundreds of millions of citizens rise out of poverty since the mid-1960s. Constructing and analysing the factors behind continent’s poverty and inequality over the last fifty years helps gain important insights for further reducing...

John Rand, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

The structural changes of the economy have been a significant contributor to Vietnam’s impressive growth over the past 30 years. Labour has moved rapidly from agriculture into manufacturing, with important improvements in livelihoods as a result. The burgeoning private sector played a key...

UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2020 - Helsinki, Finland

One common characteristic of the fast-growing countries with good labour market outcomes — Korea, China, Vietnam — was at the beginning of their growth spurt their initially equal household income level, which was the result of renewed distribution of income. The most salient...

– Reducing the impact of global oil prices
Alfred Moyo - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Analysis of World Bank data ranging from 1990–2017 indicates that increases in global oil prices would have negative effects on the economic growth of SADC, especially Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Mauritius. Given the high reliance of Southern African countries on crude oil imports,...

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

The success of an economy’s manufacturing sector is often critical to economic growth and development. As a major contributor to exports, site of innovation, adopter of international best practices, and engine of job creation, an internationally competitive manufacturing sector often drives...

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

Service exports are the fastest growing portion of world trade and now account for nearly a quarter of global exports. Tradable services contribute to economic growth and development by bolstering industrial capabilities, facilitating productivity growth and investment, and contributing directly...

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

The design and implementation of industrial policy should be closely linked to spatial considerations. Firm output and productivity are often location-specific, with factors such as the availability of physical infrastructure, proximity to sources for raw materials, and the potential for adopting...

– Actors, institutions and dynamics
Sam Hickey, Tom Lavers, Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, Jeremy Seekings - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Since the mid-1990s, there has been in Africa something of a ‘quiet revolution’ in poverty reduction strategies with the proliferation of social assistance programmes that entail cash transfers to the poor. The past two decades have also been characterized by a series of important...

Carlos Gradín, Finn Tarp - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

There is an increasing interest in the analysis of economic inequalities in least developed countries. This is not only the result of a general social preference for equality, but also the consequence of a growing sense that highly unequal societies may distort the functioning of a country...

– Key findings from an extensive survey
Sam Jones, Ricardo Santos, Gimelgo Xirinda - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

This brief summarizes the findings and implications of a survey of the school-to-work transition by Mozambican university students. No research of this kind had previously been conducted. Over the course of a year and a half, university graduates were monitored in their transition to the labour...

– Poverty and inequality in Ghana
UNU-WIDER - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Ghana has recently implemented a policy to support public secondary education. A microsimulation analysis helps reveal the impacts of the reform on poverty and inequality and identifies options to finance it without burdening poor households. A recent policy implemented to support public...

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

New research provides the first direct evidence of tax-motivated transfer mispricing in a developing country. Using highly detailed firm-level customs data from the tax authority, the analysis calculates the difference between legitimate estimates of market prices (known as the arm’s-length...

– 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...

– Global trends and data challenges
Rachel M. Gisselquist, Carla Canelas - UNU-WIDER, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Inequality—both vertical (between individuals and households) and horizontal (between groups)—is a core concern in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, despite considerable attention to horizontal inequality in both research and policy, there are notable gaps and...

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...

Displaying 48 of 250 results.