UN Role in Reforming International Finance for Development Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Growing global interdependence poses greater challenges to policy makers on a wide range of issues and for countries at all levels of development. Yet, the new mechanisms and arrangements put in place over the past four decades have not been adequate to the growing challenges of coherence and coordination of global economic policy making. Recent financial crises have exposed some such gaps and weaknesses. Multilateral UN inclusive Although sometimes seemingly slow, the United Nations (UN) has long had a clear advantage in driving legitimate discussion on reform because of its more inclusive and open governance. Lop-sided influence in the current…

Narendra Modi on Poverty Prabhat Patnaik

In his speech to BJP workers in Delhi after the Assembly election results had been declared, Narendra Modi announced that his policy henceforth would be to empower the poor by providing them with opportunities, instead of handing out doles to them, which, he believes, is what the various “pro-poor” welfare programmes amount to. Newspapers were quick to underscore, and in general laud, this shift in approach from “welfarism” to “development”. Since government policy is set to reflect this shift from now on, its implications are worth examining. Nobody obviously prefers “doles” to development, neither the recipients of these “doles” nor…

Call for papers for the workshop on “Macroeconomics, Development and Structural Change”, Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 19 – 20, 2016.

The Research Institute for Development, Growth and Economics (RIDGE) and IIEP-BAIRES UBA-CONICET announce the call for papers for the workshop on “Macroeconomics, Development and Structural Change”, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 19 and 20, 2016. The deadline for submission of the abstracts is October 15, 2016. The notification of the organizers’ decision will be made on November 1, 2016. Accepted papers must be submitted by December 1, 2016. Click here for details.

Poverty Cut by Growth Despite Policy Failure Jomo Kwame Sundaram

At the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, world leaders committed to halve the share of people living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. The World Bank’s poverty line, set at $1/day in 1985, was adjusted to $1.25/day in 2005, an increase of 25% after two decades. This was then re-adjusted to $1.90/day in 2011/2012, an increase by half over 7 years! As these upward adjustments are supposed to reflect changes in the cost of living, but do not seem to parallel inflation or other related measures, they have raised more doubts about poverty line adjustments. The…

A Note on Development under Risk in the Arab World Ali Kadri

Of the countries that are off-track on the road to sound development, many are situated in the Arab World. The worst hits are either in conflict, near conflict or post conflict zones. Even when not undergoing the war disaster, the fragility of their development is further compounded by the prospects of war. In addition to the actual or potential woes of conflicts, their slow rate of progress is characteristic of small risky markets or capital scarce structures that have adopted unconditional liberalisation measures (real capital scarce and not financial capital).  For the most part, these countries still depend for their…

Call for student nominations for the 9th Annual Advanced Graduate Workshop (AGW) on Poverty, Development and Globalization, to be held in Bangalore, India during July 4-18, 2016

The 9th Annual Advanced Graduate Workshop (AGW) on Poverty, Development and Globalization is being organised by the Azim Premji University. The small interdisciplinary workshop, which will be directed by Professor Joseph Stiglitz, will be held in Bangalore, India during July 4-18, 2016. The goal of the workshop is to bring together graduate students in development studies at a sufficiently advanced stage of their dissertation work to be able to discuss and receive feedback on their research. There are two distinct parts: a series of lectures given by leading scholars and practitioners will deal with a range of economic, political and…

Growth through Redistribution Prabhat Patnaik

There are two basic, fundamentally different, and mutually exclusive positions on development that are in contention in the present period. One, which is the neo-liberal position, states that development requires rapid growth in the gross domestic product; that even if such growth does not automatically improve the conditions of the poor through a “trickle down effect”, it enables the State to garner larger revenues which can then be used for such improvement; that for achieving such high growth what is needed is larger investment; and that therefore the entire thrust of State policies must be to generate such larger investment…

From “Development” to “Poverty Alleviation”: What have we lost? Jayati Ghosh

There was a time when economists were inevitably concerned with development. Early economists of the 16th and 17th centuries to those of the mid 20th century were all essentially concerned with understanding the processes of economic growth and structural change: how and why they occurred, what forms they took, what prevented or constrained them, and to what extent they actually led to greater material prosperity and more general human progress. And it was this broader set of "macro" questions which in turn defined both their focus and their approach to more specific issues relating to the functioning of capitalist economies.…