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…

No Case for Complacence C. P. Chandrasekhar

Though restricted to a single day, the 1625-point collapse of the Sensex on 24 August 2015, which was the largest single-day decline in six years, appears to be a signal that all is not well with the Indian economy. More troubling is the steep depreciation of the rupee from Rs. 63.8 to Rs. 66.7 to the dollar over the fortnight ending August 25. The government has tried to brush these developments under the carpet claiming that the disease is global and the Indian economy is strong enough to resist contagion. All that is needed is to stick with reform, it…

Asian Banks in Trouble

Emerging Asia, analysts argue, is all wrapped up in debt. For some time now they have warned about the dangers involved in the rising volume of private debt—both corporate and household—in Asia, as a result of a reversal of the tendency to reduce debt and repair balance sheets that began immediately after the Southeast Asian crisis in 1997. Stated otherwise, the effects on Asian debt of the 1997 and 2008 crises, or the one that primarily affected a few countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the other that affected the centres of developed capitalism, have been very different. While the…

An Asian Crisis Now? C.P. Chandrasekhar

While the world’s attention is focussed on the continuing crisis in Europe and its global fall-out, another crisis is brewing in Asia. More than one Southeast Asian country, among those that were overcome by financial crises in 1997, has seen a substantial accumulation of private debt, especially household debt. In some, debt levels are high enough to fear a financial collapse. This has come as a surprise, given the resilience they showed at the time of the global crisis of 2008. Worst off is South Korea, the rags to riches miracle that is now a member of the OECD, the…

The G20: Overestimated and underperforming Drawing a balance of the G20 achievements four years after the crash Peter Wahl

This paper analyses the performance of the G20 since the Pittsburgh Summit. It is argued that financial reforms which were not deep enough, came too slow and too late and the geo-political reconfiguration of the international system are some of the reasons explaining the poor performance of the G20. It also discusses the issue whether the mandate of the G20 should be restricted to economic issues or be expanded for instance to environment and development. g20 (Download the full text in PDF format)

Rethinking Investment Provisions in Free Trade Agreements Smitha Francis

Developing country governments are increasingly resorting to comprehensive trade agreements involving profound commitments in public policy, which have wide-ranging adverse consequences on food security, industrial development, financial stability, etc. This paper analyses investment disciplines in FTAs in order to come to an understanding of their overall impact on a developing country FTA partner’s policy space, and therefore, on its development prospects. It is argued that given the links between trade and investment commitments within and across different FTAs, South-South FTAs have become as problematic as North-South FTAs. Rethinking_Investment_Provisions  (Download the full text in PDF format)

The Impact of Trade Liberalization and the Global Economic Crisis on the Productive Sectors, Employment and Incomes in Mexico Alicia Puyana

Analysing the impact of trade reforms on the performance of the Mexican economy, specifically in the aftermath of the crisis, the author discusses the advantages and disadvantages of liberalisation, gives concrete policy recommendations and identifies the role of development cooperation, particularly aid for trade, to improve Mexico’s post-crisis development strategies. incomes_mexico (Download the full text in PDF format)

Corruption in the age of Liberalisation C.P. Chandrasekhar

In a season for scandals, allegations of large scale corruption have captured political India’s attention. The instances to which such allegations relate are many, varying from the sale of 2G spectrum and the mobilisation and/or disposal of land and mining resources, to purchases made as part of large and concentrated public expenditures (as in the case of the Commonwealth Games). Features that these ostensible instances of corruption have in common are their large size in terms of sheer magnitude and the brazen violation of the law they involve. If true, the allegations not only indicate that corruption still prevails but…

Back to Economic Growth Basics Jayati Ghosh

Suddenly, discussions about economic growth and how to generate it are back in fashion among economists. Ironically, this renewed interest comes about just as the recent global economic boom is petering out, when the immediate prospects for the international economy are not of sustained growth but of stagflation. There was a period of around two decades, from the mid 1980s onwards, when how to kick-start economic growth was not recognised as a relevant question. The focus was not on growth per se but on stabilisation and “efficiency”. It was taken for granted by mainstream neo-classical economists and the policy makers…