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  • Author: Hakan Altinay
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: We frequently treat the changing constellation that has come to be referred to as global governance as a lackluster fait accompli. Nobody has masterminded it. Nobody is really in charge. Almost everybody has reasons to be unhappy about what they view as its current suboptimal state. As such, global governance is not an easy phenomenon to assess or audit. The benchmarks and scales to be used are not obvious. Yet an audit attempt is nevertheless necessary, if for no other reason than to start to form a deliberated assessment, to develop some benchmarks, and to refine our questions for the future.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Urjit R. Patel, Gangadhar Darbha
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Compared to immediately preceding years, that is, its own recent history, India's inflation became unhinged (thereby reversing creditable performance) from as far back as 2006. The paper puts forward an empirical framework to analyze the time series and cross-sectional dynamics of inflation in India using a large panel of disaggregated sector prices for the time period, 1994/95 to 2010/11. This allows us to rigorously explore issues that have been, at best, loosely posed in policy debates such as diffusion or comovement of inflation across sectors, role of common and idiosyncratic factors in explaining variation, persistence, importance of food and energy price changes to the overall inflation process, and contrast the recent experience with the past. We find, interalia, that the current period of high inflation is more cross-sectionally diffused, and driven by increasingly persistent common factors in non-food and non-energy sectors compared to that in the 1990s; this is likely to make it more difficult for anti-inflationary policy to gain traction this time round compared to the past. The paper has also introduced a novel measure of inflation, viz., Pure Inflation Gauges (PIGs) in the Indian context by decomposing price movements into those on account of: (1) aggregate shocks that have equiproportional effects on all sector prices; (2) aggregated relative price effects; and (3) sector-specific and idiosyncratic shocks. If PIGs, in conjunction with our other findings, for example, on persistence had been used as a measure of underlying (pure) inflationary pressures, the monetary authorities may not have been sanguine regarding the timeliness of initiating anti-inflationary policies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Raj M. Desai, Shareen Joshi
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of the Self- Employed Women's Association's (SEWA) farmer development center (FDC) initiative across five farming districts in Gujarat, India. The initiative provided a mix of training, information provisions, access to farming inputs, risk mitigation, and output. Controlling for a range of individual-specific, household, and village level factors, we find that SEWA membership primarily raised awareness of available opportunities among its participants, linked women to the financial sector and to diversified employment opportunities, including non-farm work. There is also evidence that the program's impact varied depending on the participants' socio-economic background. The poorest members experienced higher farm and non-farm incomes, increased food consumption, improved household and farm productivity, more self-employment opportunities, a greater likelihood of opening a bank account, higher crop harvests, and greater food security. These estimates suggest that the major comparative advantage of FDCs lies in improving access to credit and in expanding access to useful information.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: India, Gujarat
  • Author: Douglas J. Elliott
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: European leaders have committed to moving toward a banking union, in which bank regulation and supervision, deposit guarantees, and the handling of troubled banks will be integrated across at least the euro area and possibly across the wider European Union. This is quite positive for two reasons. Most immediately, it will help solve the euro crisis by weakening the link between debt-burdened governments and troubled banks, where each side has added to the woes of the other. In the longer run, it will make the “single market” in European banking substantially more effective.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Laurence Chandy
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Is Australia's aid program effective? Measuring the effectiveness of aid is no easy feat. For a start, there is uncertainty about what aid is trying to achieve. Even seemingly straightforward objectives, like poverty reduction, throw up a range of questions as to what precisely ought to be measured. For instance, how should one balance the provision of temporary relief to those in need with catalyzing permanent transformation in people's lives (Barder, 2009)? Second, it is notoriously difficult to isolate the effect of a single aid program from other factors. Aid is delivered in an environment of enormous complexity where all manner of other events shape outcomes, including actions by recipient governments, aid from other countries, non-aid flows, and the performance of the global economy. To accurately attribute impact to aid therefore requires a thorough understanding of the setting in which aid is given. Third, the effects of aid are not always immediate or straightforward. For instance, improvements in people's skills or the performance of institutions may manifest gradually. Measurements of what aid achieves must be sensitive to the different ways change is brought about (Woolcock et al., 2009).
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Hakan Altinay
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: “Civics” often refers to the familiar constellation of rights and responsibilities emanating from citizenship in a nation-state. But what about global civics? Would this be feasible—or even desirable?
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Author: Robert Mosbacher, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: To tackle global poverty, it is essential to craft a new and dynamic approach to economic development that refl ects the realities of a 21st century global economy and incorporates the participation of a wide variety of new players, particularly from the private sector. While investment, trade and innovation all represent basic components of building healthy economies, this paper focuses primarily on strategies to increase both in-country and international private capital investment in order to create jobs. To that end, it concentrates on two areas: strengthening and reforming the existing structures, coordinating mechanisms and policies that support U. S. economic development efforts; and improving public-private partnership models to promote broader fi nancing to local businesses, greater human capital support and technical assistance and improved physical and ICT infrastructure.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter Blair Henry, Conrad Miller
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Recent work emphasizes the primacy of differences in countries' colonially-bequeathed property rights and legal systems for explaining differences in their subsequent economic development. Barbados and Jamaica provide a striking counter example to this long-run view of income determination. Both countries inherited property rights and legal institutions from their English colonial masters yet experienced starkly different growth trajectories in the aftermath of independence. From 1960 to 2002, Barbados' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita grew roughly three times as fast as Jamaica's. Consequently, the income gap between Barbados and Jamaica is now almost five times larger than at the time of independence. Since their property rights and legal systems are virtually identical, recent theories of development cannot explain the divergence between Barbados and Jamaica. Differences in macroeconomic policy choices, not differences in institutions, account for the heterogeneous growth experiences of these two Caribbean nations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Caribbean
  • Author: Marco E. Terrones, Eswar Prasad, Ayhan Kose
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Economic theory has identified a number of channels through which openness to international financial flows could raise productivity growth. However, while there is a vast empirical literature analyzing the impact of financial openness on output growth, far less attention has been paid to its effects on productivity growth. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between financial openness and total factor productivity (TFP) growth using an extensive dataset that includes various measures of productivity and financial openness for a large sample of countries. We find that de jure capital account openness has a robust positive effect on TFP growth. The effect of de facto financial integration on TFP growth is less clear, but this masks an important and novel result. We find strong evidence that FDI and portfolio equity liabilities boost TFP growth while external debt is actually negatively correlated with TFP growth. The negative relationship between external debt liabilities and TFP growth is attenuated in economies with higher levels of financial development and better institutions.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Shang-Jin Wei, Eswar Prasad, M. Ayhan Kose, Kenneth Rogoff
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: We review the large literature on various economic policies that could help developing economies effectively manage the process of financial globalization. Our central findings indicate that policies promoting financial sector development, institutional quality and trade openness appear to help developing countries derive the benefits of globalization. Similarly, sound macroeconomic policies are an important prerequisite for ensuring that financial integration is beneficial. However, our analysis also suggests that the relationship between financial integration and economic policies is a complex one and that there are unavoidable tensions inherent in evaluating the risks and benefits associated with financial globalization. In light of these tensions, structural and macroeconomic policies often need to be tailored to take into account country specific circumstances to improve the risk-benefit tradeoffs of financial integration. Ultimately, it is essential to see financial integration not just as an isolated policy goal but as part of a broader package of reforms and supportive macro- economic policies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Political Economy