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Friday Roundup: Agricultural Productivity & Poverty Reduction in Bangladesh, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, A conversation with Yang Lan on Ending Extreme Poverty, Measuring Poverty, and Universal Health

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A new working paper by Shahe Emran and Forhad Shilpi looks at the impact of increased agricultural productivity (e.g. through increased rainfall) on hired labor, wages and poverty. The paper finds a positive response of labor hours devoted to market activities as opposed to home production. Evidence also indicates that a positive rainfall shock increases per capita consumption significantly, thus implying that agricultural productivity increase played an important role in poverty reduction achieved in the last two decades in rural Bangladesh.

Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and the theme for this year is 'Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty.' Learn more, and follow on Twitter #endpoverty.

Poverty measurement and PPPs: The World Bank explains

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As the editors of Let's Talk Development, we want to respond to questions raised recently in social media channels about use of 2011 International Comparison Program (ICP) as well as during events and discussions about poverty and measurements during the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF last week.

The World Bank currently uses an international poverty line of $1.25 (per person per day) in 2005 prices to monitor global poverty. The process draws on several data sources, including the ICP. The most recent  global and regional poverty estimates cover the period 1981-2011 and are available from the recently updated Povcalnet database; they are based on data from well over 1,000 household surveys, covering nearly all developing countries. The latest estimates have been published and  explained in both the recent Policy Research Report and the Global Monitoring Report, published last week.

Events Next Week on Measuring and Monitoring Progress on the Bank’s Twin Goals

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World Bank Group President Jim Kim  will be interviewed by journalist Yang Lan in “Building Shared Prosperity in an Unequal World” event on Oct 8, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Preston Auditorium at World Bank headquarters. Watch the live webcast here
 
Kaushik Basu, Shereen Allam, Claudia Costin, Denny Kalyalya and other experts will discuss investing in human capital, social safety nets, and making growth greener as key elements needed for success on Oct 8, 2014, at 3:30 PM EST. Watch the live webcast here.

Updating poverty estimates at frequent intervals in the absence of consumption data

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Obtaining consistent estimates on poverty over time as well as monitoring poverty trends on a timely basis is a priority concern for policy makers. However, these objectives are not readily achieved in practice when household consumption data are neither frequently collected, nor constructed using consistent and transparent criteria.

Understanding the agricultural input landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Conventional wisdom holds that Sub-Saharan African farmers use few modern inputs despite the fact that most growth-inducing and poverty-reducing agricultural growth in the region is expected to come largely from expanded use of inputs that embody improved technologies, particularly improved seed, fertilizers and other agro-chemicals, machinery, and irrigation. Yet following several years of high food prices, concerted policy efforts to intensify fertilizer and hybrid seed use, and increased public and private investment in agriculture, how low is modern input use in Africa really?

Friday Roundup: Of country size, big emerging climate emitters, and WB support to fight Ebola

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What determines the evolution of the size of countries? Does size matter for economic success? Given the trend toward decentralization and the existence of supernational unions such as the EU, is the meaning of national borders evolving? Alberto Alesina of Harvard tackles these questions in his Joseph Schumpeter lecture, 'The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?"
 
As the big climate events were under way in New York over the past 10 days, 'Live Mint' talked with Prakash Javadekar, India's Environment Minister regarding the country's intent to act on climate change on its own volition, but not at somebody's dictation.

Friday Roundup: Poverty traps, Blanchard shows macrohumility, new demographic forecasts, inequality in Latin America, and counting Ebola's toll

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 Do Poverty Traps Exist? is the question asked by Aart Kraay and David McKenzie in an article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives.
 
An articulate, humble piece by IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard on key lessons from the 2009 financial crisis, the main one being that much more attention needs to be paid to what he calls ‘dark corners’

A new study by an international team of researchers finds that the world's population will hit 11bn in 2100.

Friday Roundup: Ebola, R&D of Tropical Diseases, One-on-One with Kaushik Basu, the ADB Calls for a Rethink of the International Poverty Line, and the WEF's Global Risks Report

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Reuters reports that the number of new Ebola cases in West Africa is growing faster than authorities can manage them, and that the World Health Organization (WHO) is renewing a call for health workers from around the world to go to the region to help.

The Wall Street Journal's 'Corporate Intelligence' blog finds that R&D by pharmaceuticals on tropical diseases like ebola is on the rise. "Increased focus on tropical diseases [is] a mix of social responsibility and “strategic investment in the customers of tomorrow, given that the tropics are home to over 40% of the world’s population," writes Hester Plumridge.

Small Price Incentives in Land Titling Encourage the Inclusion of Women

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During the 1990s and 2000s, nearly two dozen African countries proposed de jure land reforms extending access to formal, freehold land tenure to millions of poor households, but many of these reforms stalled. Titled land remains largely the preserve of wealthy households and, within households, mainly the preserve of men.

Friday Roundup: Economists and Public Policy, Information Diffusers, Ebola, Human Capital and the Wealth of Nations, and Globalization's Downside

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Do economists care about influencing public policy? is a question asked by Robert Hansen on the 'Overcoming bias' blog. 
 
Abhijit Banerji, Arun Chandrasekhar, Esther Duflo, and Matthew Jackson have a new paper on a study of 43 Indian villages that tackles the subject of gossip and how to identify the village busybody, also known as the best information diffuser. This matters for microfinance and any product for which experts want local uptake or adoption.

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