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Friday Roundup: Terrorism and Education in Pakistan, Leading Thinker Kaushik Basu, Cost of the Syrian War, Cuba and the Thaw

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The Taliban’s barbaric attack on an Army Public school in Peshawar resulted in a 141 dead, all but nine of whom were children.  In honor of Pakistan’s students and teachers, we revisit an Education Sector Review conducted by the World Bank in October, since it’s schooling and thought that will ultimately prevail over ignorance and brutality.

Friday Roundup: Behavior and Development in the 2015 WDR, slow trade, and the case for Basic Income Guarantees

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‘Conversable Economist,’ the blog of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, has a post by Timothy Taylor titled ‘Focusing Behavioral Economics on Development Professionals’ that reviews the WDR 2015.

David Brooks of the NYT opines about the new WB report in ‘In Praise of Small Miracles’ and from the tone of the comments his enthusiasm for ‘Mind, Society, and Behavior’ has ruffled the feathers of conservatives and liberals alike.

Friday Roundup: Ebola and Africa's Private Sector, Demographics and Growth, and Twinning the Goals

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Calestous Juma, Harvard Kennedy School professor, writes in The Guardian about how the private sector can be harnessed to ensure that Africans take responsibility for their development. He argues that, to fight a 'public bad' like Ebola, the AU and the private sector can serve as much-need organizing forces.

Friday Roundup: Tapering, Agricultural Productivity, Climate Change, and Inheritance Reform

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Kaushik Basu, Barry Eichengreen, and Poonam Gupta have written a new column titled “From tapering to tightening: The impact of the Fed’s exit on India,” which describes the impact of the US Fed’s tapering on India.
 
A new paper by Gbemisola Oseni, Kevin McGee, and Andrew Dabalen examines the determinants of agricultural productivity and its link to poverty using nationally representative data from the Nigeria General Household Survey Panel, 2010/11.  

Friday Roundup: Ebola, Malaria and Cellphones, Jean Tirole, Report on the Data Revolution, and Deworming

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that it was sending more experts to help Mali fight Ebola, a day after the first case of the disease was confirmed there.  Read more.

Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More, writes in Devex.com about the big role cell phones can play in eliminating malaria, refering to it as a 'Swiss Army knife' for the disease.

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?

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