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LTD Editors's blog
Official poverty statistics rely on costly household expenditure surveys collected several years apart. As a result, policy makers often don’t have up-to-date poverty estimates.
An Egypt blog in The Economist on 'the battle of fictitious facts' talks about the wildly disparate narratives coming out of Cairo as the streets seeth and the death toll mounts.
Natsuko Waki writes in Reuters about a recovery in developed markets, the 'Great Rotation' out of bonds and flight from emerging markets.
Is China fudging vital macreconomic data? Business Insider Australia covers new research by Christopher Balding of HSBC School of Business at Peking University about how China added $1 trillion to its economy by fudging data.
Incomes in the poorest two quintiles on average increase at the same rate as overall average incomes, according to a new working paper by David Dollar (Brookings Institution), Tatjana Kleineberg and Aart Kraay. In a global dataset spanning 118 countries over the past four decades, changes in the share of income of the poorest quintiles are generally small and uncorrelated with changes in average income. The variation in changes in quintile shares is also small relative to the variation in growth in average incomes, implying that the latter accounts for most of the variation in income growth in the poorest quintiles. These findings hold across most regions and time periods, as well as conditional on a variety of country-level factors that may matter for growth and inequality changes. This evidence confirms the central importance of economic growth for poverty reduction and illustrates the difficulty of identifying specific macroeconomic policies that are significantly associated with the relative growth rates of those in the poorest quintiles. This reprise of Dollar and Kraay's earlier work also looks at the World Bank's new "shared prosperity" goal by considering the income growth rates of the poorest 40% of the population in each country in addition to looking at the poorest 20%.
In the last five years, higher food prices have provoked government interventions in agricultural markets across the globe, often in the name of protecting the poor. But do higher food prices actually hurt the rural poor?
Raghuram Rajan is appointed as India’s next RBI Governor. His appointment comes as the country faces critical challenges in stabilizing its plunging currency and narrowing its current account deficit. Read the Financial Times article here to know more.
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In response to the problems of high coordination costs among the poor, efforts are underway in many countries to organize the poor through "self-help groups" (SHGs) -- membership-based organizations that aim to promote social cohesion through a mixture of education, access to finance, and linkages to wider development programs.
Food price spikes, price insulation, and poverty
This paper looks into the impact of changes in restrictions on staple foods trade during the 2008 food price crisis on global food prices and also analyzes the impact of such insulating behavior on poverty in various developing countries and globally.
Shanta Devarajan and Marcelo Guigale have a CGD working paper on 'The Case for Direct Transfer of Resource Revenues in Africa.'
"Policymakers should be cautious in interpreting the plunge in gold prices as a vote of confidence in their performance," says Ken Rogoff on 'Golden Slumbers.' Read it here.
"Education is the only solution. Education First" - Malala Yousafzai. Read the full text of Malala Yousafzai's speech at the UN here.