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Friday Roundup: Kaushik Basu on twin goals, natural disasters and the poor, FDI to South Asia, women in the Ethiopian workforce, and financial inclusion

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Written in the wake of the World Bank Group's two recently adopted overarching goals — ending extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity — Kaushik Basu's new working paper examines the longstanding debate on growth, redistribution, and poverty. Basu analyzes past poverty trends on poverty and sheds new light on an old debate.

Jun Rentschler's new paper presents empirical evidence of the profound and long-term damage from adverse natural events on poverty. The paper discusses detrimental long-term consequences for the income and welfare of the poor and the presence of poverty traps that result from damages to productive assets, health, and education.

South Asia's inflows of foreign direct investment remain the lowest relative to gross domestic product among developing country regions. Why are South Asia's foreign direct investment inflows so low and what lessons can be drawn for developing countries as a whole?  David Gould, Congyan Tan and Amir S. Sadeghi Emamgholi take on this question in a working paper

A new paper by Mary Hallward-Driemeier and Ousman Gajigo finds that women in Ethiopia were more likely to work outside the home, employ more educated workers, and take on full-time jobs after the country reformed its family law. The relative increase in women's participation was 15-24 percent higher in areas where the reform was carried out, so the magnitude is statistically significant.

The Global Financial Development Report, launched this Monday, finds that low-income populations benefit the most from technological innovations such as mobile payments, mobile banking, and borrower identification based on fingerprinting and iris scans.