Global trade seems to be in a perilous state. The dynamic growth engine of the 1990s first slowed in the 2000s, then spluttered during the crisis, and is now sadly slacking behind GDP growth. Preliminary data indicate that trade growth touched new lows in 2015, with merchandise imports growing at around 2 percent in 2015, down from 3 percent in 2014. But the same factors that lie behind the most recent slowdown may be creating the conditions for a future upturn, if the global community takes the necessary steps.
The most recent International Women’s Day focused on accelerating gender parity, which makes it a perfect time to highlight the urgent need to boost women’s economic participation worldwide. One way of doing that is by tapping into the power of digital payments and digital financial services.
Were today’s patterns of wealth and poverty already determined by 1492?
What if today’s patterns of poverty and prosperity were already determined long ago – even before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World in 1492?
That’s the startling question addressed in new research that I’ll soon publish with my colleague Felipe Valencia Caicedo in a forthcoming article, “The Persistence of (Subnational) Fortune,” in the Economic Journal.
Resource rich nations face unique challenges when attempting to move from low to high value added activities.
Resource sectors (such as mining and oil) tend to be highly capital intensive and offer limited employment opportunities to accommodate workers exiting from other sectors with lower average productivity, such as agriculture and informal services.
Childbirth is a time for expectant mothers to revel in the wonders and joy surrounding the arrival of a new human being; one breathing crisp new air, bawling with resonance in finding their voice and opening their eyes in awe to see the world around them. It’s the last conceivable moment where a mother wants to worry about the cleanliness of the birth facility, the baby’s life and, least of all, her own life. But in many developing countries including Nigeria, this is the reality.
Figure 1: Poverty and inequality in rural China
Advances in earth observation, computing power, and connectivity have tremendous potential to help governments, and us at the World Bank, support better land management, and ultimately reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity.
There are three ways in which these technologies profoundly change the scope of our work.