Every minute, dozens of people in East Asia move from the countryside to the city.
The massive population shift is creating some of the world’s biggest mega-cities including Tokyo, Shanghai, Jakarta, Seoul and Manila, as well as hundreds of medium and smaller urban areas.
Those unfamiliar with the fast growing emerging economies of East Asia are likely to think that governments in these countries let market forces and capitalism roam free, red in tooth and claw. That was certainly my impression before coming to work in the region, and generally that held at the outset of our work by the group of us that wrote a new World Bank report “East Asia Pacific At Work: Employment, Enterprise and Wellbeing” .
The report shows just how wrong we were. We could be forgiven this impression—many of us had come from assignments in Latin America and the Caribbean or in Europe and Central Asia, where the distortions and rigidities from labor regulation and poorly designed social protection are rife, and where policy makers cast envious looks at the stellar and sustained employment outcomes in East Asia.
Well, it turns out that although they came relatively late to labor regulation and social protection, many governments in the region have entered this arena with gusto. We were surprised to find that, going just by what is written in their labor codes, the average level of employment protection in East Asia is actually higher than the OECD average.
- Social Development
- Law and Regulation
- Labor and Social Protection
- Financial Sector
- East Asia and Pacific
- Solomon Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Micronesia, Federated States of
- Marshall Islands
- Lao People's Democratic Republic
- Korea, Republic of
Mongolia’s mining revenues are set to soar in the coming years, but here people talk about the need to save for the future.
Surely building infrastructure, educating young Mongolians, improving healthcare and creating jobs is important? Surely by achieving these development goals Mongolia is providing for the next generation? These are great questions. Mongolia must do these things. But they in turn depend on efforts to prevent boom and bust and provide financial assets for future generations. Saving some of the revenues in good times is part of effective natural resource management.
Financed by the mining boom, government spending on new infrastructure in Mongolia has increased 35-fold in the past 10 years. But you would not know this from driving the pot holed streets of Ulaanbaatar or inhaling the smog filled air of the city, particularly in the ger areas.
A new World Bank report I co-authored examines why this increased spending is not resulting in equivalent benefits for the citizens of Mongolia in terms of better roads, efficient and clean heating, and improved water and sanitation services.
|Photo courtesy of christahasenkopf.com|
I recently read a quote by Edward Glaeser, an urban economist, in the latest issue of IFC’s quarterly journal on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), which caught my attention:
Statistically, there is a near-perfect correlation between urbanization and prosperity among nations. As a country’s urban population rises by 10 percent, the country’s per capita output increases by 30 percent.
Available in English
Мөнхийн хөх тэнгэртэй Монгол орноос чимэгтэй сайхан мэдээнүүд сонсогдож эхэллээ. Энэ оны гуравдугаар улиралд эдийн засаг 20.8 хувь өсч, хоёрдугаар улиралын 17.3 хувийн өсөлтийг ч гүйцсэн нь урьд өмнө байгаагүй эдийн засгийн тэсрэлтийг бий болголоо ( өмнөх жилийн мөн үетэй харьцуулсан өсөлт). Энэ өсөлт нь уул уурхайн салбар, ялангуяа 2012 онд үйлдвэрлэлт нь эхлэх алт зэсний дэлхийн хэмжээний орд болох Оюу толгойгоос үүдэлтэй ч бусад олон жижиг уул уурхайнууд бүрэн хүчин чадлаараа ажиллаж байгаа учир хамрах хүрээ нь өргөн байна. Үйлдвэрлэлийн салбар ч сайн байна.
Available in: монгол хэл
There is good news coming out of Mongolia, the land of the eternal blue skies. The economy racked up a second quarter of high growth: the third quarter came in at 20.8 percent, topping the equally amazing second quarter of 17.3 percent (year-on-year GDP growth), as discussed in the World Bank's latest Mongolia Quarterly Update. And while this growth spurt originated in the mining sector, with Oyu Tolgoi—a mega copper and gold mine—getting ready to start producing in 2012 and a whole battery of other, smaller mines producing at full capacity, the high growth is quite broad-based. Even manufacturing is doing well.
It is part of World Bank tradition that, just before retiring, a staff member sends a short email to his/her colleagues to express how much they have enjoyed the challenges of working here, the partnerships they have had in their focus countries, and - most of all - the camaraderie of their committed, dedicated, hard-working co-workers. All this could be perceived as trite, but the feelings are absolutely genuine – as I am now finding.