Prior to the 1980s, it was believed that natural resource abundance would enable developing countries to make the transition from underdevelopment to industrial “take off”, just as it had done for countries such as Australia and the U.S (Rostow, 1961; Stages of Economic Growth). This view now stands challenged by a number of studies that demonstrate the existence of a “resource curse” – slower growth and poorer economic performance in natural resource rich countries.
Interaction between trade and climate change regimes has received much attention lately. While I can think of a number of “climate-positive” reasons for exploring synergies between the two regimes and for aligning policies that could stimulate production, trade, and investment in cleaner technology options, much of focus instead has been on using trade measures as weapons in the global climate negotiations. This stems mainly from competitiveness concerns in countries that are now racing to reduce GHG emissions to meet Kyoto 2012 targets and beyond and in the US primarily to allay domestic fears of a tightening climate regime. These concerns have led to proposals for tariff or border tax adjustments to offset any adverse impact of capping CO2 emissions. This also has roots in the fear of leakage of carbon-intensive industries such as steel and chemicals to non-implementing countries.
Today (April 28) is Equal Pay Day in the United States. The date of Equal Pay Day marks the additional amount of time an average woman in the U.S. must work to match the earnings of an average male worker from the previous year. Wait, think you just misread that? Then let me repeat it: to match the earnings of their male counterparts from 2008, women must work from January 2009 to April 2009.
China could very possibly be setting a record this year with the largest number of unemployed recent college graduates in the history of the world.
If you've taken a look at our Meetings blog, you may have noticed a series of videos called "VOICES" that we've been posting all week. The videos feature quick interviews with some of the people attending the 2009 Spring Meetings (from inside and outside the Bank) shot by simple handheld Flip Video cameras.
The 2009 Spring Meetings have now come to a close. We hope that you enjoyed getting a quick look at some of the events and announcements coming out of this year's Meetings, and that this blog was a useful way to get quick snippets of information and insight from this past weekend's proceedings.
This blog will stay live in its current state (as will the Spanish version) until the next round of World Bank meetings, most probably the Annual Meetings taking place this fall. Until then, feel free to go through the archives, or click through the daily highlights (in the sidebar to your right) to get targeted information about some of the big events and announcements that took place.
I also encourage you to visit our Videos section on the blog, where you'll be able to find all the short interviews we did with some of the people attending the Spring Meetings, asking them about the Bank's role in the current financial crisis. Feel free to embed those videos on your own sites if you find them interesting — and if you can, let us know when you do!
I'll sign off now, but if you have any questions or feedback about the blog and why we decided to pilot it for this set of Meetings, feel free to use the contact form or leave us a comment. Thanks!
Earlier this year, the Institute for Migration and Development Issues (IMDI) in the Philippines launched a free (with registration) online country-level databank on overseas migration and development called the Philippine Migration
and Development Statistical Almanac.
There is a global debate going on concerning why the global financial crisis erupted. The technical debate is what it is; so far there is far more heat than light. But in addition to the technical debate is a debate about how certain underlying assumptions about human nature entertained by economists and even famous central bankers have turned out to be incorrect. It turns out that human beings - as consumers, investors, bankers, stock traders - have not behaved in precisely the ways "rigorous" economic theories predicted that they would. Even Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, showed his surprise at human nature at a congressional hearing late last year: "I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms."