As the Bank reported earlier this week, global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world. Rising prices have pushed an estimated 44 million people into poverty since last June.
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In the current food price debate, there's plenty that Latin America can bring to the table.
A newly released World Bank report highlights the region's potential to help solve the food crisis given its huge natural resources -land, water- and agricultural expertise.
Dani Rodrik, professor of international political economy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, visited the World Bank yesterday to deliver a lecture on "Structural Change and Economic Growth."
The Bank's Merrell Tuck-Primdahl has a nice summary of the speech and a video chat with Rodrik over on the Let's Talk Development blog.
- Dani Rodrik
With the Arab spring bringing into sharper focus the long-standing challenges of inequality and unemployment in the Arab world, the question is what to do. It is clear that in the medium term only a dynamic market-based economy can generate good jobs for the unemployed and, importantly, the underemployed. It might seem tempting in the face of popular pressures to expand the public sectors further, but it is not feasible and not desirable. That said: "In the medium term we are all dead" (this was a famous Keynes statement and he actually said it about that favorite economist phrase "in the long run" but it suits me here).
As we head into Spring Meetings in Washington, Sierra Leone is very much in my thoughts, because it is a country that faces many serious challenges—especially those relating to the survival of women and children—and because I’ve just returned from there, and have seen firsthand some of the efforts that are being made to turn this situation around.
This was an opportunity to look at human development in Sierra Leone through the lens of our
Structural transformation is a key determinant of productivity growth and explains two-thirds of the difference between superior East Asian growth and more muted Latin American growth in the past two decades.
Given the multi-speed paths that regions and countries take as they transform, with some succeeding spectacularly and some struggling to compete, it may be time to consider new industrial and labor policies to ensure that a huge swath of the lower middle class in the developing world doesn’t get left behind in the race to compete in today’s unforgiving global marketplace.
In a blog post by Molly Norris and Joshua Powell for the End Poverty in South Asia blog, they talk about Bangladesh as "ground zero" at the intersection of climate change and food security.
"The country is widely recognized as one of the places most vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate, which strains food systems alongside rapidly growing and urbanizing populations. Yet, despite these dual challenges, the World Bank expects Bangladesh will meet its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015," they write.
In response to an earlier blog post on marketing experiments, we noted that young creative researchers are working with NGOs to try out new innovative ways to alleviate poverty and spur development. A reader wrote with the following question: