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Welcome to Prospects for Development!

Hans Timmer's picture

Welcome to a new World Bank blog, Prospects for Development.

Why another blog in what appears to be a relatively crowded space? We have chosen to do so because over the last year, the number of online visitors to our global macroeconomic forecasts and our high-frequency analysis has doubled, and we would appreciate a more dynamic interaction with those visitors. Our belief is that we will benefit from the views of our very broad audience. We also see this as an opportunity to showcase some of the discussions---and perhaps even controversies--- that underlie the more formal presentation of our analyses.

To be sure, there are blogs out there that deal specifically with global macro issues, from academic (Econbrowser, Economist’s View), policy (Baseline Scenario, iMFdirect, RealTime Economic Issues Watch), and business (Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley) perspectives.

There are also a host of blogs that address global development (Aid Watch, Dani Rodik, Global Development), including those hosted at the World Bank (Growth & Crisis, PSD). This Prospects for Development blog will likely get a somewhat different character. Our contributions on the blog will tend to be more data-intensive and closer linked to our detailed and formal forecasting work. The blog will likely also touch on our longer-term work that focuses on future structural changes in the world economy, and on policy issues related to climate change, migration and trade. Hopefully, the blog will become an interesting combination of analyses, views, and summaries of economic news. On the latter, we will post also our daily and weekly monitors on the blog.

To maximize the impact of our posts, we have chosen to harness, to the extent possible, the technologies and mindset underlying Web 2.0. All posts will include sharing tools, to allow easy bookmarking, cross-linking, re-posting, and syndication via popular social networking and services such as Digg, Facebook, RSS, and Twitter. Most of our charts are interactive, allowing the user to customize the data visualizations in his or her preferred format. We will also make all data that underlie our charts fully downloadable, so that users can manipulate them offline, if they so wish. Finally, a selection of posts will also include added functionality that allows the reader to perform their own collaborative economic simulations, using a tool we call iSimulate (you can track the evolution of this tool here). Plans for the future include migrating a range of our products on the Global Economic Monitor website onto this blog platform.

Of course, as a new endeavor, we more than welcome feedback and suggestions. We’re excited about the prospects (pun intended) for our new project, and we hope that you will join us by actively participating in our online conversation.

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