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May 2012

Early Childhood Development: An essential building block

Christina D. Wright's picture
How much do you remember (really remember) your early years?  And how important do you think those years were in preparing you for the rest of your life? Not sure? Well, evidence reveals that the pre-school years actually have a great impact on the rest of a person’s life and that it is the best, and most cost–effective time to invest in life. So, then why don’t we see or hear more of just that – development agencies, governments, civil society – investing in building this foundation?

Prospects Weekly: The up-tick in market tensions have caused CDS rates to rise sharply

The up-tick in market  tensions following recent bank downgrades, partial nationalizations and elections have caused CDS rates to rise sharply, although in most countries they remain below their fall 2011 highs. Stock markets have also tumbled, exchange rates depreciated and the turmoil has contributed to falling commodity prices.

Demystifying Natural Capital Accounting: 10 African Countries Sign On

Rachel Kyte's picture

Credit: Juan-Vidal, Creative Commons

We’ve all seen what happens when natural capital is undervalued. Oceans that billions of people rely on for food and income get overfished and become dumping grounds for chemicals and waste. Mangroves that protect shorelines from storms are replaced with resorts.

Many countries are looking beyond GDP to help them address the challenges undervaluing natural capital has created. What they need is a measure of a country’s wealth that includes all of its capital — produced, social, human, and natural capital.

In Botswana at the Summit for Sustainability in Africa this afternoon, 10 African countries endorsed the need to move toward factoring natural capital into systems of national accounting. By Rio +20, the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development, we hope to see 50 countries and 50 private corporations join this effort.

The Top 5 Ways to Access World Bank Data

Tariq Khokhar's picture

So. You're looking for the World Bank's data. Here are the top 5 ways I access it, what are yours?

1) data.worldbank.org

Our most popular open data destination - the main World Bank Data site gives you an overview of the data we have on a country, region or topic. I like it because you can quickly browse and filter through many years of indicator data, make some basic charts and even embed them into your own web page. 

India’s IT industry and industrial policy

Justin Yifu Lin's picture

The role of the Indian government in helping foster the success of India’s IT industry is a point I disagree with Kalpana Kochhar about. Kalpana, World Bank regional Chief Economist for South Asia, posted a comment disagreeing with my views on the subject on ‘Africa Can Reduce Poverty’. Following is my counterpoint to her:

    The egg or the chicken: A new way to look at female labor force participation

    Nadereh Chamlou's picture

    World Bank | Arne HoelI recently heard a comment that greater female labor force participation will hike up the already high unemployment rate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  The figure from Scarpetta and Pierre‘s 2003 presentation (see chart below), which I have updated, plots female participation rates against unemployment rates across OECD and MENA countries.  It indicates that some countries with low female participation are also those with high unemployment rates. 

    Friday links: Randomized short-selling of stocks, financial literacy, mechanical turks and more...

    David McKenzie's picture

    ·         A remarkable sounding experiment – randomizing the freedom to short-sell stocks – is covered on Bloomberg. They worked with a money manager and randomized which stocks they changed the supply of lendable shares in, working with over $580 million in securities.

    Learning from or repeating the past? Industrial zones in India (Part II)

    On Tuesday, we looked at the disappointing performance of 2005’s SEZ Act when measured against the Government of India’s stated goals.

    Will NIMZs be better for India's industry? ( Credit: Rajesh_India, Flickr Creative Commons)But the Indian government has an ambitious new plan to spur industrial growth, create 100 million jobs and increase manufacturing’s share in the GDP from 16 percent to 25 percent within the decade.  If ratified, the National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) will offer simplified regulation and better infrastructure to attract businesses. In this second installment of the series on India’s industrial zones, we assess its prospects.

    Do Investment Promotional Agencies Leave Investors Out in the Cold?

    Paul Barbour's picture

    This week, the World Bank Group’s Investment Climate Department hosted a stimulating discussion on the credit: Johanna Ljungblomeffectiveness of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs). The panel discussion coincided with the launch of the Investment Climate Department’s report on IPAs across the globe.  MIGA co-sponsored the report and pioneered its methodology. 

    First, the bad news. This report makes for quite depressing reading for this startling finding: overall, the responsiveness of investment promotion intermediaries to investor inquiries is low, with 80% of IPAs not responding to sector-specific investor inquiries. This means that 80% of these organizations did not return a phone call or email from a foreign direct investment (FDI) “mystery shopper.” This translates to missed investment opportunities that are particularly needed now as the competition for FDI is so fierce.


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