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December 2012

Angel Investors as Startup Enablers in the Developing World

Oltac Unsal's picture

A normative definition that I use as a recovering angel investor myself is that an angel investor actively helps a seed stage startup succeed with both mentorship and capital in exchange for those intangible benefits of mentorship and a return on investment.  In World Bank parlance, then, they automatically provide both investments and technical assistance with no agency costs; a great recipe for solving multiple problems (funding capacity, entrepreneurial capability and access to early stage finance) in a cost effective way. Knowing that 318,480 of them invested $22.5 billion on 66,230 ventures in the US and achieved 27% annual returns forms the basis of our hypothesis that angel investing could work well in the developing world.

Winning voices from the Arab Revolutions

Omer Karasapan's picture
        Kim Eun Yeul

Three of the six books to receive the 2013 English PEN Award for outstanding writing in translation are by Arab authors. This award goes to works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry supporting inter-cultural understanding and freedom of expression. These are the three: The Silence and the Roar by Syria's Nihad Sirees; Writing Revolution: The Voices from Tunis to Damascus edited by Lebanon's Leyla Al-Zubaidi, and Matthew Cassel and Nemonie Craven Roderick; and Horses of God by Morocco's Mahi Binebine.

Inequality and the Rise of the Global 1%: Great New Paper by Branko Milanovic

Duncan Green's picture

Ricardo Fuentes on an important new paper. Tomorrow, Ricardo and I continue the conversation.

The rich in the West are getting richer. Many countries have experienced a sharp concentration of incomes over the last three decades. The top 1% of Americans have doubled their share of national income (from 8 to 17%) since Ronald Reagan was inaugurated 32 years ago – see graph, source here. The elite in other advanced economies, including, Australia, the UK, Japan and Sweden, have also gotten a larger share of the pie. We have been able to understand the concentration of incomes at the national level thanks to the study of tax records by enterprising scholars such as Emmanuel Saez, Thomas Picketty and Sir Anthony Atkinson. But until recently, we didn’t know much about the global concentration of incomes (there’s no global tax collector with a similar database).

Quote of the Week: Paul Krugman

Sina Odugbemi's picture

“Politics isn’t about policy details, it’s about broad thrusts and whether people think you’re on their side.”

-- Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and op-ed columnist for The New York Times. In 2008, Krugman received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Gangnam Migration: Regression-Discontinuity Impacts of Migrating to Korea

David McKenzie's picture

Several countries around the world (notably Australia and Canada) have migration points systems- score above some points threshold and you can come in, score below and you can’t. This has intrigued me with the possibility of a regression-discontinuity design to measure impacts of migrating. However, there are several problems – the points given tend to be lumpy (e.g.

The Fallout of Financial Crises on Labor Markets

Claudia Sepúlveda's picture

Pablo Ottonello, 2012

Nearly two years after the "Great Recession" officially ended in the United States according to the NBER, the labor markets in many countries remain stagnant. At the recent Latin American Economic Association Meetings (LACEA) in Peru (Nov. 1-3), several presentations attempted to shed light on the impact of shocks originating in credit markets on the labor market. Today’s blog highlights three working papers – all still works in progress – that suggest that all recessions are not created equal and that much more research is needed to understand better how labor markets function.

Turbo-Charging Green Growth through Knowledge

Mabruk Kabir's picture

Flooding in BangladeshHot on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Bopha lashed the shores of the Philippines earlier this month, leaving 900 dead and 80,000 homeless. Extreme weather is becoming the norm. The World Bank-commissioned report, “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided” found that scientists are unanimously predicting warming of 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The social, economic, and environmental consequences will be devastating. Over the past 20 years, over half of South Asians – more than 750 million people – have been affected by natural disasters, with the loss of life estimated at more than 60,000, and damages above $45 billion.

The Real Winners and Losers of Globalization

Branko Milanovic's picture

It is generally thought that two groups are the big winners of the past two decades of globalization: the very rich, and the middle classes of emerging market economies.

The statistical evidence for this has been cobbled together from a number of disparate sources. The evidence includes high GDP growth in emerging market economies, strong income gains recorded for those at the top of the income pyramid in the United States and other advanced economies, as well as what seems to be the emergence of “a global middle class” and casual observations of the rising affluence of Chinese and Indians.

A Bad Apple in the Classroom? Know It To Change It

Barbara Bruns's picture

Recently, I was part of the Global Economic Symposium held in Rio de Janeiro. This year’s theme was Growth through Education and Innovation; I presented as part of a panel entitled Effective Investments in Education.

My presentation focussed on the fact that a growing and compelling body of research shows that teacher effectiveness varies widely - even across classrooms in the same grade in the same school. Getting assigned to a bad teacher has not only immediate, but also long term, consequences for student learning, college completion and long-term income.

The malaise of demographic dynamics in ECA: Is Migration a saving grace?

Sudharshan Canagarajah's picture

In the Europe and Central Asia (ECA), populations and labor forces are shrinking because of below-replacement-level fertility, aging populations and high dependency ratios, high mortality in much of the region, shrinking youth populations and therefore fewer new entrants into the labor force, and populations with limited mobility. Fertility rates in many ECA countries are at all time “lowest-low” levels, where the number of births per woman is less than 1.3. Several ECA countries are among those with the oldest median ages in the world.

Populations in many ECA countries are either currently declining or soon will be. Over the past two decades, the global population increased by 30 percent—less-developed countries by 36 percent and more-developed by just 8 percent. Yet the ECA region as a whole lost 1.4 percent of its people.


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