· A new paper in Science looks at the impacts of China’s one-child policy on personality, finding people born after the introduction of the policy were, not only less trusting, less trustworthy, and more pessimistic, but also less competitive, less conscientious, and more risk-averse. See this coverage in the The Scientist.
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Center for Global Development
Development and the Death of Aaron Swartz
“Aaron Swartz, who died on January 11th, worked and fought for key freedoms of our time: the right to information, to share knowledge and ideas, and to speak freely. He did not just campaign: he built the RSS standard which enables blogs and websites to share information, the Web site framework web.py, the architecture for the Open Library, the link sharing platform Reddit, and he helped to design the Creative Commons licence. He co-founded the online group Demand Progress — known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). He died, apparently by killing himself, aged just 26. Aaron Swartz faced 13 felony charges for having downloaded millions of academic journal articles from the online repository, JSTOR, allegedly with the intention of publishing them freely online.
The death of Aaron Swartz has made me think about how important it is for development that we continue to fight his fights, and continue to build what he began.” READ MORE
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
~ Benjamin Franklin ~
Travel and learning have always gone hand in hand. With the option of virtual travel, learning and information sharing have never been easier. We are presented with endless opportunities to discuss, interact and share experiences. Hopefully, this will help us come up with creative ideas for global solutions. The World Bank's Community of Practice hopes to do just that. Born out of a desire of various countries faced with similar challenges to share best practices, the community facilitates South-South learning between practitioners.
This is the sixth and last in a series of posts about the recent report, Bangladesh: Towards Accelerated, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth. The previous post looked at what sort of policies it will take to achieve the goal of middle income status by 2021.
Bangladesh, one of Asia’s youngest countries, is poised to exploit the long-awaited “demographic dividend” with a higher share of working-age population. Labor is Bangladesh’s strongest source of comparative advantage, and Bangladesh’s abundant and growing labor force is currently underutilized. Absorbing the growing labor force and utilizing better the existing stock of underemployed people requires expansion of labor-intensive activities. And that means expanding exports, as domestic consumption offers limited opportunities for specializing in labor-intensive production.
What are the potentials for expanding exports? Bangladesh’s competitors are becoming expensive places in which to do business. In the next three to four years, China’s exports of labor-intensive manufactured goods are projected to decline. It will no longer have one-third of the world market in garments, textiles, shoes, furniture, toys, electrical goods, car parts, plastic, and kitchen wares. Capturing just 1% of China’s manufacturing export markets would almost double Bangladesh’s manufactured exports.
Eleven of the less prosperous members of the European Union – Bulgaria, Croatia1, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia (EU11)—have remained attractive destinations for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The Czech Republic, Estonia, and Slovakia witnessed FDI levels in 2012 similar to pre-crisis levels. Poland and Bulgaria also experienced large gains in FDI in 2012.
Aaron Swartz died this past January 11th. As Owen Barder noted yesterday, “He did not just campaign: he built the RSS standard which enables blogs and websites to share information, the Web site framework web.py, the architecture for the Open Library, the link sharing platform Reddit, and he helped to design the Creative Commons license. He co-founded the online group Demand Progress — known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)…” The list of accomplishments is long, and the end has been so sudden.
French President François Hollande put his country on the Sustainable Energy for All train here at the World Energy Future Summit yesterday, affirming France's support for the initiative, whose advisory board is co-chaired by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In a speech devoted to the theme of preparing for the "après pétrole" era, Hollande highlighted three steps: first, create international funds for renewable energy investment pooling resources from petroleum exporting and importing countries; second, radically rethink our model of urbanization to make it less energy intensive; and third, secure a Global Climate Change Agreement for 2015, France stands ready to host the CoP and facilitate an agreement.
As Kaushik Basu said yesterday, downside risks to the global economy have diminished, market conditions look better, borrowing costs in advanced economies are down from worrying levels seen last June, and developing country growth is still in the 5 percent range. Yet this improvement is transmitting to the real side very minimally.
That was just one of the takeaways from Global Economic Prospects 2013, launched January 15. A new-look global outlook site allows users to access a wealth of analysis, forecasts and data for the world’s economies.
The water sector is very much a matter of supply and demand – and you better not forget about the demand side. Reform in any sector depends on public support. A new Learning Note on “Communication for Water Sector Reform: Obstacles and Opportunities,” published by the World Bank’s Operational Communications department, showcases the role of strategic communication in making water sector reform successful and sustainable.