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February 2013

Friday Roundup: Climate Change, China, Cash Transfers & Bill's Letter

LTD Editors's picture

With warnings on the effects of climate change becoming starker with every passing day, good news came in the form of a story that the world's biggest seed banks are getting funding to help protect and develop new varieties of seeds resistant to climate change and other threats.

More sobering was a post by the World Bank's Phil Hay about Mozambique's recent devastating floods and public sector measures to help the country recover.

An Inspiring Story of a Young South Asian Artist

Ravi Kumar's picture

Available in Français, Español

Can art change your vision for the future?

During the third week of January on a chilly Tuesday evening in Washington, D.C., young artists from the South Asia region gathered in the Wolfensohn Atrium of the World Bank for an exhibition of Imagining Our Future Together, a group exhibition organized by the World Bank to feature works from 25 young South Asian artists. Their art reflects their hope to make South Asia a more united region.

Davos 2013: A Thief Stealing Bells Is Not an Optimist

Kevin Lu's picture

For the past five years, the participants to the Annual Meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) have gathered in Davos to discuss urgent global crises the world was facing: subprime lending, the credit crunch, banking, Greece, the euro zone’s woes, and so on. Soul-searching about the political and economic status quo ensued. This year, with leadership transitions in the two largest economies completed, the euro zone no longer facing imminent break-up, and China growing at 7.8%, Davos resumed some normalcy. Some even claimed optimism.

Some of the optimism is based on the growth prospects in Asia and China. For the past five years, while Europe has not grown at all, Chinese GDP has grown 60%. In this year’s Davos, there were no fewer than five public sessions on China, with topics ranging from its rapid growth, transformation of its growth model, and emergence of its soft power. Interests in Asia are high.

Friday links February 1st: Blood Stealing, When to Replicate, the Perils of not realizing you will change, and more…

David McKenzie's picture

·         Marc Bellemare discusses a new paper in Science which finds young people, middle-aged people, and older people all believed they had changed a lot in the past but would change relatively little in the future – leading people to overpay for

What Drives Remittances of Bangladeshi Migrants?

Zahid Hussain's picture

Why do migrants send money back home? Distinguishing the different motives helps us understand the role these transfers play in influencing the behavior of households, and the policy implications of alternative motives can be very different.

I tried answering this question using micro survey data from Bangladesh on possible motivations, using a multivariate regression model.

The results were a little unexpected. Overall, the evidence contradicts the argument that remittance-receiving countries have little scope for policy intervention. The analysis shows that remittances are not driven exclusively by the need for family support but also by the migrants’ skill and education level and motivation to transfer their savings as investment in their home country. Thus, contrary to conventional wisdom, remittances play a vital role in not only supporting consumption but also in serving as an important source of investment funding. The extent to which remittances contribute to investment depends on the supportiveness of government policies and whether the economic environment is conducive to investment activity.

Surprisingly, none of the demand side variables—the existence of a surviving parent or spouse—seem to matter. Among the supply side variables, education and skill matter most.

Creating Jobs by Improving Human Capital

Mary Hallward-Driemeier's picture

Students in a technical education program supported by the World Bank in Antioquia, Colombia. Photo: © Charlotte Kesl / World Bank

Figuring out how to expand job creation is a priority for policy makers around the globe, not just in the short run but also in the longer run. A big reason why is that providing opportunities for people to earn more income is only part of the agenda. Expanding productivity also ensures the more efficient use of resources and enables growth. The question of how best to achieve these goals was discussed at the recent LACEA (Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association)–LAMES (Latin American Meeting of the Econometric Society) conference in Peru (Nov. 1–3). The JKP interviewed four prominent researchers, all of which made a strong, if somewhat different, case for the need to strengthen human capital, especially in Latin America.


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