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Bhutan – Development Economics in the Himalayas

Kaushik Basu's picture

Landing at Paro in Bhutan involves making a question-mark shaped maneuver while dropping altitude rapidly to avoid making wing-contact with the Himalayan mountains surrounding the Paro valley where Thimphu, the capital, is also situated. A fellow passenger informs me that there are only 9 pilots in the world who are trained to make this landing. I use up one of my rare prayers to request that it be one of those flying us now. It is, I think, the infrequency of prayers that makes them so effective; our plane descends smoothly and tiptoes on to the tarmac.

What do we know and why should we care about child development?

Jo Boyden's picture
Empirical evidence from across the globe demonstrates that the foundations for human development are laid down in early childhood, the first thousand days after conception being the most crucial for determining later outcomes. The circumstances an individual experiences during this period make a huge difference to their later development. This raises significant concerns about the countless children throughout the world who are born into poverty, despite the strong performance of many economies in recent years.

Fear of Flying (or Sailing)? Pricing International Aviation and Maritime Emissions

Jon Strand's picture

Note from Let's Talk Development Editors: Co-authors Michael Keen and Ian Parry were not mentioned in an earlier version of this blog post, this has been corrected.

The central focus of climate talks that concluded last year in Lima has been on building wide agreements to restrict national emissions of greenhouse gases. But some important emissions are hard to allocate to individual nations: Those from international aviation and shipping. These currently constitute about 4% (and rising) of global carbon emissions, and are subject to almost no charges. This current state reflects heavy resistance to such charges, from industry and many governments, but also tax competition: Taxing these sectors by any one country can be hard due to their geographic mobility and international nature. 

What Businesses Experience in Djibouti

David Francis's picture

The World Bank Group’s Enterprise Surveys (ES) evaluate the quality of the business environment in an economy by asking a series of questions that capture both the experiences and perceptions of firms. These surveys provide much needed information, particularly in developing countries where firm-level data about what businesses experience are limited. 

The Djibouti Enterprise Survey is the first-ever ES in the country and consists of 266 firms in Djibouti City across three sectors – manufacturing, retail, and other services. Firms interviewed for the ES are formal, private-sector firms operating in non-agricultural, non-extractive private sector with five or more employees. 

Realizing Africa's Youth Potential: Africa needs investors to create jobs for its youth, and develop skills

Sudharshan Canagarajah's picture

Africa is fortunate.  Unlike more industrialized countries and even some industrializing countries like China, Africa is endowed with a much younger population. This could offer a tremendous comparative advantage in years to come that could propel the continent forward as a dynamic and productive engine of growth for the entire world. As elucidated by the UNFPA, “A window of economic and social growth occurs when the working age population becomes larger than people of non-working age…” making significantly higher growth rates possible as “the state faces fewer costs associated with children and the elderly”. But for Africa to realize this advantage, it needs two things: investment to create good jobs, and the young people with the skills to fill them. 

According to the United Nations, persons between 15 and 24 comprise a fifth of the world’s population with the vast majority living in developing countries . But, at present in Africa, this cohort accounts for almost two thirds of the unemployed. While there has been no shortage of initiatives to tackle the youth “issue”, these have been at the social margin with mixed results. Policy reforms and donor support have included both supply and demand side activities, mostly directed to investment in public services complimentary to the private sector which, while necessary, have not been sufficient.

Friday Roundup: Terrorism and Education in Pakistan, Leading Thinker Kaushik Basu, Cost of the Syrian War, Cuba and the Thaw

LTD Editors's picture
The Taliban’s barbaric attack on an Army Public school in Peshawar resulted in a 141 dead, all but nine of whom were children.  In honor of Pakistan’s students and teachers, we revisit an Education Sector Review conducted by the World Bank in October, since it’s schooling and thought that will ultimately prevail over ignorance and brutality.

Currency cyclicality: Emerging markets rhetoric and the Euro crisis

Tito Cordella's picture

Why do emerging market policymakers complain both when their currencies appreciate and when they depreciate? Why do they march behind the Brazil’s Finance minister’s denunciation of the Fed’s QE as an act of “currency war” and, a few months later, behind the India central bank governor’s condemnation of the possible withdrawal of the very same QE? Why is it that the introduction of the euro may have made it more difficult for peripheral European countries to bounce back from recessions? What do Argentina, Indonesia, Brazil and Sweden have in common? Is the euro more similar to the old French Franc, Deutsche Mark or, God forbid, the Italian Lira? The answers to these apparently unrelated questions may lie in a little studied characteristic of currencies, their behavior over the business cycle.

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