Tag Archives: World Bank
Almost whenever you read anything about fragile states, the introduction notes that, ‘no low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has yet to achieve a single United Nations Millennium Development Goal’. This is a quote from the overview from the 2011 World Development Report on conflict, security and development. It seems to be an elaboration of a quote from the main body of the report that is subtly but importantly different. ‘No low-income, fragile state has achieved a single MDG, and few are expected to meet targets by 2015.’ (more…)
Economists dominate the development field, but politics is more important to promoting it. This contradiction explains why the policies often recommended by international institutions (such as the World Bank) do not sufficiently take into account the local political, social, and institutional context.
The problem is echoed in other fields, with some blaming the inability of economists to understand institutions and politics a contributing factor to the 2008 financial crisis.
Economists were not always this ignorant. Thinkers such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo—known today as founders of the profession—considered themselves “political economists;” they never used the term “economics” by itself. The term didn’t stand by itself until the late 19th century when it was separated into a stand-alone discipline. (more…)
Although Robert Zoellick pushed the World Bank to open its much-prized treasure chest of data to the public during his five-year term as president, he did little to reform how the World Bank works with that data. Whoever becomes the next president should make a reevaluation of the country classification system a priority. It would have a wide impact on the whole development community.
For instance, look at all the discussion in development policy circles about the sharp reduction in the number of low-income countries in recent years. Some believe this news should be trumpeted as a policy success. For others, the reduction suggests that there is a “New Bottom Billion” of poor people living in middle-income countries, forcing a change in donor focus. For yet another group, it indicates that foreign aid as a concept should be updated to blend more loans with grant money.
But has all that much changed? Does the World Bank system accurately identify the countries in need of outside assistance? (more…)
Low income countries (LICs) did remarkably well during the crisis. Their annual GDP growth rate declined less than 1 percentage point in 2008 (to 4.7 percent in 2009) and quickly recovered (to 5.9 percent in 2010). Some, such as Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia showed no ill effects, generating growth over 6 percent throughout this period.
There is little doubt that LICs ever-increasing linkages with the BRICs and other large emerging economies provided significant support to their growth during the crisis.
The ever increasing ties between the two groups of countries will bring many benefits to the world’s poorest states. As Justin Yifu Lin, Chief Economist at the World Bank, explains on his blog: (more…)