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Costing a Data Revolution
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Gabriel Demombynes & Justin Sandefur, World Economics, September 2015
The lack of reliable development statistics for many poor countries has led the U.N. to call for a “data revolution” (United Nations, 2013). One fairly narrow but widespread interpretation of this revolution is for international aid donors to fund a coordinated wave of household surveys across the developing world, tracking progress on a new round of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. We use data from the International Household Survey Network (IHSN) to show (i) the supply of household surveys has accelerated dramatically over the past 30 years and that (ii) demand for survey data appears to be higher in democracies and more aid-dependent countries. We also show that given existing international survey programs, the cost to international aid donors of filling remaining survey gaps is manageable--on the order of $300 million per year. We argue that any aid-financed expansion of household surveys should be complemented with (a) increased access to data through open data protocols, and (b) simultaneous support for the broader statistical system, including routine administrative data systems.
Measuring Multidimensional Vulnerability in India
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Swati Dutta & Lakshmi Kumar, World Economics, September 2014
This paper examines the relationship between multidimensional poverty and multidimensional vulnerability. Unlike poverty, which describes the status of a household at a point of time, vulnerability captures the likelihood of a household falling into poverty, given the current status of the household. The paper has used data from the India Human Development Survey, 2005, employing a multidimensional measure both at the all-India level and the state level. The results indicate the superiority of the multidimensional measure over the one-dimensional income measure because policy can be pointed towards addressing the dimension of poverty that is lacking and that is the cause of some states’ vulnerability to poverty.
Going Beyond Averages
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M.G. Quibria, World Economics, March 2013
One of the persistent, unresolved controversies of economic development is the effectiveness of development assistance – whether foreign aid contributes to economic development. This article argues that this controversy is largely an artefact of a methodology that focuses on the ‘averages’ and pays inadequate attention to the specific characteristics of individual societies. For enhancing aid effectiveness, one needs to discard the one-size-fits-all approach, and adopt a more nuanced, tailor-made strategy based on a comprehensive understanding of specific countries.
Doing Business and Doing Development
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Neil Gregory, World Economics, September 2012
benchmarking methodologies used by corporates to provide cross-country comparisons of the quality of business regulation. In doing so, it has demonstrated a radical new approach to catalyzing development, which has proven to have high impact in changing government regulations at low cost. It represents an open-source, knowledge-based approach to development which could be replicated across other development topics, taking into account the limitations of the methodology and the complementary elements of analysis and communication which have enabled Doing Business to have impact.
Wealth and Population Data in Africa
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Brian Sturgess, World Economics, June 2012
There are very good grounds for challenging much of the conventionally accepted UN and World Bank economic data relating to both the absolute and relative per capita income of many African countries and to their growth rates over time. A recent paper by Morton Jerven published in World Economics demonstrated the unreliability of much if not most African GDP data and a new paper published in this issue by Deborah Potts challenges the accuracy of African population estimates"
International Comparisons of GDP
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Elio Lancieri, World Economics, September 2008
The recent publication by the World Bank of PPP-GDP estimates for 2005, referred to 146 countries, seems a good occasion to reopen the long-standing debate on the use of Purchasing Power Parities. While theoretical speculations on the subject have continued, no estimates were supplied for more than a decade. The author’s alternative method for GDP estimation is based on inflationadjusted long-term exchange rates, where real GDP estimates are obtained through simultaneous equations. He describes the method in the light of his experience and compares its results for 100 countries with both ICP estimates and GDPs at exchange rates.
From Big Macs to iMacs
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Jonathan Haskel & Holger Wolf, World Economics, June 2000
The authors review recent international price comparisons to examine the veracity of claims about “rip-off Britain”. They reach three conclusions. First, methodologically, the data requirements for a meaningful price comparison are very demanding and most of the evidence does not meet these standards. Second, price differences within countries seem, in many cases, to be just as high if not higher than price differences between countries. Third, for most goods, the difference between the UK and the rest of the EU seems to be minor relative to the difference between the EU and the United States. The real puzzle is the comparatively high prices in the EU.
The Black Economy - Benefit frauds or tax evaders?
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Jim Thomas, World Economics, March 2000
One answer to the question "How Rich are We?" is to compare levels of National Income either across countries or for a single country over time. However, the relevance of this approach depends on how accurately National Income measures the output of goods and services of a country. While it is difficult to measure, the Black Economy represents the output of goods and services that is not generally captured in the National Income Accounts. This article discusses the problems of measuring the size of the Black Economy and speculates on the questions of who is involved and how. The relative importance of Tax Evasion versus Benefit Fraud is discussed.



Displaying: 1-8 of 8