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World Development Report 2014: Risk and Opportunity – Managing Risk for Development

Posted by Subhasis Bera on July 31, 2014

The last 25 years have witnessed unprecedented changes around the world – many of them for the better. In all continents, numerous countries have embarked on a path of international integration, economic reform, technological modernization, and democratic participation. As result, economies that had been stagnant for decades are growing, people who had suffered deprivation for generations are escaping poverty, and hundreds of millions are enjoying the benefits of improved living standards and scientific and cultural sharing across nations.

As the world changes, a host of opportunities arise constantly. With them, however, old and new risks appear, from the possibility of job loss and disease to the potential for social unrest and environmental damage. If ignored, these risks can turn into crises that reverse hard–fought gains and endanger the social and economic reforms that produced these gains.

World Development Report (WDR) 2014: Managing Risk for Development, contends that the solution is not to reject the changes that bring about opportunities along with risks, but to prepare for them in a proactive and holistic way. Thus, managing risks responsibly and effectively has the potential to bring about a sense of security and means of progress to people in developing countries and beyond.

Although individuals’ initiative and responsibility are essential for managing risk, their success can only be limited without a supportive social environment, especially when risks are large or systemic in nature. The WDR 2014 argues that a way in which people can successfully confront risks and opportunities that are beyond their means is to share their risk management with others. This can be done through naturally occurring social and economic systems that enable people to overcome the obstacles that individuals and groups suffer from, including lack of resources and information, cognitive and behavioral failures, missing markets and public goods, and social externalities and exclusion. These systems – from the household and the community to the state and the international community–have the potential to support people’s risk management in different yet complementary ways.

WDR 2014 presents a detailed approach and specific advice to improve resilience. For policy makers in developing (and developed) countries, the Report also provides strategic recommendations that cut across risks and social systems in an integrated framework. They attempt to provide both innovative solutions to long-standing problems in poor and emerging economies and ways to mainstream risk management into the development agenda. These recommendations should serve to guide the dialogue, operations, and contributions from key development actors –from civil society and national governments to the donor community and international development organizations.

Download Here

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Nanotechnology and Tyres: Greening Industry and Transport

Posted by Subhasis Bera on July 28, 2014

New nanomaterials offer promising avenues for future innovation, which can contribute towards the sustainability and resource efficiency of the tyre industry. Yet uncertainty over environmental health and safety (EHS) risks appears to be a main and continuous concern for the development of new nanomaterials in tyre production, even for those closest to market. Lack of sector-specific guidance represents a major gap.

This report provides insights into the policy issues related to nanotechnology use in the tyre industry: the status of nanotechnology innovation in the sector and the drivers of innovation in the tyre industry; the economic and social costs and benefits of using nanotechnology in tyres; the safe use of new nanomaterials at all stages of their life cycles; the identification of the tools and frameworks supporting decision making at various stages of product development; and the facilitation of outreach and knowledge transfer on the safe use of new nanomaterials.

A risk management framework has also been developed as part of the study to enable site-specific or company-specific risk assessments or risk management strategies for using nanomaterials as additives in tyres.

you can read Here

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Doing Business 2014 (Report)

Posted by Subhasis Bera on January 3, 2014

OverviewDB14-Full-Report-1

Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 189 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders. This year’s report data cover regulations measured from June 2012 through May 2013. The report is the 11th edition of the Doing Business series.

Main Findings

  • Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala are among the economies improving the most in 2012/13 in areas tracked by Doing Business.
  • Worldwide, 114 economies implemented 238 regulatory reforms in 2012/13 making it easier to do business as measured by Doing Business – 18% more reforms than in the previous year.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 9 of the 20 economies narrowing the gap with the regulatory frontier the most since 2009. Low-income economies narrowed this gap twice as much as high-income economies did.
  • Singapore topped the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Malaysia; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; and the United Kingdom.
  • Doing Business collected data for the first time this year in four economies: Libya, Myanmar, San Marino, and South Sudan.
  • Case studies highlighting good practices in 6 of the areas measured by Doing Business indicator sets are featured in the report: the role of minimum capital requirements in starting a business; risk-based inspections in dealing with construction permits; the cost structure in getting electricity; single window systems in trading across borders; e-filing and e-payment in paying taxes; and e-courts in enforcing contracts.
  • This year’s report presents a separate chapter about research on the effects of business regulations. There is a rapidly growing body of empirical research examining the impact of improvements in many of the regulatory areas tracked by the Doing Business indicators, and this chapter provides a useful—and encouraging—synthesis.

 

Download Here

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2012 Information and Communications for Development : Maximizing Mobile

Posted by Subhasis Bera on November 8, 2013

image_miniWith some 6 billion mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, around three-quarters of the world’s inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone. Mobiles are arguably the most ubiquitous modern technology: in some developing countries, more people have access to a mobile phone than to a bank account, electricity, or even clean water. Mobile communications now offer major opportunities to advance human development from providing basic access to education or health information to making cash payments to stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes. The developing world is ‘more mobile’ than the developed world. In the developed world, mobile communications have added value to legacy communication systems and have supplemented and expanded existing information flows. However, the developing world is following a different, ‘mobile first’ development trajectory. Many mobile innovations such as multi-SIM card phones, low-value recharges, and mobile payments have originated in poorer countries and are spreading from there. New mobile applications that are designed locally and rooted in the realities of the developing world will be much better suited to addressing development challenges than applications transplanted from elsewhere. In particular, locally developed applications can address developing-country concerns such as digital literacy and affordability. This 2012 edition of the World Bank’s information and communications for development report analyzes the growth and evolution of mobile telephony, and the rise of data-based services delivered to handheld devices, including apps. The report explores the consequences for development of the emerging ‘app economy.’ It summarizes current thinking and seeks to inform the debate on the use of mobile phones for development. This report looks at key ecosystem-based applications in agriculture, health, financial services, employment, and government, with chapters devoted to each.

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Free Online Economics Courses

Posted by Subhasis Bera on August 27, 2013

70be238f97e1912fb10f24729fb3edebThe study of economics is dedicated to understanding the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Despite popular belief about the alleged “dismal science,” economics is fascinating; a field about a fundamental element of human behavior: decision making. Students can learn more about how individuals, businesses, governments, and societies choose to spend their time and money from online economics courses made available for free from many top-tier schools.

A series of Free Online Economics Courses offered by a number of leading Universities/ Institutions are brought together by academicearth.org

Thanks to Mr Jack Collins for providing this information and link.

Get access of these courses here.

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Reaping the Benefits of ICTs in Spain

Posted by Subhasis Bera on June 20, 2013

This study examines the Spanish Information Society strategy plan Avanza 2. Upon request from Spain, focus has been on two selected perspectives corresponding to overall objectives of the Plan Avanza 2: Improving the communication infrastructures and  achieving a paperless administration. The e-government section on a paperless administration is grounded in the two areas of e-taxation and e-justice. Thus the study is not a comprehensive review of Plan Avanza 2 – only of selected parts.

Table of contents:

Executive summary
Executive summary in Spanish
Introduction
Chapter 1. Communication infrastructure
Chapter 2. E-government: Reforming through information and communication technologies

Read Here

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OECD Economic Surveys: European Union 2012

Posted by Subhasis Bera on April 13, 2012

OECD’s Economic Survey of the European Union for 2012 examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. It also includes special chapters covering the single market and labour market mobility.

Table of contents:

 Executive summary

Assessment and recommendations
-The EU needs to tackle the economic crisis and reach a stronger sustainable growth path
-The new growth model should support a fairer and greener economy
-The Europe 2020 strategy sets out ambitious EU reform targets, but will they be achieved?
-The completion of the Single Market is a strong EU-level tool to boost growth
-Europe needs to innovate more and better
-Further progress in trade liberalisation and agriculture would boost growth and raise living standards
-Labour market reforms and removing barriers to intra-EU labour mobility would boost employment, growth and ease adjustments
-An EU-level immigration policy could ease skill shortages due to demographic changes
-Regional policy can contribute more to growth
-Bibliography
Chapter 1. A Single Market for Europe
-How far is the Single Market a single market?
-Deeper integration would have a large impact on growth and living standards
-EU policy to complete the Single Market is moving forward, but slowly
-The Single Market needs to move closer to a Single Rule Book
-Targeted sector-specific measures policies are needed to open some markets fully
-Bibliography
Chapter 2. Mobility and migration in Europe
-EU labour markets are fragmented between and within countries and overall mobility is low
-Mobility is held back by Europe’s diversity but also by administrative obstacles
-Migration from outside Europe can reduce labour market imbalances
-Bibliography
Glossary

Read Here

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Perspectives on Global Development 2012

Posted by Subhasis Bera on December 15, 2011

Shifting wealth” – a process that started in the 1990s and took off in the 2000s – has led to a completely new geography of growth driven by the economic rise of large developing countries, in particular China and India. The resulting re-configuration of the global economy will shape the political, economic and social agendas of international development as those of the converging and poor countries for the years to come.

This report analyses the impact of “Shifting wealth” on social cohesion, largely focusing on high-growth converging countries. A “cohesive” society works towards the well-being of all its members, creates a sense of belonging and fights against the marginalization within and between different groups of societies. The question this report asks is how does the structural transformation in converging economies affect their “social fabric”, their sense of belonging or put generally their ability to peacefully manage collective action problems.

Recent events in well performing countries in the Arab world but also beyond such as in Thailand, China and India seem to suggest that economic growth, rising fiscal resources and improvements in education are not sufficient  to create cohesion; governments need to address social deficits and actively promote social cohesion if long-term development is to be sustainable.

Read Here

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Introduction to Econometrics :University of Oregon Online Course

Posted by Subhasis Bera on July 4, 2011

Course Description :

This course looks at what happens when the conditions are less than ideal due to departures from the assumptions necessary for ordinary least squares to be the best linear unbiased estimator, and provides alternative regression techniques that address problems arising from the violations of the basic assumptions.

Lecture Details :

Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 

Lecture by

Prof. Mark Thoma

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  1. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 1
  2. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 2
  3. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 3
  4. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 4
  5. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 5
  6. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 6
  7. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 7
  8. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 8
  9. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 9
  10. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 10
  11. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 11
  12. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 12
  13. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 13
  14. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 14
  15. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 15
  16. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 16
  17. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 17
  18. Economics 421 – Econometrics – Winter 2009 – Lecture 18

 

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Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics: UNRISD Flagship Report

Posted by Subhasis Bera on June 7, 2011

Poverty reduction is a central feature of the international development agenda and contemporary poverty reduction strategies increasingly focus on “targeting the poor”, yet poverty and inequality remain intractable foes.

Combating Poverty and Inequality argues that this is because many current approaches to reducing poverty and inequality fail to consider key institutional, policy and political dimensions that may be both causes of poverty and inequality, and obstacles to their reduction. Moreover, when a substantial proportion of a country’s population is poor, it makes little sense to detach poverty from the dynamics of development. For countries that have been successful in increasing the well-being of the majority of their populations over relatively short periods of time, the report shows, progress has occurred principally through state-directed strategies that combine economic development objectives with active social policies and forms of politics that elevate the interests of the poor in public policy.

The report is structured around three main issues, which, it argues, are the critical elements of a sustainable and inclusive development strategy:

  • patterns of growth and structural change (whether in the agricultural, industrial or service sectors) that generate and sustain jobs that are adequately remunerated and accessible to all, regardless of income or class status, gender, ethnicity or location;
  • comprehensive social policies that are grounded in universal rights and that are supportive of structural change, social cohesion and democratic politics; and
  • protection of civic rights, activism and political arrangements that ensure states are responsive to the needs of citizens and the poor have influence in how policies are made.

The report seeks to explain why people are poor and why inequalities exist, as well as what can be done to rectify these injustices. It explores the causes, dynamics and persistence of poverty; examines what works and what has gone wrong in international policy thinking and practice; and lays out a range of policies and institutional measures that countries can adopt to alleviate poverty.

Download the full report.

Download by chapters.
Contents, acknowledgements, foreword and preface
Overview

Section 1: Socially Inclusive Structural Change
Chapter 1 – Towards Employment-Centred Structural Change
Chapter 2 – Income Inequality and Structural Change
Chapter 3 – Tackling Ethnic and Regional Inequalities
Chapter 4 – Gender Inequalities at Home and in the Market

Section 2: Transformative Social Policy and Poverty Reduction
Chapter 5 – Towards Universal Social Protection
Chapter 6 – Universal Provision of Social Services
Chapter 7 – Care and Well-Being in a Development Context
Chapter 8 – Financing Social Policy

Section 3: The Politics of Poverty Reduction
Chapter 9 – Business, Power and Poverty Reduction
Chapter 10 – Building State Capacity for Poverty Reduction
Chapter 11 – Democracy and the Politics of Poverty Reduction

Concluding Remarks
References, acronyms and list of boxes, figures and tables

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