Development Economics
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Development Economics
Regularly updated news articles, research features and revision resources on Unit 4 macro development economics
Curated by Geoff Riley
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Chart in focus

Chart in focus | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Geoff Riley's insight:

This is really useful contextual research from the economists at Deutsche Bank who have looked at the industries most likely to be the subject of anti-dumping claims in the world trading system. Base metals figure prominently as you might expect followed by chemicals. Dumping becomes more frequent when domestic demand tails away and producers are left with rising levels of spare (excess) capacity - a temptation to cut prices in overseas markets to off-load (or dump) can become almost irresistible. 

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What boosts economic growth? - Agenda - The World Economic Forum

What boosts economic growth? - Agenda - The World Economic Forum | Development Economics | Scoop.it
There are a few key areas we should concentrate on to boost economic growth
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In Peru water is a high price for Lima's poor

In Peru water is a high price for Lima's poor | Development Economics | Scoop.it
One of the cruellest insults of inequality in Peru's capital Lima is how expensive it is for the poor to get clean water.
Geoff Riley's insight:

Those in deepest poverty in Peru pay way more for each litre of water than the rich. Extreme poverty is absent in Peru if the World Bank data is to be believed. The reality on the ground tells a different story. 

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Creeping capitalism: How North Korea is changing - BBC News

What should we make of North Korea? It's the most isolated country on the planet with a leadership which boasts that it has nuclear devices. Steve Evans is there and reports that it is a country which is changing.
Geoff Riley's insight:

I am hoping that there will be a longer version of this report on a programme such as From Our Own Correspondent. Creeping capitalism (North Korean style) is a fetching phrase to use. Tacit permission from the authorities many of whom have long grown use to a relatively lavish lifestyle.

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Ending Peruvian poverty

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John Authers reports from the World Bank meetings in Lima on how declining commodity prices are affecting the challenge of poverty reduction in countries such as Peru whose wealth has been highly contingent on high copper prices and the growth of the Chinese economy.

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Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality - Angus Deaton - YouTube

Geoff Riley's insight:

A 20 minute talk from leading development economist Angus Deaton explores the patterns behind the health and wealth of nations in our hugely unequal world, and addresses what needs to be done to help those left behind.

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Bruce Fellowes's curator insight, October 6, 2015 7:46 AM

Another great scoop from Geoff Riley. A2 Economics students may find it particularly useful

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5 Things the World Bank’s Report on Poverty Told Us - WSJ

5 Things the World Bank’s Report on Poverty Told Us - WSJ | Development Economics | Scoop.it
The number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide will likely fall to under 10% of the global population in 2015, a new World Bank report has predicted.
Geoff Riley's insight:

A really significant day! The World Bank has said that for the first time less than 10% of the world's population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015. The bank said it was using a new income figure of $1.90 per day (PPP adjusted) to define extreme poverty, up from $1.25.

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Copper price close to six-and-a-half-year low

Copper price close to six-and-a-half-year low | Development Economics | Scoop.it
The price of copper drops close to the lowest level in six and a half years as the plunge in commodity prices is felt across the world.
Geoff Riley's insight:

The Chinese slowdown is an important factor behind the slump in world commodity prices and copper is no exception. Prices have collapsed to a six year low and might well be the catalyst for the extinction of mining giant Glencore whose share price has tanked in recent days. Spare a thought too for countries such as Zambia, a nation with one of the lowest levels of intra-industry trade on the plant and very low economic complexity. Their heavy dependence on exports of primary products is being laid bare by the slump in copper prices. The dramatic price fall represents a big deterioration in their terms of trade and it is no surprise that the Zambian currency is in free-fall.

 

This article from BBC is well worth a read for a contextual example of how primary product price volatility can have hugely significant macroeconomic effects to say nothing of the potential human consequences.

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Aman Kanwar's curator insight, October 2, 2015 4:19 PM

1. Explain why the Zambian kwacha has depreciated so signifiicantly.

 

2. In the light of its dependence on copper assess the short term and long term consequences for the Zambian economy.

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What is Decent Work?

Decent work – Key to sustainable development It is estimated that over 600 million new jobs need to be created by 2030, just to keep pace with the growth of ...
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'Rivers of acid' in Zambian villages - BBC News

'Rivers of acid' in Zambian villages - BBC News | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Zambian villagers are taking copper miners to court in the UK, accusing them of poisoning their water, as the BBC's Nomsa Maseko reports.
Geoff Riley's insight:

A must post article to the Development Economics board because here we have a graphic illustration of the negative externalities created from intensive copper mining in Zambia. This country has one of the lowest levels of intra-industry trade in the world; they are heavily dependent on a small cluster of industries, copper mining being right at the top. The human price of living close to these mines is enormous - "The soil in the copper belt used to be rich and highly productive but now produces virtually nothing." Villagers are grouping together to mount legal action but it will take years to reach a conclusion and even then, the chances of full compensation appear remote. This is a sobering article but one with resonance for students of A2 development economics.

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Aman Kanwar's curator insight, October 2, 2015 4:29 PM

1. With the aid of a diagram assess the real price paid for copper in Zambia.

 

2. Why might Zambian villagers take copper miners to court in the UK and not in Zambia?

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Africa in numbers - how its countries compare

Africa in numbers - how its countries compare | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Although often treated like a single entity, Africa is a hugely varied continent with a wide range of cultures, languages and stages of development
Geoff Riley's insight:

For students taking the EdExcel Unit 4 Global Economy course this data rich article from the Guardian comes highly recommended. They take seven indicators to help emphasise the structural differences between countries on the African continent. A really useful starting point when discussing similarities and variations between countries within Africa. 

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The 'new Africa' sweeping away the old

The 'new Africa' sweeping away the old | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Geoff Riley's insight:

This news feature from BBC Africa is rich with interesting and compelling mini case studies and superb for students wanting to enrich their understanding of the development promise of the entreprenurial buzz in Africa and the many barriers that remain in the way.

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James Jeffery's curator insight, February 11, 2015 3:56 AM

Another great find from Geoff Riley

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Micromax overtakes Samsung in India

Micromax overtakes Samsung in India | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Catering to local market preferences will become increasingly important
Geoff Riley's insight:

Pricing in countries with a fast-growing middle class of consumers is an important decision for transnational businesses.

 

This example taken from BBC news suggests that Micromax has been successful in taking market share from Samsung by offering more affordable phones tailored to local consumers not least in offering a wider variety of local languages. Find more about Micromax here http://www.micromaxinfo.com 

 

At present, Samsung is the only global mobile phone manufacturer in the tour four in the Indian market. Karbonn and Lava occupy 3rd and 4th place. Apple barely registers!


The Indian market is of huge potential significance for mobile handset manufacturers. Gartner, a technology research company, estimates that no less than 78 per cent of global smartphone sales will come from developing economies by 2018.


Affordable, simple-feature phones are what millions of Indian consumers want at present. 

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Who will win the economics Nobel this year?* | The Enlightened Economist

Who will win the economics Nobel this year?* | The Enlightened Economist | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Geoff Riley's insight:

I am hoping Deaton and Atkinson win for their work on inequality! Baumol certainly deserves it .....less so Barro.... all announced on Monday!

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Kenya’s thirst for coffee | FT World

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Rising incomes and a burgeoning cafe culture is increasing the retail demand for coffee in Kenya, a country that has long been a major exporter of coffee beans but has traditionally favoured tea.

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Why emerging economies are slowing down

Why emerging economies are slowing down | Development Economics | Scoop.it
As the IMF and World Bank meet in Peru, economics correspondent Andrew Walker looks at how emerging economies have been slowing down.
Geoff Riley's insight:

A longer background piece from Andrew Walker - a really clear exposition about the underlying cyclical (and some structural) causes of slower growth in many emerging countries. Recommended reading for A2 economists (#econ4) and also ambitious and curious AS economists

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Agriculture and Climate Change by Asian Development Bank

Agriculture and Climate Change by Asian Development Bank | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Climate change is a major food security challenge for Asia and the Pacific, with more than 60% of the population relying on agriculture.
Geoff Riley's insight:

A superb photo blog from the Asian Development Bank that will provide a rich source of images when teaching sustainability issues and limits to growth and development for emerging countries. The unsustainable use of natural resources has left about a quarter of Asia’s land highly degraded. Further damage to the region’s diverse and fragile environments could see the world losing a quarter of its food supply capacity by 2050.

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The commodities roller coaster - YouTube

Impact of lower commodities prices on commodity exporters Vitor Gaspar, Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF
Geoff Riley's insight:

ScoopIt is not always about finding good newspaper articles to read. Sometimes, short videos can help illuminate an issue. This example comes from the IMF's fiscal stability review and discusses how countries reliant on revenue from commodities can help survive the primary commodity price rollercoaster. Fiscal buffers are key according to the IMF.

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Its eighty years since GDP was first developed, time for a different measure of national success? | Post2015.org - what comes after the MDGs?

Its eighty years since GDP was first developed, time for a different measure of national success? | Post2015.org - what comes after the MDGs? | Development Economics | Scoop.it
By Michael Green at the Social Progress Imperative The global economic downturn has created something of an obsession with getting back to economic growth. Yet, on its own, growth is an incomplete guide to the wellbeing of a country. Indeed, the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals was a recognition that we need measures other than growth…

Via Mo Tanweer
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Albert Condron's comment, November 2, 2015 6:57 AM
First GDP does not give an accurate portrayal of the state of an economy as it gives no indication of a country's level of debt. An example of this is Japan which has the 4th highest level of GDP in the world but also the highest debt to GDP ratio at 243.2% in 2013.
Albert Condron's comment, November 2, 2015 6:59 AM
Secondly it does not take into account the level of corruption in a country and a prime example of this is Russia as it has the 10th highest GDP in the world but it also ranked in the top 20 most corrupt countries.
Harran Singh's comment, November 2, 2015 11:17 AM
Distribution of money
One problem of GDP is that it shows the standard of living as a general view of a country’s economy rather how each individual is living their life. An example where this can be best portrayed is by comparing the GDPs of Singapore and China. Even though China has a much greater GDP than Singapore ($10 trillion compared to $307 billion), there are many more people in China and therefore their GDP per capita (when the GDP of a country is split by the number of people that live there) is significantly lower: $67,000 in Singapore compared to only $13,000 in China. However even this figure is distorted as there is probably a lot of wealth inequality in China so the majority of the population are living in conditions which are even worse than shown by even the GDP per capita.

Law
In a country where there is a strict system of law, such as Saudi Arabia, where lashings and stoning are not seen as basic violation of human rights if exercised through the law, then there will inevitably be a lower standard of living than if such measures were not introduced. One may believe that this does not affect standard of living because if you break the law, then such punishment may be warranted and therefore by staying ‘in line’ you would never experience such problems. However these punishments do have an effect on standard of living because one may be punished for such ‘crimes’ as adultery (which is legal in most countries) or even expressing your true opinion (which is a basic human right).
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Argentina presidential election poses economic choice - BBC News

Argentina presidential election poses economic choice - BBC News | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Argentina's forthcoming presidential election is likely to mark a turning point for the country's beleaguered economy.
Geoff Riley's insight:

Will protectionist, globally isolated, inflation-ridden Argentina change course as a result of the 2015 Presidential election? The troubled economy as more development challenges than most in part because of previous debt defaults. If you have chosen Argentina as a country to study for your A2 macro, this article will give you plenty of solid context. 

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African sovereign bonds

Geoff Riley's insight:

A growing number of African governments are going to the bond markets to raise funds for example to facilitate infrastructure projects. Typically the interest rate (or yield) on newly issued bonds is around 4% higher than for advanced countries, but the significant point is that governments have the confidence and sufficiently sound macroeconomic policies to be able to borrow long from the international capital markets. Add in sovereign bonds to your notes on the sources of finance available to a growing number of lower-income developing countries. Is this a strong alternative to attracting inward FDI, aid flows and remittances?

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Understanding economic transformation in Africa - Panel discussion

This event was organised by ODI’s Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) programme discussed where we are going wrong and what we should be doing different...
Geoff Riley's insight:

This is a video of a panel discussion held at the UK ODI on a paper on Africa - Why Economists Get It Wrong. 

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How will a population boom change Africa?

How will a population boom change Africa? | Development Economics | Scoop.it
Four experts tell the BBC World Service Inquiry programme how the expected doubling of Africa's population by 2050 will affect the continent.
Geoff Riley's insight:

This article from the BBC news site is well worth reading for the four different perspectives on population growth on the African continent. Hans Rosling is on good form alerting us to the fact that the female fertility rate in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) is actually lower than London. Demographic factors have important growth and development implications, so we recommend students add this to their wider enrichment reading.

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India starts deworming campaign to protect young population

India starts deworming campaign to protect young population | Development Economics | Scoop.it
About 140m Indian schoolchildren — the equivalent of the combined population of the UK and Germany — will undergo deworming treatment on Tuesday as New Delhi kicks off the world’s largest campaign against the damaging intestinal parasites. The
Geoff Riley's insight:

This is raw development economics in action! Consider the long term impact of intestinal worms on the education and physical health of young people. This is an intervention on a huge scale. 

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