Friday, March 25, 2011

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Press Review for Friday, March 25, 2011

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This summary is prepared by the External Affairs Department of the World Bank. All material is taken directly from published and copyright wire service stories and newspaper articles. The daily summary and other news can be found on the World Bank's external website at For inquiries call (202) 473-7660 or send a written request to the News Bureau.

Friday, March 25, 2011
Today's Headlines:
·         World Bank Approves $400 Million For Pakistan Education Sector
·         Japan Can Manage Disaster, Nuclear Crisis Poses Uncertainty: IMF
·         Ivory Coast Neighbors Urge Tougher UN Stance
·         UN Creates New Post Of Human Rights Investigator To Probe Alleged Abuses In Iran
·         Opinion: In Malawi, The Toll Of US Budget-Cutting
World Bank Approves $400 Million For Pakistan Education Sector. "The World Bank approved a $400 million loan on Friday for Pakistan's flailing education system, one of the world's worst where the country spends less than 1.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on schooling. The World Bank said $300 million would go to projects at the university level and $50 million each for provincial reform projects at the primary school level in Punjab and Sindh…." [Reuters/Factiva]
PTI adds that "…the projects are designed to improve conditions for teaching, learning and research for enhanced access, the Bank said in a statement. The projects will aim at quality and relevance at the tertiary level across the country, while continuing to increase enrollment rates and reduce gender and rural-urban disparities in primary education in Punjab and Sindh Provinces, the Bank said.
Pakistan's transition to a middle-income country in the global knowledge economy of the 21st century will depend critically on its intellectual and human capital, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, Rachid Benmessaoud said…." [Press Trust of India]
DAWN reports that "…this loan comes at a time when Pakistan is going through what the independent Pakistan Education Task Force said was an 'education emergency' and what many think is the country's most pressing long-term challenge…. According to figures from UNESCO and other non-governmental organizations, roughly one in 10 of the world's primary-age children who are not in school live in Pakistan, placing Pakistan second in the global ranking of out-of-school children, behind Nigeria….The task force says the economic impact of the Pakistan's poor education system is as expensive as last year's devastating floods, which caused about $10 billion in damages, every year…." [DAWN (Pakistan)]
Japan Can Manage Disaster, Nuclear Crisis Poses Uncertainty: IMF. "A senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official said Thursday that Japan can manage the economic impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the country's northeastern region, while adding that the ensuing nuclear crisis is making any assessment difficult. 'We view Japan as having an ample pool of savings that it can finance its own reconstruction needs,' Mahmood Pradhan, Japan mission chief and senior adviser of the Fund's Asia Pacific Department, told reporters…." [Kyodo/Factiva]
AFP adds that however, "…the potential of sustained power shortages due to the Fukushima Daiichi plant emergency, the shutdowns of other nuclear plants and the radiation threat complicate recovery prospects, the IMF said. 'The uncertainties from the nuclear situation and the power interruptions could weigh on the recovery by disrupting production across the country, and by weighing on corporate and household sentiment,' said Ken Kang, the IMF's Asia Pacific division chief…." [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Xinhua writes that "…the priority for Japan's economy after the devastating earthquake and tsunami was reconstruction and to get economy going, IMF officials said Thursday…. Pradhan said that with regard to fiscal risk, it was far more important for Japan to revive growth at the current stage…. Kang believed that any prolonged disruption of Japanese manufacturing activity would affect the region supply chain due to ripple effects. But Kang added that at this stage, 'we don't expect a prolonged disruption, and once the supply chain is restored, production can move again very quickly.'…" [Xinhua/Factiva]
Ivory Coast Neighbors Urge Tougher UN Stance. "Ivory Coast's neighbors urged the UN on Thursday to toughen the mandate of its 12,000 peacekeepers there and apply harsh sanctions on the inner circle of incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo. The move added to pressure on the world body to do more to end a violent post-election stand-off in the top cocoa producer that has already claimed hundreds of lives and is veering toward all-out civil war. France earlier urged a tougher UN role…." [Reuters/Factiva]
AP adds that "…in a statement released Thursday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) described the situation in Ivory Coast as a 'regional humanitarian emergency' caused by Gbagbo's refusal to yield power. ECOWAS said the Security Council needs 'to facilitate the immediate transfer of power to Alassane Ouattara.'
Mounting violence in Ivory Coast has claimed the lives of more than 460 people since the November 28 election, wounded many more, displaced an estimated 500,000 people inside the country, and forced over 90,000 to flee Ivory Coast, according to the UN…." [Associated Press/Factiva]
AFP reports that "…the UN on Thursday warned both Gbagbo's forces and local militias backing Ouattara that 'deliberately launching generalized or systematic attacks against civilian populations could constitute crimes against humanity.'
UN Operation in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) Deputy Human Rights Director Guillaume Ngefa said residents of the commercial capital Abidjan 'continue to massively flee their suburbs due to the violence and a lack of access to food and medicine.'…" [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
UN Creates New Post Of Human Rights Investigator To Probe Alleged Abuses In Iran. "The UN top human rights body created a new special investigator's job Thursday to look into human rights abuses in Iran, overcoming resistance from nations that considered it meddling with that country's internal affairs. The vote marks the first time since it was formed five years ago that the UN Human Rights Council has created such an investigative position for a UN member nation, rather than merely extending the mandate of a previously existing one. An outside expert is to be appointed to the new position when the council next meets in June…." [Associated Press/Factiva]
Reuters adds that "…UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said this month that Iran had intensified its crackdown on opponents and executions of drug traffickers, political prisoners and juvenile criminals. In a report, he also cited cases of amputations, floggings and the continued sentencing of men and women to death by stoning for alleged adultery…." [Reuters/Factiva]
AFP reports that "…Iran on Friday dismissed the UN human rights council's appointment of an investigator to monitor abuses there for the first time since 2002, the state news agency IRNA reported. 'This resolution is unjust, unjustifiable and totally political, and has been approved despite the reticence of certain countries, under pressure from the US,' foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said. 'The objective of this resolution is to put pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran… to divert attention from human rights violations in the West,' he added…." [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Opinion: In Malawi, The Toll Of US Budget-Cutting. In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, columnist Michael Gerson writes, "Donata Kuchawo's cow pen is as clean as a well-tended garden. She has only one cow, but she owes it a great deal. Before the cow, she scraped by on subsistence farming…. After getting the cow, she could sell its milk at the local dairy cooperative, which provided year-round income. She paid the school fees for her children and bought fertilizer to increase the yield of her maize field. She now employs four people to work her property, grows soybeans, peaches and sugar cane, and raises ducks and five pigs….
In Malawi, five years of good rains and government subsidies for seed and fertilizer have successfully beaten back hunger, at least for now.... But the promotion of agriculture…is among the best examples of long-term, bootstrap development. It is the kind of foreign assistance that encourages enterprise and independence, and that avoids the need for emergency famine relief. Yet agricultural aid programs have been dramatically defunded in the past few decades…. US President Barack Obama has tried to address this imbalance, announcing Feed the Future in 2009. This program would eventually scale up agricultural efforts in about 10 target countries, supporting responsible governments such as Malawi's that adopt effective policies on income generation and child nutrition.
Feed the Future is innovative — and besieged. The US Senate budget proposal is likely to fund six or seven countries, leaving some possibility that Malawi will make the cut. The House budget would limit that number to two or three nations, leaving Malawi with no hope of participation. Part of the blame falls to the administration itself, which has given Feed the Future little public emphasis and developed few congressional advocates. Nearly two years after its announcement, the program still lacks a coordinator. It is a good idea in need of champions.  Donata Kuchawo demonstrates the hidden entrepreneurship found even among the poorest of the poor. Sometimes it only takes a cow to unleash it." [The Washington Post]
Also in This Edition, Briefly Noted A slowdown in the oil and gas exploration activities in Uganda's Lake Albertine region is hurting tax collection, Uganda's state tax body, the Uganda Revenue Authority, said Thursday. [Dow Jones/Factiva]
            Panama's budget deficit is set to widen to 3 percent of gross domestic product this year under a government proposal made on Thursday. [Reuters/Factiva]
            China's gross domestic product (GDP) accounted for 9.5 percent of the world's total in 2010, nearly double the five percent in 2005, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday. [Xinhua/Factiva]
            The UN reported Thursday that more than 6 million North Koreans -- about a quarter of the communist state's population -- are in urgent need of international food assistance. [Associated Press/Factiva]
            More than 60 people have died in a magnitude-6.8 earthquake in Burma which struck near the Lao and Thai borders. [BBC News]
            The World Bank has approved $350 million loan to India to accelerate the development of Karnataka's core road network through the Second Karnataka State Highway Improvement Project (KSHIP II). [Hindustan Times]
            Climate change officials are watching to see if Japan's nuclear accident will prompt wealthy countries to scrap their own nuclear energy plans in favor of more traditional fuels that worsen global warming, UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. [Reuters/Factiva]
            The EU said Thursday it had disbursed a new installment of its EUR5 billion loan to Romania, stressing the Balkan country had delivered on its promises to adjust its finances. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
            Higher rates expected from the European Central Bank in April may force neighboring emerging nations to follow with increases of their own, even though their economies remain fragile and the prospect of tempered euro-zone demand threatens to damp growth. [Dow Jones/Factiva]

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March 25, 2011

Top Headlines

PM's Advani remark meant for 'someone else': Jaitley
Without naming Gandhi family, Arun Jaitley hinted that the PM's 'birth right' remark was said to Advani but directed at someone else.

Actor's hubby under scanner for Mumbai sea link collapse rumour
The husband of an actor-cum-sports anchor allegedly floated SMSs and tweeted rumours about the collapse of 3 cables on the sea link.

Varsity head writes to students: Ask parents to vote for my party
TR Pachamuthu, head of SRM university and founder of India Jananayaka Katchi, has shot off letters to students urging them to vote for his party.


Resident doctors in Maharashtra on strike
More than 3,500 resident doctors in Maharashtra are on a 24-hour strike to press demands such as enhanced security, slashing of medical courses fees, etc.

Delhi Police issued notice on Vikas Yadav's bail plea
The Delhi high court issued notice to Delhi Police on a plea for an interim bail of Vikas Yadav, who is undergoing life imprisonment for killing Nitish Katara.


Silver slips from record to Rs 56,200, gold down by Rs 70
Silver slipped from its record level today by losing Rs 200 to Rs 56,200 per kg, owing to profit selling amid a weak global trend.

IT majors on hiring overdrive
From the quarter ended March 31, 2010 to the one ended Dec 31, 2010, the top 5 IT majors in India clocked 1,14,038 net additions in terms of headcount.


Saina Nehwal is world number three again
Riding on her Swiss Open triumph, ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has regained the number three place in the latest world ranking.

Ponting backs India to beat Pakistan in semifinal
Ricky Ponting predicted that India would beat Pakistan in the World Cup semifinal and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men are the strong favourites to win the Cup.


Shah Rukh Khan to do Dhoom 5?
Apparently there is a joke that goes amongst Shah Rukh Khan's close friend circle that if Shah Rukh Khan is ever approached to do Dhoom he will be game for it.

Salman, Malaika Arora: Not best friends!
Rumours have it that Salman and Malaika aren't very fond of each other, so much so that Malaika left him out of a polo match being organised by her mother.


Google Android Honeycomb gets delayed
Google Inc is delaying widespread access to the new version of its Android software, saying it has more work to do before the product is ready.

Beware, your Gmail page may be fake
Hackers from Iran are suspected of swiping authentication data from a US computer security firm in an attempt to impersonate popular Google or Yahoo sites.

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John, Forex Legends, FAPTURBO, are back with something INCREDIBLE!

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Dear Friends,

I need these papers.

Paper: The function of bleaching earths in the processing of palm, palm kernel and coconut oils : DOI: 10.1007/BF02541394

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Volume 62, Number 2292-299



Paper: Spectrophotometric determination of some antioxidants with potassium permanganate and metol 

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Paper: Effect of ascorbyl palmitate on the quality of frying fats for deep frying operations.  DOI: 10.1007/BF02541662

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Volume 62 Page:1666-1671.

Sincere thanks in advance

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Parijat Kanetkar

Senior Research Fellow (Biotechnology)

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World Bank Research E-Newsletter, March 2011: Disasters, Migration and More

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World Bank Research E-Newsletter, March 2011: Disasters, Migration and More
  • How Natural Disasters Affect Public Finances
  • Alternative Energy Sources Face Technological and Economic Challenges
  • Immigration Improved the Income Distribution of European Countries
  • Understanding the Impact of Migration on Food Security and Nutrition
  • The Rise of Large Farms: Do They Have a Future?
  • International Certification and Internet Use Linked to Success in Exports
  • Opportunities to Increase Rice Production in Africa
  • Biometric Identification Can Increase Loan Repayment Rates
  • A New Way to Look at Movements in and out of Poverty•
  • Media Access Affects Education by Changing Private Household Behavior, Not Holding Government Accountable
  • New Issue of The World Bank Research Digest
  • Announcement: The World Bank Releases Database on Conflict
  • From the Blogs
  • List of New Policy Research Working Papers

How Natural Disasters Affect Public Finances
As the world faces more natural catastrophes, such as droughts, earthquakes and wild fires, a new working paper by Martin Melecky and Claudio Raddatz systematically gauges their impact on the global gross domestic product and government expenditures and revenues. Drawing on data covering annual government finances in high- and middle-income countries from 1975 to 2008, the authors find that natural disasters drive down output and increase deficits, especially in the poorest middle-income countries. Indeed, while on average government deficits go up only after climate-related disasters, all events push up deficits in these countries. A country's debt level at the onset of disaster doesn't appear to affect the fiscal impact of the disaster. Rather, it seems to indicate good access to credit. Countries with higher financial development suffer less from disasters, but their deficits expand further. By contrast, the availability of private insurance reduces the impact of natural disasters on GDP without causing an increase in government spending. Thus, insurance penetration seems to offer the best ex-post mitigation approach against real and fiscal consequences of disasters, although a complete evaluation should also consider the costs associated with different alternatives.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5564

Alternative Energy Sources Face Technological and Economic Challenges
The transition to a low-carbon economy will likely be much more challenging than optimists have claimed, according to a new working paper by Ioannis Kessides and David C. Wade. Key requirements for sustainable energy-supply infrastructure include: abundance of the energy resource, a small carbon footprint and the ability to be scaled up to meet a large, absolute increase in the global demand for energy. Coal-fired generation meets the criteria of abundance of the energy source and scalability, but it carries a very large carbon footprint. Although renewable energy and nuclear power meet both the criteria of longevity and climate friendliness, their abilities vary in delivering energy at a scale needed to meet huge global energy demand. The low density of renewable resources to generate electricity, as well as the current intermittency of many renewables, means they have limited ability to achieve high rates of growth. A significant increase in global nuclear power deployment, meanwhile, could carry serious risks related to proliferation, safety and waste disposal. And, unlike renewable sources of energy, nuclear power is an unforgiving technology, because human lapses and errors can have catastrophic, irreversible ecological and social impacts.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5539

Immigration Improved the Income Distribution of European Countries
Contrary to popular beliefs, emigration -- not immigration -- negatively impacts the wages of natives in high-income countries, especially European countries, according to a new working paper by Frederic Docquier, Caglar zden and Giovanni Peri. Using a new dataset on migration flows by education level, the research shows immigration from 1990 to 2000 had a zero to positive effect on the average wages of natives, ranging from zero in Italy to +1.0 percent in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, emigration in the same period had a mild to negative effect, ranging from –0.1 percent in France to −0.8 percent in the U.K. In addition, immigration generally improved the income distribution of European countries while emigration worsened it by increasing the wage gap between the high and low-skilled non-migrant natives. These patterns hold true even when including undocumented immigrants and correcting for the quality of schooling and/or downgrading of skills in the destination labor markets. The authors say the main results are driven by the fact that both immigrants and emigrants during 1990-2000 were more educated than non-migrants.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5556

Understanding the Impact of Migration on Food Security and Nutrition
Migration and remittances in the developing world have increased dramatically in the last decade, just when more focus has been placed on reducing malnutrition to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. But little empirical evidence exists on the link between migration and nutrition. A special issue of Food Policy tries to fill that gap by analyzing the links between migration and nutrition in seven countries: China, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Tajikistan, Tonga, and Vietnam. The research finds migration is linked to improvements in child growth. It also boosts a households' ability to deal with adverse food-related shocks, although their dietary habits and time devoted to health and care activities may suffer.
 "Assessing the Impact of Migration on Food and Nutrition Security", edited by Alberto Zezza, Calogero Carletto, Benjamin Davis, and Paul Winters. Special issue of Food Policy36 (Issue 1): 1-100.

The Rise of Large Farms: Do They Have a Future?
Higher demand for agricultural products -- for food, feed, biofuel production and other uses -- has led to an increase in the number and size of large farms. This trend is notable in land-abundant countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia (mainly for the production of perennials), and recently, sub-Saharan Africa. In a new working paper, Klaus Deininger and Derek Byerlee offer a historical review of the growth of large farms and their impact. They investigate why owner-operated, small farm structures dominate and how they may evolve with development. The authors suggest that assessing the advantages of large operations, along with information about available resources, can help a country formulate an appropriate development strategy. A review of recent land-acquisition cases suggests that, for investments to provide economic and social benefits, the public sector needs to implement policies that allow contracts to be enforced and help local people negotiate and determine the desirability of investments. The research points to three priority areas (i) recognition of rights to, and proper valuation of, land; (ii) impact on the labor market, and technical, as well as economic, viability; and (iii) the ability to reallocate land flexibly in case an investment fails.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5588 | For this and other papers on agriculture and food prices, click this link

International Certification and Internet Use Linked to Success in Exports
Besides superior productivity, what factors drive success in exports? A new working paper by Esteban Ferro finds that certification by the International Standards Organization is the biggest factor, boosting the likelihood that a firm is an exporter by about 22 percent and the proportion of sales in foreign markets by 41 percent. Internet use is also important: firms are 11 percent more likely to be exporters if they use their Web site to communicate with clients and suppliers, and those using e-mail sell 31 percent more in foreign markets than exporting firms that do not. Other factors linked to exporting firms are size and foreign ownership, according to the research, which draws on data from the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys. The research is important because public export-assistance programs have generally focused on providing information about key export markets and educating firms about the importance of exporting. The study suggests that firms should also be encouraged to embrace international certifications and use the Internet.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5547

Opportunities to Increase Rice Production in Africa
Donors and governments have been reluctant to invest in large-scale irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa because of high investment costs and declining rice prices. It doesn't help that the performance of some large-scale gravity irrigation projects led by governments in Asia has been declining. But the conditions for growing irrigated rice have improved in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new working paper by Yuko Nakano, Ibrahim Bamba, Aliou Diagne, Keijiro Otsuka, and Kei Kajisa. The price of rice has risen, and reforms in African countries have changed the institutional and policy environment for growing rice in large irrigation schemes. There are attractive opportunities to raise the productivity of rice, which requires adequate irrigation, chemical fertilizers and labor. Currently, chemical fertilizer is expensive, especially in Uganda and Mozambique. In addition, farmers often have unreliable access to water, which is required for both fertilizers and irrigation. In large irrigation schemes in four Sahelian countries of West Africa's Sahel region, which offers easy access to water, rice farmers achieve attractive yields when they have governmental and non-governmental support for chemical fertilizer. In places where wage rates are high, mechanization can help. Improved access to credit can facilitate the purchase of fertilizer or the hiring of labor. The research draws on household survey data from a variety of large-scale irrigation schemes in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5560

Biometric Identification Can Increase Loan Repayment Rates
In countries that lack a unique personal identification system, identity fraud, which allows defaulted borrowers to obtain a new loan, is so common that lenders tend to restrict the supply of credit. A field experiment in rural Malawi -- the first randomized trial of its kind -- shows that repayment rates are much higher among fingerprinted loan applicants, according to a new working paper by Xavier Gine, Jessica Goldberg and Dean Yang. That is particularly true among borrowers with higher ex-ante default risk, because biometric technology makes it easier to deny credit access to those who previously defaulted. The payment rates are pushed higher by two factors: a reduction in adverse selection (fingerprinted high-risk borrowers took out smaller loans) and lower moral hazard (fingerprinted borrowers diverted less of the loan from its intended purpose). A cost-benefit analysis of the pilot experiment suggests that the benefits greatly outweigh the costs of equipment and fingerprint collection.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5438

A New Way to Look at Movements in and out of Poverty
It is widely believed that the poor frequently dip in and out of poverty, but panel data, which track the same households or individuals over time, are hard to come by in developing countries. In a new working paper, Peter Lanjouw, Jill Luoto and David McKenzie find a new way to track these movements using multiple years of cross-sectional household surveys. To study poverty duration and mobility, the method develops pseudo-panels, which track individuals of the same characteristics, rather than tracking the exact same individuals. The method, at best, offers insights into approximate bounds of mobility. But the authors show that under ideal circumstances, these bounds can be made narrow enough to yield useful insights. The paper uses samples from multiple years of cross-sectional household surveys for Vietnam and Indonesia, and then compares the findings to real panel estimates. The results are encouraging, which suggests that the method can offer some basic insights into mobility and poverty duration in places that historically lack the data necessary to conduct such analysis.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5550

Media Access Affects Education by Changing Private Household Behavior, Not Holding Government Accountable
Donors have long supported greater citizen access to mass media to improve government accountability. A natural experiment in Benin shows for the first time that media access affects public services, but by changing household behavior, not by holding governments accountable, according to a new working paper by Philip Keefer and Stuti Khemani. The research draws on data from a March 2009 survey, which covers more than 4,000 households and 210 villages, as well as a literacy test given to 2,100 second-graders, in 32 of the 77 communes in Benin. The authors focus on noncommercial, community radio stations, which are more likely to broadcast public health and education information. In fact, literacy rates were higher in villages receiving signals from a larger number of stations. If community radio had increased accountability, those villages should have seen higher government investment in their schools, and households should have known more about the government's education policies. But this wasn't the case. Instead, community radio exposure encouraged households to invest financially in their children's education. If media access alone doesn't influence education outcomes through greater government accountability, we need to better understand interventions that can.
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5559

New Issue of The World Bank Research Digest
This quarter's issue of the Research Digest discusses: 1) Growth and development at the center of the G-20 agenda; 2) food price inflation in South Asia; 3) the possibilities and limits of a saving-based growth agenda in Egypt; 4) how easier access to HIV/AIDS treatment can affect perceptions of risk and behavior; 5) new ways of thinking about investment climate; 6) lessons on bank regulation from the financial crisis.
The World Bank Research Digest (Winter 2011)


The World Bank Releases Database on Conflict

The World Bank, which will publish The 2011 World Development Report: Conflict, Security, and Development in April, has built a database covering civil wars, homicides, terrorism, and trafficking. It also includes data on socio-economics, demographics and politics. The database includes more than 300 variables in one place, available online through the World Bank's open-data initiative Until now, such data were dispersed. The database is also available here in a user-friendly bubble chart.


Gender Equality and the 2012 World Development Report (Let's Talk Development blog, World Bank)

"Equality between men and women matters for development, which is why the 2012 World Development Report (WDR) will focus on this vital topic. Since the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day is March 8, we thought it an auspicious day to launch the WDR 2012 website.

Gender was chosen as the focus for next year's WDR in part because gender equality can lead to better development outcomes and because, as Amartya Sen asserted, development is a process of expanding freedoms equally for all individuals. This view assumes that gender equality is a core goal in and of itself and that people's welfare shouldn't be determined by their birthplace or whether they were born male or female."

Read the entire post by World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin.

Do We Need Big Banks? (VoxEU blog)

"Today's big banks are enormous. By 2008, 12 banks worldwide had liabilities exceeding $1 trillion. This column, using data on banks from 80 countries over the years 1991-2009, provides new evidence on how large banks differ in terms of their risk and return outcomes, and investigates how market perceptions of bank risk are affected by bank size. It concludes that policies should reward bank managers for keeping their banks safe rather than for making them big."

Read the entire blog co-authored by Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, senior research manager of finance and the private sector in the World Bank's Development Research Group and Chief Economist of the Financial and Private Sector Development Network.

The Wealth of African Nations (Africa Can…End Poverty blog, World Bank)

"The big story is that, from 1995 to 2005, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa grew their total wealth faster than the world average -- a major African success story.

The Changing Wealth of Nations presents comprehensive wealth accounts, including produced, natural and intangible wealth (an amalgam of human and institutional capital) for over 120 countries. Aggregate natural wealth in Africa, including agricultural land, forests, minerals and energy, is twice as large as produced wealth, while intangible wealth (human and institutional capital) dominates in Africa, as in most countries of the world.

Since natural wealth is important for Africa, how have the fourteen extractive economies where mineral and energy rents exceed 5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008 fared? Comparing gross domestic saving with a measure of saving adjusted to reflect dividend payments abroad and depletion of natural resources, we see that wealth creation has been sharply negative in these countries from 1990 to 2008."

Read the entire post by Kirk Hamilton, a lead economist in the World Bank's Development Research Group and co-author of The Changing Wealth of Nations.


5575. Chronic Diseases and Labor Market Outcomes in Egypt by Lorenzo Rocco, Kimie Tanabe, Marc Suhrcke, and Elena Fumagalli
5576. Do We Need Big Banks? Evidence on Performance, Strategy and Market Discipline by Asli Demirguc-Kunt and Harry Huizinga
5577. Petroleum Subsidies in Yemen: Leveraging Reform for Development by Clemens Breisinger, Wilfried Engelke, and Olivier Ecker
5578. Primary Commodity Prices: Co-movements, Common Factors and Fundamentals by Joseph P. Byrne, Giorgio Fazio, and Norbert Fiess
5579. How Does Public Information on Central Bank Intervention Strategies Affect Exchange Rate Volatility? The Case of Peru by B. Gabriela Mundaca
5580. On Multidimensional Indices of Poverty by Martin Ravallion
5581. Trade Integration as a Way Forward for the Arab World: A Regional Agenda by Jean-Pierre Chauffour
5582. Risk-Coping through Sexual Networks: Evidence from Client Transfers in Kenya by Jonathan Robinson and Ethan Yeh
5583. How Do Special Economic Zones and Industrial Clusters Drive China's Rapid Development? by Douglas Zhihua Zeng
5584. Using the Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition Technique to Analyze Learning Outcomes Changes over Time: An Application to Indonesia's Results in PISA Mathematics by Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Vicente Garcia-Moreno, Harry Anthony Patrinos, and Emilio Porta
5585. The Impact of Export Tax Incentives on Export Performance: Evidence from the Automotive Sector in South Africa by Dorsati H. Madani and Natalia Mas-Guix
5586. Information Asymmetries and Institutional Investor Mandates by Tatiana Didier
5587. Laws for Fiscal Responsibility for Subnational Discipline: International Experience by Lili Liu and Steven B. Webb
5588. The Rise of Large Farms in Land Abundant Countries: Do they have a future? by Klaus Deininger and Derek Byerlee
5589. Was growth in Egypt between 2005 and 2008 pro-poor? From static to dynamic poverty profile by Daniela Marotta, Ruslan Yemtsov, Heba El-Laithy, Hala Abou-Ali, Sherine Al-Shawarby
5590. Over the Hedge: Exchange Rate Volatility, Commodity Price Correlations, and the Structure of Trade by Claudio Raddatz
5591. Impacts of International Migration and Remittances on Child Outcomes and Labor Supply in Indonesia: How Does Gender Matter? by Trang Nguyen and Ririn Purnamasari
5592. Finding a Balance between Growth and Vulnerability Trade-Offs -- Lessons from Emerging Europe and the CIS by Swati Ghosh, Naotaka Sugawara, and Juan Zalduendo
5593. Exchange Rate uncertainty and Optimal Participation in International Trade by Gabriela Mundaca
5594. Cote d'Ivoire's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective by Vivien Foster and Nataliya Pushak
5595. Ethiopia's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective by Vivien Foster and Elvira Morella
5596. Kenya's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective by Cecilia M. Briceno-Garmendia and Maria Shkaratan
5597. Liberia's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective by Vivien Foster and Nataliya Pushak
5598. Malawi's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective by Vivien Foster and Maria Shkaratan
5599. Zambia's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective by Vivien Foster and Carolina Dominguez
5600. Ghana's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective by Vivien Foster and Nataliya Pushak.
5601. A Practical Comparison of the Bivariate Probit and Linear IV Estimators by Richard C. Chiburis, Jishnu Das, and Michael Lokshin
5602. The Democratic Republic of Congo's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective by Vivien Foster and Daniel Alberto Benitez
5603. Would Freeing Up World Trade Reduce Poverty and Inequality? The Vexed Role of Agricultural Distortions by Kym Anderson, John Cockburn, and Will Martin
5604. Food Insecurity and Public Agricultural Spending in Bolivia: Putting Money Where Your Mouth Is? by Jose Cuesta, Svetlana Edmeades, and Lucia Madrigal
5605. Sudden Stops and Financial Frictions: Evidence from Industry Level Data by Kevin Cowan and Claudio Raddatz
5606. Service Export Sophistication and Economic Growth by Saurabh Mishra, Susanna Lundstrom, and Rahul Anand


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