Development Theory

World Bank Roller Coaster Press Release

Submitted by Jon on Fri, 09/28/2007 - 08:28

Carrot: "The World Bank has promised to contribute a record $3.5bn (£1.7bn) to help the world's poorest countries. The figure is double what the agency initially said it would give ..."

Carrot: "[Zoellick , World Bank President] also reduced the charges on loans to emerging countries, such as China, for the first time in nine years."

Going their own way

Submitted by Jon on Fri, 08/03/2007 - 11:41

The WaPo has an excellent story of the New Latin Left movement, which has reduced their dependence on IMF and Bank loans (and their requisite policy prescriptions and structural adjustments), with an overall reduction from $49 billion in loans from 2003 to $759 million in 2006.

Vatican vs Amnesty International

Submitted by Jon on Wed, 06/13/2007 - 19:29

The Vatican urges Catholics not to donate to Amnesty International (BBC):

The Vatican also said it was suspending all financial aid to Amnesty over what it said was the group's recent change of policy on the issue.

Amnesty said it was not promoting abortion as a universal right.

But the group said that women had a right to choose, particularly in cases of rape or incest.

World Bank and National Economic Models

Submitted by Jon on Fri, 10/27/2006 - 14:24

I got to attend a lecture by William Easterly on his new book, focusing on whether or not foreign aid can affect world poverty (spoiler: the past 5 decades don't give a very encouraging answer, but there are some possibilities). I can't recommend his books highly enough for people to get a good, independent, but very well argued critical perspective on the "Washington Consensus" model of development. I'm not going to repeat the majority of his points on accountability and feedback and such, as they're well-argued in his books.

Morality of Development

Submitted by Jon on Tue, 09/19/2006 - 18:17

Development, like politics, is a metaphorical room where you're amazed at just how many elephants can fit simultaneously, and yet be ignored. These elehpants are conjured through some central, unanswered questions. A former Bank employee friend of mine has a fine one, for example - ask any Bank defender how the incentive structure for determining loan recipient validity and reliability works when the loan agent is encouraged to issue loans, and the recipient doesn't have the option to default without serious global consequences.

Re-mapping development

Submitted by Jon on Fri, 05/12/2006 - 18:15

The WorldMapper remaps the globe according to various statistics gathered mostly by the Bank and the IMF. Particularly interesting are the maps for license fee exports and imports. You can very visually see some winners and losers.