With more than a billion people now living on less than a dollar a day, and with eight million dying each year because they are simply too poor to live, most would agree that the problem of global poverty is our greatest moral challenge. The large and pressing practical question is how best to address that challenge.
The debt crises in emerging market countries over the past decade have given rise to renewed debate about crisis prevention and resolution. In Debt Defaults and Lessons from a Decade of Crises, Federico Sturzenegger and Jeromin Zettelmeyer examine the facts, the economic theory, and the policy implications of sovereign debt crises. They present detailed case histories of the default and debt crises in seven emerging market countries between 1998 and 2005: Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Ecuador, Argentina, Moldova, and Uruguay.
Despite significant gains in promoting economic growth and living conditions (or "human progress") globally over the last twenty-five years, much of the developing world remains plagued by poverty and its attendant problems, including high rates of child mortality, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and war. In Growth and Empowerment, Nicholas Stern, Jean-Jacques Dethier, and F. Halsey Rogers propose a new strategy for development.
Over the past three decades the developing world has seen increasing devolution of political and economic power to local governments. Decentralization is considered an important element of participatory democracy and, along with privatization and deregulation, represents a substantial reduction in the authority of national governments over economic policy.
The determinants of economic growth and development are hotly debated among economists. Financial crises and failed transition experiments have highlighted the fact that functioning institutions are fundamental to the goal of achieving economic growth. The growth literature has seen an abundance of empirical studies on the influence of institutions and the mechanisms by which institutions affect development.
The question of convergence, or under what conditions the per capita income levels of developing countries can catch up to those found in advanced economies, is critical for understanding economic growth and development. Convergence has happened in many countries and appears to be taking place now in China and India--yet in general per capita income levels in the poorer countries do not converge towards those of richer countries as uniformly as the analytical models predict.
In this book Ernest Wilson provides a clear, nuanced analysis of the major transformations resulting from the global information revolution. He shows that the information revolution is rooted in societal dynamics, political interests, and social structure. Using the innovative Strategic ReStructuring (SRS) model, he uncovers links between the big changes taking place around the world and the local initiatives of individual information activists, especially in developing countries.
Since the mid-1990s, emerging market economies have been hit by dramatic highs and lows: lifted by large capital inflows, then plunged into chaos by constrained credit and out-of-control exchange rates. The conventional wisdom about such crises is strongly influenced by the experience of advanced economies.
Stanley Fischer served as First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 1994 to 2001. IMF Essays from a Time of Crisis collects sixteen essays written for the most part during his time at the IMF, each updated with Fischer's later reflections on the issues raised. The IMF drew much criticism for some of its actions during Fischer's tenure, and he vigorously defends the "battlefield medicine" practiced by the IMF during a series of economic crises, which included the problems of economic transition in the former Soviet bloc and the Asian financial crisis.
This wide-ranging review of some of the major issues in development economics focuses on the role of economic and political institutions. Drawing on the latest findings in institutional economics and political economy, Pranab Bardhan, a leader in the field of development economics, offers a relatively nontechnical discussion of current thinking on these issues from the viewpoint of poor countries, synthesizing recent research and reflecting on where we stand today.