WIDERAngle

Expert commentary from our network

Slow death or new direction for the UN?

by Mark Malloch-Brown
© UNITED NATIONS First Session of the United Nations General Assembly
For most of its 75-year existence, the United Nations has struggled to strike a balance between its lofty founding aspirations and realities on the ground. But in today's fast-changing geopolitical environment, the organization may be facing its biggest challenge yet. LONDON – For much of its life, the United Nations has hidden behind the comfortable maxim that, “If we didn’t have it, we would have to invent it.” Now at the venerable age of 75 (old enough to...

The global distribution of routine and non-routine work – and why we should we care about it

The nature of work is changing due to technological progress, globalization, and the rapidly expanding supply of college-educated workers. At a global level, these changes have induced a shift away from lower paying and less productive jobs with routine-intensive tasks toward higher paying and more productive jobs with more non-routine work. As a result, some analysts see hope for ‘global convergences’ — when lower-income countries catch up to their higher-income...

Headline data suggests low-income states are coping better with the pandemic than high-income states. But is this true?

by Rachel M. Gisselquist, Andrea Vaccaro
States with fragile state health systems have been commended for effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. But if we take into account factors such as favourable climate and the age structure of the population, the COVID-19 impact is, in fact, greater on states with weak institutions, explain Rachel M. Gisselquist and Andrea Vaccaro. A pandemic is precisely the sort of crisis in which effective state institutions should matter. Yet surprisingly, COVID-19 infections and deaths have been...

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Slow death or new direction for the UN?
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For most of its 75-year existence, the United Nations has struggled to strike a balance between its lofty founding aspirations and realities on the ground...

United Nations Annual lecture
Blog
Promoting industrialization in Africa: Global versus regional value chains

As COVID-19 ravages international trade and production, policy-makers are shifting their sights from global value chains (GVCs) to regional value chains (RVCs) as pathways to industrialization...

value chain directionality textiles apparel
Blog
Headline data suggests low-income states are coping better with the pandemic than high-income states. But is this true?

States with fragile state health systems have been commended for effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic...

COVID-19 Capable states state capacity
Blog
Changing the lives of very young children: Evidence from Rwanda

Globally, around 250 million children under the age of five do not meet key development milestones, which reduces their ability to reach their full potential...

Social mobility Human capital Cognitive ability
Research Brief
Monetary policy and firm size in South Africa November 2020

Small firms are more sensitive to changes in interest rates...

credit channel Firm heterogeneity Financial constraints
Research Brief
How can agro-processing value chains be developed to strengthen regional integration in Southern Africa? November 2020

Regional integration in Africa has potential for increasing regional trade and contribute towards industrialization and economic development...

Regional integration Agriculture Agro-processing
Policy Brief
Mining for change: How can natural resources support inclusive growth in Africa November 2020

For a growing number of countries in Africa the discovery of natural resources is a great opportunity, but one accompanied by considerable risks. There is an extensive literature linking natural resource dependence to poor economic performance...

Mining Extractive industries Industrial policy
Blog
The world needs a people’s vaccine

The world needs a people’s vaccine for COVID-19 — one provided universally, and accessible to the entire world population. A patent-protected vaccine could ultimately exclude many people from being vaccinated and protected...

COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine
Blog
35 years of research for change: Bringing inequality to the fore (1998-2020)

UNU-WIDER released the world’s first estimates of the global wealth distribution in 2007 – one result of a 2004 – 05 project, ‘ Personal Assets from a Global Perspective ’...

Global inequality Economic inequality
Research Brief
Are employees in Vietnamese SMEs compensated for working in unfavourable conditions? October 2020

It is important to understand how working conditions faced by workers in Vietnamese SMEs affect levels of compensation...

Vulnerability Working conditions Wage differentials
Research Brief
Economic transformation in Vietnam: SMEs and access to credit October 2020

During the last three decades Vietnam has undergone a considerable economic transformation. However, little research has considered the role that financial reform has played in the development of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs)...

Access to credit SME Vietnam
Blog
The global distribution of routine and non-routine work – and why we should we care about it

The nature of work is changing due to technological progress, globalization, and the rapidly expanding supply of college-educated workers...

Earnings inequality Global inequality labour dynamics
Blog
The WIID celebrates 20 years with a daring new plan

After 20 years of contributions to income inequality research, the World Income Inequality Database (the WIID) is getting a new expansion that will greatly strengthen knowledge on inequalities...

Global inequality
Research Brief
Wage inequality in post-apartheid South Africa October 2020

Much work has been done on inequality in South Africa, but to date the literature that assesses the dynamic response of income or wealth distribution to economic policy actions is almost non-existent...

Income inequality Distributions heterogeneity
Research Brief
Finding optimal solutions for efficient youth labour policies: What kind of firms employ young people in South Africa? October 2020

According to South Africa’s National Development Plan Vision 2030, serious action needs to be taken to reduce poverty and encourage economic growth...

Tax administration data Firm level Firm behaviour
Research Brief
Are credits or deductions better in public health spending?: The impact on equality in South Africa October 2020

The impact of medical deductions and medical credits on income inequality is a subject of discussion in South Africa, as well as in many other countries, raising critical questions about the fairness of the medical tax system and the impact on afford...

medical tax credit medical expenses tax deductions
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