poverty

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Reconstructing corruption to spur growth

What can history teach us about economic prosperity and the structure of a country’s corruption? As fresh elections have brought about a new leader, can Nigeria finally achieve prosperity and rise as a leading African power?

Measuring global poverty

Emily Vuong explores the use of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) as the latest measure of extreme economic inequality. Can it finally replace GDP per capita?

A Game of 'Productivity'

G.R.R. Martin’s fictional universe in A Game of Thrones evokes a number of economic phenomena found in many modern day economies. Specifically, the Seven Kingdoms (regions south of ‘The Wall’) is characterised by a dual economy, significant urban-rural wage differentials, widespread poverty and unemployment, underdeveloped infrastructure, low national savings, high debt, civil war and fiscal irresponsibility.
Collectively, these characteristics mirror many of the factors that constrain economic growth and productivity in contemporary developing economies.

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The problems (and promise) of microfinance

Just three decades ago, billions of people around the world were stuck in a trap. Faced with low incomes on the one hand and exploitative loan sharks the other, they could neither save for the future nor purchase the capital required to generate a living. This changed with the pioneering work of Mohammad Yunus in Bangladesh, and with the establishment of the Grameen Bank in 1983, microfinance was born. 

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Book Review: The Great Escape

The past two and a half centuries have witnessed the largest and most spectacular increase in human wellbeing in history. Economies accounting for the majority of the world’s population have grown exponentially, supporting rapid population expansions while raising material living standards. At the same time, life expectancy in most parts of the world has soared. A child born in sub-Saharan Africa today is more likely to live to the age of five than a child born in the UK just a century ago.
Angus Deaton, an economist at Princeton, gives a broad overview of both of these dimensions of progress, telling the intertwined stories of the economic and medical progress that have shaped the modern world. His thesis is largely positive: mankind has made significant progress raising its wellbeing.

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Can cash grants help reduce poverty?

1.2 billion people around the world, or roughly one in every six people, live in extreme poverty – defined as survival on less than $USD1.25 a day according to The World Bank. As a proportion of the global population, however, this number has fallen dramatically over the past few decades. The economic uprising of several key East Asian nations has resulted in over 700 million people, over the past twenty years, breaking free from extreme poverty. Organisations such as the UN have project further decreases in the years to come. Indeed, there are many political, economical, and environmental factors that contribute to the extreme impoverishment of individuals around the world and many argue that this is a deeply complex issue that we cannot afford to merely throw money at – or can we?

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USA: The United States of Africa – could and should it happen?

Two years ago, South Sudan became the newest independent nation in the world. It seceded from Sudan, after years of fiscal neglect and a lack of infrastructural development. Even today as a separate entity, the majority of the population is rural as well as poor and the economy is primarily reliant on agriculture. The South Sudanese government has had to relegate prosperity of their new country to the bottom of the priority list, as it fights a war with nomadic tribesmen in the Upper Nile and clashes with Sudanese troops in South Kordofan.

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