Development

Peter Holmes, Julia Magntorn Garrett, Jim Rollo, 15 October 2020

The global economy appears to be shifting from a rules-based to a power-based trading system. This column argues that a high degree of coherence in the values projected by its member states can help the EU harness its soft power to promote its policy objectives externally. Using a similarity index to explore the coherence of trade-related aid objectives between the institutions of the EU and four key member states, it finds what the authors call a ‘positive complementarity’, whereby EU institutions and the member states currently promote similar but not identical aims.

Valentin Lang, David Mihalyi, Andrea Presbitero, 14 October 2020

To mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the international community has endorsed a programme suspending debt service payments for poor countries. This column shows that the programme has led to a substantial decrease in sovereign borrowing costs by providing liquidity. Importantly, the results do not lend support to the widespread concern that such debt relief could generate stigma and signal debt sustainability concerns.   

Valeria Rueda, 09 October 2020

Some ethnic groups are active in African politics, and some are not. Valeria Rueda tells Tim Phillips the fascinating story of how two socioeconomic revolutions more than a century ago shaped post-colonial political power.

Karina Fernandez-Stark, Penny Bamber, Martin Walter, 07 October 2020

Driven by the two themes of digitalisation and green technologies, the COVID-19 economic recovery packages are expected to accelerate the arrival of the new age of copper. Stemming from green infrastructure development, the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and the long-anticipated roll out of 5G, a future copper boom offers producing countries a window of opportunity to harness greater benefits from their resources. This column examines current and future trends in copper supply and demand, and discusses the mechanisms for producers to increase their value capture within the sector.

Simeon Djankov, Edward Glaeser, Andrei Shleifer, 25 September 2020

In a world of limited public capacity, which rules and institutions that protect property rights have the largest impact on economic activity? This column addresses this question using a cross-section of 190 countries and focusing specifically on the distinction between the right of possession and the right of transfer in the context of urban land. It also documents worldwide improvements in the quality of institutions facilitating property transfer over time.

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