Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics by Boris Pleskovic, Nicholas Stern

By Boris Pleskovic, Nicholas Stern

The yearly global financial institution convention on improvement Economics (ABCDE) brings jointly the world's top students and improvement practitioners for a full of life debate on cutting-edge pondering in improvement coverage and the results for the worldwide financial system. The thirteenth convention handled vital and debatable topics in improvement: globalization and inequality, with Daniel Cohen, Richard N. Cooper, Kevin H. O'Rourke, and Anthony J. Venables; and wellbeing and fitness and improvement, and Anne Case, Jean O. Lanjouw, Tomas Philipson and Rodrigo R. Soares, and Morten Rostrup. James D. Wolfensohn and Nicholas Stern additionally speak about the convention.

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In recent years the Bank has moved from barely being able to mention corruption to undertaking a major effort in research and programmatic lending on this issue. Surely, little or no research is needed to learn that corruption is a major impediment to both domestic and foreign investment. In many countries the age-old problem is the herculean task of cleaning out the public stables. In this, surely research can help. Tolstoy tells us that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Each country with a corruption problem, too, seems to have its own story to tell.

We have learned much about what works and what does not in economic development. We have learned much, too, in recent years about how to catalyze and support reforms most effectively. We have already begun to build this knowledge into our work. But there remains much that we still have to learn about the investment climate and empowerment and about how to foster change. What I have described is, in many ways, only a structuring of the agenda. Our work should build on the understanding of the two-pillar approach that itself has emerged from the research of the past few years.

The post-1945 recovery has been uneven, however, with some dimensions of integration remaining undeveloped relative to 1913 and with some countries participating less fully in the recovery than others. Total world inequality has been on the rise since 1820, driven entirely by a rise in between-country inequality. However, recent evidence suggests that there may have been a historic turning point around 1980, with between-country divergence being replaced by convergence. Broadly speaking, in the late 19th century both trade and migration (but not capital flows) made the rich New World more unequal and the (less rich) Old World more equal.

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