Economic Development

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Snapshot,
Sheba Saeed

In South Asia, few beggars work alone. They usually wind up attached to a network, either willingly or not. These networks are of often referred to as a “begging mafia,” perhaps because vulnerable adults and children living on the fringes of society are recruited to beg on the streets and give their earnings to their alleged patrons.

Snapshot,
Seth Kaplan

Life in Nigeria's largest city is changing for the better, offering a potential lesson for struggling states looking to stage a turnaround: mayors and city councils are more likely to embrace positive change than legislatures and presidents -- and far more quickly and effectively.

Interview, SEPT/OCT 2014
Jim Yong Kim

The World Bank's president talks to Foreign Affairs about fighting inequality, his reform program, and who should succeed him.

Snapshot,
Pamela K. Starr and Michael C. Camuñez

It is not an exaggeration to call Mexico’s recent energy reform revolutionary. It will break the monopoly of Pemex, the state-owned petroleum company, and allow foreign private investment in almost every corner of the Mexican energy market. Such a reform promises to revive the Mexican oil industry.

Snapshot,
Surupa Gupta and Sumit Ganguly

India's farmers hold enormous sway over New Delhi's policymaking. Narendra Modi may have come to power as a free-market reformer, but the fear of being portrayed as anti-farmer has led him to block a trademark WTO deal that India had previously approved. 

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan

Most economists agree that the global economy is stagnating and that governments need to stimulate growth, but lowering interest rates still further could spur a damaging cycle of booms and busts. Instead, central banks should hand consumers cash directly.

Snapshot,
Halil Karaveli

Erdogan will likely win this weekend's presidential election. But the foundations of his power are unstable. His policies will eventually put him at odds with some of his most important backers: Istanbul-based big business and the religiously conservative business community in Turkey’s heartland, Anatolia. Indeed, they already have.

Snapshot,
Deborah M. Lehr and Leigh Wedell

In early June, Chinese president Xi Jinping deployed eight SWAT-like inspection teams across China to ensure that local officials were meeting his new environmental targets. The teams submitted a 1,000-page report with a simple conclusion: local leaders, looking out for their own financial interests, were consistently ignoring directives from Beijing.

Snapshot,
Johannes Haushofer

Poverty has psychological consequences, including stress, sadness, and anger, which may create a trap that keeps people mired in destitution. To make aid more effective, then, donors and policymakers should start considering whether their programs address mental as well as physical well-being.

Letter From,
Dorn Townsend

Afghanistan seems to be holding its breath. Business has ground to a halt and middle-class Afghans are eyeing foreign escape routes as they send their money out of the country. The sense of uncertainly is not just about who will be the next president, or whether the loser will accept the result. It’s about the precarious economy.

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