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On Planning for development in an urban world

Urban Development and Economics - Supplementary Digital Study Pack
Academic Year 2013/2014:
From Finance & Development, September 2013, Vol. 50, No. 3
Beyond the Household
Remittances that migrants send home to their families also have a major impact on the overall economy
Ralph Chami and Connel Fullenkamp

Remittances—private income transfers from migrants to family members in their home country— are good news for the families that receive them. Often sent a few hundred dollars at a time, the remittances increase disposable income and are generally spent on consumption—of food, clothing, medicine, shelter, and electronic equipment. They have been growing for decades (see Chart 1). Remittances help lift huge numbers of people out of poverty by enabling them to consume more than they could otherwise (Abdih, Barajas, and others, 2012). They also tend to help the recipients maintain a higher level of consumption during economic adversity (Chami, Hakura, and Montiel, 2012). Recent studies report that these flows allow households to work less, take on risky projects they would avoid if they did not receive this additional source of income, or invest in the education and health care of the household. In other words, remittances are a boon for households.But...

Capital Risk Flight

Rabah Arezki, Gregoire Rota-Graziosi, and Lemma W. Senbet
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, widely considered among the world’s richest countries in terms of mineral deposits, also regularly sits high on various lists of the world’s poorest countries. Each year, it loses billions of dollars in tax revenue as wealthy individuals and multinational corporations take advantage of weak tax legislation and enforcement to funnel profits abroad, including to foreign financial centers. A similar situation plays out repeatedly in many countries in Africa and other parts of the world.

Closer to home

Hideaki Hirata, M. Ayhan Kose, and Christopher Otrok
Despite all the talk of globalization, business cycles seem to be becoming more regional.
The inexorable forces of globalization and regionalization have reshaped the world economic landscape over the past quarter century. While international trade flows have been growing at a much faster rate than global output, trade flows within regions of countries have been playing an even more prominent role in world trade. Economic linkages within regions have also become much stronger with the proliferation of regional trade agreements. Moreover, while the volume of global financial flows has reached unprecedented levels since the mid-1980s, overshadowing the increase in global trade over the same period, financial flows within regions have also been on the rise for the past 15 years, especially in Europe and Asia.

Academic Year 2012/2013:
The State of World Cities 2012/2013
Prosperity for cities

This is a time of crises. This is also a time for solutions. Indeed, the world is currently engulfed in waves of financial, economic, environmental, social and political crises. Amidstthe turmoil, however, we are also witnessing valiantand creative attempts at different levels and by different actors to seek for solutions. The State of the World’s Cities Report 2012 presents, with compelling evidence, some of the underlying factors behind these crises that have strongly impacted on cities. It shows that a lopsided focus on purely financial prosperity has led to growing inequalities between rich and poor, generated serious distortions in the form and functionality of cities, also causing serious damage to the environment – not to mention the unleashing of precarious financial systems that could not be sustained in the long run.

Academic Year 2011/2012:
Locating cities on global circuits
By Saskia Sassen
This paper discusses the cities that have the resources which enable firms and markets to be global. It considers the new intensity and complexity of globally-connected systems of production, finance and management which may disperse production, yet need (relatively few) networks of cities to provide their organizational and management architecture. This produces new geographies and hierarchies of centrality - particular cities and regions that have key roles in globalization. Many such cities become far more closely linked to the global economy than to their regional or national economies - and this can have harsh consequences locally, pushing out firms and people that are not within the internationalized sector. The paper discusses why certain cities retain such importance, when production is so dispersed and when telecommunications and rapid transport systems have limited the advantages of spatial concentration. It also considers the dependence of global cities on each other; a crisis in one key centre often brings problems rather than opportunities for others.
Cities in a globalizing world: from engines of growth to agents of change
- By Willem van Vliet
This paper describes the key role that city authorities and their civil societies should play in mediating the relationship between economic globalization and human development so that cities act not only as engines of growth but also as agents for greater social justice and environmental sustainability. In a globalizing and urbanizing world, urban governments have a much more important role in guaranteeing that citizen needs are met and citizen rights are respected. This is not a conventional public-sector-led, professionally determined role but one more rooted in participatory democracy and partnerships with citizens, both to redress the limits of market mechanisms and to ensure urban livability.
Globalization and social exclusion in cities: framing the debate with lessons from Africa and Asia
- By Jo Beall
This paper considers the contradictory roles demanded of city governments as they seek to keep their cities competitive in an increasingly globalized world economy while also having increasing responsibilities for addressing social problems, and making local economic development less exclusionary. After reviewing debates on globalization, social exclusion and their interconnections, the paper discusses the impact of globalization on the sweepers in Faisalabad (Pakistan) and on livelihoods in Johannesburg. In Johannesburg, the new socially excluded are those who are superfluous to the requirements of the global economy and Johannesburg's position within it. Exclusionary processes associated with globalization (including changes in the international division of labour) graft themselves onto local dynamics of social exclusion. The scope for government action at national and city level is also reduced by the downsizing of governments, and liberalization, privatization and deregulation.

Academic Year 2010/2011:
Working Paper No. 2010/30 - World Institute for Development Research
The Face of Urban Poverty Explaining the Prevalence of Slums in Developing Countries
Ben C. Arimah - March 2010
"One of the most visible and enduring manifestations of urban poverty in developing countries is the formation and proliferation of slums. While attention has focused on the rapid pace of urbanization as the sole or major factor explaining the proliferation of slums and squatter settlements in developing countries, there are other factors whose impacts are not known with much degree of certainty. It is also not clear how the effects of these factors vary across regions of the developing world. This paper accounts for differences in the prevalence of slums among developing countries using data drawn from the recent global assessment of slums undertaken by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. The empirical analysis identifies substantial inter-country variations in the incidence of slums both within and across the regions of Africa, Asia as well as, Latin America and the Caribbean. Further analysis indicates that higher GDP…"
U.K. House of Commons
International Development Committee
Urbanisation and Poverty
Volume I - 2009

Some of DFID’s work to address urban poverty is impressive and is making a noticeable contribution towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal 7 target on slum upgrading. However, the Department needs to sharpen and refine its approaches to urban poverty. The last five years have seen rapid urbanisation, almost all of it within developing countries, yet DFID—along with other donors—has downgraded its support to urban development over this period. This process should be reversed.

The Department overwhelmingly focuses its efforts to address urban poverty in Asian, rather than African, countries. This balance needs to be redressed. Africa is the world’s fastest urbanising region and it has the highest proportion of slum dwellers. Without a new and comprehensive approach to urban development in Africa, a number of cities could face a humanitarian crisis in as little as five years’ time, given the huge expansion of their urban populations. Addressing urban poverty offers the opportunity to tackle wider development issues such as: unemployment and crime; social exclusion; population growth; and climate change and the environment.

Academic Year 2009/2010:
From International Labour Organization

Labour Shares - Technical Brief No. 01, 2007

In most regions of the world, the share of national income that goes to labour has been declining over the past two or three decades.
This coincides with the advent of the latest wave of globalization, and several studies provide evidence that globalization has contributed to the decline in labour shares.
Several aspects of globalization, and in particular financial openness and financial crises, have a detrimental impact on labour incomes.
The downward trend indicates that either wages or employment creation in the formal sector have not kept pace with economic growth during globalization, or that a combination of both occurred.
A falling labour share is thus the mirror-image of slow wage growth and low employment elasticities. It is consistent with the finding that economic growth does not create jobs at the rate it used to, and that income gains for workers have often not kept pace with growth.
Moreover, a shift of incomes away from labour and towards capital has contributed to rising inequality.
To make globalization fair, it is important to reverse the shift of factor shares and to increase the share of national incomes that accrues to labour.

Measuring Labor's Share - By Alan B. Krueger, 1999
Getting Income Shares Right - By Douglas Gollin, 2002
Re-measuring Labor's Share - By Andrew T. Young and Hernando Zuleta, 2008
Getting income shares right: a panel data investigation for OECD countries - By Aamer S. Abu-Qarn and Suleiman Abu-Bader, 2007

UN: World Economic Situation and Prospects

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010
The global economy is on the mend …
The world economy is on the mend. After a sharp, broad and synchronized global downturn in late 2008 and early 2009, an increasing number of countries have registered positive quarterly growth of gross domestic product (GDP), along with a notable recovery in international trade and global industrial production. World equity markets have also rebounded and risk premiums on borrowing have fallen.
… but recovery is fragile
World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009
It was never meant to happen again, but the world economy is now mired in the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. In little over a year, the mid-2007 subprime mortgage debacle in the United States of America has developed into a global financial crisis and started to move the global economy into a recession. Aggressive monetary policy action in the United States and massive liquidity injections by the central banks of the major developed countries were unable to avert this crisis. Several major financial institutions in the United States and Europe have failed, and stock market and commodity prices have collapsed and become highly volatile. Interbank lending in most developed countries has come to a virtual standstill, and the spread between the interest rate on interbank loans and treasury bills has surged to the highest level in decades. Retail businesses and industrial firms, both large and small, are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain credit as banks have become reluctant to lend, even to long-time customers. In October 2008, the financial crisis escalated further with sharp falls on stock markets in both developed and emerging economies. Many countries experienced their worst ever weekly sell off in equity markets

UN: World Economic and Social Situation
Global Economic Prospects and the Dev. Countries (GEPDC) (various years)
Global Development Finance (GDF) (various years)

Statistical Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
Data Center
Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific

Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2009
World Bank:
Africa Development Indicators(ADI) (various years)
Global Employment Trends and Related Reports
  1. Economic and Labour Market Analysis Department (EMP/ELM)
    1. Employment Trends (EMP/TRENDS)
    2. Policy Analysis and Research (EMP/ANALYSIS)
  2. Employment Policy Department (EMP/POLICY)
    1. Country Employment Policy (EMP/CEPOL)
    2. Employment-Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP)
  3. Job Creation and Enterprise Development Department (EMP/ENTERPRISE)
    1. Boosting Employment through Small Enterprise Development (EMP/SEED)
    2. Cooperatives (EMP/COOP)
    3. Multinational Enterprises (EMP/MULTI)
  4. Skills and Employability Department (EMP/SKILLS)
  5. ILO Programme on Crisis Response and Reconstruction (ILO/CRISIS)
  6. Social Finance

International Trade Statistics (ITS) (various years)


Supplementary Digital Study Packs
for modules taught by Róbinson Rojas at

1) Development Planning Unit (UCL):
--- Managing and Planning for Development:
----International and National Dimensions

--- Urban Development and Economics

2) Education for Sustainability Programme
--- Local and Global with a focus on NGO education
--- Theories and Perspectives on Environment and

Presentation L1 - Workshop L1
Presentation L2 - Workshop L2
Presentation L3 - Workshop L3
Presentation L4 - Presentation L5
Presentation L6 - Presentation L7
Presentation L8 - Presentation L9
Presentation L10

From the IMF: Back to Basics
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On Capitalist Economic and Political Terrorism

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The murder of Allende
Puro Chile. The Memory of the People

Project for the First People's Century

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Back to Global Economic Prospects for Developing Countries

UNCTAD areas of work:
Globalization and Development
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