Articles

A New Mission for the World Bank

WASHINGTON, DC – The Green Revolution is considered one of the great successes in the history of economic development. In the 1960s and 1970s, the creation and adoption of high-yielding cereal varieties transformed the Indian economy and saved billions of people from starvation throughout much of the developing world.

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Getting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Right

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Congress has now given President Barack Obama so-called fast-track negotiating authority to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the proposed mega-regional free-trade agreement among the US and 11 other countries. But Obama’s victory was not an easy one: Members of his own Democratic Party overwhelmingly opposed fast-track authority, which limits Congress to a single up-or-down vote on finished trade agreements, thereby ruling out amendments. The fast-track measure, officially known as Trade Promotion Authority, passed only because Obama was able to rely on rare backing from the Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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The QE Placebo

BRUSSELS – It has now been nearly half a year since the European Central Bank declared its intention to buy some €1.1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) worth of eurozone bonds. When it first announced the so-called “extended asset-purchase program” in January, the ECB emphasized that it was only expanding an existing program, under which it had been buying modest quantities of private-sector bonds, to cover government paper. But this pretense of continuity was just that: a pretense.

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The Good-Governance Trap

ROME – Development and improved governance have tended to go hand in hand. But, contrary to popular belief, there is little evidence that success in implementing governance reforms leads to more rapid and inclusive economic and social development. In fact, it may be the other way around.

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Food in the Age of Biofuels

ROME – Over the past several years, biofuels have become a bone of contention. For some, a renewable energy source produced from organic matter amounts to a magic wand in the fight against climate change. But others view biofuels as an existential threat, because the plants used to create them compete for agricultural land and water that would otherwise be used to grow food.

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