Economic Development: What Everyone Needs to Know (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780190688424

Marcelo M. Giugale
256 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
Aug 2017


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  • Clear and concise introduction to development for non-economists
  • Includes real-world, cutting-edge examples of development policy in action around the globe
  • Written by a practitioner of economic development with over twenty-five years of experience
  • Fully revised and updated second edition provides contemporary examples on economic development

There is much discussion about global poverty and the billions of people living with almost nothing. Why is it that governments, development banks, think-tanks, academics, NGOs and many others can't just fix the problem? Why is it that seemingly obvious reforms never happen? Why are prosperity and equity so elusive? 
The revised second edition of Economic Development: What Everyone Needs to Know® brings readers right into the trenches of development policies to show what practitioners are actually doing and explains the issues, dilemmas, options, frustrations and opportunities they face, day in and day out. In straightforward language and a question-and-answer format, Marcelo M. Giugale outlines the frontier of the development practice or, as he puts it, "...the point at which knowledge stops and ignorance begins." He takes readers from why it is so difficult to get governments to function, to the basic policies that economies need to work well, the powerful new tools for social assistance, and the challenges of inclusion, education, health, infrastructure, technology, data, and foreign aid. 
Giugale gives no definitive, universal answers. They don't really exist. Rather, he highlights what works, what doesn't, and what's promising. Drawing from examples across the world, his overall message is clear: economic development, and the poverty reduction that goes with it, have never been more possible for more countries.


Preface: Whom is this book for?
Overview: What Is Economic Development and What Does This Book Say about It?

Chapter 1: Governments: One Day, They Will Work for You 
Why Do Obvious Reforms Never Happen?
How Is the Relationship between the State and the Citizen Changing?
Why Should Governments Intervene in Markets?
Has Government Decentralization Worked?
Do We Really Care about Graft?
Why Can't We Stop Conflict?
Are Natural Resources a Curse?
What Are the Signs That a Country Is Managing Its Riches Well?

Chapter 2: Economic Policy: The Basics You've Got to Get Right 
Why Governments Struggle to Prop the World's Economy?
What Is Structural Reform?
What Are the G20 and Why Do They Matter for Development?
How Do Governments Regulate the Financial Sector?
Do the Fed's Decisions Matter for the Developing World?
What Do Europe's Woes Mean for the World's Poor?
How Do You Prepare for the Next Global Crisis?
Was the Commodity Bonanza Wasted?
Will Globalization End?
Why Does Growth Happen in Some Places and Not in Others?
Why Is It So Difficult to Agree on Tax Reform?
What Is the Global Tax War?

Chapter 3: Social Policy: Old War, New Weapons 
Why Did Piketty's Work Pique Our Sudden Interest in Inequality?
How Many People Live in Extreme Poverty?
How Can We Help the New Poor?
Can We End Poverty?
Is There a Way to Measure Human Opportunity?
Why Are Statistics So Important in Ending Poverty?
Do We Know the Real Impact of Government Interventions?
Can Cheap Oil Hurt the Poor?

Chapter 4: Inclusion: Those Who Are Always Left Behind 
Will We Ever Reach Gender Parity?
Has Globalization Helped or Hurt Women?
Impact Evaluation: A Woman's Best Friend?
How Did Average Housewives Become the Greatest Generation of Argentine Women?
Why Do the Poor Complain So Little?
Why Is Early Childhood Development So Difficult?
What Do We Know about Informal Workers?

Chapter 5: Sectors: What Ministers Will Worry about-or Should 
Can Governments Create Industries?
Does Foreign Investment Help You Join Global Value Chains?
Can You Innovate Your Way out of the Middle-Income Trap?
From Miami to Mumbai: What Makes Cities Competitive?
How Will Technology Shape the World of Tomorrow's Leaders?
How Will Tomorrow's Infrastructure Be Built?
How Green Should Economic Growth Be?
Is It Time to End Fuel Subsidies?
Can Emerging Economies Have Universal Health Coverage?
How Do You Measure the Economic Impact of Ebola?
Is There New Power in Entertainment Education?
How Do You Deal with Rising Food Prices?
What Are "Commodity Super-cycles," and Why Do They Matter?
How Do Oil-rich Governments Respond to Falling Oil Prices?
Should Foreign Aid Be Abandoned?
What's the Future of Foreign Aid?

Chapter 6: Africa: The Last Frontier 
Is Africa's Emergence for Real?
Can Africa Be Defragmented?
Can Africans Become Shareholders in their Own Wealth?
How Have the World's Newest Nations Fared?
Can Africa Compete with China?
Can Africa Follow China's Industrialization Path?
Can Services Drive Africa's Development?
Can Africa Feed Africa?
How Does One Fix Africa's Statistics?
Did Debt Forgiveness Work in Africa?
Concluding Thoughts


About the author: 

Marcelo M. Giugale is the Senior Economic Adviser at the World Bank Group. A development expert and writer, his twenty-five years of experience span Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin-America and the Middle-East. He received decorations from the governments of Bolivia and Peru, and taught at American University in Cairo, the London School of Economics, and Universidad Católica Argentina.

"Marcelo Giugale has written a book with a highly original style: it poses, and then answers, a series of questions, with fascinating examples on every page. Even more remarkable, it lives up to the ambitious goal proclaimed in its title: Economic Development - What Everyone Needs to Know®." - George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001

"Giugale has done a favor to all of us. This short and easy-to-read book tackles central questions about economic development, and provides answers based on the latest evidence but that, at the same time, are presented in simple language. If you want to understand why development economics is such a fascinating field, but want to by-pass economists' gobbledygook, read this book; you will enjoy it and learn a lot." - Santiago Levy, Vice-president for Sectors and Knowledge, Inter-American Development Bank

"Not many societies have managed to flourish. What's holding the rest back? Giugale gives us an insider's view from the very trenches of economic development. In a language that anyone can understand, and with examples that everyone would recognize, he explains why governments are struggling to unlock the forces of widespread prosperity. That is an invaluable contribution, especially for a world that seems to have lost its compass." - Edmund Phelps, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2006

"Economists have often done a bad job of explaining their policy views to the people they are trying to serve. As a consequence, policies that make technical sense fail to get popular support. This book provides an excellent bridge to bring readers to the frontier of policy making in economic development." - Dame Nemat Shafik, Director Designate, The London School of Economics

"Don't be fooled by the small size of this book: it is a tour de force and a masterpiece. Beyond its scope, breadth, and depth, it is a remarkable exposé on the state of knowledge on economic development."-Célestin Monga, Vice-President and Chief Economist, African Development Bank

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