Work & Economic Growth

Articles, stories and news about work and economic growth.

A Caring Economy: What role for government?

This article by Duncan Green, strategic adviser for Oxfam GB and author of ‘From Poverty to Power’, explores the role governments can play in helping produce a fairer deal for women when it comes to care work. “In economics we are taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Even if something appears to be free, there are always costs – to you and/or society. What is striking is that mainstream economists fail to recognize that this applies just as much to the lunch that has been prepared out of love by your mother, as it does to the unappetising conference sandwiches that cost you your entire day at an academic seminar.” Read more from the article on Duncan Green’s blog “From Poverty to Power”.  

A Hindu-Muslim Friendship That Helped Shape How the World Measured Poverty

One half of a friendship: Amartya Sen, the renowned Indian economist and a Nobel Prize winner, at a meeting in Brazil, 2012.  They were two young men studying at Cambridge University when they met in the wake of the bloody Partition of British India. One was a Kashmiri-born Muslim and the other a Hindu-born Bengali. But the two, Mahbub ul Haq of Pakistan and Amartya Sen from India, soon formed an intellectual bond and deep friendship. “It was an autumn morning in early October 1953 and Mahbub — elegantly attired (indeed I would say, nattily dressed) — was walking rapidly down King’s Parade on his way to the first lecture of the term by the redoubtable economist Joan Robinson,” Sen recalled in 1998, speaking at a memorial service for Haq, who had died that year at 64. “I was also going ther...

Unpaid care and domestic work – a global challenge with local solutions

Read this very interesting blog by Clare Bishop, Senior Consultant for the OECD Policy Dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment, on OECD-Development Matters and learn more about the challenges of unpaid care and domestic work nowadays: https://oecd-development-matters.org/2018/03/14/unpaid-care-and-domestic-work-a-global-challenge-with-local-solutions/

Counting what counts in development

To most people, “development” is best measured by the quantity of change – like gains in average income, life expectancy, or years spent in school. The Human Development Index (HDI), a composite measure of national progress that my office at the United Nations Development Programme oversees, combines all three statistics to rank countries relative to one another. What many do not realize, however, is that such metrics, while useful, do not tell the entire story of development. In fact, to understand how developed a country is, we must also grasp how people’s lives are affected by progress. And to understand that, we must consider the quality of the change that is being reported. When statisticians compare countries, they require commensurate data. To compare school attendance, for example,...

Decent Work Opportunities Central to Achieving Inclusive Growth in Asia and the Pacific

The 2015 Human Development Report (HDR) considers major changes in the world of work, affecting when, how, and where people work. Technological progress, deepening globalization, aging societies and environmental challenges are transforming work, posing challenges to all societies and with deep implications for human development. The report urges societies to act now to prevent widening inequalities, emanating from these challenges. For Asia and the Pacific, a region that is home to two-thirds of the world’s working-age population, the availability and quality of work becomes central to ensuring the human development progress. In fact, as the report highlights, the region may have been experiencing fast growth and rapid human development, but not necessarily fast job creation. Unless actio...

Measuring Human Development in the Future

Each year, the Human Development Index (HDI), the signature index of the Human Development Reports (HDR), captures headlines across the globe, as countries track their progress in education, health and income. Although the HDI is not a comprehensive measure of human development, it is a broader assessment of human well-being and it shows how, human development measures have become a touchstone in assessing progress over the last 25 years. The HDI, which was introduced in the first Human Development Report (1990), has been pioneering in the field and remains one of the – if not the – most influential of indices in development debates. Other human development measures and indices have been progressively introduced to the reports. And today HDRs include a family of composite indices and indic...

Are people the drivers of change and development?

“We the peoples…” are the opening words of the UN Charter and UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has reiterated calls for people-centered development. But what do we actually mean by putting people at the center of development? What new approaches will it take to achieve ambitious global goals for 2030? Let me share three main ideas and one concrete example. With the significantly raised ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is consensus that we must go well beyond business as usual. Relatedly, UNDP’s Human Development Report 2016 ‘Human Development for Everyone’ underscores the importance of empowering people as change agents to realize their full potential. Thus, achieving breakthrough development progress requires new mindsets, thinking, and action...

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