8 June 2011

GLOBALIZATION, BRAIN DRAIN AND DEVELOPMENT. By Frederic Docquier and Hillel Rapoport at the Center for International Development at Harvard University (March 2011). This paper reviews four decades of economics research on the brain drain, with the authors focusing on its connection to development and recent contributions on the subject. They first assess the magnitude, intensity and determinants of the brain drain, showing that brain drain (or high-skill) migration is becoming the dominant pattern of international migration and a major aspect of globalisation. The authors then use a stylised growth model to analyse the various channels through which a brain drain affects the sending countries. Their findings suggest that high-skill emigration need not deplete a country's human capital stock and can generate positive network externalities. The paper can be accessed here.

PRECAUTIONARY SAVINGS AND GLOBAL IMBALANCES IN WORLD GENERAL EQUILIBRIUM. By Damiano Sandri at the International Monetary Fund (1 June 2011). In this paper, the author assesses the implications of precautionary savings for global imbalances by considering a world economy model composed by the US, the Euro Area, Japan, China, oil-exporting countries, and the rest of the world. These areas are assumed by the author to differ only with respect to gross domestic product (GDP) volatility, which is calibrated based on the 1980-2008 period. The model he uses predicts a wide dispersion in net foreign asset positions (NFA), with the highly volatile oil-exporting countries accumulating very large asset holdings. While heterogeneity in GDP volatility may lead to large imbalances in international investment positions, the author finds its impact on current accounts to be much weaker. He concludes that this is because countries are expected to move towards their optimal (NFA) at a very slow pace. The paper is available on the IMF website.

SHARED VALUE, SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. By Emma Wilson and Judy Kuszewski at the International Institute for Environment and Development (April 2011). High prices and concerns about energy security in the oil and gas industry are driving expansion into ever more sensitive environments with greater technological, political and social risks, say the authors. While brands such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil are well known, this paper finds that some 70 percent of oil and gas industry activities are typically contracted out to service providers and their subcontractors. The fallout from the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster cast a spotlight on alleged systemic failures and ongoing difficulties in contracting relationships. As the governments of oil producing countries - from Nigeria to Kazakhstan to Venezuela - seek to take greater control of their oil and gas resources, there are pressures to expand the role of local businesses in contractor chains . This paper draws on three years of research and interviews within the oil and gas sector to highlight an array of critical challenges facing those companies involved in complex supply chains, and to identify urgent and longer-term actions for progress. The paper is available for download from the IIED website.

THE TRANS-PACIFIC STRATEGIC ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT: A LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE. Written by Sebastián Herreros and published by United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) (March 2011). In a detailed examination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), this paper finds that for the current two Latin American participants (Chile and Peru), as well as for other prospective candidates, the TPP offers the possibility of strengthening their trade and investment links with Asia Pacific, the world's most economically dynamic region. However, the author finds that, given the current set of participants, the negotiations offer both Chile and Peru little in terms of improved market access. Moreover, the talks are characterised by uncertainty as to their content, architecture and membership, as well as by risks such as having to make new concessions in sensitive areas like intellectual property and investment. Overall, it concludes, the success prospects of the TPP negotiations depend largely on how the trade policy environment in the US evolves during 2011. The entire paper can be viewed here.

A POCKET GUIDE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOVERNANCE. Published by the Rio+20 Stakeholder Forum and Commonwealth Secretariat (2011). This guide was initiated by the Stakeholder Forum and the Commonwealth Secretariat in response to the perceived ‘knowledge gap' on the history and dynamics of global governance for sustainable development. As the ‘institutional framework for sustainable development' has been Development (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012), the guide hopes to provide the necessary background information on global sustainable development governance to allow both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the key issues more comprehensively. The guide is open to public comment through July 2011 and can be found online here.

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1 June 2011
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