The annual NORFACE migration conference at University College London this week has generated plenty of new research papers on the economics of international migration, a topic that of growing significance for students of globalisation, competitiveness, innovation and growth. Some of the key findings are summarised below together with external links to relevant articles and news reportsread more...»
A recent World Bank report asked ‘Where is the Wealth of Nations?’ Calculations presented at the Economic History Society’s 2013 annual conference show that for Britain, the answer is undoubtedly in its people.
Dr Jan Kunnas and his colleagues calculate that Britain’s ‘human capital’ has grown by a multiple of 123 over the past 250 years. The main drivers of this phenomenal growth have been the growth in the workforce and the growth in wages.
The researchers define human capital as the knowledge and skills embodied in individuals – and they measure it by the discounted earnings the population is expected to earn during their time in the labour force.We have an extended revision note on human capital and economic growth - read it here
The Changing Wealth of Nations - World Bank reports can be accessed here
I attended a fantastic lecture by Michael Clemens from the Centre for Global Development (CGD), Washington DC at the University of Manchester last week...
the IFS outlined some aspects of The Rapidly Changing State and showed that predicted public spending in 2017-18 will take a similar proportion of national income as it did in 2003–04. But where and how its spent are quite different. This was alluded to by Penny Brooks earlier today.
Oxfam senior researcher and former co-author of the UN's annual Human Development Report Kate Raworth visits the RSA to explain 'doughnut economics' - the bold new theory that is sweeping the development world
Here are the two assignments that my students are writing about this week - I will post some of their answers on the blog at the weekend. I have also added in some research links to each question
Identify and explain four factors that have contributed to Indian
economic growth in recent years
Demographic change can have a direct bearing over time on the growth and development potential of individual countries.
Dambisa Moyo was on great form when she spoke to the Economics Teacher National Conference in London last week. Her new book Winner Take All investigates the causes and consquences of rising global demand for commodities. In particular Dambisa Moyo predicts increasing geo-political tensions and conflicts as countries scramble to secure ownership and supplies of land, water, energy and minerals. In this blog I have linked to some of Dambisa’s recent media appearances as Winner Take All was launched in the USA and here in the UK.read more...»
The African Human Development Report 2012 is a key reference point for students and teachers who are passionate about their development economics. The issue of focus in the report this year is food security.
“Sub-Saharan Africa cannot sustain its present economic resurgence unless it eliminates the hunger that affects nearly a quarter of its people, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) argues. More than one in four Africans - close to 218 million people - is undernourished, African governments spend between 5-10% of their budgets on agriculture, well below the 20% average that Asian governments devoted to the sector during the green revolution there.”
The Plant Stat African Human Development Map is superb for students to use - it includes the facility to export your own charts for inclusion in assignments and classnotes - click here to access itread more...»
Today, TUC figures showed that the number of men working part time who are looking for full time work has doubled in the last four years from 293,000 to nearly 600,000. Is this a sign of the recession or is it an inevitable result of a move towards more flexible working?read more...»
I have found Knoema incredibly useful for collecting data and imagine it would be an excellent site for teaching colleagues and researchers, particularly with its focus on Economics. The Guardian’s data team have a good article on it today.read more...»
The supply of health care in the UK is an important economic, social and political issue. Demand for health care treatments grows year by year as the population expands, ages and as incomes rise. For millions of people private health care is regarded as a necessity even though the NHS provides a vast range of services free at the point of use. Treatments such as cosmetic surgery, hand surgery, laser eye treatment, physiotherapy, weight loss services and hip and knee replacements are offered by a range of private sector providers in addition to state health care facilities.read more...»
Migration from one country to another has become an increasingly important feature of our globalizing world and it raises many important economic, social and political issues. About 200-million people — about 3% of the world’s population — now live in countries in which they were not born. In the United Kingdom in 2010, the number of international migrants as a percentage of the population rose above 10% for the first time after several years of high rates of net inward migrationread more...»
What happened in the UK in 1851, the United States in 1920 and in the World in 2008? These three years mark the estimated year when the size of a given urban population overtook the size of the rural population. And now China has reached this significant landmark.
The Chinese Bureau for National Statistics reported recently that in 2011, the proportion of urban population reached 51.27 percent (1.3% higher than in 2010) with the urban population standing at 690.79 million persons, an increase of 21 million persons in a year. China’s rural population stood at 656.56 million persons and for the first time her urban population was 34.23 million persons more than the rural population.
Click below for some study / teaching resources:read more...»
Fergus Walsh from the BBC provides this really clear video info graphic on the expanding global population estimated to have exceeded seven billion during 2011 and forecast to rise to eight billion by 2025.
In this special report from BBC reporter Fergus Walsh, the rapid population growth in the African country of Zambia is examined. Population growth in the country is so quick that it could perpetuate deep poverty in the country despite relatively fast growth in recent years. In Zambia, the UN predicts that the population could triple by 2050, reaching 100 million by the end of the century.
This blog brings together some recent videos on progress made towards meeting some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Millennium Development Goals include ambitious targets to
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality and improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development
Here is a short 12 minute video on prospects for the India economy produced by economists at the International Monetary Fund. It covers some of the key current issues including high inflation in a supply-constrained economy, partial progress in reducing poverty and the impact that poor infrastructure has as a constraint on further growth and development. Click on the video link belowread more...»
Regional unemployment is seen as a significant economic problem, but employers may be reluctant to relocate if the educational quality of the workforce is below par. The term NEET refers to young people Not in Education, Training and Employment, and it appears that there are significant pockets of NEETs across the mainland of Great Britain.read more...»
Life expectancy in the United Kingdom continues to improve. But one important aspect of the deep and structural divide in incomes, economic activity and status and health across different groups in Britain is the marked variation in average life expectancy for men and women. The UK Statistics Commission has just published new data on this covering the period 2004-2010 and finds that:read more...»
A new IMF Finance and Development video on some of the statistics behind global aging is now available. Just click on the link below. The world’s population is getting older. Countries need to think about how fewer young people can continue to support the elderly.
A brain drain is a term that describes the movement of highly skilled or professional people from their own country to another country where they can earn more money. It has been used to describe net outward migration of people from several European Union countries in recent times (notably Ireland, Greece and Spain) - another phrase for this is human capital flight.
A sizeable brain drain can bring economic costs and benefits for the sending nation. One disadvantage is that countries lose out on the benefits that might have accrued from the resources used in educating people who leave. Add to this the loss of tax revenue from those who choose to live and work overseas. A sizeable loss of skilled workers (many of whom may be younger and therefore more geographically mobile) could lead to labour shortages in the sender country, putting upward pressure on wages and labour costs.
Some of this income earned overseas returns to the sender country in the form of remittances (adding to GNP) and many skilled migrants often leave only for a year or two - the percentage of permanent migration inside the EU is relatively small.
There has been much coverage in the last few days of the latest data on China’s population trends and in particular strong evidence about the ageing of her population. The demographic dividend of the fast population growth during the Mao era is well and truly over.
The annual growth of the Chinese population is falling away - the average annual growth was 0.57% over the last decade, down from 1.07% in 1990-2000. And when the age structure of the population is analysed, we find that the number of people over the age of 60 rose by about 48m, reaching 13.3 per cent of the population. China’s total population is now 1.339bn – up 5.84 per cent from the last decade. The number of old people in China has grown by more than the population of Spain over the last ten years and there is growing pressure for a reversal of the controversial one-child policy.read more...»
Lawrence Smith from UCLA spoke at the RSA tonight about his new book - The New North… in particular a cluster of eight countries he groups together as the NORCS - including Canada, Greeland, the USA, Sweden and Norway - nations he feels may be well placed to benefit from sizeable population shifts in the years ahead. The blurb from his publishers says this:
“In 2050, Northern countries – notably Canada, Russia and Scandinavia – will rise at the expense of southern ones. Patterns of human migration will be dramatically altered – and where we are born will be crucial. But, argues UCLA Professor Laurence Smith, humans are adaptable: and there will be gains as a new world takes shape. In this talk, Laurence Smith explores the four forces that are changing the world – climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion – and attempts to predict how they will shape the world between now and 2050.”
Here are some notes from his talk, I will embed a link to the video from the RSA when it is published in a few days timeread more...»
This second Wildcard Wednesday extension activity post draws inspiration from a fascinating exhibition on isotype that I went to at the V&A in London over half term .
Happiness or Prosperity. How can we tell if a country is happy? Does it matter?read more...»
Good graphics on population and Consumption in January 2011’s National Geographic magazine.
Opportunity for cross-curricular understanding.
The rapid growth of the world population is back at the front of the international news agenda with food prices spiking back above their 2008 levels. Roger Harrabin writes here about approaches to adaptation in a world of possible population overload that flow from the ideas of senior engineers. Over the next six decades the world’s population is expected to soar from 6.9 billion to peak at 9.5 billion in 2075 according to this new report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Mega-cities’ of more than 10 million people will rise to 29 by 2025 and the urban population will increase from 3.3billion (2007) to 6.4 billion (2050).
A seasonal hat tip to Henry Wingfield for spotting this superb four minute presentation from Hans Rosling (Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and Director of the Gapminder Foundation) on two hundred years of progress in lifting life expectancy across the world and some of the huge differences between and within nations. A superb presentation - hugely visual and memorable. More details here on The Joy of Stats - the new BBC series due to air next week.