World Development Report

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The World Bank’s World Development Report, published annually since 1978, is an invaluable guide to the economic, social, and environmental state of the world today. Each report provides in-depth analysis and policy recommendations on a specific and important aspect of development—from agriculture, the role of the state, transition economies, and labor to infrastructure, health, the environment, and poverty. Through the quality and timeliness of the information it provides, the report has become a highly influential publication that is used by many multilateral and bilateral international organizations, national governments, scholars, civil society networks and groups, and other global thought leaders to support their decision-making processes. This corporate flagship undergoes extensive internal and external review and is one of the key outputs of the World Bank's Development Economics unit.

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    World Development Report 1991: The Challenge of Development
    (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991) World Bank
    This report is the fourteenth in an annual series assessing major development issues. This report synthesizes and interprets the lessons of more than forty years of development experience. Together with last year's report on poverty and next year's on the environment, it seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the development agenda. The 1990s began with dramatic changes, as many countries in Eastern Europe and elsewhere initiated ambitious reforms of their economic and political systems. Against the backdrop of these transitions, this report links the historical debates that counseled policymakers in their past decisions, the lessons of experience, and the evolving thought on how best to proceed. One of the most valuable lessons relates to the interaction between the state and the market in fostering development. It describes a market-friendly approach in which governments allow markets to function well, and in which governments concentrate their interventions on areas in which markets prove inadequate. The report looks at four main aspects of the relationship between governments and markets: (a) investing in people; (b) the climate for enterprises to flourish; (c) the integration of countries with the global economy; and (d) a stable macroeconomic foundation for sustained progress. The report stresses that, above all, the future of developing countries is in their own hands. Domestic policies and institutions hold the key to successful development.
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    World Development Report 1979
    (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979) World Bank
    Structural transformation is particularly important for middle income countries. In dealing with the appropriate policies to be associated with structural changes, this report analyzes the processes of industrialization, urbanization, and the sectoral deployment of labor. The challenges identified, analyzed, and presented for consideration are: (i) creation of job opportunities for an additional half billion people that will join the labor force in the developing countries by 2000; (ii) accommodation of an additional one billion people in the same time perspective in the urban areas of the developing countries in socially acceptable and economically productive conditions; (iii) creation of an international trade environment that is supportive of the development efforts; and (iv) significant steps to the elimination of absolute poverty.