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Publication(World Bank, 2009) World BankPlaces do well when they promote transformations along the dimensions of economic geography: higher densities as cities grow; shorter distances as workers and businesses migrate closer to density; and fewer divisions as nations lower their economic borders and enter world markets to take advantage of scale and trade in specialized products. World Development Report 2009 concludes that the transformations along these three dimensions density, distance, and division are essential for development and should be encouraged. The conclusion is controversial. Slum-dwellers now number a billion, but the rush to cities continues. A billion people live in lagging areas of developing nations, remote from globalizations many benefits. And poverty and high mortality persist among the world’s bottom billion, trapped without access to global markets, even as others grow more prosperous and live ever longer lives. Concern for these three intersecting billions often comes with the prescription that growth must be spatially balanced. This report has a different message: economic growth will be unbalanced. To try to spread it out is to discourage it to fight prosperity, not poverty. But development can still be inclusive, even for people who start their lives distant from dense economic activity. For growth to be rapid and shared, governments must promote economic integration, the pivotal concept, as this report argues, in the policy debates on urbanization, territorial development, and regional integration. Instead, all three debates overemphasize place-based interventions. Reshaping Economic Geography reframes these debates to include all the instruments of integration spatially blind institutions, spatially connective infrastructure, and spatially targeted interventions. By calibrating the blend of these instruments, today’s developers can reshape their economic geography. If they do this well, their growth will still be unbalanced, but their development will be inclusive.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2007) World BankThe world's demand for food is expected to double within the next 50 years, while the natural resources that sustain agriculture will become increasingly scarce, degraded, and vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In many poor countries, agriculture accounts for at least 40 percent of GDP and 80 percent of employment. At the same time, about 70 percent of the world's poor live in rural areas and most depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. World Development Report 2008 seeks to assess where, when, and how agriculture can be an effective instrument for economic development, especially development that favors the poor. It examines several broad questions: How has agriculture changed in developing countries in the past 20 years? What are the important new challenges and opportunities for agriculture? Which new sources of agricultural growth can be captured cost effectively in particular in poor countries with large agricultural sectors as in Africa? How can agricultural growth be made more effective for poverty reduction? How can governments facilitate the transition of large populations out of agriculture, without simply transferring the burden of rural poverty to urban areas? How can the natural resource endowment for agriculture be protected? How can agriculture's negative environmental effects be contained? This year's report marks the 30th year the World Bank has been publishing the World Development Report.
Publication(World Bank, 2006) World BankThe theme of The World Development Report 2007 is youth - young people between the ages of 12 to 24. As this population group seeks identity and independence, they make decisions that affect not only their own well-being, but that of others, and they do this in a rapidly changing demographic and socio-economic environment. Supporting young people's transition to adulthood poses important opportunities and risky challenges for development policy. Are education systems preparing young people to cope with the demands of changing economies? What kind of support do they get as they enter the labor market? Can they move freely to where the jobs are? What can be done to help them avoid serious consequences of risky behavior, such as death from HIV-AIDS and drug abuse? Can their creative energy be directed productively to support development thinking? The report will focus on crucial capabilities and transitions in a young person's life: learning for life and work, staying healthy, working, forming families, and exercising citizenship. For each, there are opportunities and risks; for all, policies and institutions matter.