(New York: Oxford University Press, 1997)
This is the twentieth in the annual series assessing major development issues. The report is devoted to the role and effectiveness of the state: what it should do, how it should do it, and how it can improve in a rapidly changing world. Governments with both centrally-planned and mixed economies are shrinking their market role because of failed state interventions. This report takes an opposite stance: that state's role in the institutional environment underlying the economy, that is, its ability to enforce a rule of law to underpin transactions, is vital to making government contribute more effectively to development. It argues against reducing government to a minimalist state, explaining that development requires an effective state that plays a facilitator role in encouraging and complementing the activities of private businesses and individuals. The report presents a state reform framework strategy: First, focus the state's activities to match its capabilities; and second, look for ways to improve the state's capability by re-invigorating public institutions. Successful and unsuccessful examples of states and state reform provide illustrations.
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1990)
This report is the thirteenth in the annual series addressing major development issues. This report is about the poor. It is thus about the fundamental issue in economic development : the eradication of poverty from the world. The report defines poverty in broad terms, to include literacy, nutrition, and health, as well as income. The evidence suggests that rapid and politically sustainable progress on poverty has been achieved by pursuing a strategy with two equally important elements. The first is to promote the efficient use of the poor's most abundant asset : labor. It calls for policies that harness market incentives, social and political institutions, infrastructure and technology. The second element is the provision of basic social services to the poor (e.g. primary health care, family planning, nutrition, and primary education). The report concludes that eliminating poverty altogether is not a realistic goal for the 1990s, but that reducing it greatly is entirely possible. Using plausible assumptions about the global economic environment, and with some policy improvements, the report projects a fall of one third in the number of people in poverty by the year 2000.