27 August 2014
Some of you in the northern hemisphere may still be on your well-earned summer breaks. Here at UNU-WIDER we had a pause in July--for a very warm Finnish summer--"after our very successful June conference in Hanoi. It is now full speed ahead for our conference on 'Inequality: Measurement, Trends, Impacts and Policies', 5-6 September. We expect a record turnout: over 300 will gather in Helsinki to debate all aspects of social inequality- and its causes and consequences.
In this issue, Jukka Pirttila and myself discuss the latest update to the World Income Inequality Database (WIID). This is one of our most comprehensive and detailed revisions to the WIID so far. Long-standing Widerians will know that the WIID has now been going for many years, and is available for download here. It began as an initiative of our former director Andrea Cornea, and Andrea still has a continuing interest in the issue: see his latest book for UNU-WIDER on Latin America, for instance. Work on inequality accelerated when Tony Shorrocks was director, especially on its measurement. We'll be welcoming Andrea and Tony back to UNU-WIDER for the September conference, as well as many other old friends.
GUESTAngle has a fascinating piece by Vladimir Popov, emerging from his new book Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia and the West (Oxford University Press). Vladimir is an ex UNU-WIDER research fellow, and was on our Board as well for many years. Vladimir takes a long view on how countries do, or do not, get ahead on growth and development.
This issue also contains a report on our June conference in Hanoi in collaboration with Vietnam's Central Institute for Economic Management. The theme was Institutional Reforms for Transformation, Inclusion and Sustainability'. Over 200 attended. We had many researchers and policy makers from Asia. And we mobilized a large contingent from Africa. Vietnam is a fascinating case of what Africa might achieve in structural transformation--a key theme under UNU-WIDER's 2014-18 research programme. As we said then: good ideas need...