India’s COVID-19 Challenge: Outcomes and Options

Thursday, October 15, 2020
10:30 am – 12:00 pm EDT
WebEx

We are pleased to invite you to the second webinar in the “Envisioning India” series, co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Institute for International Economic Policy. This is a platform for dialogue and debate. We invite you to engage with us in this series of important discussions.

The “Envisioning India” series is organized under the stewardship of IIEP Co-Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and IIEP Distinguished Visiting Scholar Ajay Chhibber. The second event, “India’s COVID-19 Challenge: Outcomes and Options” will feature Raghuram Rajan, Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago, and Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester. The discussion will be moderated by Professor James
Foster, with an introduction by Dr. Ajay Chhibber.

India has been hit hard by the Coronavirus. Today it has amongst the highest number of cases world-wide and daily rising death rates. One of the world’s strictest lockdowns in March, with no warning, flattened the economy instead of flattening the Covid-19 curve. In Q1 FY 2020-21 (April to June), India’s GDP fell by almost 24%, while the FY 2020-21GDP growth is projected to be between -5% and -10%, amongst the largest drop globally. The economy was already ailing prior to Covid, with growth falling for 7 previous quarters. COVID will set it back further, perhaps by at least 5 years and push millions out of work and into poverty. India’s ambitious goal of becoming a $5 Trillion economy by 2025 seems a distant dream now.

The lockdown also forced millions of urban migrants to return to their rural homes, under great hardship, carrying with them the virus and the despair of joblessness. India’s woefully inadequate public health system is now overwhelmed. Central and State finances are in deep trouble and the GST (as a sign of Cooperative Federalism) is beset with intense political friction. The already struggling financial system is likely to sink even deeper into the mire. The Rs 20 Trillion (10% of GDP) package announced by the government with much fanfare under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-reliant India scheme), is too small – especially its fiscal component -to repair the economic damage or revive livelihoods. The package includes a series of reforms in agricultural markets and labor markets as well as a greater push for “ Make in India”. But will these reforms help India at this stage?

India is between a rock and a hard place. Did it have to get so bad? Is there any good news? A silver lining anywhere? Is there scope for some transformative change? Or do we, as with the virus, have to brace ourselves to “live with” this economic downturn for a long stretch ahead?

Our distinguished panelists will discuss these challenges and possible options and solutions.

About the Panelists:

Picture of Raghuram Rajan, panelist

Raghuram Rajan is the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between 2013 and 2016, and also served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Bank for International Settlements between 2015 and 2016. Dr. Rajan was the Chief Economist and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund from 2003 to 2006.

Dr. Rajan’s research interests are in banking, corporate finance, and economic development, especially the role finance plays in it. He co-authored Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists with Luigi Zingales in 2003. He then wrote Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, for which he was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010. His most recent book, The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State hold the Community Behind was published in 2019.

Dr. Rajan was the President of the American Finance Association in 2011 and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Group of Thirty. In 2003, the American Finance Association awarded Dr. Rajan the inaugural Fischer Black Prize for the best finance researcher under the age of 40. The other awards he has received include the Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics in 2013, Euromoney magazine’s Central Banker of the Year Award 2014 and The Banker magazine’s Global Central Banker of the Year award in 2016.

Picture of Bina Agarwal, PanelistBina Agarwal is Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, UK, and former Professor and Director, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. She has been President, International Society for Ecological Economics; Vice-President, International Economic Association; President, International Society for Feminist Economics; and held distinguished positions at the Universities of Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton, Michigan, Minnesota, and the New York University School of Law. Dr. Agarwal’s publications include the multiple award-winning book, A Field of One’s Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia (Cambridge University Press, 1994), Gender and Green Governance (OUP, 2010) and Gender Challenges (OUP, 2016), a three volume compendium of her selected papers on Agriculture, Property, and the Environment. Her pioneering work on gender inequality in property and land and on environmental governance, has had global impact. Her many awards include a Padma Shri, 2008; book prizes; the Leontief Prize 2010; Louis Malassis Scientific Prize 2017; and the International Balzan Prize, 2017. 

 

About the Organizers:

Picture of James E. FosterJames E. Foster is the Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs, Professor of Economics, and Co-Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy at the George Washington University. He is also a Research Associate at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at Oxford University. Professor Foster’s research focuses on welfare economics — using economic tools to evaluate and enhance the wellbeing of people. His joint 1984 Econometrica paper (with Joel Greer and Erik Thorbecke) is one of the most cited papers on poverty. It introduced the FGT Index, which has been used in thousands of studies and was employed in targeting the Progresa CCT program in Mexico. Other research includes work on economic inequality with Amartya Sen; on the distribution of human development with Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva and Miguel Szekely; on multidimensional poverty with Sabina Alkire; and on literacy with Kaushik Basu.

Professor Foster’s work underlies many well-known social indices including the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) published annually by the UNDP in the Human Development Report, dozens of national MPIs used to guide domestic policy against poverty, the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) at USAID, the Gross National Happiness Index of Bhutan, the Better Jobs Index of the InterAmerican Development Bank, and the Statistical Performance Index of the World Bank.

Ajay Chhibber is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Institute of International Economic Policy, George Washington University and Non-Resident Senior Fellow, the Atlantic Council, Washington DC. He was earlier Director General, Independent Evaluation Office, Government of India and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), India. He held senior positions at the UN as Assistant Secretary General and Assistant Administrator, UNDP and managed their program for Asia and the Pacific. He also served in senior positions at the World Bank. He has a PhD from Stanford University, a Masters from the Delhi School of Economics. He taught at Georgetown University and at the University of Delhi.

Short and long-run distributional impacts of COVID-19 in Latin America

Monday, October 12, 2020
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm EDT
WebEx

We are pleased to invite you to a new webinar series, “Facing Inequality”, hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy. This virtual series will focus on current and emerging inequality issues in the U.S. and around the globe. The series will bring attention to aspects of inequality being made increasingly relevant by the current COVID-19 pandemic and associated crises. The series is organized under the stewardship of IIEP Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and IIEP Faculty Affiliate Trevor Jackson, Assistant Professor of History. The series is co-sponsored by the GW Interdisciplinary Inequality Series, co-organized by Prof. Jackson from the Department of History and Prof. Bryan Stuart from the Department of Economics.

This is the eighth event in the facing inequality series. Our distinguished speakers, Nora Lustig and Guido Neidhöfer will discuss their paper, “Short and long-run distributional impacts of COVID-19 in Latin America ” (Lustig, Neidhöfer and Tommasi). They simulate the short- and long-term distributional consequences of COVID-19 in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. They show that the short-term impact on income inequality and poverty can be very significant but that additional spending on social assistance has a large offsetting effect in Brazil and Argentina. The effect is much smaller in Colombia and nil in Mexico, where there has been no such expansion. To project the long-term consequences, they estimate the impact of the pandemic on human capital and its intergenerational persistence. Hereby, they use information on school lockdowns, educational mitigation policies, and account for educational losses related to parental job loss. Their findings show that in all four countries the impact is strongly asymmetric and affects particularly the human capital of the most vulnerable. Consequently, educational inequality and inequality of opportunity are expected to increase substantially, in spite of the mitigation policies.

 

About the Speakers:

Picture of Panelist Nora LustigNora Lustig is Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics and the founding Director of the Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQ) at Tulane University. She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue. Professor Lustig’s research focuses on economic development, inequality and social policies with emphasis on Latin America. Her recent publication Commitment to Equity Handbook: Estimating the Impact of Fiscal Policy on Inequality and Poverty is a step-by-step guide to assessing the impact of taxation and social spending on inequality and poverty in developing countries. Prof. Lustig is a founding member and President Emeritus of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) and was a co-director of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2000, Attacking Poverty. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Economic Inequality and is a member of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality’s Executive Council. Prof. Lustig served on the Atkinson Commission on Poverty, the High-level Group on Measuring Economic Performance and Social Progress, and the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance. She received her doctorate in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Picture of Panelist Guido NeidhöferGuido Neidhöfer is an advanced researcher in the Labor Markets and Human Resources department at ZEW Mannheim, Germany, as well as a fellow at the College for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (CIDER), visiting scholar at the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS) of the National University of La Plata, and associated researcher of the Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Humano (CEDH) of the Universidad de San Andres in Argentina. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of economic inequality, social mobility, education and migration.

 

About the Discussants:

Picture of Professor Stephen. B. KaplanStephen B. Kaplan is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs. Professor Kaplan’s research and teaching interests focus on the frontiers of international and comparative political economy, where he specializes in the political economy of global finance and development, the rise of China in the Western Hemisphere, and Latin American politics.

Professor Kaplan joined the GWU faculty in the fall of 2010 after completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University and his Ph.D at Yale University. While at Yale, Kaplan also worked as a researcher for former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Prior to his doctoral studies, Professor Kaplan was a senior economic analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, writing extensively on developing country economics, global financial market developments, and emerging market crises from 1998 to 2003.

Dr. Michael C. Wolfson received his B.Sc with honours from University of of Toronto jointly in mathematics, computer science and economics in 1971, and then a Ph.D. from Cambridge in economics in 1977.  He retired as Assistant Chief Statistician, Analysis and Development (which included the Health Statistics program and the central R&D function) at Statistics Canada in 2009.  He was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Population Health Modeling in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa for 2010-2017.  Prior to joining Statistics Canada, he held increasingly senior positions in the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Department of Finance, the Privy Council Office, the House of Commons, and the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office.  While a senior public servant, he was also a founding Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Program in Population Health (1988-2003)..  He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and a member of the recently created Canadian Statistics Advisory Council.

How Should We Measure Multidimensional Inequality? A Philosopher’s Approach (with COVID applications)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm EDT
WebEx

We are pleased to invite you to a new webinar series, “Facing Inequality”, hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy. This virtual series will focus on current and emerging inequality issues in the U.S. and around the globe. The series will bring attention to aspects of inequality being made increasingly relevant by the current COVID-19 pandemic and associated crises. The series is organized under the stewardship of IIEP Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and IIEP Faculty Affiliate Trevor Jackson, Assistant Professor of History. The series is co-sponsored by the GW Interdisciplinary Inequality Series, co-organized by Prof. Jackson from the Department of History and Prof. Bryan Stuart from the Department of Economics.

The fifth event, “How Should We Measure Multidimensional Inequality? A Philosopher’s Approach (with COVID applications)” will feature Dr. Kristi Olson of Bowdoin College. The discussion will focus on the following: When we measure multidimensional inequality, we must decide how much weight to give each dimension. The simple approach—giving each dimension equal weight—is almost certainly wrong, but what are the alternatives? This paper critiques some of the familiar approaches: subjective utility and the envy test. It then introduces a new approach. We take as the equal baseline those bundles that could be cooperatively distributed if everyone were free to choose from among all bundles. Using these bundles as the baseline, we can measure the extent of deviation from equality. The approach can be used to evaluate inequalities in, for example, the distribution of COVID risk and income.

 

About the Speakers:

Kristi Olson

Kristi A. Olson is an assistant professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College where she works on issues of distributive justice. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University under the supervision of Thomas Scanlon, Frances Kamm, and Amartya Sen. Her research has been published in such journals as Philosophy & Public Affairs, the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, and Politics, Philosophy & Economics. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she worked as a public interest lawyer.

 

Discussants 
Luis Felipe López-Calva, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Development Programme
Jeffrey Brand, Associate Professor of Philosophy, the George Washington University

Imperfect Competition on the Cathedral Floor: Labourers in London 1672 to 1748

Tuesday, June 30, 2020
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm EDT
WebEx

We are pleased to invite you to a new webinar series, “Facing Inequality”, hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy. This virtual series will focus on current and emerging inequality issues in the U.S. and around the globe. The series will bring attention to aspects of inequality being made increasingly relevant by the current COVID-19 pandemic and associated crises. The series is organized under the stewardship of IIEP Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and IIEP Faculty Affiliate Trevor Jackson, Assistant Professor of History. The series is co-sponsored by the GW Interdisciplinary Inequality Series, co-organized by Prof. Jackson from the Department of History and Prof. Bryan Stuart from the Department of Economics.

The fourth event, “Imperfect Competition on the Cathedral Floor: Labourers in London 1672-1748” will feature Judy Stephenson and Patrick Wallis. In their paper, they present a new data set for the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century to explore the operation of the market for unskilled construction workers, the reference occupation for long run urban wage series, at one major building site in London. They find patterns of work distribution and pay which indicate characteristics of imperfect competition, most notably high worker and job flows alongside remarkable nominal wage rigidity, and evidence of an internal labour market alongside a much shorter and more fragile working year than has been previously found. The results suggest that wages, or labour’s share of income, may resist response to changes in productivity and labour supply and demand even in the long run, and highlight that labour markets created inequalities of experience, income and returns to work before modern institutions and firms. Professor Bryan Stuart will be a discussant.

About the Speakers:

Judy Stephenson

Judy Stephenson is a Professor of Construction Economics and Finance, and Economic History; a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; and a Departmental Tutor and Director of Teaching & Learning at Bartlett CPM. She is an economic historian of early modern London, its construction industry and associated markets. She researches construction, labour markets, institutions, firms, finance and industries in London between about 1600 and 1850 and is known for her work on London and English wages between 1650 and 1800. She has published on contracts and wages, and the boundaries of the firm before 1800.

Patrick Wallis

Patrick Wallis is a Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics. His research explores the economic, social and medical history of Britain and Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. His two main interests are in apprenticeship and human capital and the transformation of healthcare in early modern England. He has recently published two publications, including Access to the Trade: Monopoly and Mobility in European Craft Guilds in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Journal of Social History and Apprenticeship in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press; November 2019).

About the Discussants:

Bryan Stuart is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 2017 and joined George Washington University in August 2017. His research interests include labor, public, and urban economics. Recent and current projects examine the effects of recessions on individuals and local areas, the effects of government policies on labor market outcomes, and the determinants and consequences of household location decisions.

Barry Chiswick is a Professor of Economics and International Affairs. He received his Ph.D. in Economics with Distinction from Columbia University and joined George Washington University in 2011. He has held permanent and visiting appointments at UCLA, Columbia University, Stanford University, Princeton University, University of Chicago, City University (New York), Hebrew University (Jerusalem), Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, and Ben-Gurion University. From 1973 to 1977, he was Senior Staff Economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. In addition, he served as chairman of the American Statistical Association Census Advisory Committee and past president of the European Society for Population Economics. He is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Population Economics and Research in Economics of the Household and is on the editorial boards of four other academic journals. Since 2004, he has been the Program Director for Migration Studies at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany. 

Just Governance: Lessons on Climate Change Justice from People in Poverty

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm EDT
WebEx

We are pleased to invite you to the third webinar of the “Facing Inequality” series, hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy. This virtual series focuses on current and emerging inequality issues in the U.S. and around the globe – especially those revealed by the current COVID-19 pandemic. It brings together historians, economists, sociologists, political scientists, and epidemiologists, within the academy and without, to present work and discuss ideas that can facilitate new interdisciplinary approaches to the problem of inequality. This is a platform for dialogue and debate. We invite you to engage with us in this series of important discussions.

The “Facing Inequality” series is organized under the stewardship of IIEP Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and IIEP Faculty Affiliate Trevor Jackson, Assistant Professor of History. The series is co-sponsored by the GW Interdisciplinary Inequality Series, co-organized by Prof. Jackson from the Department of History and Prof. Bryan Stuart from the Department of Economics. 

 
The third event, “Just Governance: Lessons on Climate Change Justice from People in Poverty”, focuses on issues of climate change and inequality. Specifically, the discussion will prompt attendees to ask, as our world faces catastrophic climate change and related global injustice and oppression, what can those living in the poorest communities most vulnerable to its effects teach us about its causes? Drawing on interdisciplinary and collaborative research in southwestern Bangladesh, this talk shifts the paradigm of responsibility for climate change from the familiar terrain set out by law, economics, and moral philosophy focused on ‘commons’ problems and distributive inequalities to one centered on the lived experience of climate change. Those living with environmental degradation that is exacerbating with climate change and that foreshadows the effects of climate change elsewhere offer clarifying insight into the kinds of normative problems that climate change raises for both justice and governance. Relying on community fabric worn thin by the legacies of colonialism, foreign aid experiments, and exploitable social hierarchies, these communities’ experiences and reflections have implications for how political theorists and policy-influencers, especially large global philanthropists and investors, do and should attend to justice and governance in their work for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and survival.

The climate change crisis reveals the full gamut of humanity’s failure to govern itself in ways that do not exploit nature and humans. This talk identifies what those in poverty most urgently facing the consequences of this failure can teach those must urgently trying to address it. Richly informed by ethnographies, surveys, interviews, and project assessments in 26 communities of those most effected by climate change, the talk will point toward new normative approaches to climate justice and provide a refreshed ethical map to political efficacy.

About the Speaker:

Brooke Ackerly is a Professor of Political Science, Philosophy, and Law, and Affiliated Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at Vanderbilt University and co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Feminist Journal of Politics (2018-2021)In her research, teaching, and collaborations, she works to clarify without simplifying the most pressing problems of global justice, including human rights and climate change. Using feminist methodologies, she integrates into her theoretical work empirical research on activism and the experiences of those affected by injustice (Grounded Normative Theory). See Political Theory and Feminist Social Criticism (Cambridge 2000), Universal Human Rights in a World of Difference (Cambridge 2008), Doing Feminist Research with Jacqui True (Palgrave Macmillan 2010, second edition forthcoming), and most recently, Just Responsibility: A Human Rights Theory of Global Justice (Oxford University Press 2018), which won the APSA Victoria Schuck Award for the best book on women and politics.

She is currently working on the intersection of global economic, environmental, and gender justice in their material and epistemic dimensions. She teaches courses on justice, ethics and public policy, feminist theory, feminist research methods, human rights, contemporary political thought, and gender and the history of political thought. She is the winner of the Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science Graduate Teaching Award and the Margaret Cuninggim Mentoring Prize. She is the founder of the Global Feminisms Collaborative, a group of scholars and activists developing ways to collaborate on applied research for social justice. She advises academics and donors on evaluation, methodology, and the ethics of research. She serves the profession through committees in her professional associations including the American Political Science Association (APSA), International Studies Association (ISA), and the European Consortium on Politics and Gender (ECPG). She currently serves on the APSA Committee for the Status of Women in the Profession. She has been a member of the editorial board for Politics and Gender (Journal of the APSA, Women and Politics Section) and is currently a member of the editorial boards of the Political Research QuarterlyJournal of Politics, and Politics, Gender and Identities.

Will Covid-19 Raise Inequality? Evidence from Past Epidemics and Crises

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm EDT
WebEx

We are pleased to invite you to the second webinar of the “Facing Inequality” series, hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy. This virtual series focuses on current and emerging inequality issues in the U.S. and around the globe – especially those revealed by the current COVID-19 pandemic. It brings together historians, economists, sociologists, political scientists, and epidemiologists, within the academy and without, to present work and discuss ideas that can facilitate new interdisciplinary approaches to the problem of inequality. This is a platform for dialogue and debate. We invite you to engage with us in this series of important discussions.
 
The second event, “Will Covid-19 Raise Inequality? Evidence from Past Epidemics and Crises”, features Prakash Loungani and Jonathan D. Ostry. Major epidemics in this century, such as SARS and H1N1, have raised income inequality and disproportionately hurt employment prospects of people with low skills and education levels. What impacts will the COVID-19 pandemic have on inequality in the near term? And how will inequality evolve over the longer-term as governments act to mend the disruptions to globalization and unwind the build-up in their public debts? The talk will draw on the authors’ recent work (with Davide Furceri) on the distributional impacts of epidemics and their book on other drivers of inequality such as austerity and financial globalization. Discussants Lucia Rafanelli and Remi Jedwab will provide commentary from the perspectives of political science and economic history, respectively.
 
The “Facing Inequality” series is organized under the stewardship of IIEP Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and IIEP Faculty Affiliate Trevor Jackson, Assistant Professor of History. The series is co-sponsored by the GW Interdisciplinary Inequality Series, co-organized by Prof. Jackson from the Department of History and Prof. Bryan Stuart from the Department of Economics.

About the Speakers:

Prakash Loungani is Assistant Director and Senior Personnel Manager in the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office. He is a co-author of Confronting Inequality: How Societies Can Choose Inclusive Growth (Columbia University Press, 2019). Previously, he headed the Development Macroeconomics Division in the IMF’s Research Department and was co-chair of the IMF’s Jobs and Growth working group from 2011-15. He is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business, a member of the Research Program in Forecasting at George Washington Univeristy, and Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, a think-tank based in Rabat, Morocco.

Jonathan D. Ostry is Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund and a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). His recent responsibilities include leading staff teams on capital account management and financial globalization issues; fiscal sustainability issues; and the nexus between income inequality and economic growth. Past positions include leading the division that produces the IMF’s flagship multilateral surveillance publication, the World Economic Outlook. He is the author of a number of books on international macro policy issues and numerous articles in scholarly journals. His most recent books include Taming the Tide of Capital Flows (MIT Press, 2017) and Confronting Inequality (Columbia University Press, 2018).

With James Foster, Lucia Rafanelli, Remi Jedwab, and Trevor Jackson

Co-sponsored by the GW Inequality Series

Global Income Inequality: Current Developments and Their Political Implications

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
12:30-2:00pm
WebEx

Branko Milanovic
Visiting Presidential Professor and Stone Center Senior Scholar,
The Graduate Center, CUNY;
Centennial Professor, International Inequalities Institute, LSE

We are pleased to invite you to a new webinar series, “Facing Inequality”, hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy. This virtual series will focus on current and emerging inequality issues in the U.S. and around the globe. The series will bring attention to aspects of inequality being made increasingly relevant by the current COVID-19 pandemic and associated crises. The series is organized under the stewardship of IIEP Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and IIEP Faculty Affiliate Trevor Jackson, Assistant Professor of History. The series is co-sponsored by the GW Interdisciplinary Inequality Series, co-organized by Prof. Jackson from the Department of History and Prof. Bryan Stuart from the Department of Economics. The inaugural event in the series will feature Branko Milanovic.

The goal of the series is to bring together historians, economists, sociologists, political scientists, and epidemiologists, both within the academy and without, to present their work and to discuss both their ideas and methods, with the intention of working towards new interdisciplinary approaches to the problem of inequality. This is a platform for dialogue and debate, and will help cultivate a community of current and future researchers and practitioners. We invite you to engage with us in this series of important discussions.

Branko Milanovic is a visiting presidential professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality. He is also Centennial Professor at LSE’s International Inequalities Institute. He obtained his Ph.D. in economics (1987) from the University of Belgrade with a dissertation on income inequality in Yugoslavia. He served as lead economist in the World Bank’s Research Department for almost 20 years, leaving to write his book on global income inequality, Worlds Apart (2005). His most recent book Capitalism, Alone was published in September 2019. 

Milanovic’s main area of work is income inequality, in individual countries and globally, including in preindustrial societies. He has published articles in Economic Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Development Economics, and Journal of Political Philosophy, among others. His book The Haves and the Have-nots (2011) was selected by The Globalist as the 2011 Book of the Year. Global Inequality (2016) was awarded the Bruno Kreisky Prize for the best political book of 2016 and the Hans Matthöfer Prize in 2018, and was translated into 16 languages. It addresses economic and political effects of globalization and introduces the concept of successive “Kuznets waves” of inequality. In March 2018, Milanovic was awarded (jointly with Mariana Mazzucato) the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Knowledge. 

Among his other roles, Milanovic was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington (2003-2005) and has held teaching appointments at the University of Maryland (2007-2013) and at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (1997- 2007). He was a visiting scholar at All Souls College in Oxford, and Universidad Carlos III in Madrid (2010-11).

Please RSVP to receive a link to join the webinar.

Webinar on E-Commerce at the WTO: What’s Going On?

Monday, March 30, 2020
11:00 am EST

Zoom

We are pleased to invite you to the first webinar hosted by The Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub in a series of free webinars on current and emerging data governance issues. As we “social distance,” we can simultaneously build a broader understanding of domestic and international data governance issues. The Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub is partnering with business associations such as the Computer and Communications Industry Association, civil society groups such as the Internet Society Washington DC and the World Wide Web Foundation, and other research organizations such as the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) to host these events. The webinars will be conducted on Zoom and attendees will be encouraged to ask questions of the speakers.

The inaugural seminar, to take place at 11am (EST) on March 30, 2020, will be “E-Commerce at the WTO: What’s Going On?” The speaker will be Victor do Prado, Director, Council and Trade Negotiations Committee Division, WTO. This event will be co-organized with the Computer and Communications Industry Association and co-sponsored with the Institute for International Economic Policy. Mr. do Prado’s remarks will cover the history, status and future of the talks, including the e-commerce moratorium. He will speak for 15 minutes and then the floor will be opened to questions using Zoom’s raise-your-hand application. As a WTO official, Mr. do Prado will be speaking off the record. His remarks cannot be attributed but can be used on background. The press is welcome to attend and observe Chatham House rules. 

Please contact James Nelson, Director of Communications and Strategy at the Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub, with any questions or suggestions for webinars jinelson@gwu.edu

This event is co-sponsored by Digital Trade & Data Governance Hub; Internet Society: Greater Washington DC Chapter; Centre for International Governance Innovation; World Wide Web Foundation; and Institute for International Science and Technology Policy.

Covering The Other Half Billion: China’s Rural Sector

Thursday, February 27th, 2020
4:30 PM-6:00 PM

Lindner Family Commons, Room 602
Elliott School of International Affairs
The George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

For much of post-1949 history, the rural sector has been the poor relation of China’s society and economy. Today, however, the rural sector lies at the heart of Xi Jinping’s economic agenda for China’s comprehensive development. The party’s and government’s ability to fulfill major economic goals—those relating to employment, food security and rebalancing of the economic system—depend critically on the success of its rural policies. So too does its ability to realize important social and other goals—including poverty reduction, the creation of a more inclusive society, and environmental sustainability. An economically and socially revitalised Chinese countryside will also impact the political stability which China’s leaders see as the bedrock of their continuing rule. This lecture will explore all of these dimensions.

 

Speakers

Professor Robert Ash

Professor of Economics with reference to China and Taiwan

School of Oriental & African Studies

University of London

Professor Robert Ash is a Professorial Fellow in the China Institute at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he teaches in the School of Financial and Management Studies as Professor of Economics with reference to China and Taiwan. From 1986 to 1995 he was Head of the Contemporary China Institute at SOAS, and from 1997-2001 was Director of the EU-China Academic Network (ECAN). From 1999 to 2013 he was also Director of the SOAS Taiwan Studies Programme.

Professor Ash has held visiting research and teaching positions at universities in Australia, Hong Kong, France and Italy. He has been researching China for more than 40 years and has published on development issues relating to China, as well as on Taiwan and Hong Kong. His most recent major publication (2017) is a study of China’s agricultural development between 1840 and the present day, Agricultural Development in the World Periphery: A Global Economic History Approach. He has also undertaken a wide range of consultancy work in both private and public sectors—including for the British Government, the European Commission, European Parliament and the UN International Labour Organisation.

Moderator

Professor David Shambaugh

Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science & International Affairs

Director, China Policy Program

The George Washington University

 

Technology, Taxation, and Corruption Evidence from the Introduction of Electronic Tax Filing

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
12:30pm-2:00pm
John W. Kendrick Seminar Room
Monroe Hall/Hall of Government, Room 321
2115 G St. Washington, D.C. 20052

Please join us with welcoming Oyebola Okunogbe (World Bank) as she will be be presenting a Trade & Development Workshop.

Many e-government initiatives introduce technology to improve efficiency and avoid potential human bias. Electronic tax filing (e-filing) is an important example, as developing countries increasingly adopt online submission of tax declarations to replace in-person submission to tax officials. This paper examines the impact of e-filing on compliance costs, tax payments, and bribe payments using experimental variation and data from Tajikistan firms. Firms that e-file have lower compliance costs, spending five fewer hours each month on fulfilling tax obligations. There are no significant average effects of e-filing on tax or bribe payments, but significant heterogeneity exists across firms by their baseline likelihood of tax evasion. Among firms previously more likely to evade, e-filing doubles tax payments, likely by disrupting collusion with officials. Conversely, among firms less likely to have been evading, e-filing reduces tax payments, suggesting that officials had previously required them to pay more. These firms also pay fewer bribes, as e-filing reduces opportunity for extortion. In all, the results indicate that e-filing limits tax officials’ discretion and makes the distribution of tax payments across firms arguably more equitable.

Mardi Dungey Memorial Research Conference

Mardi Dungey Memorial Research Conference
Friday, February 21, 2020
8:00 am – 5:30 pm (Conference)
5:30pm – 7:30 pm (Reception)
Lindner Commons, Suite 602
1957 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20052

On behalf of the Institute for International Economic Policy, the Research Program on Forecasting, the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, University of Tasmania, and the Society for Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics, you are cordially invited to the Mardi Dungey Memorial Research Conference on February 21, 2020. The event is named in honor of Mardi Dungey, Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Tasmania, Adjunct Professor and Program Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU, Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Financial Analysis and Policy at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Agenda

8:00am- 8:45am: Breakfast

8:45am – 9:10am

Introduction, Stephen Smith, Chair, Department of Economics and Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Institute for International Economic Policy, GWU

Opening Remarks, Tara Sinclair, George Washington University

9:10 – 9:30am: A Panel on Mardi Dungey’s Contributions

Vanessa Smith, University of York

Renee Fry-McKibbin, Australian National University

Warwick McKibbin, Australian National University

Chaired by: Renee Fry-McKibbin, Australian National University

9:30 – 10:30am

Econometrics of Option Pricing with Stochastic Volatility, Eric Renault, University of Warwick

Chaired by: Vance Martin, University of Melbourne

10:30 – 11:00am: Coffee Break

11:00 – 11:45am

Leaning Against the Wind: An Empirical Cost-Benefit Analysis, Gaston Gelos, International Monetary Fund

Chaired by: Tara Sinclair, George Washington University

11:45am – 12:30pm

The Gains from Catch-up for China and the U.S.: An Empirical Framework, Denise Osborn, University of Manchester

Chaired by: Simon van Norden, HEC Montréal, CIREQ & CIRANO

12:30 – 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:30pm

Measurement of Factor Strength: Theory and Practice, Hashem Pesaran, Cambridge University

Chaired by: Nigel Ray, International Monetary Fund

2:30 – 2:45pm: Coffee Break

2:45 – 3:30pm

Inflation: Expectations, Structural Breaks, and Global Factors, Pierre Siklos, Wilfrid Laurier University

Chaired by: Gerald Dwyer, Clemson University

3:30 – 4:15pm

Multivariate Trend-Cycle-Seasonal Decomposition with Correlated Innovations, Jing Tian, University of Tasmania

Chaired by: Edda Claus, Wilfrid Laurier University

4:15 – 4:30pm: Coffee Break

4:30 – 5:15pm

The Center and the Periphery: Two Hundred Years of International Borrowing Cycles, Graciela Kaminsky, George Washington University

Chaired by: Brenda Gonzalez-Hermosillo, International Monetary Fund

5:15 – 5:30pm: Closing Remarks

Marty Robinson, Australian Treasury

Vladimir Volkov, University of Tasmania

Warwick McKibbin, Australian National University

Chaired by: Renee Fry-McKibbin, Australian National University

5:30 – 7:30pm: Reception

USAID and GW Discuss Ending Extreme Poverty

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

3:00 to 5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

As the world achieved the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015, developed and developing countries have focused more sharply on the tougher challenge of eliminating “extreme poverty.” In 2013, USAID initiated a dialogue within the development community about how to achieve this goal. The Trachtenberg and Elliott schools welcomed USAID to provide an update on progress and approaches to the problem of ending extreme poverty and encouraging continued discussion on Tuesday, January 27.

Alex Thier, Assistant to the Administrator for the Policy, Planning, and Learning Bureau at USAID, shared an engaging presentation about USAID’s mission to end extreme poverty. Following the presentation, GW Economics Professor Stephen C. Smith offered remarks on the ways GW is engaging this topic (view his slides here). The presentation, remarks and audience discussion were followed with a short networking reception for attendees.

 

For more information, please contact Kyle Renner at iiep@gwu.edu or 202-994-5320

 

Cosponsored by:

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