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Global Majority

Volume 2, Number 2 (December 2011)—download Full Issue


IMPACT INVESTING AS A SUPPLEMENT TO
NICARAGUA’S TRADITIONAL MICROFINANCE

By Robert Book
There are too many good ideas in this world that go ignored and underfunded. By giving the less fortunate access to credit, microfinance has allowed millions of borrowers to fund their ideas for microenterprises. However, the impact these microenterprises have had may not extend very far beyond the individual borrower. Studies indicate that by investing in small and medium sized enterprises, more social impact would be generated. The purpose of this article is to suggest a new securities exchange that would facilitate the flow of capital from individuals globally to small and medium entrepreneurs in developing countries. In this article, this new securities exchange is applied to the case of Nicaragua.

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BRAZIL’S ECONOMIC GROWTH: WITH OR WITHOUT PROSPERITY?

By Ana Cristina Sauri Faller
Currently, about 20 million people live in poverty (below US$2-a-day) in Brazil. The gap between the highest and the lowest social levels is high. A considerable part of Brazil’s population does not have access to basic services such as clean water, food and education. This situation prevails despite the progress made since the mid-1990s, when Fernando Enrique Cardoso became president, followed by various social programs implemented by the government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which lowered the percentage of people living below the poverty line considerably. Today, the biggest social challenge facing the Brazilian government and society remains to be a lack of education, housing, health care, and nutrition, especially for Brazil’s poor children. Close to one million of such children live in favelas or in the streets confronting miserable living conditions and even starvation.

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POVERTY AND FERTILITY IN INDIA:
SOME FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO A POSITIVE CORRELATION

By Brittany Traeger
India has diminishing population growth rates and fertility rates; however, they still remain high compared to the world average. The families living in poverty are those having the most children because they are consistently trapped in poverty from generation to generation with little opportunity. Poor families are typically larger because they use children as a source of generating income via child labor. Parents also have children for insurance purposes because they envision needing help when they get older. All children born into poverty, especially girls, have little opportunity to escape from it in adulthood because of the lack of education and power. Another cause for high fertility rates is the large unmet need for family planning among the poor. Investing in family planning amongst the poor would be efficient to reduce fertility rates and poverty. Furthermore, increases in school enrollments, (including for girls) result in more power for females and thus decreasing fertility rates.

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THE URBAN PLAN FOR INDIA: A FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH

By Will Lawther
Asia’s urban population is estimated to double between 2000 and 2030. India is the dominant force in South Asia, and the vastly diverse country is by no means isolated from the growing urban movement. Urban environments have statistically shown as being epicenters for economic growth, resource development, and occupational opportunities. Urbanization has been the fundamental factor of economic growth within the industrial age. Yet, to many public officials, urbanization is seen as a hindrance to growth. Potential negative implications of urbanization include an increase in the propensity of crime, poverty and insecurity. These negative implications need to be managed in order to lift India’s developing status. The cost-benefit ratio for India is clear, and planning, housing, infrastructure and the spreading of social services are paramount issues on the docket of urbanization.

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CLIMATE CHANGE IN CHINA: CAN CHINA BE A MODEL OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT?

By Hiromi Yagi
China has developed dramatically in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Expressed in market exchange rates, its GDP overtook Japan’s in 2010, making it the second largest economic power in the world. However, it recently also became the country with the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Its energy use (mostly consisting of carbon emitting coal and gas) has contributed to climate change, which has impacted not only the Chinese but also people all over the world. In recent years, China is changing its attitude about global warming, and is also trying to improve its energy system. This article reviews the empirical background of China’s large greenhouse gas emission, the impact of climate change in China, and recent Chinese policies on global warming. It concludes that China needs strong institutions and the involvement of not only of the central government but also local government and citizens to effectively implement policy changes for sustainable development.

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