Global Development And Environment Institute
at Tufts University

Globalization & Sustainable Development Program

November 2014 Newsletter

GDAE study on US-EU trade agreement stirs up Europe

A new GDAE analysis of the economic impacts of the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), by GDAE Research Fellow Jeronim Capaldo, has undercut widespread claims of economic benefits for Europe, and at a key point in the negotiations. Capaldo projects net losses and higher instability for Europe as a whole from the proposed US-EU trade agreement. Impacts include a reduction of GDP, the loss of 600,000 jobs, a continuing reduction of the labor share of GDP, and higher risk of financial instability.
TTIP Illustration from Information.dkThe paper, “Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: European Disintegration, Unemployment and Instability,” quickly drew the attention of European media and was quoted, within two weeks of its October 28 release, by news organizations in Austria, Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Newspapers quoting the study include The Financial Times, Austrian Die Presse, and Italian La Stampa. The Danish newspaper Information featured it on the front page, and then published an online English translation to expand coverage of the issue. In the United States, the paper was cited in Politico. European colleagues active in the debate on TTIP have translated the executive summary into German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

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Jeronim CapaldoThe study also gained the attention of European policymakers, political representatives and NGOs. It has been discussed with members of the European Parliament, and French and Italian government officials responded to the study. Several European MPs and EU-based think tanks invited Capaldo to give presentations and contribute articles. The Commonwealth Secretariat in India invited Capaldo to present the paper at the December 15-16 conference in Delhi on “Mega Trading Blocs: Implications for the South.”

Capaldo’s paper shows that consensus projections of TTIP’s effects, endorsed by the European Commission, change dramatically when a more realistic economic model is used. Capaldo used the United Nations Global Policy Model, which he helped develop and which is now being run jointly by GDAE and UNCTAD, the UN body specialized in the analysis of international trade and finance. As part of his project on
Modeling Policy Reform, Capaldo will continue working with the GPM to assess the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Feeding the Debate about “Feeding the World”


Timothy A. Wise continues conducting research for his fellowship project on "A Rights Based Approach to the Global Food Crisis," with the latest stops being Rome and Iowa. In Rome, Wise participated in the October annual meetings of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), working with the CFS’s innovative Civil Society Mechanism to follow important policy processes on Responsible Agricultural Investment, Food Losses and Waste, and the Right to Food.
From Rome he flew to Des Moines, Iowa, for an October 16 presentation at the World Food Prize, on side event with ActionAid titled, â€œAre we on track to feed the world by 2050? Land, Biofuels and Food Systems.” The panel presentation, based on last year's report, â€œRising to the Challenge: Changing Course to Feed the World in 2050,” presented one of the few alternative approaches to global hunger at a World Food Prize dominated by industrial agriculture. They argued instead for changes to global biofuels policies and reductions in food waste to make more food available. Wise and Kristin Sundell co-authored an opinion article, “To Feed the World in 2050 We Have to Change Course,” which was widely circulated and was reprinted by the Christian Science Monitor. Wise also wrote Feeding the World: The Ultimate First-World Conceit. Wise stayed in Iowa to research the U.S. corn economy for his fellowship project, interviewing farmers, researchers, public officials, and environmental activists about Iowa’s corn, soybean, hog, and ethanol-based economy.
Wise will be in Mozambique Nov. 22-Dec. 7 researching the ProSavana Project, a Brazilian-Japanese agricultural development project that is one of the largest in Africa. Denounced as a “land-grab” by some, the project is embraced by others as an innovative extension of Brazil’s own success as one of the world’s biggest agro-exporters. Wise will examine how this approach differs from the large-scale agriculture projects he has studied in Tanzania and Zambia.

GDAE Awards Leontief Prize to Foley and Taylor

GDAE will award its 2015 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought to Duncan Foley and Lance Taylor. The award recognizes the contributions that these researchers have made to our understanding of the relationships between environmental quality and the macroeconomy, based on their pathbreaking work in the field of macroeconomics. The ceremony and lectures by the awardees will take place on March 23, 2015 on Tufts University’s Medford campus. For additional information, see the detailed announcement.

Program Updates:

Timothy A. Wise presented his conference paper, “Two Roads Diverged in the Food Crisis: Global policy takes the one more traveled,” as part of a keynote panel at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on September 26, 2014. The paper will appear in a forthcoming special issue of Canadian Food Studies.
The China-Latin America Working Group, co-sponsored by GDAE and Boston University, is preparing its first policy report, due for release in early 2015. In preparation, Working Group Editor Rebecca Ray will be presenting the draft report at a China-Latin America NGO Summit taking place in December in Lima, Peru.
GDAE Research Fellow Jeff Ashe spoke at GDAE on October 27 about his new book, â€œIn Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development.” Learn more about Ashe's ongoing savings groups project.

GDAE Research Fellow Shaun Paul led an Impact Investing Workshop at the Fletcher School on October 21. Thirty students participated in an exercise about the decision-making process of investing.

GDAE hosted bestselling author and prize-winning economist Ha-Joon Chang in September for a talk at Tufts on his recently published book Economics: The User’s Guide. With wit and insight, the book introduces a wide range of economic theories, challenging prevailing approaches to economic theory and policy. Chang was awarded GDAE’s Leontief Prize in 2005.

In the News:

  • National Geographic video, When Food Is Fuel, and a two-page spread in the October issue, draws upon research by GDAE's Timothy A. Wise. The video explores how corn-based ethanol diverts land and water resources from food crops, and drives up the cost of corn that is used for food, especially in countries such as Mexico that rely on grain imports. Read Wise's research on Food vs. Fuel
  • An August 13 Wall Street Journal article ”How Can India Be Breaking WTO Rules When Rich Countries Spend So Much More on Their Farmers?“ quotes an Al Jazeera op-ed by Timothy A. Wise and Jeronim Capaldo.
  • A September 6 Economic & Political Weekly article “WTO Upside Down Trade Facilitation vs Agriculture” quotes Timothy A. Wise's 2013 article “Why WTO needs a Hypocrisy Clause”.
  • The Des Moines Register quoted Timothy A. Wise in "Feeding China: What does the future hold for hunger?", published October 17, 2014. Wise argues that some of the resources farmers need are basic, such as access to credit and markets.
  • The Policy Pennings Weekly Agricultural Policy Column featured a report by Timothy A. Wise’s in “Modeling world food production needs in 2050” on November 7, 2014.

Recent Publications:

Coming Soon:

  • “Trade Rules and Land Grabs,” Jeronim Capaldo and Rachel Denae Thrasher, GDAE Report
  • “Mandating Hunger: The Impacts of Global Biofuel Mandates and Targets,” Timothy A. Wise and Emily Cole, GDAE Working Paper
  • “Two Roads Diverged in the Food Crisis: Global policy takes the one more traveled,” Timothy A. Wise, forthcoming in Canadian Food Studies
  •  â€œScenarios of Chinese economic slowdown: international effects,” Jeronim Capaldo, Working Group Paper
  •  â€œThe Dynamics of Income Distribution and Employment in the European Union,” Jeronim Capaldo, GDAE Policy Brief
The Globalization and Sustainable Development Program examines the economic, social and environmental impacts of economic integration in developing countries. The goal of the program is to identify policies and international agreements that promote sustainable development.