Global Development And Environment Institute
at Tufts University

Globalization & Sustainable Development Program

March 2014 Newsletter

Expert Meeting Launches China Working Group in Peru


GDAE’s Jeronim Capaldo was in Lima, Peru, in March for the inaugural meeting of the Working Group on Chinese Investment in Latin America. At the meeting, experts from eight countries presented their research on the wide-ranging social and environmental impacts of the recent surge in Chinese investment. Other participants were Cynthia Sanborn and Victoria Chonn (Peru), Adam Chimienti (Ecuador), Adam Rua (Bolivia), Philip Fearnside (Brazil), Andres Lopez (Argentina), Nicola Borregaard (Chile), Hu Tao (China), as well as Kevin Gallagher and Rebecca Ray (Boston University) and Denise Leung (World Resources Institute). The group presented some of their findings at a public event, “Rompiendo Mitos: China en América Latina,”

at the Universidad del Pacífico. A policy report will be released in the fall, with case studies published on the web and in a book volume.
 
This joint GDAE-Boston University project published the “China-Latin America Economic Bulletin” in English and Spanish, with updated investment figures. BU’s Kevin Gallagher wrote “The Limits of China’s Globalization Strategy,” and the research continues to get media attention in the region (see "El Nuevo banco de America" from Ecuador’s El Universo).

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The China project is part of a broader GDAE effort on South-South Investment. GDAE researchers have completed the first phase of comparative studies on Indian and Brazilian foreign investment in Latin America. Soon to be released, the two reports underline the inadequacy of environmental regulations and suggest ways to improve policy dialogue on foreign investment. GDAE will also be researching more sustainable, employment-generating alternatives to the destructive large-scale infrastructure projects financed by such South-South investment.

Wise Examines Malawi’s “Maize Miracle”


Timothy A. Wise completed another leg of his Open Society Fellowship research with a trip to Malawi, via Geneva and Addis Ababa. In Malawi, Wise investigated the country’s “maize miracle,” the ambitious and controversial fertilizer and seed subsidy program that has produced impressive food production gains. Now beset by macroeconomic, fiscal, and ecological constraints, the high-input strategy is being widely questioned as farmers consider more sustainable agricultural practices. He captured some of the key policy dilemmas in two Global Post articles, “Malawi's paradox: Filled with both corn and hunger,” and “To end hunger, global policy can't be 'business as usual'.”

Wise presented his research at Open Society offices in New York and Washington. (Click here for a podcast and the PowerPoint presentation.)

In Geneva, Wise met with colleagues at the ILO and UNCTAD and participated in an Expert Consultation on "A New Framework for Trade and Investment in Agriculture." He also joined longtime collaborator Sophia Murphy for a presentation at the South Centre on "The Importance of Food Reserves for a Strong Trade System and the Post-Bali Negotiations.” He was in Addis Ababa for the African Union’s summit on "Agriculture and Food Security." He wrote two articles (here and here) on the controversies over the prominent role of multinational corporations in agricultural development under the G8 nations’ New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

Wise will be in Mexico in April to assess the heated controversy over efforts to introduce genetically modified maize into the country.

GDAE Deepens Trade Policy Research


After the December Bali WTO agreements, Jeronim Capaldo was invited to Paris in February to participate in a technical workshop aimed at improving the estimates of trade agreements’ impacts. Capaldo made proposals to center trade impact assessment on employment and sustainable development using improved models. The work builds on the approach taken in his policy brief “The Uncertain Gains from Trade Facilitation”, recently cited by Economic and Political Weekly.
 
Capaldo is developing new research at GDAE to examine the effect that further economic integration will have on the financial sector in Asia – especially in China – and in Latin America. He will be working with international organizations to establish an expert group on the costs of financial integration for developing countries, while working with advocacy groups to provide stronger critiques of mainstream modeling results. The technical group will evaluate the consequences, in terms of income, private and government deficits, and reduced policy sovereignty, of more integrated financial markets in countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. By looking at the financial sector, the group will also analyze the prospective trends in monetary flows aimed at environmentally sustainable investment and climate finance.

April 4: Deaton and Galbraith to lecture at Tufts on
“Health, Inequality, and Public Policy”


GDAE will award its 2014 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought to Angus Deaton and James K. Galbraith in recognition of their research on inequality, well-being, and public policy. The ceremony will be held Friday, April 4 at Tufts University. A light lunch will be offered at 12:00 in the Cabot Mezzanine to registered participants. The award lectures will take place in ASEAN Auditorium in Cabot Intercultural Center at 12:30pm. Please take a moment to RSVP

Program Updates:


Yesterday GDAE Senior Research Fellow Frank Ackerman published “How The Koch Brothers Are Hacking Science.” He also authored the Huffington Post article "Your iPhone Causes China's Pollution" in February arguing that the widespread outsourcing of manufacturing to China has effectively outsourced our carbon emissions. In January, two media outlets (eNews Park Forest and Beyond Pesticides) quoted his 2011 paper â€œWould banning atrazine benefit farmers?”

GDAE Research Fellow Jeff Ashe continues work on In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development. It will be available to the public in early October 2014. He is also teaching three courses on microfinance and microenterprise development at Brandeis University and Columbia University
 
GDAE Research Fellow Shaun Paul presented at the Latin American Impact Investing Forum in Merida, Mexico in February and addressed "Empowering indigenous people through impact investment." He also moderated a panel in March at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund hosted by International Funders for Indigenous People on "The Effectiveness of Indigenous Stewardship: Climate Change and Food Resilience."
 
Debate on international trade and investment agreements continued on the Triple Crisis blog. Martin Khor, Director of the South Centre, noted that the TPP will adversely affect the availability of generic medicines for treatment of serious illnesses such as cancer and AIDS in many countries. Robin Broad and John Cavanagh underscored the risks of allowing corporations to sue governments directly when their interests conflict. Sara Hsu analyzed the risks that are accumulating in the Chinese Shadow banking system and the threat they may represent for the global economy.

In the News:


January 2014
Timothy A. Wise was quoted extensively regarding the 20th Anniversary of NAFTA. See “NAFTA at 20: Some perspectives from planet earth” and El Proceso’s “A 20 años del TLCAN, voces críticas en EU.”  Listen to Wise on the KALW radio show that covers how NAFTA has affected jobs, migration, and the environment.
 
January 15, 2014
“The Bali myth of $1 trillion trade gains” quotes Jeronim Capaldo's policy brief, "The Uncertain Gains from Trade Facilitation.”
 
March 14, 2014 
A Watchdog.org article about soy subsidies quotes Timothy A. Wise.

Recent Publications:

 

Coming Soon:

  • “Understanding the links between food, fuel, and financial markets,” Timothy A. Wise, RIS Report
  • “Dynamics of income distribution and employment in the European Union,” Jeronim Capaldo, GDAE Policy Brief 
  • “Trade Rules and Land Grabs,” Jeronim Capaldo, GDAE Report
  • “All you need to believe if you want to believe in trade facilitation,” Jeronim Capaldo, GDAE Working Paper
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.
Global Development And Environment Institute
Tufts University
44 Teele Ave. Somerville, MA 02144
GDAE Website | gdae@tufts.edu
 

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