Economy and Finance

The global economy is rapidly changing. Economic power is increasingly shifting from North America and Europe to China, India, Brazil and other emerging economies. At the same time, poverty remains endemic in many parts of the developing world. Global challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity are shaping the way countries manage their own economies and interact with others.

Accountant counting a bundle of 100 Yuan bank notes.Credit: Mark Henley / Panos

The impacts of the financial crisis are being felt around the world, placing global financial systems under increased scrutiny and raising questions about regulation and reform.

Sustainable and equitable economic growth is more important than ever. Achieving this requires countries to reach out to broader markets through trade, and to create the right domestic environment to stimulate investment and innovation. They also need to ensure that external relationships contribute as much as possible to domestic growth and development, and that the benefits of development are shared fairly.

IDS works on a range of issues concerning economy and finance, including:

  • Trade and growth – we are analysing trends in global trade and regionalisation of the global economy using quantitative analysis and economic modelling.
  • Sustainability and the green economy – we are seeking to understand how investment in low-carbon technologies can help countries grow sustainably, and how this investment could be increased.
  • Finance and infrastructure – we are examining the impact of Development Finance Institutions support for Private Participation in Infrastructure on economic growth and poverty reduction.
  • Private capital flows – we are mapping changes in capital flows, and linking this to development impacts.
  • Climate change finance – we are exploring how to mobilise and distribute finance that helps countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • Environmental taxation – we are exploring the links between environmental taxation and international development outcomes.
  • Business innovation and branding – we are examining how businesses in China and Brazil are growing their innovation and branding capabilities.

Assessing the Tobin Tax

The current financial crisis has stirred up an old debate about whether it might make sense to impose a Tobin Tax, either on foreign exchange transactions or on all financial transactions. More details

BRICS Economic Engagement Footprint Study

This project investigated the nature of economic relations between the BRICS and Africa, in order to quantify the development footprint, focusing on various elements such as trade, investment. finance, ODA and migration. The current phase aims to look at development finance and the role of BRICS development banks. More details

Business from the BRICS

The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of business from the BRICS countries in the field of international development cooperation. More details

Codes and Standards and Development Finance

Using case studies of Brazil and India, this work looked at the impact on development finance of compliance with international codes and standards. More details

Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (ELLA)

Evidence and Lessons from Latin America' (ELLA) is a knowledge sharing and learning programme, that seeks to improve knowledge of Latin America's development among African and Asian policymakers, practitioners and researchers - on selected economic, environmental and governance issues. More details

Handbook of Financialization

Financialization has become the go-to term for scholarship that studies the vastly expanded role of finance in contemporary politics, economy and society. The goal of this handbook is to provide a comprehensive overview of the scholarship on financialization as it stands today, almost twenty years after the concept was first embraced by social scientists More details

International Architecture for Economic Shock Financing

This project examined the international architecture of economic shock financing and provided some recommendations for a better shock financing architecture. More details

International Public Opinion Monitor

The International Public Opinion Monitor aims to understand how everyday citizens see the world in which live, and how their attitudes change (or not) over time. More details

Linking Participation and Economic Advancement

We aim to support the Open Society Foundation in the strategic development of its Economic Advancement Programme. More details

Political Economy of Low Carbon Investment in China and India

This project investigates whether and how coalitions of public, private and civic actors influence low carbon investment. More details

Research on the Poverty Impact of Market and Enabling Business Environment Programmes in Kenya

To what extent does private sector development work in Kenya contribute to a reduction in poverty and inequality? This review aims to assess the evidence base for DFID Kenya’s Wealth Creation Pillar programming. More details

UNU-WIDER Symposium on Taxation & Revenue Mobilisation in Developing Countries consultancy

Bruno Martorano will be conducting research on the topic of ‘Tax Changes and Inequality in Latin America, 1990-2010’ More details

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IDS publications on international development research

The Future of Food and Farming: Final Project Report

Project aim: to explore the pressures on the global food system between now and 2050 and identify the decisions that policy makers need to take today, and in the years ahead, to ensure that a global population rising to nine billion or more can be fed sustainably and equitably. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Reforming Public Financial Management in Africa

Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP 10-048 (2010)
IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

Is a Financial Transaction Tax a Good Idea? A Review of the Evidence

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing 14.2 (2010)

IDS has undertaken a comprehensive review of the feasibility of financial transaction taxes (FTTs). We find that, worldwide, a financial transaction tax on foreign exchange transactions could raise US$26 billion. More details

IDS Working Paper

Estimating the National Impact of the Financial Crisis in Indonesia by Combining a Rapid Qualitative Study with Nationally Representative Surveys

IDS Working Paper 346 (2010)

This paper draws on a rapid qualitative assessment of the impact of the financial crisis in Indonesia, to generate hypotheses about the potential national impacts. More details

IDS publications on international development research

SICR Summary Zambia

By 2010, Zambia was recovering fast from the global financial crisis. This was partly due to what observers view as ‘prudent’ macroeconomic management before and in response to the shock. More details

IDS Research Summary

Estimating the Impact of the Food, Fuel and Financial Crises on Zambian Households

IDS Research Summary of IDS Working Paper 350 (2010)

Between 2006 and 2009 Zambia experienced a period of high inflation arising from the 2008 food, fuel and financial crises. This paper combines household survey data from 2006, with spatially disaggregated price data, to simulate the likely welfare impacts of price changes arising from these crises between 2006 and 2009. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Impact Assessment Report of Draft Environmental Tax Law in Vietnam

Report commissioned by Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit More details

IDS publications on international development research

From Overhang to Hangover: Consequences of Protectionist Responses to the Global Crisis for Low-Income Countries

As the global economic crisis unfolds, policymakers around the world are faced with increasing pressures to resort to protectionist measures in support of domestic producers. More details