nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2010‒05‒15
three papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
University of the West Indies

  1. Sustainable Agriculture: A Way Out of Food Poverty By Tuya Altangerel; Fernando Henao
  2. The MDGs and Beyond: Pro-Poor Policy in a Changing World By Andy Sumner; Claire Melamed
  3. Marx, Globalization, and the Falling Rate of Profit: A Critical Study. By Miguel D. Ramirez

  1. By: Tuya Altangerel (Poverty Practice, UNDP Bureau for Development Policy); Fernando Henao (New York University)
    Abstract: The most fundamental human right is the right to food (UN General Assembly, 2002). Proper nutritious food is the precondition for normal human development. Well-nourished children are more likely to succeed in learning and are less susceptible to diseases. But low-income, food-importing economies are facing increasing difficulties in accessing staple food items. Chronic food insecurity persists, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The recent economic crisis drove more than 100 million people into hunger in 2008 alone. Is sustainable agriculture a solution?
    Keywords: Sustainable Agriculture: A Way Out of Food Poverty
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: Andy Sumner (Institute of Development Studies, Sussex); Claire Melamed (ActionAid)
    Abstract: This Poverty in Focus reviews the experience of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to date and asks what we can do to accelerate MDG progress in the years 2010?2015 and beyond. Longer versions of each article herein are available in IDS Bulletin 41 (1) from the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom. These debates acquire greater significance as we enter 2010 and embark on the discussions leading up to and beyond the UN review of the MDGs. The global economic crisis has changed the context within which MDG debates will happen. Unsurprisingly, there have been numerous calls for a new development narrative/paradigm from developing countries, international civil society organisations and development agencies. This changing context will affect the debate on the MDGs, past and future, in ways that perhaps only now are starting to become clear. The Washington Consensus has been declared dead (again), but the nature of the shift to a new model and the nature of the policy space remain unclear. Certainly, the discussion is opening up to a wider range of policy instruments for development. There are immediate concerns for policy-makers in the coming years. The impact of the crisis is likely to continue to frame debates over the next five years, and will be critical in determining the economic and social environment. It is not clear when growth rates in the poorest countries will start to pick up, nor whether the poorest people will benefit in time to prevent permanent damage to livelihoods and erosion of assets. Economic uncertainty in donor countries is also leading to declining public support for aid budgets. In short, the times are different from those of the Millennium Declaration and the inception of the MDGs. The late 1990s and 2000 were a fairly benign period for international development, a period of relatively buoyant aid budgets and strong commitments to public expenditures on social sectors, reasonable economic growth in many developing countries, relative stability, and a consensus on what we are trying to achieve: the MDGs. The coming period is likely to be much less certain as developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, face several interconnected crises to which climate change is central. Such uncertainties not only have the potential to have an adverse impact on poverty levels, but they also change the context for achieving the MDGs. I look forward to the 2010 MDG review and hope that the articles presented here contribute to a fruitful discussion on maintaining MDG momentum as we move to 2015 and, in time, ending global poverty. Lord Mark Malloch-Brown
    Keywords: The MDGs and Beyond: Pro-Poor Policy in a Changing World
    Date: 2010–01
  3. By: Miguel D. Ramirez (Department of Economics, Trinity College)
    Abstract: This paper argues that Marx’s views on globalization and its supposed inevitability underwent a substantial evolution and revision after the publication of the Communist Manifesto. His writings relating to India, and particularly China and Russia, show that he was no longer certain that “the country that is more developed industrially only shows, to the less developed, the image of its own future” (Vol. I, p. 13). In the case of China, a prime example of the Asiatic mode of production, Marx even doubted whether globalization (capitalism) would ever be able to accomplish its historical mission of developing the forces of production and creating the material conditions for a higher mode of production, viz., Communism. While in the Russian case, he seriously entertained the notion that it could bypass the hardships and vicissitudes of capitalism and forge its own unique path to socialism. If accepted, this interpretation represents a serious challenge to the universality and validity of Marx’s materialist conception of history. The paper also addresses the role of the law of the tendency of the falling rate of profit in the geographic expansion of competitive capitalism. It contends that Marx did not believe there was an iron-clad connection between the falling rate of profit and globalization; in addition, it argues that Marx believed that the capitalists’ insatiable search for colonial markets was driven by their desire to overcome recurrent (and growing) realization problems in the home market arising from deficient aggregate demand on the part of both workers and capitalists.
    Keywords: Asiatic Mode of Production, Globalization, Law of the Falling Tendency of the Rate of Profit, Materialist Conception of History, Underconsumptionist Tendencies.
    JEL: B10 E24
    Date: 2010–05

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