Sustainable Economic and Social Development

The department ‘Sustainable Economic and Social Development’ explores economic development strategies that enhance competitiveness while at the same time reducing poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability. Poverty can only be overcome with higher investments in economic development and a more efficient use of the available factors of production. Economic growth and enhanced productivity are necessary, but not sufficient, for reducing poverty in the long term. In developing countries in particular, large sections of the population face barriers which hamper their integration in productive activities, including lack of education and finance, bad infrastructure or red tape. Furthermore, increasing production and consumption often affects the environment. Global growth is rapidly approaching the limits of sustainability, making a green transformation of the global economy unavoidable. Developing countries will have to find ways to implement economic reforms that foster productive inclusion of poorer households, reduce resource consumption and at the same time create new competitive advantages. Our research team emphasises the analysis of political and economic interest groups, which enhances the relevance of our policy recommendations.

Poverty measurement, poverty trends and the Millennium Development Goals

Precise poverty measurement is crucial for adequate policies. But what is poverty? The most commonly used indicator is income. But the poor often lack opportunities to monetarily satisfy their needs. In response, UNDP introduced the “Multidimensional Poverty...

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Innovations for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development

Economic development overusing such natural resources as the global atmosphere is unsustainable. Environmental costs need to be systematically internalised and models of economic growth need to incorporate resource productivity. This will affect competitive...

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Inclusive agriculture-led development

Agriculture is key to achieving economic growth, alleviating poverty, improving food security and a number of other Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) in most poor developing countries. This is particularly true in Africa, where the majority of peoples’...

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Inclusive economic and employment policies

Developing a competitive private sector is crucial for economic growth, employment and poverty reduction. However, the more competitive individual enterprises, value chains or economic sub-sectors are, the higher the entry barriers tend to be for newcomers....

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Social protection

DIE investigates how social protection programmes should be designed in order to reduce multidimensional poverty and inequality while also promoting growth and social cohesion.

Social protection systems play a key role in the development process, since they...

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Poverty and shared prosperity 2016: taking on inequality
World Bank Group in collaboration with Mario Negre et al. (2016)
Washington, DC: World Bank Publications

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Comparing low carbon innovation paths in Asia and Europe
Altenburg, Tilman / Ambui Sagar / Hubert Schmitz / Xue Lan (eds.)(2015)
published on Science and Public Policy (Special Issue)

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The entrepreneur makes a difference: Evidence on MSE upgrading factors from Egypt, India, and the Philippines
Hampel-Milagrosa, Aimée / Loewe, Markus / Caroline Reeg (2015)
World Development 66(2), 118-130