Author: Nathan Ghelli

Nathan writes for The Borgen Project from Salt Lake City, UT. Nathan completed my master’s in economics at the University of Utah. His thesis focused on the possible trade flow repercussions in the European Union of the 2014 Russian food embargo. International trade, US foreign policy, and the geopolitics of the Eurasia region are of particular interest to him.

SEATTLE — In his third campaign for president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador seems certain to finally capture Mexico’s top job. After decades of meager economic growth and rampant corruption at the highest levels, many Mexicans see López Obrador as the most viable option for real change and prosperity. From regaining a sense of economic self-sufficiency for rural farmers to addressing the purported negative effects of NAFTA on Mexico, López Obrador’s concerns have played well with the poor, the working class and well-educated youths alike. Rather than reinventing himself to the times, López Obrador has benefited from a wave of anti-system and anti-government…

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SEATTLE — In the 2016-17 financial year, Egypt spent 3.3 percent of its GDP on fuel subsidies and 1.4 percent on food subsidies. These sizable outlays are intended to help the poorest of its population, but in fact tend to aid the better off. Energy and food subsidies are not a new phenomenon in the Egyptian economy. Subsidies in Egypt, and other price controls, have been used in Egypt since the 1920s. However, the government’s renewed focus on repairing an ailing economy has drawn attention to both the efficacy and equity of subsidies. Historically, the primary aim of these subsidies…

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SEATTLE — Discussing “great power” competition in Africa has recently been reserved for the U.S. and the rising influence of China. But under the more ambitious and status-seeking leadership of Vladimir Putin, some experts see a revival of Russian investment in Africa as imminent. As of 2014, Russia had deployed more troops for the U.N. peacekeeping missions in Africa than the U.S., France and the United Kingdom combined. According to the Atlantic Center’s Africa Center, between 2000 and 2012 trade between Africa and Russia rose tenfold. While China’s vast infrastructure and commercial credits have garnered much attention, Russian investment in…

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SEATTLE — Since many development programs rely on reliable roadways connecting villages with urban areas, rural road maintenance is inextricably tied to poverty reduction efforts. If poorly maintained, roads become a recurring obstacle for a low-income country’s development goals. Aside from the limitations on commerce, dilapidated roads also inhibit access to education and health services. The concentration of poverty in rural areas makes the need for better maintained rural roads even greater. As of 2014, more than 70 percent of people living on less than $1.25 a day resided in rural areas. Do-Nou an Innovative Method of Improving Roads A…

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Compared to men, women are far less likely in Pakistan to own a bank account, let alone use one on a regular basis. In 2014, a mere 5 percent of women were directly involved in some form of official banking. The large population of illiterate women fares even worse when it comes to financial inclusion in Pakistan. But improvements to digital services are providing greater access for women in the developing world and Pakistan in particular. Pakistan has been addressing its persistent gender gap in bank account ownership over the last decade by digitizing an existing welfare program tailored specifically…

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PYONGYANG — Feeding its own people is rarely a topic discussed on North Korean state television. Seemingly more important issues take precedent — successful missile launches or summits involving leaders of notable foreign nations come to mind. Since its inception under Kim Il Sung, the totalitarian state has been abysmal at providing even basic necessities to the general population, and equally as inept at admitting to it. It has been far more capable of creating a vale of misconceptions, propaganda, and outright lies about daily life outside of its borders. Accessing Foreign Information in North Korea A traditionally inward looking…

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SEATTLE — Tourism accounts for one of every 12 jobs worldwide, and is broadly seen as a viable path to sustainable growth in least developed countries (LDCs). In many LDCs, tourism spending is both the primary driver of economic growth and a source for foreign exchange. But much of the tourism investments fail to reach, let alone benefit, the poor local communities where the money is spent. However, some novel approaches to tourism, which engage and provide earnings for poor local residents, are succeeding in Africa and Southeast Asia. These poverty reduction efforts, known as “pro-poor tourism,” are effectively channeling…

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SEATTLE — Promoting both external and internal migration in Bangladesh is alleviating poverty for those who stay behind in two distinct ways. External migration, particularly short-term, promotes economic development through remittance flows, while internal migration, especially rural to urban, encourages economic self-sufficiency for farmers who remain at home by raising agricultural wages. Thus, reducing poverty through migration in Bangladesh is not just the purview of those who temporarily immigrate to another country. Similarly to international migrants, internal migrants who leave the countryside for the city are contributing to wage growth in their home villages. Moving abroad for better opportunities has…

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