The Challenge for International Institutions
International Institutions and Global Governance series
Edited by John-ren Chen and David Sapsford
Chapter 1: The Role of International Institutions in Economic Development and Poverty Reduction in the Developing World
John-ren Chen I INTRODUCTION In the current global community the per capita income of its approximately 200 countries is distributed very unequally, the per capita income of the richest country being more than 100 times that of the poorest country given in ofﬁcial exchange rates. Most countries of the globe are less developed countries (LDCs) and developing countries (DCs) with low per capita income. In this chapter the DCs and the LDCs are called ‘the developing world’ (DW) and the rest are called ‘the industrialized world’ (IW). More than half of the world population is living in countries with an annual per capita income of less than $700. More than ﬁve decades since the end of World War II politicians and social and economic scientists have expended much effort in proposing measures for improving economic development and reducing poverty, but without much success, especially in the LDCs. The global community is still confronted by serious poverty in the DW and unequal income distribution between the members of the IW and DW. More seriously, about two decades after the implementation of the Washington Consensus, about 1.2 billion people (or approximately 20 per cent of the world population) around the world are living on less than a dollar a day with more than 50 per cent of the global population living on less than two dollars a day. Therefore the need for economic development and poverty reduction in the DW, especially in the LDW, has lost none of its urgency over...
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