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  May 1999    

UNU/WIDER announces new research projects
The UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) selects its research projects based on continuity with the research tradition of the Institute, policy orientation (that is, problems that can be solved, in part, through introduction of appropriate policy measures), research originality, and relevance. The two newest UNU/WIDER research projects focus on issues of transnational financial contagion and global economic integration.

Financial contagion

UNU/WIDER is launching a project to study the spread of financial contagion from one country to another in the context of today's highly globalized markets for financial capital. Selection of this project, entitled "Financial Contagion: How It Spreads, How It Can Be Stopped," is motivated by recent events, most notably the spread of financial crises from one country to another in East Asia, then in Russia and on to Latin America.

The project aims to identify the conditions and mechanisms that cause financial contagion to spread, and the consequences for the productive side of the economy. Among the project objectives are the study and development of policies that could reduce the vulnerability of output and employment, as well as measures at the global level.

Economic integration

Economic gains from the process of globalization have been highly asymmetric within the South; countries in East Asia and the larger economies in Latin America seem to have benefited the most. Yet while many countries in the developing world have been unable to cash in on the increased internationalization of the world economy, opting out of the present-day globalized economic system does not appear to be a viable alternative.

The project entitled "Globalization and the Obstacles to the Successful Integration of Small Vulnerable Economies" aims to identify and analyse some of the obstacles that prevent successful integration into the global system. These obstacles include domestic constraints within many developing countries as well as external factors beyond national control. The project's objectives are the analysis and study of policies that could ameliorate the existing problems and constraints.

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