Hans De Wit, Isabel Cristina Jaramillo, Jocelyne Gacel-Avila, and Jane Knight (eds.). Higher Education in Latin America: The International Dimension. (Shorter Notices-2005-2)

Author: Afia Malik
Publication Year : 2005

Hans De Wit, Isabel Cristina Jaramillo, Jocelyne Gacel-Avila, and Jane Knight (eds.). Higher Education in Latin America: The International Dimension. Washington, D. C.: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 2005. 387 pages. Paperback. Price not given. The system of higher education is changing significantly given the development of communication and technological services, increased international labour mobility, greater emphasis on the market economy and trade liberalisation, the focus on the knowledge society, increased private investment and decreased public support for education, and the growing importance of lifelong learning. This volume is based on seven country studies (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru). It compares internationalisation issues, trends, and opportunities in higher education in these countries at the institutional, national, and regional level. The first chapter reflects on the meanings, rationales, approaches, and strategies for internationalisation and identifies core issues. The focus in the rest of the book is on the status, issues, and challenges for internationalisation of higher education in the seven Latin American countries. These chapters also identify opportunities for raising the region’s profile globally. It is useful reading for policy-makers, academics, and practitioners in all developing countries to cope with the process of globalisation.

Chantal Blouin, Nick Drager, and Richard Smith (eds.). International Trade in Health Services and the GATS: Current Issues and Debates. Washington, D. C.: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 2006. 312 pages. Paperback. Price not given. Trade liberalisation can affect health in many ways. For example, cross-border flows of infectious diseases, advertising of unhealthy lifestyles, and at the same time direct trade in health-related goods, services, and people (patients and professionals). One of the challenges faced by the governments, or health ministries in particular, is to assess and respond to the risks and opportunities for population health and human development of the increasing openness in health services under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This volume has addressed this challenge by providing analytical tools to the policy-makers from both the trade and health sectors. It reviews the current evidence on the health sector implications of the liberalisation of health services trade in selected countries, particularly developing countries. The volume is divided in eight chapters. The first chapter introduces the underlying concepts and issues in trade in health services and the GATS. In the second chapter, challenges faced by the developing countries for GATS negotiations are discussed. Chapter Three is an overview of the current situation with respect to GATS commitments and negotiations in health services. It also reflects on the reasons behind the current patterns. The authors have also examined the available limitations that countries may or have agreed to under the GATS, as well as the possible implications of trade under the GATS both in terms of possible risks and benefits. Chapter four outlines ten steps to consider before making commitments in health services under the GATS, highlighting the costs and benefits the policy-makers may wish to consider in assessing whether or not to make such commitments. Chapter Five reflects on the international legal dimensions of making commitments under the GATS. In the sixth chapter, the authors have discussed the task of assessing the impact of liberalisation on health services, and the extent to which it will contribute to economic welfare. In the seventh chapter, four research papers relating to the four GATS modes have been reviewed. Finally, in the eighth chapter, future steps for policy-makers are considered alongside the importance of national assessment of trade in health services.

Simon J. Evenett and Bernard M. Hoekman (ed.). Economic Development and Multilateral Trade Cooperation. Washington, D. C.: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 477 pages. Paperback. Price not given. This volume is a collection of studies that analyse how the trading system could be made more beneficial for economic development without scrapping the main function of the WTO, that is, the internalisation of cross-border policy-induced spillovers. The contributors, besides dealing with subjects that are on the agenda of the Doha Round of negotiations, focus on broader issues, like the design of agreements and negotiating modalities, the need for and feasibility of differential application of multilateral norms, international policy coherence, possible linkages between development assistance and trade policy commitments, and alternate approaches to enforcing negotiated commitments. They analyse the existing situation and propose approaches that in their view would support the process of economic development. There are fifteen chapters in the volume organised in four parts: the political economy of market access and the design of negotiating modalities; assessments of past and current approaches to addressing development concerns with the multilateral trade regime; the design of rules and their enforcement; and the use of issues linkages in negotiations. It is generally believed that for a WTO agreement to be beneficial from the development perspective, it should achieve at least one of the following outcomes: remove barriers to trade from products that poor countries produce and eliminate policies that negatively affect the terms of trade of those countries; lower domestic barriers so as to reduce the prices of goods and services that firms and households consume; and encourage the adoption of trade-related and complementary regulations and institutions that support development. The chapters in this volume thoroughly discuss the factors that can play an important role in reaching these three outcomes and their possible magnitudes. Indeed, this is valuable reading for those who want to pursue the agenda on trade and development in a productive manner.

Çaglar Özden and Maurice Schiff (eds.). International Migration, Remittances and the Brain Drain. Washington, D. C.: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 274 pages. Paperback. Price not given. International migration, the movement of people across international boundaries, is a complex and dynamic process that changes the migrants’ home and destination countries, and of course the migrants themselves. It has immense economic, social, and cultural implications in both countries of origin and destination. It is a global phenomenon involving numerous issues and problems. This volume, using data and in-depth analysis, covers a wide range of issues and provides a large number of solutions to the problems that are the subject matter in international migration research and policy agenda. The volume is divided in two parts. Part I analyses the determinants and impacts of migration and remittances on different measures of development and welfare, such as poverty and inequality, investments in education, health, housing, and other productive activities, entrepreneurship, and school attendance and child labour. The contributors to this set of chapters focus on different source countries, data collected from different sources and methodologies. They employ various econometric tools and find that the impact of remittances on investment in human capital and other productive activities is greater than that from other sources of income; and income gains may also accrue to households without migrants. In addition, their findings include the importance of community and other networks in internal and international migration. Part II deals with “brain drain”. Using a very large data-set, it examines the issues of brain drain, brain waste, and migrants’ contribution to technological progress in destination countries. The contributors have touched on a number of issues associated with brain drain that have not been highlighted in the literature so far. They uncover a number of interesting and unexpected patterns, and attempt answers for some of the debates. This volume is an invaluable addition to the research on the links between international migration and economic development, particularly with reference to the economically motivated south-north migration.