This book has its conceptual origin from the lecture materials of the training
courses taught by one of the authors in the early nineties. It was during this
period that in several developing nations, particularly in Africa, even when the
signs of widespread hunger and abject poverty were visible, policy makers did
not act for want of ‘empirical evidence’. Some policy makers even dismissed the
severity of the problem saying that the hunger reports prepared by government
officials were not rigorous enough to take them seriously.
The study also analyses the lending structure which most likely has contributed to the rise in house
prices. Such price rises exceeded the growth in income levels. The FSA contributes these
developments to the deterioration in lending standards, which not only happened in the U.K., but
also in the U.S., Ireland and Spain for instance. Such practices were originated by lenders -to some
extent non-bank lenders- which took mortgage risks on individual households which could be
classified as high risk borrowers.
Defi ning, gathering, and disseminating international statistics is a collective effort of many people and
organizations. The indicators presented in World Development Indicators are the fruit of decades of work
at many levels, from the fi eld workers who administer censuses and household surveys to the committees
and working parties of the national and international statistical agencies that develop the nomenclature,
classifi cations, and standards fundamental to an international statistical system.