Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 9:30am
According to The Economist, India's proposal to give every citizen a cash transfer using the digital platform Aadhar could reduce absolute poverty from 22 percent to 0.5 percent. For a country that is home to a third of the world's poor, could Universal Basic Income (UBI) fundamentally change the picture of poverty, health and well-being in India and the world?
Monday, April 17, 2017 - 12:00pm
The World Development Report for 2017 is on Governance and the Law. The report fits into (and helps address) two linked debates about development and the role of the World Bank: first is the tension between best practices, rankings, and learning across economies with the ideas of going with the grain and problem-driven iterative adaption that have culminated in the President of the World Bank, Jim Kim, suggesting “we will never go back to the bad old days when the World Bank and other organizations told countries what to do. We don’t do that anymore.” Second is a debate over the strategic role of the Bank –building consensus and backing holistic endeavors like the SDGs or being more adversarial and pushing prioritization. Luis-Felipe Lopez-Calva, co-director of the Report will discuss these issues with Michael Klein, former vice president for financial and private sector development at the World Bank and a driving force behind the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators. An open discussion will follow.
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 1:00pm
This session will convene leading experts to address the critical issue of measuring and improving quality of healthcare in low income settings. In order to improve the health of the world's population, we need to increase access to healthcare and simultaneously ensure that the care provided is of sufficiently high quality (i.e. care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable). Healthcare systems need to think beyond access and coverage of healthcare services; they need to start measuring and systematically improving quality of healthcare in LMICs.
CGD Invited Research Forum
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 12:30pm
Using new data on roads and cities spanning over 50 years in 39 African countries, Remi Jedwab and colleagues document the effect of road construction on city population growth, through the channel of increasing market access. They estimate a 30-year elasticity of city population with respect to market access that is smaller than found in other regions. But they also find heterogeneity in returns within Africa that provides important insights about the potential return to specific transport investments, depending on context.
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 10:30am
More than 21 million people around the world are living as refugees. Three-quarters of those do not live in refugee camps, but in urban communities, profoundly altering the social fabric of cities in major host countries. Currently their survival depends on both regular outside assistance from humanitarian agencies and host country governments, and their own support structures such as social network ties. With the average duration of refugee status now more than ten years, this is often an unsustainable solution. Please join the Center for Global Development, in collaboration with the Urban Institute, as we explore how urban refugees can play a greater role in local economies, become more self-reliant and less dependent on outside assistance. What might help them integrate more with host communities? What is the role of social and economic networks?
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 10:30am
A protectionist stance from the US looms large as a policy concern for Latin America, where many countries have chosen a growth model based on increased integration with the rest of the world. It may force a major policy revision involving trade and financial sectors. Moreover, the region may be impacted even if protectionist policies are geared to other regions, e.g., China, given that they may result in a deterioration of commodity prices.
What should Latin America’s response be? What are the alternative forms of trade integration and markets creation that the region should explore? What is the role for monetary, fiscal and financial policies? What are the mistakes of the past to be avoided? These are among the key and timely issues that the Latin American Committee on Macroeconomics and Financial Issues (CLAAF) will address.
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 10:00am
Private investment in health R&D by pharmaceutical companies, charitable foundations, and venture capital firms, among others, can help to save lives and boost the health of entire regions. But some countries’ health governance infrastructures, management capacities, regulatory processes, and policy conditions are better equipped to utilize this private funding than others. What governance factors promote an investment-friendly environment for the private sector? And how can countries attract more private sector health financing?
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 4:00pm
In the current political and economic climate, donor governments are under pressure to reduce and spend foreign aid budgets as efficiently and effectively as possible. Aid remains a critical driver of progress. Yet at the same time, aid is increasingly NOT how the world pays for development; even the annual total of around $160 billion in overseas development assistance (ODA) represents a small and declining share of all global development finance. Private investment flows and developing countries' own public resources dwarf ODA. And while organizations like the World Bank and the UN still have top billing, commitment to their core missions appears to be weakening and regional alternatives are on the rise. Given these considerations, what is the future of development finance?
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 9:30am
2017 brings both new energy and new challenges for international cooperation. Major donors are questioning the value of globalism, while the UN system anticipates change under a new Secretary-General and with new heads of agencies—including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Monday, March 13, 2017 - 9:30am
While still a work in progress, the Trump Administration’s first budget request to Congress is expected to contain deep cuts to the US foreign affairs budget. What would substantial funding reductions mean for US efforts to advance global development and for US interests more broadly? What does the evidence tell us about US investments in foreign aid? How can the administration and Congress work to ensure the best use of assistance dollars?
Monday, March 6, 2017 - 5:30pm
Tropical forests are an undervalued asset in meeting the greatest global challenges of our time—averting climate change and promoting sustainable development. Despite their importance, tropical forests and their ecosystems are being destroyed at a high and even increasing rate in most forest-rich countries. The good news is that the science, economics, and politics are aligned to support a major international effort to reverse tropical deforestation.
CGD Invited Research Forum
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 12:30pm
Organized groups of individuals challenging the status quo are critical for institutional change and economic development patterns. This paper studies the 2011 student movement in Chile, the largest protest mobilization in the country’s history, in which hundreds of thousands of students skipped school to protest with the goal of reforming the educational system. Using administrative data on millions of students’ daily school attendance decisions on protest and non-protest days, a large network composed by the lifetime history of classmates, and differential network exposure to the first national protest, González employs an instrumental variables approach to test how networks affect protest behavior. The main finding is that individual participation follows a threshold model of collective behavior: students were influenced by their networks to skip school on protest days only when more than 40 percent of the members of their networks also skipped school. Additional findings show that protest participation imposed significant educational costs on students and helped to shift votes towards non-traditional opposition parties. Taken together, results indicate that networks amplify the effect of protests in non-linear ways with potentially significant consequences for institutional change.
CGD Invited Research Forum
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 12:30pm
Xu studies how patronage affects the promotion and performance of senior bureaucrats within a global organization: the British Empire. He combines newly digitized personnel and public finance data from the colonial administration 1854-1966 to study the inner workings of a bureaucracy that controlled close to a fifth of the earth’s land mass at its peak. Exploiting the ministerial turnover in London as a source of within-governor variation in social connections, he finds that governors are more likely to be promoted to higher salaried colonies when connected to their superior during the period of patronage. At the same time, they provide more tax exemptions, generate less revenue, invest less and are less likely to be recognized for their service. The promotion and performance gaps disappear after the abolition of patronage appointments. Exploiting a fixed allocation rule to predict the appointment of connected governors unrelated to colony characteristics, colonies administered for longer periods by connected governors during the period of patronage exhibit lower fiscal capacity today. Exposure to connected governors after the removal of patronage has no long-run impact.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 2:00pm
The world’s development challenges are far too vast for the old way of doing things. To generate the trillions of dollars necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, international institutions, policymakers and the private sector need a new approach that unlocks the power of private investment. IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Philippe Le Houérou will address how his institution’s new strategy of “creating markets,” especially where they are weak or nonexistent, can help redefine development finance in an uncertain global economic environment. Following Le Houérou’s remarks, he will be joined by a stellar panel for a discussion of the private sector development agenda.
CGD Invited Research Forum
Friday, February 3, 2017 - 12:30pm
Why do some governments provide more public goods than others? Focusing on the case of public education, this article challenges the centrality given to the role of democracy and mass pressure for redistribution; and posits an alternative explanation rooted in the role of internal political disorder. The paper begins by documenting that, historically, in the vast majority of Latin American and European countries, public education systems emerged and achieved considerable expansion during non-democratic regimes and in the absence of popular demand for education. Why did political elites have an interest in setting up these costly systems in the absence of electoral incentives to do so? Based on historical evidence for select cases, Paglayan posits that instances of widespread internal political disorder such as civil wars propelled elites to use mass education as a means to instill values that would help prevent future rebellions against their authority. The statistical tests for this argument focus on assessing how a legacy of civil war impacts post-war investments in education provision. In analyses that exploit the regional concentration of civil war in Chile during the mid-nineteenth century, she shows that in the aftermath of the 1859 civil war—the causes of which had nothing to do with education provision—the central government made an unprecedented investment in mass schooling, and the expansion was greatest in those regions that had rebelled against the government. She also shows the generalizability of this argument with original data on education enrollment rates and civil war for Latin American and European countries beginning in 1830. Overall, the paper conceptualizes mass education less as a service for ordinary citizens and more as a tool used by political elites to consolidate power.
CGD Invited Research Forum
Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 12:30pm
The city of Bogotá set out to reduce crime and increase state legitimacy by raising state presence on city streets: either increasing police time by two thirds, or delivering clean up and lighting services. In their new paper, Christopher Blattman and his co-authors find that these large and sustained increases in state presence have relatively modest effects on crime, violence, and state legitimacy. They conclude that there may be returns to a more focused approach: increasing and concentrating efforts on the places with the greatest need and least prior state presence.
CGD Invited Research Forum
Monday, January 30, 2017 - 12:30pm
Corruption in hiring for public sector jobs is common in developing countries, and has been assumed to have a detrimental effect on delivery of government services. This paper provides a framework for understanding this type of corruption and demonstrates that it need not have negative consequences. Weaver collects original data from a hiring process for managerial positions in a developing country health bureaucracy, and finds that hires paid large bribes, averaging 17 months’ salary. He uses data on bribe offers to characterize the structure of these markets, showing that job allocations are made as if via a first-price, winner-pay, sealed bid auction. To establish the consequences of corruption, he estimates a structural model of entry to determine hires under counterfactual hiring procedures, such as standardized testing, and compares them to actual hires. For this comparison, Weaver identifies causal relationships between a set of hire characteristics and better delivery of health services. Based on these characteristics, actual hires are of comparable or superior quality to the hires under counterfactual systems, e.g. as compared to hires under a knowledge-based test, actual hires are 4.3-8.7 percentage points closer to the predicted optimal set of hires. Although hiring decisions are based primarily on bribes, hires are high quality because applicant wealth and willingness to pay for the position are strongly positively correlated with quality. Applying this to a general model of hiring, he identifies the environments in which corruption will lead to misallocation, discusses how anti-corruption efforts should be designed, and argues for a greater focus on hiring for mid-level government managers.
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 4:00pm
Please join us to hear policymakers from inside and outside the US government discuss their experience applying the principle of country ownership, reflecting on its importance as well as its challenges and trade-offs. Forthcoming research from CGD’s US Development Policy Initiative will review progress made in implementing country ownership, identify the constraints the agencies face, and offer recommendations for better execution of a country ownership approach in practice.