Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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CGD's weekly Podcast, event videos, whiteboard talks, slides, and more.

Foreign Policy as Migration Policy: Tackling the Complex Drivers of Child Migration from the Northern Triangle

In 2014, unprecedented numbers of children and families began crossing the southern border of the United States, sparking an ongoing debate on what was driving them and how the U.S. should respond. Using data provided by the Department of Homeland Security, new research by Michael Clemens finds the flow of unaccompanied child migrants to the United States has been driven by a complex mix of violence and economic forces. How do these elements interact, and how can foreign policy be a form of migration policy?

Shared Harvest

What if development cooperation didn't have to mean charity? CGD's Michael Clemens saw a way to help Haiti recover from the 2010 earthquake and benefit the US economy at the same time. Learn more.

Shared Border, Shared Future: A Blueprint to Regulate US-Mexico Labor Mobility

Mexico and the United States have lacked a bilateral agreement to regulate cross-border labor mobility since 1965. Since that time, unlawful migration from Mexico to the U.S. has exploded. Almost half of the 11.7 million Mexican-born individuals living in the U.S. do not have legal authorization. This vast black market in labor has harmed both countries. These two neighboring countries, with an indisputably shared destiny, can come together to work out a better way.

Survival Migration: New Models to Address the Global Crisis of Migration and Displacement

The world was caught off-guard by recent mass movements of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa. But this is not one brief storm to be weathered and forgotten. These mass movements will only continue in coming years as conflict, disasters, extreme poverty, and other hardships displace people from their homes. Today the recent rise in 'survival migration' is commonly cited to justify political upheaval and isolationism in both Europe and the United States.

The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy

There are fewer people living in extreme poverty in the world today than 30 years ago. While that is an achievement, continuing progress for poor people is far from assured. Inequalities in access to key resources threaten to stall growth and poverty reduction in many places. The world’s poorest have made only a small absolute gain over those 30 years. Progress has been slow against relative poverty, judged by the standards of the country and time one lives in. And a great many people in the world’s emerging middle class remain vulnerable to falling back into poverty.

Video | Cash Transfers Conference

Cash transfer programs have shown mostly consistent success at improving conditions that matter for development; smoothing consumption, increasing school attendance and health care, sometimes impro

Does Aid Cause Growth?

In this video, CGD senior fellow Michael Clemens discusses the age old-question: does foreign aid help poor countries grow out of poverty? It’s a question he examines closely in the paper Counting Chickens When They Hatch which Clemens co-wrote with Steven Radelet, Rhikil Bhavani, and Samuel Bazzi.

How Democracy Works: Film Excerpts and Conversations with the Filmmakers

democracy works

In August 2001, when the Bush administration and key leaders in Congress were readying the plans for a sweeping overhaul of America’s troubled immigration system, filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini were there to record history in the making—negotiating exclusive access to document the lives and strategies of the principal players. The resulting “Grand Bargain” promised to change the lives of tens of millions of immigrants and affect every citizen and every state in the union. Its eventual failure offers lessons for what a future, successful bargain might look like.



Robertson and Camerini join Esther Olavarria, a key player in the film series, and CGD senior fellow Michael Clemens, for an exclusive look at never-before-released scenes and a discussion on lessons-learned from the “Grand Bargain” era, pointing to what is possible for future, bi-partisan immigration policy.

FAI Insights: What Is Rigorous Impact Evaluation?

Rachel Nugent

Michael Clemens, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD)
and visiting scholar at the Financial Access Initiative and at NYU-Wagner
and the NYU Dept. of Economics (Spring 2011), talks about the findings from
his research into the UN Millennium Villages.

The Employment-Based Immigration Reform Solution

On September 29, 2010, senior fellow Michael Clemens participated in a panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization, a new book that proposes shifting U.S. immigration policy to favor work-based visas.

Beyond the Fence (event)

This video contains highlights from a recent event hosted at CGD, Beyond the Fence, where experts presented groundbreaking insights into the links between migration, remittances and prosperity.

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