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Hannah Postel supported the work of CGD's migration & development team, contributing to a range of projects on labor mobility, global migration governance, and forced migration. Postel has long been passionate about migration issues, producing the first quantitative study of Chinese migration to Zambia on a Fulbright research grant, leading a community outreach program for migrant dairy workers in Vermont, and working in the visa section of the US Consulate Chengdu, China. Before joining CGD, she managed a portfolio of USAID economic growth projects with Carana Corporation and oversaw a randomized control trial on girls' empowerment with Innovations for Poverty Action - Zambia. Postel holds a BA in international political economy from Middlebury College, and is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Mandarin Chinese.
We report a small-sample, preliminary evaluation of the economic impact of temporary overseas work by Haitian agricultural workers. We find that the effects of matching new seasonal agricultural jobs in the US with Haitian workers differs markedly from the effects of more traditional forms of assistance to Haiti, in three ways: The economic benefits are shared roughly equally between Haiti and the United States; these benefits are very large, including raising the value of Haitian workers’ labor by a multiple of fifteen; and the portion of the benefits accruing to Haiti is uncommonly well-targeted for the direct benefit of poor Haitian households.
As world leaders gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly Summit on Refugees and Migrants, what should we expect? Faced with record levels of human displacement, the talks focus on whether and how to reform the international rules and norms governing the movement of people in crisis. We identify three opportunities to move ahead.
More people are now displaced outside their home than at any other time since UNHCR records began; these mass movements will only continue as conflict, disaster, extreme poverty, and other hardships force people to seek safety and opportunity. Unfortunately, most recent policy solutions have been ad hoc and based in fear. Can we do better? CGD and co-host ODI recently convened a panel of experts to discuss the economics and politics of this crucial question.
The World Bank’s new Program for Results (PforR) instrument is only the third financing instrument approved since 1944. The PforR portfolio is expanding rapidly and represents an appreciable part of “results-based” development finance. This paper analyzes the first 35 operations.
Would you believe us if we told you approximately half of those granted asylum in the EU qualified for other reasons from the formal 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention definition of a “well-founded fear of persecution”? It turns out to be true. The details of refugee status determination are little noticed, but it turns out that international protection can also be granted through “subsidiary” and “humanitarian” designations.
Our migration team has kicked off a new research program on forced migration to better understand people’s motivation to flee their homes, and the implications this has for the legal migration framework. What space does the current system have to accommodate individuals who do not qualify for formal refugee status?
It is a major concern often heard from US border residents: how much might increasing drug cartel violence in Mexico “spill over” into the United States? It’s certainly true that illicit markets—in drugs, guns and people—have long flourished across the 2,000 mile frontier, and pose policy concerns for both countries. To date, the major strategy to tackle this problem has been a law enforcement approach sponsored by the United States. Is this the right approach?
Among the wave of executive orders being developed by the Trump administration, so far two specifically target US commitments to refugees. They are consistent with Trump’s campaign promises to tighten borders and disengage from the world. And, if signed, they would result in serious harm to vulnerable people and alienate allies the United States needs to fight violent extremism and protect American interests.
A small pilot project between the US and Haiti showed that the US could directly and effectively assist Haitian families to earn dignified livelihoods—at negative cost to US taxpayers. That is, the two countries could cooperate for development in a way that actually adds value to the US economy. It did this with short-term work visas.
Europe has been caught off guard by recent asylum-seeker arrivals, prompting what some have called a threat to the survival of the EU. However, we have shown that Europe has admitted and integrated much larger numbers of refugees in the past. So why have countries been so overwhelmed this time around? One major hurdle has been assessing the validity of such large numbers of asylum claims.
On Thursday, the leaders of 30 African countries signed a European Commission action plan tasking them–in exchange for a $2 billion “emergency trust fund”–to take back economic migrants looking to settle in Europe. If this sum is meant as a bribe, it is a bad deal. With remittances dwarfing foreign aid worldwide ($580 billion versus $135 billion in 2014), migration is a better deal for Africa than aid.