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  • Author: Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Kabir Sethi
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Today, 650 million children around the globe are at risk of being left behind as they fail to learn basic skills. Inequitable access to education is part of the problem, but even when children are in school, they may not be learning. In Uganda, for instance, barely half of grade 6 children read at a grade 2 level (Uwezo, 2016). In India, just one in four children enrolled in grade 5 can read a simple sentence or complete simple division problems (ASER Centre, 2017).
  • Topic: Education, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeffrey Gutman, Adie Tomer, Thomas J. Kane, Dev Patel, Ranjitha Shivaram
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Across the world, rapid urban growth offers enormous opportunity to those living in cities and suburbs. Urban residents tend to earn higher incomes than their rural peers, and enjoy the benefits of living in closer proximity to vital services and commerce. However, the same influx of people and economic activity also places enormous pressure on the built environment, straining existing transportation systems across the developed and developing world. In turn, residents and businesses increasingly struggle to reach one another, and they often place a premium on locating in neighborhoods with the greatest urban access. In other words, people want to live where it is easy to reach key destinations. This can drive up the price of land and contributes to a toxic mix of income inequality and spatial inequity.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mireya Solis
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Trade policy, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in particular, is vitally connected to the national interests of prosperity, security, and governance. With novel rules on the digital economy, high tariff elimina- tion targets, and disciplines to address behind-the-border protectionism, the TPP creates opportunities for American sectors that enjoy competitive strength—services, advanced manufacturing, agriculture—to expand their reach in overseas markets. Projected annual income gains from this trade deal range between $57 billion and $131 billion by 2032, compared to a base- line scenario. In sharp contrast to the experience of import competition with China, the TPP will not impose large adjustment costs in terms of employment and wages, generating instead a net (albeit small) positive effect on job creation and wage rates. However, the individual costs for displaced employees are very high, and the contours of a new pro-adjustment safety net that enables workers to navigate difficult economic transitions (brought about by technological change or trade) are highlighted below.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Jeffrey Bader
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Serious people understand that the manner in which the United States deals with China will be a critical, if not the critical, overseas chal- lenge for the United States in the 21st century. China will likely be the largest economy in the world within one or two decades; the second or third strongest military soon, if not already; and competitive with the United States and Europe in global economic, and perhaps political and cultural, influence in some regions. China is ruled by a Communist Par- ty resistant to political liberalization at home and wedded to nationalist rhetoric and behavior in dealing with its neighborhood, enhancing the chances for rivalry with the United States. For those students of history who see conflict as the likely outcome when ris- ing powers encounter dominant powers, these are precursors of a dark future. How should we deal with China? What policy framework best optimizes our interests, which are multiple and not always consistent with each oth- er? Americans are in the midst of an ongoing presidential campaign that, in a better world, would be asking and answering such questions, but this is not such a campaign.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Diane De Gramont
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In fifteen years, Lagos has gone from being a symbol of urban disorder to a widely cited example of effective African governance. The Lagos State government has succeeded in multiplying its tax revenues and using these resources to restore basic infrastructure and expand public services and law enforcement. Extensive field research indicates that reform commitment in Lagos was driven by electoral pressures as well as elite ambitions to construct an orderly and prosperous megacity.
  • Topic: Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Xanthe Ackerman
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Many more girls are going to school than ever before, thanks in large part to the Education for All movement (EFA),14 the Millennium Development Goals and international and national programs that have increased access to school for all children. Legislation to make primary education free of charge in many African and Asian countries has greatly contributed to the decrease in the number of primary-school-age girls who are out of school, even as the population of schoolage children has continued to increase. At the primary level, the share of girls in the out-of-school population dropped from 58 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2012.15
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Hafez Ghanem
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Morocco has so far been a success story in the Arab world. It has followed a gradual approach to political reforms and democratization, which led to the adoption of a new constitution and the holding of free parliamentary elections in 2011. At the same time, economic growth averaged 4.5 percent between 2000 and 2010, reached 5.0 percent in 2011, 2.7 percent in 2012, and 4.4 percent in 2013. That is, Morocco has avoided the political upheavals and economic meltdowns that plagued other Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs). Maintaining this record of success will require continued political and economic reforms.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Arabia, Morocco
  • Author: Joshua Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: SMEs are the main drivers of U.S. employment, and the majority of the employment is in SME services firms. Services are also a growing portion of U.S. exports. U.S. services exports are 34 percent of total exports. Including services used in the production of goods for export increases services exports to 50 percent of total U.S. exports. The U.S. runs a services trade surplus and has a competitive advantage in high-skill, high-paying services. The U.S. trade surplus in 2013 was $213 billion. Services exports supported 4.2 million jobs in the U.S. in 2013. Services SMEs are under-represented in U.S. exports. Only 5 percent of high-skilled services companies export, compared to 25 percent in the manufacturing sector. The global growth in Internet access is providing new opportunities for SMEs to export services to customers globally. The Internet also gives SMEs access to services as inputs, which increases the productivity of all SMEs and their ability to compete in overseas markets. Export Promotion Agencies (EPAs) assist SMEs to export. However, EPAs have not developed a comprehensive approach that takes full advantage of the opportunities the Internet provides for growing SME services exports. Some countries have developed new ways to use the Internet to assist SME exports. For example, in the U.S., businessusa.gov collects on a single website relevant trade data and provides information on the export assistance provided by various government agencies. In the U.K., opentoexport.com provides trade data, information on exporting and opportunities to blog and interact with experts. Matchsme.com in Denmark goes further and connects local businesses with local service suppliers. Connectamericas.com is also focused on Latin America and uses the Internet to match customers and suppliers. These different approaches and their successes provide insights into how to scale up an online program that could have a significant impact on SME services exports. The following are the main elements of such a program: Develop an Internet platform. Such a platform would connect services SMEs with overseas buyers and facilitate the transaction through to the export and payment. Build public-private partnerships. The Internet platform should involve the government and the private sector, drawing on their respective expertise. Develop trust in the Internet platform. This is needed if the platform is to succeed. There are various ways to build trust. This could include developing a rating system that is accepted across borders and incorporates into the platform existing trust-building mechanisms. Give services SMEs access to better information. The Internet platform should include all relevant information for services SMEs, including trade data, timely and relevant information on markets, barriers and regulations. Develop online networking opportunities. The Internet platform should allow services SMEs to meet customers and suppliers online. This would also increase the flow of timely information amongst participants on the platform. Such networks can also be used to vet potential business partners, thereby building trust in the Internet platform. Improve access to finance. A lack of finance is a barrier for services SMEs going global. An Internet platform should include information on financing opportunities and innovative financing approaches such as crowd funding. Create opportunities for soft landing in export markets. The ability for services SMEs to have face time with potential customers remains important for achieving export success. An Internet platform could build on the approach of CDMN in Canada and give SMEs opportunities to spend time overseas in start-up incubators or building contacts.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Vidya Putcha, Jacques van der Gaag
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In the developing world, more than 200 million children under the age of five years are at risk of not reaching their full human potential because they suffer from the negative consequences of poverty, nutritional deficiencies and inadequate learning opportunities. Given these risks, there is a strong case for early childhood development (ECD) interventions in nutrition, health, education and social protection, which can produce long-lasting benefits throughout the life cycle. The results from the 2012 round of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)—an international, large-scale assessment that measures 15-year-olds\' performance in mathematics, reading and science literacy—demonstrate the benefits of ECD: Students in the countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) who had the benefit of being enrolled for more than one year in preprimary school scored 53 points higher in mathematics (the equivalent of more than one year of schooling), compared with students who had not attended preprimary school. Although there is much evidence that ECD programs have a great impact and are less costly than educational interventions later in life, very few ECD initiatives are being scaled up in developing countries. For example, in 2010, only 15 percent of children in low-income countries—compared with 48 percent worldwide—were enrolled in preprimary education programs. Furthermore, even though the literature points to larger beneficial effects of ECD for poorer children, within developing countries, disadvantaged families are even less likely to be among those enrolled in ECD programs. For instance, in Ghana, children from wealthy families are four times more likely than children from poor households to be enrolled in preschool programs.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Author: Homi Kharas
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Addis Ababa Action Agenda reaffirms the central role of development banks in providing concessional and non-concessional long-term financing, countercyclical financing, guarantees and leverage, policy advice, capacity building, and other support to the post-2015 agenda. "We recognize the significant potential of multilateral development banks and other international development banks in financing sustainable development and providing know-how. We stress that development banks should make optimal use of their resources and balance sheets, consistent with maintaining their financial integrity, and should update and develop their policies in support of the post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals (SDGs)."
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Global Focus