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  • Author: Diana Ngo, Sebastian Bauhoff
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Rwanda’s performance-based incentives were effective for some indicators, but unconditional financing also induced improvements. The incentive effects persisted in the mediumrun and as the program was scaled-up. Additionally, the analysis demonstrates how observational research methods and secondary data can generate new insights on existing evaluations
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeremy Konyndyk
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Government Reform and Reorganization Plan released earlier this year by the White House calls for substantial reform of US humanitarian institutions. The plan mandates that the State Department and USAID produce a “specific reorganization proposal” to “optimize” humanitarian assistance and “eliminate duplication of efforts and fragmentation of decision-making.” This policy note lays out guidance for how an ambitious but feasible optimization could be achieved. It is informed by two high-level private roundtables convened by the Center for Global Development to solicit expert input, as well as a desk review of documents, expert interviews, and the author’s own experiences serving in the humanitarian arms of both USAID and the State Department. While numerous experts contributed thoughts and feedback, the author takes sole responsibility for the views represented herein.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Susannah Hares
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: It’s tricky to evaluate government education policies. They’re not implemented in NGO-like laboratory conditions, and political motivation and public sector capacity constraints play as much of a role in their success or failure as policy design. Using the examples of three rigorous studies of three different education policies, this note aims to shed some light from the perspective of someone on the policy side on how, why, and when to evaluate government-led reforms. A government education policy is not an abstract theory that can easily be replicated in a different place. In each new context, it is effectively a brand-new programme and needs to be evaluated as that. None of the three examples presented was “new” as a policy: school inspections, school vouchers, and charter schools have all been tried and evaluated elsewhere. But the evaluations of these policies—when implemented in new contexts—illuminated a new set of challenges and lessons and generated a different set of results.
  • Topic: Education, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Does governance matter for the long-run financing of the multilateral development banks? The structure of governance of the legacy MDBs (the World Bank and the four major regional development banks founded in the twentieth century) ideally should minimize any tradeoff between the confidence of creditor shareholding countries, on which an MDB’s own financing depends, and the sense of ownership, legitimacy, and trust of borrowing countries, on which the MDB’s effectiveness in supporting development in those borrowing countries depends. Among the five legacy MDBs, the African Development Bank stands out as the one where the governance arrangements, including the distribution of shares and votes between borrowers and nonborrowers, most favors borrowers. Indicators of the AfDB’s relative financial strength (a measure of creditworthiness based on sovereign members’ vote shares, and a measure of the capacity of each bank’s members to engage in collective action or cooperation in raising financing) indicate that its current governance is likely to make it less competitive than its sister MDBs in sustaining creditor (or “donor”) confidence in its operations over the long run, and thus in raising substantial capital and concessional resources. The governance problem is most obvious in the case of the African Development Bank’s African Development Fund, which today has only about 15 percent of the resources the World Bank has for Africa. The creditors of the AfDB have sufficient control to ensure the Bank’s financial soundness (and AAA rating), but a collective action constraint in pushing for reforms in the Bank’s operations. The paper concludes with ideas for long-run reform of governance at the African Development Bank, modeled more closely on the governance of the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: After nearly thirty years of working on and in Zimbabwe, I was hopeful, after the long nightmare of misrule by Robert Mugabe, that the July 2018 election was an opportunity to put the country on a positive track. I had the good fortune of visiting Zimbabwe with a delegation of former US diplomats prior to the election to assess conditions. I came away from that trip deeply pessimistic about the prospects for a free, fair, and credible election, unconvinced that economic reforms were real, and skeptical of the intentions of Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF. It all appeared little more than a poorly-disguised charade.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Kate Gough
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The world needs better ways to manage international migration for this century. Those better ways finally have a roadmap: the Global Compact for Migration. Now begins the journey. National governments must lead in order to implement that Compact, and they need tools. One promising tool is Global Skill Partnerships. This brief explains what Global Skill Partnerships are and how to build them, based on related experiences around the world.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Scott Morris
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: First, we should recognize that much of the value of the IFIs for the United States derives from their multilateral character. It greatly oversimplifies things to suggest they are strictly a US tool, available to do our bidding no matter what the issue. The reality is that when we want to get something done in these multilateral institutions, we need to work with other countries. In turn, these institutions are most effective when they have the buy-in of the largest number of their member countries. And when the United States is seeking something from them that doesn’t have broad-based support, it can be a tough road.
  • Topic: Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matt Collin, Theodore Talbot
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Child marriage is associated with bad outcomes for women and girls. Although many countries have raised the legal age of marriage to deter this practice, the incidence of early marriage remains stubbornly high. We develop a simple model to explain how enforcing minimum age-of-marriage laws creates differences in the share of women getting married at the legal cut-off. We formally test for these discontinuities using multiple rounds of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in over 60 countries by applying statistical tests derived from the regression discontinuity literature. By this measure, most countries are not enforcing the laws on their books and enforcement is not getting better over time. Separately, we demonstrate that various measures of age-of-marriage discontinuities are systematically related to with existing, widely-accepted measures of rule-of-law and government effectiveness. A key contribution is therefore a simple, tractable way to monitor legal enforcement using survey data. We conclude by arguing that better laws must be accompanied by better enforcement and monitoring in to delay marriage and protect the rights of women and girls.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Justin Sandefur, Tessa Bold, Nicholas Barton
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Public employees in many developing economies earn much higher wages than similar private-sector workers. These wage premia may reflect an efficient return to effort or unobserved skills, or an inefficient rent causing labor misallocation. To distinguish these explanations, we exploit the Kenyan government’s algorithm for hiring eighteen-thousand new teachers in 2010 in a regression discontinuity design. Fuzzy regression discontinuity estimates yield a civil-service wage premium of over 100 percent (not attributable to observed or unobserved skills), but no effect on motivation, suggesting rent-sharing as the most plausible explanation for the wage premium.
  • Topic: Employment, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Kenya
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Jennifer Hunt
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: An influential strand of research has tested for the effects of immigration on natives’ wages and employment using exogenous refugee supply shocks as natural experiments. Several studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the effects of noted refugee waves such as the Mariel Boatlift in Miami and post-Soviet refugees to Israel. We show that conflicting findings on the effects of the Mariel Boatlift can be explained by a sudden change in the race composition of the Current Population Survey extracts in 1980, specific to Miami but unrelated to the Boatlift. We also show that conflicting findings on the labor market effects of other important refugee waves can be produced by spurious correlation between the instrument and the endogenous variable introduced by applying a common divisor to both. As a whole, the evidence from refugee waves reinforces the existing consensus that the impact of immigration on average native-born workers is small, and fails to substantiate claims of large detrimental impacts on workers with less than high school.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mayra Buvinic, Megan O'Donnell
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A review of the recent evaluation evidence on financial services and training interventions questions their gender neutrality and suggests that some design features in these interventions can yield more positive economic outcomes for women than for men. These include features in savings and ‘Graduation’ programs that increase women’s economic self-reliance and self-control, and the practice of repeated micro borrowing that increases financial risk-taking and choice. ‘Smart’ design also includes high quality business management and jobs skills training, and stipends and other incentives in these training programs that address women’s additional time burdens and childcare demands. Peer support may also help to increase financial risk taking and confidence in business decisions, and may augment an otherwise negligible impact of financial literacy training. These features help women overcome gender-related constraints. However, when social norms are too restrictive, and women are prevented from doing any paid work, no design will be smart enough. Subjective economic empowerment appears to be an important intermediate outcome for women that should be promoted and more reliably and accurately measured. More research is also needed on de-biasing service provision, which can be gender biased; lastly, whenever possible, results should be sex-disaggregated and reported for individuals as well as households.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William Reuben, Flávia Carbonari
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Peru is a remarkable example of a country that established civil identification as a national priority in response to the need to re-integrate the state after a serious insurgency. It has built one of the strongest and most inclusive national ID programs in the world, including for children. The approach has combined the creation of an autonomous civil registration and identification agency and the use of performance-based financing to expand coverage to poor, remote, communities and to help integrate civil registration with the national ID. It offers lessons for many countries struggling to achieve SDG 16.9, to provide legal identity to all by 2030, including birth registration.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Peru
  • Author: Souleymane Soumahoro
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In this paper, I examine the effects of power sharing on vulnerability to adverse shocks in a multiethnic setting. Combining a unique dataset on the allocation of ministerial posts across ethnicities with the spatial distribution of Ebola, I provide evidence that ethnic representation mitigated the transmission of Ebola in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The findings suggest that one percentage point increase in proportional cabinet shares reduced Ebola transmission by five percent, as reflected in the total number of confirmed cases. I also provide suggestive evidence that this relationship goes beyond a simple correlation and operates through public resource capture and trust in political institutions.
  • Topic: World Health Organization, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Charles Kenny, Dev Patel
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes six waves of responses from the World Values Survey to understand the determinants of beliefs about women’s roles in society and their relationship with the legal system and outcomes. Using survey data for 300,000 individuals, we find that characteristics of an individual’s home country only explain about a fifth of the variation in values, and a single individual can report strongly different norms about women’s equality across different domains. There is a strong correlation between norms, laws and female labor force participation and between norms and the proportion of legislators who are women—but not between norms and relative female tertiary education. There is some suggestive evidence that laws may be more significant than norms in determining female employment outcomes, but the available evidence does not allow for strong causal statements at the cross-country level.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Ethan Lewis, Hannah Postel
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: An important class of active labor market policy has received little rigorous impact evaluation: immigration barriers intended to improve the terms of employment for domestic workers by deliberately shrinking the workforce. Recent advances in the theory of endogenous technical change suggest that such policies could have limited or even perverse labor market effects, but empirical tests are scarce. We study a natural experiment that excluded almost half a million Mexican ‘bracero’ seasonal agricultural workers from the United States, with the stated goal of raising wages and employment for domestic farm workers. We build a simple model to clarify how the labor market effects of bracero exclusion depend on assumptions about production technology, and test it by collecting novel archival data on the bracero program that allow us to measure state-level exposure to exclusion for the first time. We reject the wage effect of bracero exclusion required by the model in the absence of induced technical change, and fail to reject the hypothesis that exclusion had no eect on US agricultural wages or employment. Important mechanisms for this result include both adoption of less labor-intensive technologies and shifts in crop mix.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Immigration, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Nora Lustig
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper presents results on the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty in sixteen Latin American countries around 2010. The countries that redistribute the most are Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica and Uruguay, and the least, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru. At higher social spending, greater redistribution is achieved, but countries with a similar level of social spending show different levels of redistribution which suggests that other factors such as the composition and targeting of the expenditures are involved in determining the redistributive effect beyond its size. Fiscal policy reduces extreme poverty in twelve countries. However, the incidence of poverty after taxes, subsidies and monetary transfers is higher than the pre-fisc poverty rate in Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, even when fiscal policy does reduce inequality. Expenditure on pre-school and primary education is equalizing and pro-poor in all countries. Spending on secondary education is equalizing in all countries and also pro-poor in some countries but not all. Expenditure on tertiary education is never pro-poor, but it is equalizing, with the exception of Guatemala, where it is regressive and unequalizing and in Venezuela, where its redistributive effect is zero. Health spending is always equalizing but it is pro-poor only in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Poverty, Capitalism, Income Inequality
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Anna Diofasi
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Despite increasing volatility in the global economy, the uptake of the IMF’s two precautionary credit lines, the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL), has remained limited—currently to just four countries. The two new lending instruments were created in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008 to enable IMF member states to respond quickly and effectively to temporary balance of payment needs resulting from external shocks. Both credit lines offer immediate access to considerable sums—over 10 times a country’s IMF quota in some cases with no (FCL) or very limited (PLL) conditionality. This paper addresses four misconceptions (or ‘myths’) that have likely played a role in the limited utilization of the two precautionary credit lines: 1) too stringent qualification criteria that limit country eligibility; 2) insufficient IMF resources; 3) high costs of precautionary borrowing; and 4) the economic stigma associated with IMF assistance. We show, in fact, that the pool of eligible member states is likely to be seven to eight times larger than the number of current users; that with the 2016 quota reform IMF resources are more than adequate to support a larger precautionary portfolio; that the two IMF credit lines are among the least costly and most advantageous instruments for liquidity support countries have; and that there is no evidence of negative market developments for countries now participating in the precautionary lines.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nora Lustig
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Current policy discussion focuses primarily on the power of fiscal policy to reduce inequality. Yet, comparable fiscal incidence analysis for 28 low and middle income countries reveals that, although fiscal systems are always equalizing, that is not always true for poverty. In Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Guatemala the extreme poverty headcount ratio is higher after taxes and transfers (excluding in-kind transfers) than before. In addition, to varying degrees, in all countries a portion of the poor are net payers into the fiscal system and are thus impoverished by the fiscal system. Consumption taxes are the main culprits of fiscally-induced impoverishment. Net direct taxes are always equalizing and indirect taxes net of subsidies are equalizing in nineteen countries of the 28. While spending on pre-school and primary school is pro-poor (i.e., the per capita transfer declines with income) in almost all countries, pro-poor secondary school spending is less prevalent, and tertiary education spending tends to be progressive only in relative terms (i.e., equalizing but not pro-poor). Health spending is always equalizing but not always pro-poor. More unequal countries devote more resources to redistributive spending and appear to redistribute more. The latter, however, is not a robust result across specifications.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ali Enami, Nora Lustig, Rodrigo Aranda
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper provides a theoretical foundation for analyzing the redistributive effect of taxes and transfers for the case in which the ranking of individuals by pre-fiscal income remains unchanged. We show that in a world with more than a single fiscal instrument, the simple rule that progressive taxes or transfers are always equalizing not necessarily holds, and offer alternative rules that survive a theoretical scrutiny. In particular, we show that the sign of the marginal contribution unambiguously predicts whether a tax or a transfer is equalizing or not.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nora Lustig, Margarita Beneke, José Andrés Oliva
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We conducted a fiscal impact study to estimate the effect of taxes, social spending, and subsidies on inequality and poverty in El Salvador, using the methodology of the Commitment to Equity project. Taxes are progressive, but given their volume, their impact is limited. Direct transfers are concentrated on poor households, but their budget is small so their effect is limited; a significant portion of the subsidies goes to households in the upper income deciles, so although their budget is greater, their impact is low. The component that has the greatest effect on inequality is spending on education and health. Therefore, the impact of fiscal policy is limited and low when compared with other countries with a similar level of per capita income. There is room for improvement using current resources.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Income Inequality
  • Political Geography: El Salvador
  • Author: Stefan Dercon, Owen Barder
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Millions of people face hazards like cyclones and drought every day. International aid to deal with disasters after they strike is generous, but it is unpredictable and fragmented, and it often fails to arrive when it would do the most good. We must stop treating disasters like surprises. Matching finance to planning today will save lives, money, and time tomorrow.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cindy Huang, Nazanin Ash
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The world is witnessing higher levels of displacement than ever before. The statistics tell the story. Today, an unprecedented 65 million people—including 21 million refugees—are displaced from their homes. Since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, 5 million people have fled to nearby Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan. And refugees now spend an average of 10 years away from their countries. Equally striking as the scale of the crisis are the consequences of an inadequate response. Individual lives hang in the balance; refugees are struggling to rebuild their lives, find jobs, and send their children to school. Developing countries that are hosting the overwhelming majority of refugees— and at the same time trying to meet the needs of their own citizens—are shouldering unsustainable costs. We are seeing global stability and hard-won development gains threatened.
  • Topic: War, Refugee Issues, Territorial Disputes, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rachel Silverman, Amanda Glassman
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In July 2012, world leaders gathered in London to support the right of women and girls to make informed and autonomous choices about whether, when, and how many children they want to have. There, low income-country governments and donors committed to a new partnership—Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). FP2020 set an aspirational goal—120 million additional users of voluntary, high-quality family planning services by 2020—and received commitments totaling $4.6 billion in additional funding. Since then, the focus countries involved in the FP2020 partnership have made significant progress. Yet as FP2020 reaches its halfway point, and new, even more ambitious goals are set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, gains fall short of aspirations. The midpoint of the FP2020 initiative is thus an important inflection point, offering an opportunity for family planning funders and the FP2020 partnership more broadly to take stock of progress, to reflect on the lessons of the past four years, to refine funding and accountability mechanisms, and to reallocate existing resources for greater impact. Of course, the primary responsibility for expanding contraceptive access falls squarely on country governments. Nonetheless, donor contributions play an important role. With the goal of reaching as many women and girls as possible by 2020 and an eye toward the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the Center for Global Development (CGD) convened a working group on donor alignment in family planning in fall 2015 to see how scarce donor resources could go farther to accelerate family planning gains. As the final product of the working group, the report analyzes the successes and limitations of family planning alignment to date, with a focus on procurement, cross-country and in-country resource allocation, incentives, and accountability mechanisms, and makes recommendations for next steps.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Population, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mayra Buvinic, Megan O’Donnell
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Expanding women’s economic opportunities bene ts both women and society. Women’s choices widen and societies gain from the contribution that women’s income makes to economic growth and family wellbeing. These bene ts are increasingly well-understood, but much less is known regarding the most effective interventions to empower women economically. The call to nd out what works is long overdue. Gender gaps in economic performance are pervasive and persistent — women earn less than men across countries and occupations, and gender gaps are especially salient in poor countries. A wide range of policies and programs — from long-term investments in health and education to short-term training programs and ‘just-in-time’ information on markets — can potentially help close these gender gaps and bolster women’s economic advancement.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Scott Morris
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The multilateral development banks (MDBs) emerged as one of the international community’s great success stories of the post–World War II era. Set up to address a market failure in long-term capital flows to post-conflict Europe and developing countries, they combined financial heft and technical knowledge for more than five decades to support their borrowing members’ investments in post-conflict reconstruction, growth stimulation, and poverty reduction. However, the geo-economic landscape has changed dramatically in this century, and with it the demands and needs of the developing world. Developing countries now make up half of the global economy. The capital market failure that originally motivated the MDBs is less acute. Almost all developing countries now rely primarily on domestic resources to manage public investment, and some of the poorest countries can borrow abroad on their own. Similarly, growth and the globalization of professional expertise on development practice have eroded whatever near-monopoly of advisory services the MDBs once had. At the same time, new challenges call for global collective action and financing of the sort the MDBs are well suited to provide but have been handicapped in doing so effectively. The list goes beyond major financial shocks, where the IMF’s role is clear—ranging from climate change, pandemic risk, increasing resistance to antibiotics, and poor management of international migration flows and of displaced and refugee populations. Other areas include the cross-border security and spillovers associated with growing competition for water and other renewable natural resources, and, with climate change, an increase in the frequency and human costs of weather and other shocks in low-income countries that are poorly equipped to respond.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carlos Gutierrez, Ernesto Zedillo, Michael Clemens
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: 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 US 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. The time has come for a lasting, innovative, and cooperative solution. To address this challenge, the Center for Global Development assembled a group of leaders from both countries and with diverse political affiliations—from backgrounds in national security, labor unions, law, economics, business, and diplomacy—to recommend how to move forward. The result is a new blueprint for a bilateral agreement that is designed to end unlawful migration, promote the interests of U.S. and Mexican workers, and uphold the rule of law.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Labor Issues, Border Control
  • Political Geography: America, Mexico
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Energy is fundamental to modern life, but 1.3 billion people around the world live without “access to modern electricity.” The current definition of modern energy access—100 kilowatt-hours per person per year—is insufficient and presents an ambition gap with profound implications for human welfare and national economic growth. This report summarizes the energy access problem, the substantial efforts underway to bolster power generation and access in the poorest regions, and highlights concerns about the specific indicators being used to measure progress. It then condenses a set of analytical and conceptual questions the working group grappled with, such as why and how to better measure energy usage and the multiple options that should be considered. The report concludes with five recommendations for the United Nations, International Energy Agency, World Bank, national governments, major donors, and other relevant organizations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Climate Finance, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stijn Claessens, Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: As recently as 2011, only 42 percent of adult Kenyans had a financial account of any kind; by 2014, according to the Global Findex, database that number had risen to 75 percent. [1] In sub­Saharan Africa, the share of adults with financial accounts rose by nearly half over the same period. Many other developing countries have also recorded gains in access to basic financial services. Much of this progress is being facilitated by the digital revolution of recent decades, which has led to the emergence of new financial services and new delivery channels. Whereas payment services often are the entry point into using formal financial services, they are not the only low­cost and widely accessible financial services being delivered in recent years. Driven by advances in new digital payment services, small­scale credit and new modes for delivering insurance services are being offered in several developing countries. Digital (payment) records are being used to make decisions about provision of credit to small businesses or individuals who do not have traditional collateral or credit history to secure loans. Additionally, affordable mobile systems have led to the provision of new and innovative financial services that would not be economically sustainable under the traditional brick­and­mortar model such as mobile­based crop microinsurance in sub­Saharan Africa and pay­as­you­go energy delivery models for off­grid customers in India, Peru, and Tanzania. [2] Increased access to basic financial services, especially payments services, by larger segments of the population reflects the growing use of digital technologies in developing countries. Simultaneously, the adoption of proper regulation based on country­specific opportunities, needs and conditions has been critical.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: <p>Do we still need the World Bank, given how much the global financial sector has expanded since the institution was founded? The paper argues that there is a continuing role for the Bank and that it is complementary to private finance.</p>
  • Author: Raymond Robertson, Davide Gandolfi, Timothy Halliday
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Large wage differences between countries (“place premiums”) are well documented. Theory suggests that factor price convergence should follow increased migration, capital flows, and commercial integration. All three have characterized the relationship between the United States and Mexico over the last 25 years. This paper evaluates the degree of wage convergence between these countries during the period 1988 and 2011. We match survey and census data from Mexico and the United States to estimate the change in wage differentials for observationally identical workers over time. We find very little evidence of convergence. What evidence we do find is most likely due to factors unrelated to US-Mexico integration. While migration and trade liberalization may reduce the US-Mexico wage differential, these effects are small when compared to the overall wage gap.
  • Topic: World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico
  • Author: Willa Friedman
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the impact of corruption on the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs in preventing AIDS deaths and the potential channels that generate this relationship. This is based on a unique panel dataset of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which combines information on all imported antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) from the World Health Organization's Global Price Reporting Mechanism with measures of corruption and estimates of the HIV prevalence and the number of AIDS deaths in each year and in each country. Countries with higher levels of corruption experience a significantly smaller drop in AIDS deaths as a result of the same quantity of ARVs imported. This is robust to different measures of corruption and to a measure of overall death rates as well as HIV-specific death rates as the outcome. A case-study analysis of the Kenyan experience illustrates one potential mechanism for the observed effect, demonstrating that disproportionately more clinics begin distributing ARVs in areas that are predominantly represented by the new leader's ethnic group.
  • Topic: World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Benjamin Leo, Robert Morello
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The need for infrastructure improvements is a top-tier economic, political, and social issue in nearly every African country. Although the academic and policy literature is extensive in terms of estimating the impact of infrastructure deficits on economic and social indicators, very few studies have examined citizen demands for infrastructure. In this paper, we draw upon survey data to move beyond topline estimates of national infrastructure access rates towards a more nuanced understanding of service availability and citizen demands at the regional, national, and sub-national level. We find a predictable pattern of infrastructure services across income levels—lower income countries have fewer services. The survey data also allows us to observe the sequencing of infrastructure services. On the demand side, survey respondents are most concerned with jobs and income-related issues, as well as with the availability of infrastructure: specifically transportation and sanitation. These priorities transcend demographic factors, including gender and location (urban/rural).
  • Topic: Health
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Owen Barder
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Governments, donors, and public sector agencies are seeking productive ways to 'crowd in' private sector involvement and capital to tackle international development challenges. The financial instruments that are used to create incentives for private sector involvement are typically those that lower an investment's risk (such as credit guarantees) or those that lower the costs of various inputs (such as concessional loans, which subsidise borrowing).
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Author: Mead Over, Gesine Meyer-Rath, Daniel J. Klein, Anna Bershteyn
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The South African government is currently discussing various alternative approaches to the further expansion of antiretroviral treatment (ART) in public-sector facilities. Alternatives under consideration include the criteria under which a patient would be eligible for free care, the level of coverage with testing and care, how much of the care will be delivered in small facilities located closer to the patients, and how to assure linkage to care and subsequent adherence by ART patients. We used the EMOD-HIV model to generate 12 epidemiological scenarios. The EMOD-HIV model is a model of HIV transmission which projects South African HIV incidence and prevalence and ARV treatment by age group for alternative combinations of treatment eligibility criteria and testing. We treat as sunk costs the projected future cost of one of these 12 scenarios, the baseline scenario characterizing South Africa's 2013 policy to treat people with CD4 counts less than 350. We compute the cost and benefits of the other 11 scenarios relative to this baseline. Starting with our own bottom-up cost analyses in South Africa, we separate outpatient cost into non-scale-dependent costs (drugs and laboratory tests) and scale-dependent cost (staff, space, equipment and overheads) and model the cost of production according to the expected future number and size of clinics. On the demand side, we include the cost of creating and sustaining the projected incremental demand for testing and treatment. Previous research with EMOD-HIV has shown that more vigorous recruitment of patients with CD4 counts less than 350 appears to be an advantageous policy over a five-year horizon. Over 20 years, however, the model assumption that a person on treatment is 92 percent less infectious improves the cost-effectiveness of higher eligibility thresholds over more vigorous recruitment at the lower threshold of 350, averting HIV infections for between $1,700 and $2,800 (under our central assumptions), while more vigorous expansion under the current guidelines would cost more than $7,500 per incremental HIV infection averted. Granular spatial models of demand and cost facilitate the optimal targeting of new facility construction and outreach services. Based on analysis of the sensitivity of the results to 1,728 alternative parameter combinations at each of four discount rates, we conclude that better knowledge of the behavioral elasticities would be valuable, reducing the uncertainty of cost estimates by a factor of 4 to 10.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Charles Kenny, Justin Sandefur, Sarah Dykstra
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Since 2001, an aid consortium known as Gavi has accounted for over half of vaccination expenditure in the 75 eligible countries with an initial per capita GNI below $1,000. Regression discontinuity (RD) estimates show aid significantly displaced other immunization efforts and failed to increase vaccination rates for diseases covered by cheap, existing vaccines. For some newer and more expensive vaccines, i.e., Hib and rotavirus, we found large effects on vaccination and limited fungibility, though statistical significance is not robust. These RD estimates apply to middle-income countries near Gavi's eligibility threshold, and cannot rule out differential effects for the poorest countries.
  • Author: Nora Lustig, Maynor Cabrera, Hilcías E. Morán
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in Latin America and has the highest incidence of poverty. The indigenous population is more than twice as likely to be poor than the nonindigenous group. Fiscal incidence analysis based on the 2009-2010 National Survey of Family Income and Expenditures shows that taxes and transfers do almost nothing to reduce inequality and poverty overall or along ethnic and rural-urban lines. Persistently low tax revenues are the main limiting factor. Tax revenues are not only low but also regressive. Consumption taxes are regressive enough to offset the benefits of cash transfers: poverty after taxes and cash transfers is higher than market income poverty.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: <p>In this project, we analyzed whether mobile phone-based surveys are a feasible and cost-effective approach for gathering statistically representative information in four low-income countries (Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe).</p>
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: <p>The welcome rise of replication tests in economics has not been accompanied by a single, clear definition of replication. A discrepant replication, in current usage of the term, can signal anything from an unremarkable disagreement over methods to scientific incompetence or misconduct. This paper proposes an unambiguous definition of replication, one that reflects currently common but unstandardized use. It contrasts this definition with decades of unsuccessful attempts to standardize terminology, and argues that many prominent results described as replication tests should not be described as such. Adopting this definition can improve incentives for researchers, encouraging more and better replication tests./p
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: <p>The growth-inequality nexus has long been debated by researchers, social commentators and politicians. Despite being controversial, there is growing evidence of multi-dimensional inequality in developing countries, including Pakistan. Oxfam has carried out research on multiple inequalities in Pakistan in collaboration with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), the findings of which are presented in this report. The research focused on multi-dimensional inequality in Pakistan to highlight the nature and dimensions of inequality; identify the inequality traps that exacerbate multi-dimensional inequality; examine strategies for mitigating multi-dimensional inequality; and to discuss the policy implications of these findings. This is an effort to generate a sound knowledge base around multiple inequalities in Pakistan and to initiate a national discourse on the impact of inequalities on poverty reduction efforts.</p>
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Manufacturing has historically offered the fastest path out of poverty, but there is mounting evidence that this path may be all but closed to developing countries today. Some have suggested that services might provide a new path forward, while others have expressed skepticism about this claim and consequent pessimism over the future growth trajectories of developing countries. We contribute to debate this by using a multi-sector growth framework to establish five important criteria that any sector must exhibit in order to lead an economy to rapid, sustained, and inclusive development. These are: 1) a high level of productivity, 2) “dynamic” productivity growth (i.e., high growth rates coupled with domestic and international convergence), 3) expansion of the sector in terms of its use of inputs, 4) comparative advantage, or alignment between resource requirements of the sector and resource endowments of the country, and 5) exportability. We then compare the performance of manufacturing against specific service subsectors under each of these criteria using India as a case in point. We find that many of the virtues exhibited by the manufacturing sector (such as high productivity and international and domestic convergence in productivity) are shared by some service subsectors (such as Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate). However, in the Indian case, these subsectors also share manufacturing’s flaws: they are all too skill intensive and hence unaligned with India’s comparative advantage. This poses further difficult policy questions for India and other developing countries in similar positions, which we attempt to consider in our conclusion.
  • Author: Simon Lange, Stephan Klasen
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Despite unprecedented progress towards lower under-five mortality in high-mortality countries in recent years, a large fraction of these countries will not attain the numerical target under Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4, a reduction of the mortality rate by two-thirds compared to levels in 1990. Nevertheless, many stakeholders have argued that the post-2015 agenda should contain a level-end goal for under-five mortality and recent accelerations in the rate of reduction in under-five mortality have been cited as a cause for optimism. We argue in this paper that one key fact about relative changes in mortality rates is a lack of persistence. We find robust evidence for substantial mean reversion in the data. Hence, recent accelerations observed for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are an overly optimistic estimate of future reductions. At the same time, progress as required by the old MDG4 coincides very much with our projections for Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions. Thus, while MDG4 has been rightly criticized as overly ambitious and unfair to Africa for the 1990-2015 period, such a goal seems more appropriate for the 2005-2030 period. We also offer a discussion of likely drivers of future reductions in child deaths.
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper exploits the variation in aerial spraying across time and space in Colombia and employs a panel of individual health records in order to study the causal effects of aerial spraying of herbicides (Glyphosate) on short term health-related outcomes. The results show that exposure to the herbicide used in aerial spraying campaigns increases the number of medical consultations related to dermatological and respiratory related illnesses and the number of miscarriages. This finding is robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, which compares the prevalence of these medical conditions for the same person under different levels of exposure to the herbicide used in the aerial spraying program over a period of 5 years. Also, the results are robust to controlling for the extent of coca cultivation of illicit crops in the municipality of residence.
  • Author: Christopher Ksoll, Jenny C. Aker
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In rural areas of developing countries, education programs are often implemented through community teachers. While teachers are a crucial part of the education production function, observing their effort remains a challenge for the public sector. This paper tests whether a simple monitoring system, implemented via the mobile phone, can improve student learning as part of an adult education program. Using a randomized control trial in 160 villages in Niger, we randomly assigned villages to a mobile phone monitoring component, whereby teachers, students and the village chief were called on a weekly basis. There was no incentive component to the program. The monitoring intervention dramatically affected student performance: During the first year of the program, reading and math test scores were .15-.30 s.d. higher in monitoring villages than in nonmonitoring villages, with relatively stronger effects in the region where monitoring was weakest and for teachers for whom the outside option was lowest. We provide more speculative evidence on the mechanisms behind these effects, namely, teacher and student effort and motivation.
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Whether the poor are helped or hurt by taxes and transfers is generally determined by comparing income distributions before and after fiscal policy using stochastic dominance tests and measures of progressivity and horizontal inequity. We formally show that these tools can fail to capture an important aspect: that a substantial proportion of the poor are made poorer (or non-poor made poor) by the tax and transfer system.
  • Author: Markus Meinzer, Petr Janský, Alex Cobham
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Both academic research and public policy debate around tax havens and offshore finance typically suffer from a lack of definitional consistency. Unsurprisingly then, there is little agreement about which jurisdictions ought to be considered as tax havens—or which policy measures would result in their not being so considered. In this article we explore and make operational an alternative concept, that of a secrecy jurisdiction and present the findings of the resulting Financial Secrecy Index (FSI). The FSI ranks countries and jurisdictions according to their contribution to opacity in global financial flows, revealing a quite different geography of financial secrecy from the image of small island tax havens that may still dominate popular perceptions and some of the literature on offshore finance. Some major (secrecy-supplying) economies now come into focus. Instead of a binary division between tax havens and others, the results show a secrecy spectrum, on which all jurisdictions can be situated, and that adjustment for the scale of business is necessary in order to compare impact propensity. This approach has the potential to support more precise and granular research findings and policy recommendations.
  • Author: Peter Edward, Andy Sumner
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper makes new estimates of global poverty and inequality in 2012 using both ‘old’, 2005 and ‘new’, 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP) price data in order to assess systematically what difference PPP data makes to the estimates. The methodology for the 2011 PPP data is thought to be superior. However, contentions remain. We discuss the PPPs and justify the use of 2011 PPP data to estimate global poverty and inequality, at least for comparison purposes.
  • Topic: Poverty
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Governments, donors, and public sector agencies are seeking productive ways to ‘crowd in’ private sector involvement and capital to tackle international development challenges. The financial instruments that are used to create incentives for private sector involvement are typically those that lower an investment’s risk (such as credit guarantees) or those that lower the costs of various inputs (such as concessional loans, which subsidise borrowing).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Michael Clemens
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper critiques the last decade of research on the effects of high-skill emigration from developing countries, and proposes six new directions for fruitful research. Design/methodology/approach: The study singles out a core assumption underlying much of the recent literature, calling it the Lump of Learning model of human capital and development, and describes five ways that research has come to challenge that assumption. It assesses the usefulness of the Lump of Learning model in the face of accumulating evidence. The axioms of the Lump of Learning model have shaped research priorities in this literature, but many of those axioms do not have a clear empirical basis. Future research proceeding from established facts would set different priorities, and would devote more attention to measuring the effects of migration on skilled-migrant households, rigorously estimating human capital externalities, gathering microdata beyond censuses, and carefully considering optimal policy—among others. The recent literature has pursued a series of extensions to the Lump of Learning model: This study urges instead discarding that model, pointing toward a new paradigm for research on skilled migration and development.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Issues, Developing World
  • Author: Peter Edward, Andy Sumner
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper considers the effectiveness and efficiency of global growth, as a route to poverty reduction, since 1990 and then demonstrates the redistributive challenges implicit in various poverty lines and scenarios: the significance being that this historical data can inform understanding and appreciation of what it would involve to end global poverty in the future. We find that a very modest redistribution of global growth could have ended poverty already at the lowest poverty lines. However, higher, but arguably more reasonable, poverty lines present radically different challenges to the current workings of national economic systems and to global (normative) obligations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty
  • Author: Katharina Hauck, Peter C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Many health improving interventions in low-income countries are extremely good value for money. So why has it often proven difficult to obtain political backing for highly cost-effective interventions such as vaccinations, treatments against diarrheal disease in children, and preventive policies such as improved access to clean water, or policies curtailing tobacco consumption? We use economic models of public choice, supported by examples, to explain how powerful interests groups, politicians or bureaucrats who pursue their own objectives, or voting and institutional arrangements in countries have shaped health priority setting. We show that it may be perfectly rational for policy makers to accommodate these constraints in their decisions, even if it implies departing from welfare maximizing solutions.
  • Topic: Health, Political Economy, Health Care Policy