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Global Development: Views from the Center

Global Development: Views from the Center features posts from Nancy Birdsall and her colleagues at the Center for Global Development about innovative, practical policy responses to poverty and inequality in an ever-more globalized world.


The World Bank’s New Global Poverty Line

This week saw the release of the World Bank’s updated global poverty counts. There is new country-level data on poverty and inequality underlying these revisions. But the big change is that the numbers are now anchored to the 2011 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates for consumption from the International Comparisons Program (ICP). Previously the numbers were based on the prior ICP round for 2005.

Welcome Mayra Buvinic, and a New Focus on the Economics of Improving Women’s Lives

I’m pleased to announce that we are launching a new research program focused on the economics of improving women’s lives and well-being. Our aim is to bring the best economics research to identify specific actions that can advance gender equality, from fostering women’s involvement in business and entrepreneurship to making use of international policy levers and foreign donor investments. And I’m particularly pleased to welcome Mayra Buvinic as a new Senior Fellow with decades of experience in the fields of gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

The TPP Deal Gets Done: What Does It Mean for Developing Countries?

After five years, capped by five days of intense, around-the-clock negotiation, trade ministers from the twelve Tran-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries announced they had reached a deal in Atlanta Sunday night. From information available so far, it looks like there were improvements in some areas of interest for developing countries. But I still have concerns in the three areas I wrote about in July. 

Seven Storylines in Last Week’s Climate Pledges

There’s a lot to like about the climate pledges that nearly 150 countries have now submitted to the United Nations in advance of the climate summit in Paris in December.  I’ve grouped them into seven storylines that I think deserve attention.

US Food Aid Tragically Failing to Keep Up

With the situation in Syria deteriorating every day, and conflict elsewhere displacing millions more from their homes and livelihoods, desperately needed food aid is falling short. Donor fatigue and budget constraints are a problem worldwide, but reform would allow the United States to help millions more people with the same food aid budget. 

A Self-Interested Approach to Migration Crises

Recent research overturns the standard narrative about refugee crises: that addressing them mainly means curtailing the conflict and poverty that “push” migrants away from home and slashing the excessive generosity that “pull” them into other countries. Instead, pragmatic and self-interested policymakers should consider that they often waste resources when trying to reduce push factors, and they can spark an inhumane and inefficient race to the bottom by acting individually to reduce pull factors. Through broad international cooperation to get people out of camps and into the labor force, though, they can transform refugees from a burden into an investment.




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