Each year the Center for Global Development hosts more than 80 public and invitation-only events. These events range from private roundtables to small seminars to book launches and other large public forums. The Center continues to host two popular on-going event series, the CGD Invited Research Forum (formerly the Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminars) and Global Development Matters, our summer movie night series. If you would like more information about CGD events or are interested in renting our conference space, please send us an e-mail. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of upcoming events, and view our event photo archives on flickr.

The Effect of Aid on Growth: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment


Is there a convincing instrumental variable to identify the causal effects of aid and growth? In his new paper, Sebastian Galiani and his coauthors exploit an instrumental variable based on the fact that since 1987, eligibility for aid from the International Development Association (IDA) has been based partly on whether or not a country is below a certain threshold of per capita income.

The paper finds evidence that other donors tend to reinforce rather than compensate for reductions in IDA aid following threshold crossings. Overall, aid as a share of gross national income (GNI) drops about 59 percent on average after countries cross the threshold. By focusing on the 35 countries that have crossed the income threshold from below between 1987 and 2010, they find a positive, statistically significant, and economically sizable effect of aid on growth. They find that a one percentage point increase in the aid to GNI ratio from the sample mean raises annual real per capita growth in gross domestic product by approximately 0.35 percentage points. The analysis shows that the main channel through which aid promotes growth is by increasing physical investment.

CGD Europe Sandwich Seminar on The Effect of Start-up Capital on Business Entry in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia


Becoming an entrepreneur is not only a highly regarded career path among young graduates in rich countries, but also across African nations. Yet the biggest barrier for young, motivated people to realise their potential seems to be access to capital. In a recent paper, Simon Quinn and co-author Mark Fafchamps report on a novel research project designed to test the effects of access to start-up capital. To accomplish this they launched a business idea competition called ASPIRE in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia, where aspiring entrepreneurs competed to win a $1,000 prize for the best idea.

Putting Women's Global Status on the Map: The WomanStats Project


The WomanStats Database is “the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world.” With over 350 indicators of women’s status in 175 countries, it is a robust resource for researchers and policymakers alike. Co-PI Valerie Hudson will present an overview and demonstration of the WomanStats Database, after which she will summarize the most recent research projects and findings of the Project. For example, WomanStats was recently awarded a Minerva Initiative grant from the US Department of Defense to examine the linkages between household formation strategies, marriage markets, and societal resilience/stability. There are daily uploads of new information to the database, which is freely accessible online at

Does Results-Based Aid Change Anything? Pecuniary Interests, Attention, Accountability and Discretion in Four Case Studies


With all the hype (and criticism) over foreign aid programs that pay for results, what do we really know about how they are being implemented and whether they are effective? In their new paper titled “Does Results-Based Aid Change Anything? Pecuniary Interests, Attention, Accountability and Discretion in Four Case Studies”, Bill Savedoff and Rita Perakis look at a subset of performance programs that pay governments in proportion to changes in development outcomes to see what motivates the use of these approaches and how they work in practice.

In his presentation, Savedoff will present four theories commonly used to justify results-based aid programs. Then, using case studies, he will argue that most programs that pay governments for outcomes don’t work because governments want the money — they work by getting politicians and bureaucrats to pay attention to results. Instead of a revolution in aid, these programs are mostly designed as cautious adaptations of traditional approaches.

CGD Europe Sandwich Seminar with Michael Clemens on Effects of US Employment Opportunities on Violent Crime in Mexico

The homicide rate in Mexico began to soar in 2008, tripling by 2011. Why did it happen? Prior research has established links between aggresive military action by the national government against drug cartels and the spike in violence.
In a special CGD Sandwich Seminar, Michael Clemens presents evidence for an alternative, economic explanation for part of the explosion in Mexican crime and violence. The United States economy entered recession in late 2007, low-skill unemployment in the US shot up, and net low-skill Mexican labor migration to the US collapsed. That is, the US recession caused a large, unpredicted reduction in the opportunity for productive earnings by potential migrants across Mexico, predominantly young men. A well-developed theoretical literature suggests that this could increase their incentive to supply labor to criminal cartels, small-time extortionists, and ‘self-defense’ groups in conflict with state security forces.