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Public Event
Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 10:00am

Join Nancy Birdsall for a bipartisan conversation with Raj Shah and Michael Gerson on the future of US foreign assistance: what works, what doesn’t, why we should care, and what we should do to reform it.

Shah, USAID Administrator under President Obama, and Gerson, assistant to President George W. Bush for policy and strategic planning, are co-authors of “Foreign Assistance and the Revolution of Rigor” in the recently released second edition of Moneyball for Government.

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 12:00pm

The economic consequences of large-scale government investments in education depend on the general equilibrium (GE) effects in both the labor market and the education sector. I develop a novel general equilibrium model and derive sufficient statistics that capture the economic consequences of a massive countrywide schooling initiative implemented by the Indian government. I provide unbiased estimates of the sufficient statistics using a Regression Discontinuity design. The earnings returns to a year of education are 13.4%. The general equilibrium labor market effects are substantial: they depress the returns to skill and dampen the increase in economic benefits. These GE effects have distributional consequences across cohorts and skill groups, where as a result of the policy unskilled workers are better off and skilled workers are worse off. In the education sector, more private schools enter these markets negating concerns of crowd-out. These results indicate that researchers and policymakers need to consider the GE effects when scaling up micro-interventions.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 12:00pm

We develop and implement a novel, mobile phone-based information clearinghouse, and experimentally evaluate its ability to overcome information asymmetries and improve public service delivery to farmers in Punjab, Pakistan. Like many crowdsourcing websites, our clearinghouse collects and disseminates ratings—here, on the success of government veterinarians in inseminating livestock. We find that, compared to control, farmers receiving ratings enjoy 27 percent higher insemination success. This effect is entirely due to increased veterinarian effort, rather than farmers switching veterinarians. Treatment farmers are also 33 percent more likely to return to a government veterinarian rather than seeking a private provider. These results suggest large welfare benefits from a low-cost information intervention, which holds out hope for improved government accountability for the poor using basic mobile technology.

Public Event
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 4:00pm

The global health community has made great strides in addressing AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria: fewer people are contracting these diseases, fewer people are dying from them, and far more people are enrolled in life-saving treatments. Yet to sustain this progress and defeat these three diseases, the global community must find more efficient ways to allocate and structure funding. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 12:30pm

Illegal disposal of toxic waste has become an issue of concern in both developing and developed countries. Recent ancedotal evidence has highlighted that hazardous waste is shipped from developed countries and illegally dumped in Africa, in particular in the area of the Horn of Africa, during road construction works. The potential health and economic consequences on the local population are devastating. 

In this seminar, Caterina Gennaioli (along with Gaia Narciso, Trinity College Dublin) uses extensive data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and GPS data to analyse the relationship between recently-built roads and the health status of households. They disentangle the effect of common road pollution from the effect of hazardous waste by focusing on specific health measures which the medical literature has linked to toxic waste exposure: infant mortality, severe anaemia and a person's haemoglobin level. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 11:00am

In this paper I study the effects of an increase in school choice by examining a 2008 reform that made the value of Chile's (previously flat, universal) school voucher a step function of student income. This policy increased the proportion of private schools that low income, eligible children could access free of charge from 0.5 to 0.7. I identify the impact of the policy by combining its introduction with variation from a date of birth enrollment cutoff for 1st grade. I show that the differentiated voucher lowered the probability that students used public schools by a small fraction and that these students shifted out of low achievement public schools to enroll in low achievement private schools. Nonetheless, private schools where these students enrolled had better test scores and socioeconomic composition at baseline, and less experienced teachers and smaller class sizes than public schools where they would have enrolled in the absence of the program. Despite the improvement in some school observable characteristics, test scores did not increase for students more likely to move to private schools. Further analysis suggests a rise in test scores for students in public schools. These results suggest that the policy had an overall modest positive effect on test scores, but that this positive effect was caused by responses from public schools instead of by the re-sorting of students into private schools.

Public Event
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 10:30am

The private sector accounts for the considerable majority of well-paying jobs worldwide. Without the engagement of private companies, global goals for gender equality in the workplace and women’s economic empowerment will never be accomplished. How can companies move beyond traditional corporate social responsibility to combine profits with gender progress?


Non-CGD Event
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 5:00pm

This London, UK event, co-hosted by Nesta and the Center for Global Development in Europe, will introduce the Global Innovation Fund and its mission, highlight its first investments and grants, and showcase some of the innovators.

Confirmed speakers include: Michael Anderson (CEO, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation), Owen Barder (Vice President, Center for Global Development), Geoff Mulgan (Chief Executive, Nesta), Kanini Mutooni (Director of Investments & ICT for the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub) and Alix Zwane (CEO, Global Innovation Fund).

CGD Invited Research Forum
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 12:30pm

Bureaucracies with field operations that cannot be easily supervised and monitored are often caught in two potential sources of dysfunctions: field agents using asymmetric information to their own advantage, and limiting fields agents’ ability to use the same information to improve projects. In his new paper, Dan Honig examines this trade-off in the context international development organizations (IDOs). 

Monday, February 8, 2016 - 12:00pm

Many authoritarian regimes wield the threat of repression to maintain power despite a lack of popular support. In such contexts, citizens who do not support the regime must assess the risk of publicly expressing their dissent and make decisions about how to behave in low-information, emotionally-charged environments. I draw from cognitive psychology to argue that the emotion of fear affects how citizens perceive and process information about repression risk. Specifically, fear makes citizens pessimistic in their perceptions of the risk of repression, and risk averse. I test the implications of this theory using a lab-in-the-field experiment with 671 urban and rural opposition supporters in Zimbabwe. I find that fear reduces participation in dissent by between 14 and 77% on a range of hypothetical and behavioral measures. There is also evidence for a cognitive channel: fear increases pessimism about others' actions and the personal risk of repression as well as risk aversion. These results suggest that emotions can be used strategically to enhance repressive threats to demobilize citizens.

Non-CGD Event
Monday, February 8, 2016 - 11:00am

Tobacco kills more people each year than HIV/AIDs, malaria and TB combined. The number of smokers is rising in developing countries and will contribute to 1 billion premature deaths in this century unless countries implement well-known, cost-effective tobacco control policies, including higher tobacco taxes. Such taxes not only save lives but also increase revenues and reduce poverty among households whose members quit smoking.

Book Talk
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 12:30pm

There are fewer people living in extreme poverty in the world today than 30 years ago. While that is an achievement, continuing progress for poor people is far from assured. Inequalities in access to key resources threaten to stall growth and poverty reduction in many places. The world’s poorest have made only a small absolute gain over those 30 years. Progress has been slow against relative poverty, judged by the standards of the country and time one lives in. And a great many people in the world’s emerging middle class remain vulnerable to falling back into poverty.

CGD Invited Research Forum
Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 12:30pm

Under what conditions can electoral politics lead to the emergence of strong legislatures? An underlying assumption in much of the literature on democratization and democratic consolidation is that electoral competition strengthens both vertical and horizontal accountability. Yet the spread of multiparty elections over the last two decades has resulted in varying levels of legislative institutionalization and strength in much of the developing world. With data on legislative activity in Kenya and Zambia under both autocracy and democracy, Ken Opalo argues that legislative strength at the point of transition conditions both the rate and direction of legislative development after transition. In other words, that institutional development takes time and spans the transition moment. This is a departure from the current literature on autocratic and democratic institutions that (over) emphasize the significance of discontinuities around regime transitions.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 12:30pm

Islamic law lays down detailed rules regulating the upbringing of children. In this month's Sandwich Seminar, Marco Alfano examines the effect of these rules on parental behaviour by exploiting a unique natural experiment: the introduction of Sharia law in 13 northern Nigerian states in 2000. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 3:30pm

Public Private Partnerships in infrastructure alone in developing countries bring investment worth more than $100 billion a year. But such partnerships are often designed and implemented with little transparency –increasing the risk of unsustainable agreements and hindering the diffusion of best practice. At the request of the G20, the World Bank Group is working on a framework for public disclosure of information in Public-Private Partnership transactions.

Public Event
Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 9:30am

Last month, the MCC Board of Directors made its annual decisions about which developing countries are eligible to receive the agency’s large-scale assistance.  In the end, they selected five countries for MCC support: Cote d’Ivoire, Kosovo, and Senegal for compact programs, and Sri Lanka and Togo for threshold programs. Several strategic factors and considerations underpinned each of these decisions.  Should MCC undertake regionally-based programs?  Which previous MCC compact countries should receive further support going forward?  Do MCC’s current income-level measures remain fit for purpose for identifying prospective partners?

Public Event
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 7:30pm

It’s that time of year again...CGD’s annual State of the Union Game Night! Please join us on January 12 for the 2016 State of Union address. We’ll be listening to hear President Obama’s plans for the global development agenda during his final year in office. And we'll be playing our famous development bingo during his remarks.

Book Talk
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 4:00pm

The slave trade, colonial rule and apartheid were once all legal. Hard power then won lawful authority: might literally made legal rights. The global revolutions that abolished those coercive rights were extraordinary—yet they left today’s multi-trillion trade in oil and minerals untouched. Current law incentivizes authoritarianism, conflict and corruption so strongly that oil states in the developing world today are no freer, no richer and no more peaceful than they were in 1980. All of the recent reforms around extractives—from transparency to certification to oil-to-cash—point toward the modern idea that the people, not power, should have the ultimate right to control a country’s resources. Can the US lead the West toward the next global revolution, by abolishing its legal trade in authoritarian oil and conflict minerals?

Public Event
Monday, January 11, 2016 - 11:30am

One month since the Paris climate agreement, it’s essential to maintain the momentum of that highpoint in global cooperation towards addressing the problems of climate change. But how can nations now turn words into action? Join us for a panel discussion on tangible policy options to spur the climate action envisioned in the Paris Agreement. How does a carbon market actually work? What is the role of carbon taxes in reducing global emissions? Why is financing tropical forest preservation the cheapest way for rich countries to cut emissions?

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 3:00pm

The Center for Global Development is hosting several side events in Paris during the 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties. Frances Seymour, Jonah Busch and Michele de Nevers will be sharing ongoing research from the forthcoming book, Why Forests? Why Now?(http://www.cgdev.org/page/why-forests-why-now-book-and-paper-series), as well as findings from the recently released working group report, Look to the Forests: How Performance Payments Can Slow Climate Change (http://www.cgdev.org/event/look-forests-how-performance-payments-can-slo...). CGD is partnering with fellow civil society organizations and country pavilions to emphasize that tropical forests are essential for climate stability and sustainable development, that now is the time for action, and that payment-for-performance finance is a mechanism with great potential for success. Please note that events within the COP venue require proper accreditation, unless otherwise indicated.

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 12:30pm

Can short–term unconditional cash transfers (UCT) create longer-term impacts? In a new paper, Berk Özler and co-authors study a group of young women in Malawi, who participated in a two-year cash transfer experiment as adolescents, in order to understand the long-term impacts of these short-term cash transfers. More than two years after the end of transfers, they find that the substantial short-term benefits of the program have largely evaporated. Unconditional cash transfers (UCT) caused short-term reductions in marriage, fertility, and HIV infection, but the cessation of cash transfers is immediately followed by a wave of marriages and pregnancies, accompanied with a catch-up to the control group in HIV prevalence. For those who had already dropped out of school at the outset of the experiment, two years of conditional cash transfers produced a meaningful long-term increase in educational attainment, delays in marriage, declines in fertility, and a more educated pool of husbands; however they see no increase in employment rates, earnings, real-life capabilities, or empowerment, suggesting that schooling itself has not improved the medium-term welfare of young women in this context.

Development Matters
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 5:30pm

EVERY LAST CHILD is the dramatic story of five people impacted by the current polio crisis in Pakistan. Taking place on the front line of the fight against the disease, it is a story of sacrifice, fearless determination and sorrow in the face of mistrust, cynicism and violence.Through the vivid stories of its five subjects—a medical specialist, a vaccinator, a vaccination skeptic, an adult polio victim and a sick child—we are drawn in to the desperate search for a solution to this devastating disease.

Public Event
Monday, December 7, 2015 - 1:30pm

Hospitals are central to building and maintaining healthy populations around the world. They serve as the first point of care for many, offer access to specialized care, act as loci for medical education and research, and influence standards for national health systems at large. Yet despite their centrality within health systems, hospitals have been sidelined to the periphery of the global health agenda. As a result, many hospitals in low- and middle-income countries have failed to evolve and modernize – with sometimes tragic consequences for population health, patient safety, and the global movement to achieve universal health coverage.

The global health community must take a fresh look at its investments in hospitals, and a new CGD report – the product of its Hospitals for Health Working Group – proposes a viable path forward. Please join us for the launch of this new report and a discussion of its recommendations. The distinguished speakers will highlight the report’s findings, debate its implications for global health funders, and provide updates on the establishment of a Global Hospital Collaborative to improve hospital performance in emerging economies.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 12:30pm

 In this CGD Europe Sandwich Seminar, Osea Giuntella presents results from a paper with Catia Nicodemo and Carlos Vargas Silva on the effects of immigration on waiting times in the National Health Service (NHS) in England. Linking administrative records from the Hospital Episode Statistics (2003-2012) with immigration data drawn from the UK Labour Force Survey, they find that immigration reduced waiting times for outpatient referrals and did not have significant effects on waiting times in Accident and Emergency (A&E) and elective care.

These results are explained by the fact that immigration increases the chance that natives moved elsewhere and that immigrants tend to be healthier than the natives moving to different areas. On the contrary, they show that outpatient waiting times tend to increase in areas where native internal migrants moved into. Finally, they find evidence that immigration increased waiting times for outpatient referrals in more deprived areas outside London. The increase in average waiting times in more deprived areas is concentrated in the years immediately following the 2004 EU enlargement and vanished three to 4 years later.

Public Event
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 9:00am

How can we bridge the gap between what we know and what we do when investing in women and girls? The Birdsall House Conference Series on Women brings leading researchers on women’s empowerment in the fields of development economics, behavioral economics, and political economy together with policymakers who can convert findings to action.




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