CGD in the News

Politics Dim Obama’s Africa Power Plan as Lights Go Out (Bloomberg)

10/31/14

“If Power Africa works, then it would deliver a huge boost for African countries,” Ben Leo, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington and a former White House director of Africa affairs, said in an e-mail. “Addressing the energy poverty challenge will take years, and Obama only has two left.”

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Disease is a barrier in Liberia, another of the six focus nations and an epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

“The health crisis is obviously a short-term deterrent for investors,” Todd Moss, a former deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s bureau of African affairs, wrote in an e-mail. He pointed out that the country has no large-scale power plants. “Part of the recovery will be building an electricity sector.”

Ebola Outbreak (BBC World News)

10/29/14

Senior fellow Mead Over discusses the difference in response to Ebola by doctors on the ground and public health officials:

CLAAF’s Diagnosis and Forecast of the Global Economy by Liliana Rojas-Suarez (La Hora N)

10/29/14

In this interview with Jaime de Althaus on “La Hora N”, CGD senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez discusses the peruvian and global economy in terms of the last statement from Latin-American Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF). 2015 will be a hard year for emerging markets due to systemic risk from advanced economies, deeper slowdown in China’s economic growth than the forecasts by the current international consensus and a potential fall in asset liquidity when the FED increase interest rates.

Jack Lew Goes to Africa (Marketplace)

10/27/14

"When the Treasury Secretary goes to Africa, it’s about finance and private investment," says Todd Moss, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. "I would expect some kind of either energy or agriculture deal to be announced in Tanzania."

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"There will be some specific deals announced, probably at each stop," says Moss. "Otherwise it’s a huge wasted opportunity."

But both Schneidman and Moss say the larger goal is to send a message: that Africa—home to six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world—matters to the American economy.

Politicians Really Can't Create Jobs (Bloomberg Businessweek)

10/27/14

The continued and ubiquitous concern with pocketbook issues is regularly reflected (PDF) in actual election results—high employment and high growth favor the incumbent. Few politicians anywhere intentionally do things to considerably slow economic growth or lower employment. Self-interest and selfless concern for constituents both point in the same direction. And yet the last few years amply demonstrate their efforts to promote growth and jobs often fail, sometimes miserably.

Jim Yong Kim Finds Mission in Ebola Crisis (Financial Times)

10/27/14

“There’s no doubt [Jim Yong Kim] personally and the institution are highly visible [in the Ebola crisis],” says Scott Morris, the US Treasury’s former liaison with the bank. “But I don’t see hard evidence that this is a shift towards the World Bank becoming the World Health Bank. It is the bank doing what it ought to do . . . responding to a crisis which is many things but is also an economic crisis.”

Fear, Not Ebola, is the Biggest Threat to West Africa's Fragile Economies (Vox)

10/26/14

Mead Over: I think that so far, I have not noticed that the funding itself is constrained. I think the constraint has been the sheer difficulty of building out the Ebola treatment centers, and particularly staffing them.

What I still don't understand is whether the international community has a plan for how to put properly trained, properly motivated, properly paid, and properly relieved health personnel in the Ebola treatment units.

So that's part of the answer. But the other part of the answer is that it's mathematically impossible for a linear progression to catch up to an exponential one, so we need to do something to ensure that the progression of the epidemic, in terms of new cases, slows down in other ways, other than through the construction of treatment units.

This Picture Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Global Inequality (Washington Post)

10/23/14

Well, their best bet is immigration, legal or otherwise. Not to belabor the obvious here, but where you live determines how much you can make. The same person with the same education and the same skills can make seven times more working in the United States than in Haiti, according to economists Michael Clemens, Claudio Montenegro, and Lant Pritchett. Or, to give another example, you can make more than 10 times as much for doing the same job in an American McDonald's as you can in an Indian one. That's why looser immigration laws are actually one of the best things we could do to fight global poverty.

Ebola Fears Dragging Down African Economies (The Globe and Mail)

10/22/14

“The epidemic is moving faster than we economists can work,” said a blog last week by World Bank senior economist David Evans and Center for Global Development senior fellow Mead Over.

“The latest information suggests that even the World Bank’s ‘High Ebola’ scenario may be optimistic,” they said. They cited especially the effect of “aversion behaviour” – the fear factor that leads to closed borders, reduced trade, suspended airline flights and the curtailing of commercial activities by multinational companies in West Africa.

The latest Ebola cases in Spain and Dallas “generate aversion behaviour towards Africa which threatens to persist and damage African economic growth for years to come,” the two economists said.

Child Labor Is Still Prevalent Around the World. Here's How to Eliminate It (Bloomberg Businessweek)

10/20/14

It isn’t easy to end child labor in poor countries. In fact, passing laws banning anyone under 14 or 16 from working can actually make the problem worse. If we are going to sustainably reduce the level of child labor worldwide, we need to provide parents the resources so they can make the choice to keep children out of the factory or field and send them to school instead.

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