Publications

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Shopping Mall Escalators

Should Countries Be More Like Shopping Malls? A Proposal for Service Performance Guarantees

8/19/16
Alan Gelb , Vijaya Ramachandran , Matt Juden and Alice Rossignol

Many developing countries have made progress in political openness and economic management but still struggle to attract private sector investments. Potential investors to these countries have many concerns that can broadly be classified into high costs and high actual or perceived risks. Drawing on insights from existing guarantees offered by bilateral development agencies, national governments, utility companies, and even shopping malls, we suggest that Service Performance Guarantees can be part of the solution, offering investing firms the opportunity to purchase insurance against a wider range of risks than is currently possible and establishing a partnership of donors and recipient governments, accountable to their investor clients.

Biometric Elections

Biometric Elections in Poor Countries: Wasteful or a Worthwhile Investment? - Working Paper 435

8/17/16

Elections have emerged as a leading area for the application of biometric technology in developing countries, despite its high costs and uncertainty over its effectiveness. This paper finds that a reduction in the probability of post-election violence by only a few percentage points could offset the cost of the technology. However, this is possible only in particular situations.

The White House and the World

Evolving the US Model of Global Health Engagement

8/8/16

The United States Government has the requisite technical know-how, financial and logistical resources, and bipartisan political support to lead the response to enduring global health challenges, and it is critical that the United States is prepared to meet them. This memo’s six recommendations are the result of a roundtable discussion on how the next administration and Congress can update and improve on the US global health engagement model.

Searching for the Devil in the Details: Learning about Development Program Design

Searching for the Devil in the Details: Learning about Development Program Design - Working Paper 434

8/4/16
Sara Nadel and Lant Pritchett

Motivated by our experience in designing a particular social program, skill set signaling for new entrants to the labor market in Peru, we articulate the need for, and explore the empirical consequences of, alternative learning approaches to the design of development projects. We suggest that project, program, and policy design must depend on more robust learning strategies than the attempt to directly apply results from ”systematic reviews” or move prematurely to an RCT.

Practical Considerations with Using Mobile Phone Survey Incentives: Experiences in Ghana and Tanzania

Practical Considerations with Using Mobile Phone Survey Incentives: Experiences in Ghana and Tanzania - Working Paper 431

7/25/16

As mobile phone surveys are gaining popularity among researchers and practitioners in international development, one primary challenge is improving survey response and completion rates. A common solution is to provide monetary compensation to respondents. This paper reports on our experience with using incentives with a mobile phone survey conducted in Ghana and Tanzania in June 2015. 

Estimating the Avertable Disease Burden and Cost-Effectiveness in Millions Saved Third Edition

Estimating the Avertable Disease Burden and Cost-Effectiveness in Millions Saved Third Edition - Working Paper 429

7/14/16

Millions Saved (2016) is a new edition of detailed case studies on the attributable impact of global health programs at scale. As an input to the book, this paper provides an independent assessment of the cost-effectiveness of a selection of the cases using ex post information from impact evaluations, with the objective of illustrating how economic evaluation can be used in decision making and to provide further evidence on the extent of health gains produced for the funding provided.

Payouts for Perils: Why Disaster Aid Is Broken, and How Catastrophe Insurance Can Help to Fix It

Payouts for Perils: Why Disaster Aid is Broken, and How Catastrophe Insurance Can Help to Fix It

7/14/16

Disaster aid is often too little, too late. Pressure on aid budgets is prompting donors to find ways to handle more crises with less funding. But the current model of discretionary, ex-post disaster aid is increasingly insufficient for these growing needs, and does little to create incentives for governments in affected countries and donors to invest in risk reduction and resilience. This framing paper sets out how the global community can do better.

CGDWP428-cover

Bounding the Price Equivalent of Migration Barriers - Working Paper 428

7/8/16
Michael Clemens , Claudio E. Montenegro and Lant Pritchett

Large international differences in the price of labor can be sustained by differences between workers, or by natural and policy barriers to worker mobility. We use migrant selection theory and evidence to place lower bounds on the ad valorem equivalent of labor mobility barriers to the United States. Natural and policy barriers may each create annual global losses of trillions of dollars.

Development Finance is the Future of US Economic Assistance

7/7/16

On July 7, CGD chief operating officer and senior fellow Todd Moss testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing titled “An Assessment of US Economic Assistance.” Moss’s remarks emphasized the role development finance in promoting market solutions to pover

United Europe: A Unique and Inspiring Enterprise

6/21/16
Brian Barder and Owen Barder

The European Union is a unique and inspiring association. We are alarmed that a narrow majority of the British people might choose to destroy that by voting to leave the European Union, undermining our ability to secure our foreign, economic, and international development interests. This would be harmful for Britain and for the rest of the world.

Global Health, Aid and Corruption: Can We Escape the Scandal Cycle?

6/14/16

Global health action has been remarkably successful at saving lives and preventing illness in many of the world’s poorest countries. This is a key reason that funding for global health initiatives has increased in the last twenty years. Nevertheless, financial support is periodically jeopardized when scandals erupt over allegations of corruption, sometimes halting health programs altogether.

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