Poverty, Inequality, and Growth


Global poverty is decreasing, but billions of people still do not have the resources they need to survive and thrive. Economic growth can reduce poverty, but it can also drive inequality that generates social and economic problems. While reducing poverty and inequality cuts through all of CGD’s topics of research, some of our work is especially focused on policies that serve those goals. You can find that work here.


The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the UN in September 2015, define the development agenda for the next 15 years. CGD contributed to the debate about the post-2015 development agenda and continue analyzing how best to reach the global goals and measure progress.

Greater access for the poor to financial services such as payments, deposits, credits, insurance and risk-management services can improve their opportunities and welfare. This CGD task force is working to identify the regulatory changes needed to increase financial inclusion while protecting consumers and financial stability.

Energy poverty is an endemic and crippling problem.  Nearly 1.4 billion people, including 600 million in Africa, have no access to any electricity, and millions more find power too unreliable or too expensive to achieve real prosperity. Boosting generation and access is a top priority for African governments and success depends on a realistic approach with updated tools.

Rethinking US Development Policy seeks to broaden the US government’s approach to development while strengthening existing foreign assistance tools. It is backed by rigorous research and analysis of investment, trade, technology, and foreign assistance related issues.

The Commitment to Equity, directed by CGD non-resident fellow Nora Lustig, offers research and analysis to support governments, multilateral institutions, and nongovernmental organizations in their efforts to build more equitable societies.