World Bank and CGD to Co-host 2024 Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE)

April 02, 2024

A growing incoherence is clouding global debates over how to achieve the key development goals of the 2020s—a profound mismatch exists between international policy advocacy and the research-based solutions necessary to achieve the desired development outcomes.

Policy advocates regularly remind us that “trillions” of dollars must be mobilized to tackle climate change, improve health and education, and rebuild war-torn countries. Yet amid decelerating economic growth and private investment, record public debt levels, and a growing tendency in many countries to prioritize national security over multilateral cooperation, there is precious little clarity on where the resources will come from.

It’s time to reconcile ends and means. On July 9 and 10, the World Bank and the Center for Global Development will co-host the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE). On the first day, the conference will aim to bring coherence to development policy debates by bringing together the world’s top economic minds to focus on four interrelated questions: 1) how can climate finance be increased, without deprioritizing other key development issues? 2) How should the world respond to the global debt crisis and promote future economic growth? 3) What are the implications of recent shifts in industrial policy for the future growth pathways of the Global South, and how can countries adapt? 4) how can private capital be mobilized for these issues and others?

More inclusive and sustainable economic growth can help solve many of these challenges. The second day will focus on how to achieve this type of growth—specifically by overcoming the constraints that women and youth face in the labor market in low-and-middle-income-countries. The day will feature panel discussions on social safety nets and women’s labor-force participation; norms, and other constraints to the economic inclusion of women and young people.

ABCDE is a 35-year-old forum to stimulate an exchange of ideas between leaders in global policy discussions and researchers, policymakers, and development practitioners from the Bank’s member countries. Established in 1989 and organized by the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC), ABCDE became the premier venue for cutting-edge insights on how to tackle the most pressing challenges of development. Several younger researchers presenting papers went on to become Nobel Prize winners. The conference also played a role in shaping the global consensus on development policy.

The 2024 conference is free and open to in-person participation in Washington, D.C., and virtual participation from anywhere. Stay tuned for an announcement of speakers and panels—and sign up using the pop-up form below to be notified when more details are available and registration opens.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.

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