Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Commentary & Analysis

In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.

Image of a finger being pressed against a transparent fingerprint scanner
Blog Post

The recent Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar closes one contentious chapter of its short existence and opens others at the same time. While Aadhaar is here to stay, the 1.25 billion dollar question remains: in what capacity? 

graph compares median private capital inflow/GDP ratios over time for LICs, lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), and upper-middle-income countries (UMICs
Blog Post

The formidable challenge of financing the Sustainable Development Goals has focused attention on the role of private capital in filling huge finance gaps. But for low-income countries (LICs), which receive only about 5 percent of total cross-border private capital flows to developing countries, there is little confidence that external private capital will make a significant contribution.

Growth and initial GDP, grouped by PWT 9.0, Chained PPP / WDI, 2011 PPP / Maddison, 2011 USD
Blog Post

A quarter-century after the empirical growth literature set out to explain why poor countries aren’t catching up with rich ones, cross-country regressions have mercifully gone out of fashion. But in the interim, the core facts have changed.

posters for male and female conductors in UK
Blog Post

The Women, Business and the Law program at the World Bank has done a wonderful job of cataloguing the thousands of legal restrictions worldwide that constrain women’s abilities to be equal participants in the economy—from legislation mandating women ask a male family member for permission before opening a bank account through rules banning women from certain jobs to unequal property rights. Pairing that data with surveyed outcomes would make it an even more powerful tool.