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On Tuesday, September 14, 2010 The Center for Global Development and The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies hosted a Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar (MADS)* entitled In Aid We Trust: Winning "Hearts and Minds" in the Islamic World. This seminar featured Jishnu Das, Development Economics Research Group, World Bank. Christine Fair, Assistant Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, served as the discussant.
Abstract: Winning “hearts and minds” in the Muslim world is an explicitly acknowledged aim of U.S. foreign policy and increasingly, bilateral foreign aid is recognized as a vehicle towards this end. We examine the effect of aid from foreign organizations and on-the-ground presence of foreigners following the 2005 earthquake in Northern Pakistan on local attitudes. We show that four years after the earthquake, humanitarian assistance by foreigners and foreign organizations has left a lasting imprint on population attitudes. Measured in three different ways those living closer to the fault-line report more positive attitudes towards foreigners, including Europeans and Americans; trust in foreigners decreases 6 percentage points for every 10 Kilometers distance from the fault-line. In contrast, there is no association between distance to the fault-line and trust in local populations. Pre-existing differences in socioeconomic characteristics or population attitudes do not account for this finding. Instead, the relationship between trust in foreigners and proximity to the fault-line mirrors the greater provision of foreign aid and foreign presence in these villages. In villages closest to the fault-line, foreign organizations were the second largest providers of aid after the Pakistan army (despite reports to the contrary aid provision by militant organizations was extremely limited, with less than 1 percent of all respondents reporting any help from such organizations). The results provide a compelling case that trust in foreigners is malleable, responds to humanitarian actions by foreigners and is not a deep-rooted function of local preferences. (Joint with Tahir Andrabi, Pomona College)
*The Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar (MADS) series is an effort by the Center for Global Development and The Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies to take advantage of the incredible concentration of great international development scholars in the Metro Washington, DC area. The series seeks to bring together members of this community and improve communication between them.
In recent years, Latin American countries have undertaken major fiscal consolidation measures in an effort to reduce their deficits and accumulation of debt. Despite improvements in fiscal position throughout the region, the rate of inequality reduction has slowed, capital spending (in terms of GDP) has fallen to its lowest levels since 2007 and fiscal revenues remain insufficient to finance achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Amid an uncertain macroeconomic context and fiscal consolidation, this slowdown requires a fine-tuning of policy measures. This event launches the new CEPAL Publication Fiscal Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2019, examining the role of tax policy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The paper analyses the constraints of domestic resource mobilization caused by fiscal incentives and how these incentives could, instead, be geared towards investment to foster sustainable and inclusive development.
Over the last 25 years, Mexico has benefited from robust trade and financial integration with North America and strong domestic macroeconomic and financial stability, although much remains to be done on the socioeconomic front.
Against this backdrop, the economy is currently facing strong domestic and external headwinds. At home, the economy has slowed since last year, with real GDP contracting 0.2% in 1Q2019, reflecting low productivity in Mexico and softer growth in the United States. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has announced protectionist policies, which are not supportive of private investment. From the external side, the lingering uncertainties about Trump’s tariffs on Mexico's imports could have a major negative impact.
How should Mexico deal with these challenges? The Latin American Committee on Macroeconomic and Financial Issues (CLAAF) will discuss central questions on a) the best policy responses to market uncertainties, b) the best way to deal with the immigration flood, which is playing a key role in Trump's new tariff threats, c) what Mexico’s policymakers can learn from the recent experiences in Argentina and Brazil, and d) the most pressing reforms needed to restore investors’ confidence and Mexico's economic growth.
A light breakfast and coffee will be available at 9:30 a.m.
Over the past two decades tremendous progress has been made to improve girls’ access to schooling. Data on learning similarly shows that gender gaps are closing or largely closed. Yet education systems are still failing to meet one important objective: achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in terms of adult life outcomes. Against the backdrop of improvements in schooling and learning, women still bear the brunt of inequalities in female income, political participation, exposure to gender-based violence and reproductive autonomy. The panel will attempt to answer a key question: how can girls’ education improve adult life outcomes for women?
In this new World Bank Policy Research Report, Moving for Prosperity: Global Migration and Labor Markets, Çağlar Özden attempts to address the tension between the academic research and the public discourse on migration by focusing on the economic evidence. The report suggests a labor market–oriented, economically motivated rationale as an alternative to the political opposition to migration. Global migration patterns lead to high concentrations of immigrants in certain places, industries, and occupations. These geographic and labor market concentrations of immigrants lead to increased anxiety, insecurity, and potentially significant short-term disruptions among native-born workers.
Understanding (and empathizing with) these legitimate economic concerns is critical to informed and effective policymaking. The goal should be to ease the costs of short-term dislocations of native-born workers and distribute more widely the economic benefits generated by labor mobility. Proactive interventions to ease the pain and share the gain from immigration are essential to avoid draconian restrictions on immigration that will hurt everybody. Ignoring the massive economic gains of immigration would be akin to leaving billions of hundred-dollar bills on the sidewalk.