With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
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.
Ph.D candidate, Department of Economics, UC Berkeley
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Organized groups of individuals challenging the status quo are critical for institutional change and economic development patterns. This paper studies the 2011 student movement in Chile, the largest protest mobilization in the country’s history, in which hundreds of thousands of students skipped school to protest with the goal of reforming the educational system. Using administrative data on millions of students’ daily school attendance decisions on protest and non-protest days, a large network composed by the lifetime history of classmates, and differential network exposure to the first national protest, González employs an instrumental variables approach to test how networks affect protest behavior. The main finding is that individual participation follows a threshold model of collective behavior: students were influenced by their networks to skip school on protest days only when more than 40 percent of the members of their networks also skipped school. Additional findings show that protest participation imposed significant educational costs on students and helped to shift votes towards non-traditional opposition parties. Taken together, results indicate that networks amplify the effect of protests in non-linear ways with potentially significant consequences for institutional change.
Please join CGD for a conversation with four former directors of USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health. These four leaders served between 1986 and 2013—and their tenures have spanned US administrations from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Since the Office’s inception in 1969, the US government has played a substantial role in supporting expanded access to voluntary family planning around the world through technical assistance, diplomatic and policy engagement, and financial support. But differences in policy across administrations have meant that US leadership in international family planning has often faced periods of uncertainty. CGD is convening this panel to revisit historic experiences and to shed light on lessons learned that may be used to inform stakeholders in the current landscape.
Due to the potential for snow tomorrow, we are unfortunately canceling this event. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to see you at CGD soon.
Please join Crispian Olver for a discussing of his latest book How to Steal a City: The Battle for Nelson Mandela Bay: An Inside Account. How to Steal a City is an insider account of this intervention, which lays bare how the administration was entirely captured and bled dry by a criminal syndicate, how factional politics within the ruling party abetted that corruption, and how a comprehensive clean-up was eventually conducted.
The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects 2018 recognizes that the global economy is enjoying a long-awaited broad-based cyclical recovery. In this favorable environment, the Bank expects growth in emerging and developing countries to continue during the next couple of years. But this is no time for complacency. Forces depressing potential output growth will continue unless countered by structural policies. While most commentators focus on the recent cyclical upturn, the new World Bank report presents a sober analysis of long-term growth prospects. Director of the World Bank's Development Prospects Group, Ayhan Kose will give a brief presentation of the report and will then participate in the panel discussion, moderated by CGD president, Masood Ahmed.
With the biometric registration of 9.2 million adults and documentation of 4.5 million children, Malawi has made a massive stride towards SDG 16.9 which requires states to “provide legal identity to all, including birth registration, by 2030”. How has Malawi achieved universal coverage in only 180 days despite lack of key infrastructure and scarce technical resources? What are the potential digital dividends of this initiative for Malawi and its people, and what can development partners and other countries learn from it? Tariq Malik, Chief Technical Advisor of UNDP, who leads this project, will walk us through this journey of success in the heart of Africa.
Five years after the landmark UN endorsement, countries around the world are now working to translate the lofty rhetoric of UHC into defined, tangible, equitable, and comprehensive health services for their populations. On December 12th, the world will officially mark the 5th annual Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day—an opportunity to reflect on the global community’s role in supporting progress toward this important goals. In celebration of UHC day, the Center for Global Development is pleased to host a short program—Better Decisions, Better Health: Practical Experiences Supporting UHC from around the World—featuring practical experiences supporting UHC from Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and at the global level. A keynote address from Mark McClellan will precede remarks and presentations from the core partners of the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI).
The Birdsall House Conference Series on Women seeks to identify and bring attention to leading research and scholarly findings on women’s empowerment in the fields of development economics, behavioral economics, and political economy. On December 7th, academics, private sector representatives, and policymakers will turn to an issue that affects women in rich and poor countries alike: the ability to make informed, voluntary, and autonomous choices about childbearing, and the implications of reproductive choice as a lever to expand women’s economic and life prospects. Until recently, there has been a lack of rigorous empirical evidence on the links between contraceptive access and women’s economic empowerment in low- and middle-income countries. The 2017 Birdsall House Conference will feature new findings on this relationship alongside existing evidence from the United States.
What are the challenges and opportunities for growth in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) region? In his presentation, Jihad Azour will present the IMF’s latest economic outlook for the MENAP region. He will argue that growth has not been fast enough and has not created sufficient opportunities to address high levels of unemployment. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on the main impediments to growth and highlight the policy priorities to durably increase it and make it more inclusive.
The terminology describing economic programs for women has changed: actions to ‘empower women economically’ have replaced efforts to ‘increase women’s productivity and incomes.’ But how can we actually measure ‘economic empowerment’? Last November, CGD, in collaboration with Data2X, IDRC and the World Bank Africa Gender Innovation Lab organized a panel discussion on possible measures and issues, drawing on evidence from the ExxonMobil Foundation-funded report Women’s Economic Empowerment: A Roadmap and its update, “Revisiting What Works.” Read the overview here. Since then, new research has been conducted which raises alternative perspectives on these measures.