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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.
Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Sean Nolan, Deputy Director, Strategy and Policy Review, International Monetary Fund
Anna Gelpern, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics and Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
Mark Plant, Director of Development Finance and Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
Some of the world’s poorest countries run the risk of building up a debt pile too high for their economies to support, according to the latest IMF report. The Center for Global Development will host the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss the causes for the debt build up and possible ways forward at the launch of Macroeconomic Developments and Prospects in Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs) – 2018. This is the fourth annual report in a series by the IMF that looks at trends and socioeconomic indicators of LIDCs. Key findings from the 2018 report and some questions to be discussed include:
Growth improved broadly across LIDCs in 2017, but output growth in commodity exporters continues to lag behind levels achieved in 2010-14. How can this momentum be maintained and what are the risks to more favorable outlook?
There has been a broad-based weakening of fiscal positions in LIDCs in recent years, with fiscal deficits widening in some 70 percent of LIDCs between 2010-14 and 2017. Has this translated into more productive investment? What has been the impact on the financial sector?
Debt burdens and vulnerabilities have risen significantly since 2013 in many LIDCs, reflecting a mix of factors including exogenous shocks and loose fiscal policies. What are the risks of debt distress becoming an endemic problem?
The composition of public debt in LIDCs continues to shift from traditional sources towards non-Paris Club bilateral lenders, commercial external debt, and domestic debt. What challenges does this pose for developing countries and their creditors going forward?
The event will open with remarks from IMF Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang before moving into a panel discussion moderated by Center for Global Development’s Director of Development Finance and Senior Policy Fellow, Mark Plant.
In a recent paper, Kate Ambler and coauthors studied the impact of one-season cash transfers for agricultural investment in Senegal and Malawi, using data from a randomized control trial (RCT) in each country. They found evidence that transfers reduced both the number of decision makers and female decision making in Senegal in the short-run, particularly for measures directly related to agriculture. However, the effects disappeared two years after the transfers. Conversely, the authors find transfers in the Malawi program led to robust transitory increases in these measures, seeing a greater impact related to the number of decision makers in the household persisting after two year period. Join us for the latest CGD Invited Research Forum to discuss these opposing findings on the effects of cash transfers on household decision making.
Indian agriculture remains vulnerable to the vagaries of weather, and the looming threat of climate change may expose this vulnerability further. Using district-level data on temperature, rainfall and crop production, Siddharth Hari’s paper first documents a long-term trend of rising temperatures, declining average precipitation and increase in extreme precipitation events. One key finding is that the impact of temperature and rainfall are felt only in the extreme: when temperatures are much higher, rainfall is significantly lower, and the number of “dry days” greater is than normal. He also finds that these impacts are significantly more adverse in unirrigated areas (and hence rainfed crops) compared to irrigated areas. Can policy makers react to the challenges of climate change and find ways to get “more crop for every drop?"
Estimating intergenerational mobility in developing countries is difficult because matched parent-child income records are rarely available and education is measured very coarsely. In particular, there are no established methods for comparing educational mobility for subsamples of the population when the education distribution is changing over time.
In their recent paper, Sam Asher and coauthors present new methods and new administrative data to overcome this gap, and study intergenerational mobility across groups and across space in India. They find that the intergenerational mobility for the population as a whole has remained constant since liberalization, but cross-group changes have been substantial. Rising mobility among historically marginalized "Scheduled Castes" is almost exactly offset by declining intergenerational mobility among Muslims, a comparably sized group that has few constitutional protections. These findings contest the conventional wisdom that marginalized groups in India have been catching up on average. The paper also explores heterogeneity across space, generating the first high-resolution geographic measures of intergenerational mobility across India, with results across 5600 rural subdistricts and 2300 cities and towns.