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.
Introductory Remarks by Henri de Raincourt
Minister for International Cooperation and Development
Republic of France
Center for Global Development
Panel #1 – Africa Infrastructure
9:20 am–10:30 am
Featuring Elizabeth Littlefield
President and CEO
U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Vice President for Infrastructure, Private Sector, and Regional Integration
African Development Bank
Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Financial Affairs and Development
French Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment
Moderated by Ben Leo
Center for Global Development
Panel #2 – Global Food Security
10:30 am–11:40 am
Featuring Will Martin
Research Manager for Agriculture and Rural Development
Development Research Group, World Bank
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Food Security and Economic Development
French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Moderated by Kimberly Elliott
Center for Global Development
Concluding Remarks by Lael Brainard
Under-Secretary for International Affairs
U.S. Department of Treasury
This November, France will host the sixth G-20 Summit in Cannes. Over the coming months, the G-20 will be exploring a range of coordinated actions to advance its agreed development roadmap – with a heavy focus on two central pillars: Africa Infrastructure and Global Food Security. In advance of the highly anticipated Cannes Summit, CGD will host a half-day conference focusing on these two important pillars. This CGD event will consist of two interactive panel discussions with leading policymakers from G-20 member governments and international financial institutions.
Africa Infrastructure: Over the last decade, Sub-Saharan African economies grew by an average of nearly 5 percent annually. To maintain and even accelerate growth and economic opportunities going forward, countries must address the binding constraints posed by the region’s lack of infrastructure. Nearly every African country faces serious challenges in providing a steady, reliable supply of electricity. And, many African businesses continue to have tremendous difficulty transporting their products to local, regional, and overseas markets. Africa’s infrastructure deficit is not simply a matter of financing. Governments must also take concerted steps to address low public sector capacity, poor business climates, and a prohibitively high degree of risk associated with large-scale investments. This panel will explore possible areas for G20 action, such as the creation of new investment vehicles and risk mitigation instruments required to complete large-scale projects.
Global Food Security: For the second time in just three years, food prices are spiking to their highest levels since the 1970s and threatening millions of people with hunger, malnutrition, and, for some, a fall back into the poverty they only recently escaped. Two price spikes of this magnitude so close to together – both caused in part by extreme weather events – highlight the increasing volatility that climate change is likely to bring to agricultural markets. The spikes, along with other signs that the long-run trend of falling commodity prices is reversing, also underscore the fact that public policies need to address food security across multiple dimensions. This panel will discuss policies to promote food security ranging from ensuring that families have enough of the right kinds of food to maintain health in the face of price spikes, to maintaining adequate global supplies to feed a growing and richer population.
Click here to see slides from the event by Will Martin on Food Price Volatility, Trade and Food Security.
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.