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.
Philippe Benoit, former head of the Energy Environment Division, IEA, former Energy Sector Manager, World Bank and Senior Associate, CSIS
Kartikeya Singh, Deputy Director and Fellow, Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies, CSIS
James Morrissey, Researcher, Oxfam America
Michele de Nevers, Senior Associate, Center for Global Development
Energy has fueled economic and social development worldwide. From the US to China to South Africa, energy has enabled countries to increase incomes and standards of living. In turn, expanding middle classes have significantly increased their energy consumption. How can developing countries, especially those with a rapidly-growing middle-class, dramatically scale up energy use, and provide access to modern energy services to the billions who lack them, while keeping GHG emissions within the global goal of limiting dangerous temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, or even better 1.5 degrees?
Philippe Benoit, the former head of the Energy Environment Division at the IEA and former Energy Sector Manager at the World Bank, currently serving as a Senior Associate with the CSIS energy program, will describe the relationship between using energy for development and climate change in a climate constrained world. Kartikeya Singh, recently IDRC fellow at CGD and Deputy Director and Fellow, Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at CSIS, will draw from his extensive field work in India to describe the challenges and opportunities of business innovations in energy access that are being used to supply energy services to the poor and the expanding middle-class in India. James Morrissey is researcher at Oxfam America working on issues of energy and climate change. He will discuss findings from Oxfam’s recent research exploring policy and institutional challenges as they pertain to the development-energy-climate nexus.
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.