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Liberia's 14-year civil war left the country in ruins. Following the inauguration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in January 2006, the country has begun the long journey to recovery. The new government has resettled tens of thousands of refugees, begun training new security forces, increased government revenues by more than 40 percent, restored electricity and water to parts of the capital, substantially increased primary school enrollment, and begun to rebuild roads and other critical infrastructure.
President Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female head of state, provided an overview of Liberia's first year and described the major challenges facing Liberia as it moves forward. She also provided a preview of her expectations for the Liberia Partner's Forum, in which Liberia will meet with its major international partners this week in Washington D.C. to describe its progress, outline its strategy for the near future, and discuss the ways in which the partners can best support Liberia's efforts towards recovery and sustained development.
The event featured: H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia with discussantsCongressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) U.S. House of Representatives, Antoinette M. Sayeh Minister of Finance, The Republic of Liberia, and Steven Radelet Economic Advisor and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development and was moderated by Nancy Birdsall President, Center for Global Development.
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.