Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

India’s Puzzling New PPP

Last week saw the release of the new 2011 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates for GDP produced by the International Comparison Program (ICP). The ICP is a major global statistical operation. The Global Office is housed in the World Bank but the ICP is implemented separately in each region by designated regional counterparts.

Where Is Life Better…?

Last week, we sat down with Lawrence to record a Wonkcast on our new working paper The Median is the Message: A Good-Enough Measure of Material Well-Being and Shared Development Progress. In the paper, we argue that survey-based median household consumption expenditure (or income) per capita should be incorporated into standard development indicators, as a simple, robust, and durable indicator of typical individual material well-being in a country.

Connecting with Central America through Research

Central America experienced almost a decade of economic progress between 2003 and 2008, when GDP per capita growth averaged 3 percent per year. Yet the region’s five countries–Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua–still lag other middle income economies. Their high dependence on their primary commodities and the U.S. economy makes the growth slow and volatile. Even more worrying are high levels of poverty and inequality.  Significant structural changes are urgently needed to secure sustained and inclusive growth.

The United States Can Give Better Aid to Haiti

This commentary also appeared on The Huffington Post and Global Post

Last week at a United Nations conference, donors pledged more than $10 billion to finance reconstruction and development investments in Haiti. The United States promised a hefty $1.15 billion.

But pledging money is the easy part. The United States, the lead donor and friend with the greatest interest in Haiti's future development, can do much more, in two ways: its own aid programs can be more effective; and it can take steps beyond aid that are far more critical to long-run prosperity for Haiti's people.

Controversy over World Bank trade & poverty estimates

Three years ago the World Bank said that freeing international trade of all barriers and subsidies would lift 320 million people above the $2 a day poverty line by 2015. But new World Bank projections emphasizing $1 a day poverty and based on new data and methods put the number at just 32 million people. CGD/IIE Senior Fellow William R. Cline, author of Trade Policy and Global Poverty, has been examining the Bank's new calculations and argues that the first estimate was closer to the truth.

An Open Letter to Jim Lehrer

To: Jim Lehrer

From: Nancy Birdsall

Subject: Missed opportunity to include development in the foreign policy debate

Dear Jim - How regrettable that the presidential debate on foreign policy and security focused on such a predictably narrow set of topics.

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