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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.

 

The World Bank Group's headquarters

Congress Spotlights the World Bank’s Private Sector Subsidies

Yesterday, the House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing with US Secretary of the Treasury Stephen Mnuchin on the international financial system. Chairwoman Maxine Waters opened the session with a strong statement on the World Bank’s $2.5 billion IDA Private Sector Window (PSW). Chairwoman Waters raises important concerns with the Private Sector Window that should be urgently addressed.

Figure 1: Tax Expenditure as a % of GDP

Time to Pay More Attention to Tax Expenditures?

It is time that donors and technical assistance providers turn their attention to tax concessions provided by developing countries struggling to raise more taxes from domestic sources. The granting of tax concessions is not only mostly opaque and prone to corruption, but these concessions are further constricting the already narrow tax base of countries, thereby undermining the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to promote domestic resource mobilization. There is a risk that additional revenues collected through tax reforms may be lost through tax concessions.

Stock photo of various currencies

Merely Collecting More Taxes Is Not Enough to Achieve the SDGs

In development circles these days, there is considerable emphasis on developing countries collecting more taxes domestically to help achieve the SDGs. But with this attention to domestic resource mobilization, we shouldn’t lose sight of a critical point: collecting more taxes will only advance the SDGs if the revenues are spent efficiently.

Time path of the external government debt to GNI ratio in LICs assuming financing needs are met through loans.

SDG Arithmetic

Some simple math on the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs shows that the path ahead may be a steeper climb than initially thought. 

Another Debt Crisis for Poor Countries?

When the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors assemble in Washington later this month. they would do well to focus on another looming debt crisis that could hit some of the poorest countries in the world, many of whom are also struggling with problems of conflict and fragility and none of which has the institutional capacity to cope with a major debt crisis without lasting damage to their already-challenged development prospects.

money from different countries

8 Ideas on Reforming the MDBs for the Eminent Persons Group

The Eminent Persons Group (EPG), tasked with making the system of international financial institutions fit for purpose in the 21st century, recently gave the G20 Finance Ministers a preliminary report on its work.The report is a bit long on generalities and short on specifics and, as my colleague Nancy Birdsall blogs, it mostly shies away from suggesting concrete adjustments in the way the multilateral development bank (MDB) system works now. Here are eight ideas that the EPG could propose that can be implemented in the next two years.

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