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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.


World Bank Revisits the Meaning of "Absolute" Poverty

This is a joint posting with Martina Tonizzo
The World Bank has announced a new poverty line on the basis of revised estimates of Purchasing Price Parity (PPP) price levels around the world. In the working paper that explains the basis for the new line, poverty measurement guru Martin Ravallion and his co-authors make two proposals.

Lord Nicholas Stern Calls for Action on Climate and Development in Third Annual Sabot Lecture

Last week the Center for Global Development hosted the third annual Richard H. Sabot Lecture to honor the memory of Dick Sabot, a development practitioner and scholar, and a founding member of CGD's board of directors (see our events page for photos and a trascript of the event). Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and author of the Stern Review, spoke on "The Economics of a Global Deal on Climate Change."

Arvind vs. Arvind on India's Growth Surge

The Economist recently published a lively review of India's Turn: Understanding the Economic Transformation, by Arvind Subramanian, a senior fellow at CGD and the Peterson Institute. The clever headline of the review, Arvind vs. Arvind, refers to the slightly different take on India's recent success of Arvind Panagariya, well-known trade theorist and proponent of what used to be called conventional economic wisdom on trade (i.e.

Delight About Donor Disclosure -- Now Kick It Up A Notch!

This is a joint post with Kate Vyborny
We have been trying for a while to convince official aid donors to report to recipients more detailed, timely information about their disbursements of aid. You might well ask: how is it that recipients do not know how much money they are getting? Money may be in projects completely separate from the government; or it may go to specific project units within ministry of education or health, for example -- even the health or education minister may not know who in his or her ministry has access to what money. This undermines the collective decisionmaking process over how funds are spent that is central in the role of democratic governments. The recipient government should be involved in deciding how the money will be spent -- mechanisms like budget support and our proposed "cash on delivery" aid allow this to happen automatically. But at the very least, donors should be keeping tabs and telling the recipient -- quite a low bar, especially considering the standards to which donors hold or exhort recipients.

How NOT to Fix the Global Food Crisis -- France Says Poor Countries Should Provide EU-Style Farm Subsidies, while U.S. Farm Bill Puts Vested Interests First

And now for a really bad idea: according to the Financial Times Michel Barnier, France's farm minister, told a food crisis summit in Berne that Africa and Latin America should adopt their own versions of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy -- massive trade-distorting subsidies -- as a response to rising demand for food.

Trade Policy for a New Deal on Hunger

This is a joint post with Arvind Subramanian

In a Q&A published today, CGD non-resident fellow Peter Timmer estimates that soaring global food prices and panicky starve-thy-neighbor rice export restrictions in Asia could lead to 10 million or more premature deaths in the region if the current high prices are passed along to poor rice consumers.

Can the MDBs Jump-Start the Market for Country Risk Management Tools?

World Bank President Robert Zoellick, CGD President Nancy Birdsall, and CGD Non-resident Fellow Guillermo PerryCGD recently hosted a roundtable discussion on a set of important questions confronting the multilateral development banks (MDBs) as the market for their loans shrinks: can they help to foster a greatly expanded market for new risk management tools -- such as insurance and other hedging mechanisms -- to

Put Double Majority Voting Back on the Table at the IMF

The IMF Governors will be considering formally next week a pack of governance reforms -- most notably a proposed change in quota shares and thus voting power among members. The change is meant to give developing countries, especially China, India and other fast-growing emerging market economies, and developing economies as a group, more votes and a bigger stake in the IMF's future.