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.

Reflecting Back, Looking Forward: Illicit Flows and Inequality

This Q&A was originally posted at Democracy in Africa.

1. Tell us a bit about your work with the Center for Global Development

CGD is a ‘think and do tank’ established in Washington, DC in 2001, doing rigorous research with the aim of producing policy proposals to improve the development impact of (or reduce the damage done by) rich countries. I work for CGD Europe, based in London, as a research fellow leading on illicit financial flows, and continuing to dabble in inequality.

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.

A Solution for the Inequality Politics of Post-2015?

Two main objections have been raised (by the High Level Panel on Post-2015, for example) to including an income inequality target in the post-2015 framework. One is technical, namely the claim that there isn’t a good enough measure of inequality. I don’t take this very seriously. Is this one area of measurement too complex? 

How Committed to Equity are Latin American Governments?

Latin America’s distribution of income and wealth has long been the most unequal in the world—but poverty and inequality have been falling consistently since 2000 in most countries of the region. What has changed in Latin America? Are the region’s governments more committed to equality than in the past? Have their tax and spending policies improved? Which governments are most committed? Which least? What policies and programs have been most effective in redistributing income? Are they sustainable? What is holding Latin America back from faster gains?

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.

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