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

 

An image of carbon dioxide smokestacks.

Germany: Five Areas for COP and G7 Climate and Development Leadership

Recent extreme weather events in the US, Canada, Europe and beyond have shown the high-income countries how vulnerable it is to climate change—a feeling that lower- and middle-income countries have known for years. Germany’s actions over the past decade on climate finance have established it as a leader with climate negotiations and commitments on climate finance at a critical moment.

A stack of one pound coins on top of a pile of various British pound notes

Will the UK Chancellor’s Accounting Be “The Tail that Wags the Dog” of UK Foreign Policy?

The new foreign secretary, Lizz Truss, will meet with the chancellor in the coming weeks to determine her department’s budget over the coming three years. If the chancellor maintains his current stance on counting aid spend even where it has no fiscal cost, and also treating the aid target as a ceiling rather than a floor, it would be like the tail wagging the dog,* with the  Chancellor’s stance on the aid target (the tail in this case) directing the UK’s international approach (the much-weightier dog) instead of vice versa, as one would hope. And it could also mean the foreign secretary would have to implement a third round of cuts in UK aid in spring 2022.

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What Comes After the Demographic Dividend? East Asia is Finding Out

East Asia’s miracle countries are the stuff of both economic legend and considerable debate. One part of the story may be demographics: East Asia saw rising life expectancy and declining birth rates that dramatically, if temporarily, increased the proportion of the population that was of working age. But now the demographics have shifted as a result of falling birth rates and a rising population of retirement-aged people. Absent a policy response, that could portend a cursed demographic future.

An image of two Afghan children walking.

Giving up the “Statebuilding” Ghost: Lessons from Afghanistan for Foreign Assistance in Fragile States

The end of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan will change many paradigms that have dominated US foreign policy for decades. President Biden’s recent assertion that military interventions are not the solution to humanitarian crises is a good place to start.  Just as urgent is the need to revisit the notion that foreign assistance can build a state.

Chart showing carbon price for each CDI countries. Sweden, Norway, and Finland lead, while the US, China, Mexico, South Africa, and others bring up the rear

Assessing International Environmental Leadership: CDI 2021

Today, we publish the 2021 Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which tracks powerful countries’ policy efforts on development across eight important areas, from development finance to migration. One of the CDI’s focal areas is the environment, which matters for everyone but is especially critical to people in lower-income countries. In a key year for climate negotiations, the CDI can tell us which countries are doing well on policies to protect the environment and which have room for improvement.

Introducing the Commitment to Development Index 2021

Today we launch the Commitment to Development Index 2021 measuring the policy efforts of 40 major economies in supporting development in other countries. The CDI focuses on the development spillover effects of policies in eight component areas: development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, health, security, and technology. Scores can be “income adjusted” to show how countries perform compared to an expected score based on their income. CGD’s been producing the CDI since 2003, and it remains unique.

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Economics & Marginalia: September 10, 2021

There was some good this week, too, though – most notably the ten-year anniversary of Michael Clemens’s seminal Journal of Economic Perspectives paper, Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk? The anniversary prompted Michael to discuss the struggles he had in getting it published, generating a quite extraordinary response from the many, many economists who owe the very shape of their worldview to it.

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