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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.

 

New Poll Confirms that Congress Doesn't Listen to Voters When Lavishing Subsidies on Farmers

When I was writing my book, Delivering on Doha: Farm Trade and the Poor, I came across a 2004 poll showing that Americans, including in farm states, support subsidies only for small farmers and only in bad years. Last week, another poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland was released showing that attitudes haven’t changed. The reality, as I discussed in my book, is that the top 20 percent of recipients receive 80 percent of all payments.

The IMF's New Face

After listening to Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s speech at the CGD-SAIS conference on April 23, I almost had to pinch myself: new lending instruments without conditionality and without pre-established limits? Stand-by agreements with social conditionality—that is, requirements designed to protect the poorest? These are very important steps for an institution, which until recently, developing countries saw as the “bad cop” for decades.

The Media Blitz of Dambisa Moyo's Dead Aid is Far from Dead

I had the privilege of speaking at Dambisa Moyo’s first Washington DC event, held recently at the Cato Institute (watch the webcast here). Her book Dead Aid is a full-frontal attack on aid to Africa (and has attracted an extraordinary amount of media attention). As much of my own work has been highly critical of the aid business, it was somewhat unusual (and a little awkward) to find myself mostly defending foreign aid.

Nathalie's Story: Saving the Mountain Gorillas, and the Planet

GorillaMy friend Nathalie Johnson is one of my personal heroes. For the better part of two decades, she has worked tirelessly at the World Bank to conserve biodiversity while promoting sustainable livelihoods for the rural people of Africa. Fiercely proud of being a field biologist in an institution dominated by economists, Nathalie has turned out to be one of the finest applied economists I know.

Missed Opportunities in Port of Spain, But a Step Forward on Cuba

As President Obama was making his way to the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago last week, many hoped for something more concrete than just a fresh start with our neighbors in Latin America, who felt neglected and ignored for the past eight years. Those of us hoping that the president might take the opportunity to announce plans to seek congressional approval for two trade agreements that have been pending for two years or more--with Panama and Colombia--were disappointed.

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