Ideas to Action:

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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.

 

Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk: Why Don’t More Economists Study Emigration?

Economists who study globalization pay lots of attention to trade and capital flows. They have spent generations researching how much better off the world could be if there were fewer international obstacles to voluntary, mutually beneficial trade and investment. If there’s a twenty-dollar bill on the sidewalk—economists’ old catch-phrase meaning an opportunity for big gain at small cost—why not pick it up?

Of Penn, Pigs and Cod

If there is one thing that Development Experts hate, it is celebrities acting as if they know something about development.  Of course, if there’s another thing that at least some Development Experts hate, it is other Development Experts acting as if they know something about development.  The good news for those folks, at least (and you know who you are): if Development Experts are as clueless on how to promote development as the celebrities, maybe the celebrities aren’t the big problem.

Rio +20: Now Also + A New Set of Development Goals

CGD hosted a meeting yesterday with Ambassador Brice Lalonde, UN Executive Coordinator of Rio +20 as well as representatives from the US Government, NGOs and the private sector.  It was an opportunity for Lalonde to give an update and ask for feedback on preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio next June.

Reflections on a Holiday in Zimbabwe

Not too many people would think to take a vacation in Zimbabwe. My wife Caroline and I have our reasons.  Caroline was born and raised in the country, the descendant of an old Zimbabwe “pioneer” family. I am from South Africa.

Learning to Live With China’s Economic Dominance

Arvind Subramanian is a joint senior fellow at the CGD and the Peterson Institute. This post appeared originally on the Peterson Institute’s China Economic Watch blog.

Is China poised to take over from the United States as the world’s most economically dominant power?

This is an essential question, and yet it has not yet been taken seriously enough in the United States, where, this central conceit still reigns: the United States’ economic preeminence cannot be seriously threatened because it is the United States’ to lose, and sooner or later, the United States will rise to the challenge of not losing it. China may be on its way to becoming an economic superpower, and the United States may have to share the global stage with it in the future. But, the argument goes, the threat from China is not so imminent, so great, or so multifaceted that it can push the United States out of the driver’s seat.

India’s Summer of Scams Reaches a Climax

Picture this: an Indian social activist from humble origins, dressed in homespun and espousing the virtues of non-violent civil disobedience, takes on his country’s corrupt overlords by launching an indefinite hunger strike to bring the government to its knees.  Think you’ve seen this movie before?  Think again.  This time around, the year is 2011 and the man in question is 74 year-old Anna Hazare, a Gandhian social activist who is responsible for taking the anti-corruption fight to the Indian government’s doorstep with his leadershi

Obama Set to Lob Canadian Carbon Bomb at India

President Obama is widely expected to approve this year the construction of a massive new oil pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting boost in the emissions of heat-trapping gases has been called the world’s biggest carbon bomb. India would be among its primary victims.

The Revelation of Paul: A Perspective on The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding

As a child of the American South and Midwest, I have more than a passing acquaintance with fundamentalist Christian apocalyptics.  So I was immediately struck by the resemblance when I read The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding.  His book has stirred considerable excitement in the environmental community, and has recently been lauded by Tom Friedman in a New York Times column.  Its description of an imminent apocalypse is eerily similar to the Biblical

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