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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.


A “Rosetta Stone” for Comparing Test Scores Around the World (and Across the Global Income Distribution)

How much do educational outcomes around the world depend on where you were born? In a new CGD working paper, we propose a very simple strategy to overcome this problem and build a “Rosetta Stone” for test scores. We take a single sample of students and give them questions from each major exam around the world. By grading each child’s responses on the original test scales, we calculate scores on different exams for the same child on the same day.

Four charts showing lower but rising daily cases and deaths in EMDEs, along with higher lockdown stringency and lower mobility

As the Pandemic Surges in Poor Countries, Why Does the IMF Still Forecast a Milder Economic Crisis for Them?

Last week, the IMF revised the post-COVID growth forecasts it had made originally in the April World Economic Outlook (WEO). The April growth forecasts numbers projected a significantly more optimistic outlook for EMDEs compared with advanced economies. It turns out that the latest June forecast maintains this relative optimism for EMDEs.

An interactive chart of the lending pipeline for the World Bank in response to COVID-19

Tracking the World Bank’s Response to COVID-19

In recent years, many commentators have asked if the World Bank is still relevant. We’re about to find out. To track the World Bank’s response to COVID-19, we’ve built a small interactive tool to display how much each country has received to date, and what’s currently in the pipeline for approval.

A chart showing that India's rise in the Doing Business rankings is mostly an artifact of methodological changes, not policy reforms.

Is CGD Marxist? Responding to Red-Baiting from the World Bank

While Djankov railed against our criticism of Doing Business’s ideological slant, he failed to respond whatsoever to the data-based, methodological points we raised about the Doing Business index. Whatever the ideological leanings of CGD staff, when confronted with data and code questioning our analysis, I hope we can do better than name-calling.