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Views from the Center

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Updated Look at Trade in the Commitment to Development Index

After some modest tweaks over the years, the trade component of the Commitment to Development Index got a makeover in 2013—not a new face, but a nip and tuck here and there. The latest CDI includes a more direct measure of tacit barriers to trade from the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators on the time and cost to import, exclusive of tariffs. The trade component also now recognizes the growing importance of trade in services—and barriers to it—thanks to another team of World Bank economists that developed the Services Trade Restrictiveness Index.

Which Country Has the Most Development Friendly Policies? (Hint: Tillykke!)

This is a joint post with Petra Krylová.

For the second year in row, the winner of the Commitment to Development Index (CDI) is Denmark. (Tillykke!) Denmark does not have the highest score in any individual component, but it has the most consistently development-friendly policies across the board. Its Scandinavian neighbors, Sweden and Norway, are second and third respectively. The G-7 country with the most pro-development policies is the UK, in seventh place.

Policy Coherence Is a Hobgoblin

In a world of horrible development jargon and TLAs, one of my least favourite is "Policy Coherence for Development (PCD)".

This ugly phrase is meaningless to most people; worse, it is misleading. It suggests that we care more about whether we have joined-up policies than we care about the overall impact of our policies on poor people and poor countries.