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.

 

Chart of GDP per Capita vs Child Mortality Rates in 1900 and 2016 for Select Countries

It's Technology, Stupid: How Important is Innovation for Better Development Outcomes?

Income growth is the holy grail of development. At least that’s been the implicit view of much of the development community in recent history. The ultimate aim of development is to improve people’s lives, and GDP growth and income distribution are the yardsticks of this hallowed ground. This is because income (whether spent by individuals or the state via taxation and redistribution) is used to obtain all of the things fundamental to better lives, such as healthcare, education, and nutrition.

CSAE conference topics

What’s the Latest Economics Research on Africa? A Round-up from the Center for the Study of African Economies 2019 Conference

Last week’s annual Center for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) conference brought together researchers from the African continent and around the world for the presentation of nearly 300 papers about nearly every aspect of African societies, from agriculture to education to firms to health to trade. Here I provide a micro-summary of almost every paper presented at the conference.

Liliana Rojas-Suarez speaks at Global Economy in 2019: What Policymakers Need to Know, a CGD event.

How Will Increased External Uncertainties Shape Latin America’s Economic Growth and Stability in 2019?

As we start out 2019, a growing consensus has been forming among experts and market participants: the increased volatility in international capital markets and rising trade tensions of 2018 will not abate in 2019, and in fact may have adverse spillover effects on economic growth and stability of emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). How will this challenging international environment shape prospects for Latin America?

book covers

Take a Vacation from Economics: Anthropology Books to Read This Winter

Like many development economists, anthropologists organize their own data collection activities and spend a considerable amount of time “in the field.” But unlike economists, anthropologists often manage to present their findings in accessible, largely jargon-free prose that ordinary human beings might read voluntarily. 

Imran Khan at a WEF event. Photo by Remy Steinegger

Pakistan’s Economic Prospects: A CGD Roundtable has Advice for Imran Khan’s New Economic Team

Although the new government has yet to take office, Imran Khan, who as of Monday has won the most seats in parliament, is expected to realize his long-term aim of becoming prime minister. Having run on a platform of ending corruption and promoting human development, expectations are high especially amongst his younger urban supporters. However, he takes over at a time when Pakistan faces a serious economic challenge and its relations with key global players are under strain.

Engaging Young Africans on Four Immediate Challenges on the Road to Sub-Saharan Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area and “Agenda 2063”

As at countless events on sub-Saharan Africa’s economy over the past two weeks, discussions at Harvard University’s “Africa Development Conference”—where I delivered a keynote address—were animated by the signing of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement by 44 sub-Saharan African countries two days before.

Increasing External Debt and Electoral Cycles in Emerging Markets: How Do They Affect Prospects for Long-Term Growth?

Recently, the World Bank published its latest Global Economic Prospects report, which highlights a welcomed cyclical recovery for all major regions of the world following recent slow growth. I was pleased to participate in a panel discussion at CGD analyzing the report’s findings, and to share my perspectives both on its implications and on future global outlooks—­­especially for emerging market and developing economies.

Do Weak Governments Doom Developing Countries to Poverty?

When you read what economists have to say about development, it is easy to be disheartened about the prospects for poor countries. One big reason is that slow changing institutional factors are seen as key to development prospects. I’ve just published a CGD book that’s a little more optimistic: Results Not Receipts: Counting the Right Things in Aid and Corruption.

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