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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.

 

How Transparent Are Development Finance Institutions?

Foreign assistance has come a long way in becoming much more transparent.  The idea, pushed by campaigns like Publish What You Fund and embodied in the International Aid Transparency Initiative, is that being more open about concessional aid will lead to less waste and more accountability. So what about non-concessional development finance? As the importance of development finance institutions (DFIs) grows, how transparent are they?

New Study of Somali Remittance Flows Does Not Actually Tell Us Much about Somali Remittance Flows

The FAO’s Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) released an assessment of external remittances to Somalia, based on a survey of both urban and internally-displaced families. The headline result from the report was that apparently remittances were on the decline, but the FSNAU survey doesn’t actually tell us much about how remittance flows to Somalia have changed in the past six months.

How Much Do We Really Know about Multinational Tax Avoidance and How Much Is it Really Worth? Comments Welcome!

At the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa this week, the issue of international cooperation to address ‘tax dodging’ and illicit flows will be higher up the agenda than ever before. Credit for this is due in no small part to the various non-governmental organizations that have built up public consciousness and pressure through sustained campaigns focused on the tax affairs of multinational companies.

DRM and Data: A Deliverable Duo for the USG at FFD

In Washington, rumor has it that the United States will bring commitments on domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and data to the table at the Financing for Development Conference this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As we get down to the wire, our fingers are crossed that the US government will take this opportunity to be ambitious and offer robust packages in both these areas. Here’s what that could look like. 

Poorer Countries Lose More from Corporate Profit-Shifting

Lower-income countries in general suffer the greatest shrinkage of the tax base as a result of corporate profit-shifting. In a new working paper, Simon Loretz and I find that the multinational tax bases of some lower-income countries could even be double their current size. We also find that some of the ‘tax haven’ jurisdictions that benefit most have received surprisingly little attention. Any guesses?

Four Futures for International Tax Rules

Consensus on the reform of international tax rules may be splintering under the combined pressures of post-crisis austerity and revelations about cut-throat tax ‘competition’ (see my discussion on this here). 

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