Population and Development Research Agenda

A CGD Working Group reviewed what is known about how population dynamics (e.g. fertility, mortality and migration) affect economic outcomes, and recommended a research agenda to fill gaps in that knowledge. Subsequently, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation allocated more than $15 million for research on the topic, with the emphasis on Africa. CGD's new Demographics and Development Initiative incorporates key results in its messages.

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Understanding how demographic change affects economic growth helps developing countries allocate scarce resources to accelerate economic growth and poverty reduction. This is especially true in Sub-Saharan Africa, where high fertility and the lack of real income growth over the past 20 years, has been coincident with a dramatic rise in the number of people living in poverty.

To stimulate policy-relevant research into these issues, CGD convened the Population and Development Working Group. The Working Group identified three main substantive areas under which lines of empirical research would be useful for the medium-term policy agenda. For each, investment in data collection and use of appropriate research strategies promise to lead to more definitive and generalize-able findings than has been possible in the past. The research agenda was developed with the additional input of the Population and Development Roundtable (PDF).

The Population Dynamics and Economic Development Research Agenda (PDF) is a resource for a variety of donors and research institutions seeking to contribute to population and development research. The research agenda serves as a point of departure for investments of resources and time -- with the aim of developing, over time, the body of evidence that will inform good policymaking.

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