Ideas to action: independent research for global prosperity
The Case for Globalization and Robust Global Value Chains Grows Stronger
February 08, 2024
A fracturing of the institutional infrastructure undergirding globalization would harm efforts to cope with urgent national problems and international crises. The imperative for the leading economic powers is to defuse threats to globalization and to promote resilience of global value chains. The fl...
Episode 8: The Responsibility of My Country in an Unjust Global System: Do No Harm
February 02, 2024
Most of the episodes in this series have been about my luck and privilege as a white and well-off American; they reflect my growing realization that the luck and privilege I’ve enjoyed in the nearly eight decades of my lifetime are in good part a product of America’s vast wealth and power throughout...
What’s the Latest Research in Development Economics? A Roundup from NEUDC 2023
November 09, 2023
There are so many studies regarding so many aspects of development economics that it can be difficult to keep up. Last week was the North East Universities Development Consortium annual conference, often called NEUDC. Researchers presented more than 130 papers across a wide range of topics, from agr...
An Agenda to Enhance the Efficacy of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act
November 08, 2023
The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is due to expire in 2025, a quarter of a century after it was first enacted. AGOA provides qualifying sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the US market for most agricultural and manufactured products. Its architects and supporters point...
The Future of Development: Business and Consumer Services
October 30, 2023
Our new paper forecasts global structural transformation over the next thirty years. It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that it suggests the planetary shift toward services employment and out of both agriculture and manufacturing will continue. But it does suggest something many find might novel ...
Macroeconomic Impact of the War in Ukraine and of High Commodity Prices across Countries
August 29, 2023
The war in Ukraine was associated with large changes in the prices of key food and fuel commodities in 2022 which produced macroeconomic gains for exporters and losses as import costs increased. Across 49 countries benefitting, these gains averaged about 8 percent of GDP and reach up to 36 percent o...
Policies at the End of the Global Value Chain Rainbow: What Has the World Bank Discovered?
June 29, 2023
The concept of global value chains (GVCs) has become a workhorse of trade analytics. But conceptual attractions aside, the use of GVCs for analytic purposes has not enlarged the policy toolkit, expanded the spectrum of usable policies, or enhanced their efficacy.
African Diaspora Leadership for the Growth to 2.5 Billion: An Opportunity for Engagement
May 23, 2023
The past year has been challenging and turbulent for many frontier markets in Africa. In 2022, African economies met headwinds of inflation, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and sovereign debt challenges. This led to a decrease in demand for African goods and services, as well as reduced inve...
It Is Time to Do Away with Special Economic Zones
April 06, 2023
Countries continue to bet on Special Economic Zones to improve their industrial prospects, but why? SEZs are a handy and politically expedient instrument of regional and industrial policies, but too often, countries continue to establish zones even though they've ceased to deliver the outcomes they...
Growth Performance of Middle-Income Countries: East Asia vs. Latin America
January 09, 2023
On balance, the Southeast Asian countries have done better than Latin American countries by pursuing export-led industrial strategies, however, unlike the Tigers, neither group has been able to enter the ranks of high-income countries. This note offers reasons for the shortfall in growth and briefly...