Past

Public Event
Monday, March 13, 2017 - 9:30am

While still a work in progress, the Trump Administration’s first budget request to Congress is expected to contain deep cuts to the US foreign affairs budget. What would substantial funding reductions mean for US efforts to advance global development and for US interests more broadly? What does the evidence tell us about US investments in foreign aid? How can the administration and Congress work to ensure the best use of assistance dollars?

Book Talk
Monday, March 6, 2017 - 5:30pm

Tropical forests are an undervalued asset in meeting the greatest global challenges of our time—averting climate change and promoting sustainable development. Despite their importance, tropical forests and their ecosystems are being destroyed at a high and even increasing rate in most forest-rich countries. The good news is that the science, economics, and politics are aligned to support a major international effort to reverse tropical deforestation.

CGD Invited Research Forum
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 12:30pm

Organized groups of individuals challenging the status quo are critical for institutional change and economic development patterns. This paper studies the 2011 student movement in Chile, the largest protest mobilization in the country’s history, in which hundreds of thousands of students skipped school to protest with the goal of reforming the educational system. Using administrative data on millions of students’ daily school attendance decisions on protest and non-protest days, a large network composed by the lifetime history of classmates, and differential network exposure to the first national protest, González employs an instrumental variables approach to test how networks affect protest behavior. The main finding is that individual participation follows a threshold model of collective behavior: students were influenced by their networks to skip school on protest days only when more than 40 percent of the members of their networks also skipped school. Additional findings show that protest participation imposed significant educational costs on students and helped to shift votes towards non-traditional opposition parties. Taken together, results indicate that networks amplify the effect of protests in non-linear ways with potentially significant consequences for institutional change.

CGD Invited Research Forum
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 12:30pm

Xu studies how patronage affects the promotion and performance of senior bureaucrats within a global organization: the British Empire. He combines newly digitized personnel and public finance data from the colonial administration 1854-1966 to study the inner workings of a bureaucracy that controlled close to a fifth of the earth’s land mass at its peak. Exploiting the ministerial turnover in London as a source of within-governor variation in social connections, he finds that governors are more likely to be promoted to higher salaried colonies when connected to their superior during the period of patronage. At the same time, they provide more tax exemptions, generate less revenue, invest less and are less likely to be recognized for their service. The promotion and performance gaps disappear after the abolition of patronage appointments. Exploiting a fixed allocation rule to predict the appointment of connected governors unrelated to colony characteristics, colonies administered for longer periods by connected governors during the period of patronage exhibit lower fiscal capacity today. Exposure to connected governors after the removal of patronage has no long-run impact.

Public Event
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 2:00pm
The world’s development challenges are far too vast for the old way of doing things. To generate the trillions of dollars necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, international institutions, policymakers and the private sector need a new approach that unlocks the power of private investment.  IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Philippe Le Houérou will address how his institution’s new strategy of “creating markets,” especially where they are weak or nonexistent, can help redefine development finance in an uncertain global economic environment. Following Le Houérou’s remarks, he will be joined by a stellar panel for a discussion of the private sector development agenda.
 
CGD Invited Research Forum
Friday, February 3, 2017 - 12:30pm

Why do some governments provide more public goods than others? Focusing on the case of public education, this article challenges the centrality given to the role of democracy and mass pressure for redistribution; and posits an alternative explanation rooted in the role of internal political disorder. The paper begins by documenting that, historically, in the vast majority of Latin American and European countries, public education systems emerged and achieved considerable expansion during non-democratic regimes and in the absence of popular demand for education. Why did political elites have an interest in setting up these costly systems in the absence of electoral incentives to do so? Based on historical evidence for select cases, Paglayan posits that instances of widespread internal political disorder such as civil wars propelled elites to use mass education as a means to instill values that would help prevent future rebellions against their authority. The statistical tests for this argument focus on assessing how a legacy of civil war impacts post-war investments in education provision. In analyses that exploit the regional concentration of civil war in Chile during the mid-nineteenth century, she shows that in the aftermath of the 1859 civil war—the causes of which had nothing to do with education provision—the central government made an unprecedented investment in mass schooling, and the expansion was greatest in those regions that had rebelled against the government. She also shows the generalizability of this argument with original data on education enrollment rates and civil war for Latin American and European countries beginning in 1830. Overall, the paper conceptualizes mass education less as a service for ordinary citizens and more as a tool used by political elites to consolidate power.

CGD Invited Research Forum
Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 12:30pm

The city of Bogotá set out to reduce crime and increase state legitimacy by raising state presence on city streets: either increasing police time by two thirds, or delivering clean up and lighting services. In their new paper, Christopher Blattman and his co-authors find that these large and sustained increases in state presence have relatively modest effects on crime, violence, and state legitimacy. They conclude that there may be returns to a more focused approach: increasing and concentrating efforts on the places with the greatest need and least prior state presence.

CGD Invited Research Forum
Monday, January 30, 2017 - 12:30pm

Corruption in hiring for public sector jobs is common in developing countries, and has been assumed to have a detrimental effect on delivery of government services. This paper provides a framework for understanding this type of corruption and demonstrates that it need not have negative consequences. Weaver collects original data from a hiring process for managerial positions in a developing country health bureaucracy, and finds that hires paid large bribes, averaging 17 months’ salary. He uses data on bribe offers to characterize the structure of these markets, showing that job allocations are made as if via a first-price, winner-pay, sealed bid auction. To establish the consequences of corruption, he estimates a structural model of entry to determine hires under counterfactual hiring procedures, such as standardized testing, and compares them to actual hires. For this comparison, Weaver identifies causal relationships between a set of hire characteristics and better delivery of health services. Based on these characteristics, actual hires are of comparable or superior quality to the hires under counterfactual systems, e.g. as compared to hires under a knowledge-based test, actual hires are 4.3-8.7 percentage points closer to the predicted optimal set of hires. Although hiring decisions are based primarily on bribes, hires are high quality because applicant wealth and willingness to pay for the position are strongly positively correlated with quality. Applying this to a general model of hiring, he identifies the environments in which corruption will lead to misallocation, discusses how anti-corruption efforts should be designed, and argues for a greater focus on hiring for mid-level government managers.

Public Event
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 4:00pm

Please join us to hear policymakers from inside and outside the US government discuss their experience applying the principle of country ownership, reflecting on its importance as well as its challenges and trade-offs. Forthcoming research from CGD’s US Development Policy Initiative will review progress made in implementing country ownership, identify the constraints the agencies face, and offer recommendations for better execution of a country ownership approach in practice.

Public Event
Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 5:30pm

CGD is delighted to announce that Nancy Birdsall, our founding president, will deliver the 2016 Richard Sabot Memorial Lecture, entitled ‘New Development Realities in a changing Global Order’. Birdsall will step down at the end of the year and this will be her last public event as CGD president.

CGD Invited Research Forum
Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 12:30pm

The WHO has recently debated whether to reaffirm its long-standing recommendation to deliver deworming drugs en masse to children in places with high worm prevalence. While deworming drugs are safe and cheap, a recent Cochrane review concluded there is “substantial evidence” that mass deworming has no impact on weight or other child outcomes, leading some to question the WHO policy.

Public Event
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 4:00pm

In uncertain political times, the world needs solutions that enjoy broad-based support. Drawing on more than 20 research papers commissioned over two years, Why Forests? Why Now? demonstrates the disproportionate impact tropical forests can have on climate change mitigation, how the livelihoods of millions of poor people around the world depend on the services they provide, and how consensus has been reached on a framework for international cooperation to conserve them.

Public Event
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 10:00am

As the Obama Administration heads into its final months, USAID Administrator Gayle Smith offers a look at how President Obama and his team chose to address the question of US leadership in global development. She will share her perspective on how USAID and its community of partners are positioned to make progress in an increasingly sharp-edged world. 

Public Event
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 8:45am

In 2006, CGD released a working group report titled “When Will We Ever Learn? Improving Lives Through Impact Evaluation.” It described an evaluation gap and proposed an international effort to systematically build evidence on “what works” in development with the aim of improving the effectiveness of social programs. Ten years later, we will reflect on progress toward these goals. Despite a host of challenges, hundreds of millions of people across the world have benefited from programs that have been rigorously evaluated and scaled up. Impact evaluation has generated knowledge about poverty and public policy leading to better programs.

CGD Invited Research Forum
Friday, December 2, 2016 - 12:30pm

How can we ensure that girls and boys living in conflict-affected regions have equitable access to quality education? We are delighted to announce that Professors Dana Burde and Cyrus Samii will present findings from New York University's USAID-funded Assessment of Learning Outcomes and Social Effects of Community-Based Education in Afghanistan’s (ALSE). (DELETE- cutting edge randomized controlled trial assessing community-based education (CBE)).

Non-CGD Event
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 1:30pm

Official Side Event to the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation 2nd High Level Meetings. This high-level panel will present new research conclusions and practical policy actions generated by a high-level working group convened by the Center for Global Development to deliver long-term progress on the Sustainable Development Goals by making emergency aid for disasters faster, more effective, and more fair.

Book Talk
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 12:30pm

In his new book Should Rich Nations Help the Poor?, leading poverty analyst Professor David Hulme explains why helping the world's neediest communities is both the right thing to do and the wise thing to do—if rich nations want to take care of their own citizens' future welfare.

Public Event
Monday, November 28, 2016 - 10:30am

Please join the U.S. Treasury Department, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and CGD for a World’s AIDS Day Event: How Can Finance Ministries Support a Sustainable HIV Response? Together, with some of the country’s leading experts, we will explore how a partnership between the U.S. Treasury Department and PEPFAR will support finance ministries to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the health sector and the fight to end HIV/AIDS. This interactive discussion will address several questions: Why this partnership? How can Treasury support the global health and HIV agenda? What challenges do finance ministries currently face in their engagement in the health sector? And how do we ensure that finance ministries are integrated into structures to monitor resources and expenditures in HIV and the health sector more broadly?

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