Since beginning the process of reengagement with Myanmar in the last year, many lenders to the country have cut or refinanced its debt. David Roodman finds that the debt relief, by most standards, has been overly quick and large.
In testimony before a foreign relations Senate subcommittee, Todd Moss spoke about the goals and shortcomings of US foreign assistance and outlined three steps to update it for the post-aid world of the 21st century.
International Harvest: A Case Study of How Foreign Workers Help American Farms Grow Crops—and the Economy
Do immigrants create jobs or take jobs away? This report, published jointly with the Partnership for a New American Economy, answers this question for one important sector of the American economy, agriculture, by looking at the case of North Carolina farms.
The Effect of Foreign Labor on Native Employment: A Job-Specific Approach and Application to North Carolina Farms - Working Paper 326
Using data collected by the North Carolina Growers’ Association (NCGA), the leading employer of workers with H-2 visas, Michael Clemens shows that foreign workers have almost no direct effect on the employment prospects of US workers in H-2 occupations. Instead, they actually a large and positive indirect effect on US employment by contributing to North Carolina’s economy.
When the Global Development Council meets on May 17 it should identify three to five key moments when President Obama, with the advice of the Council, can make a development difference. Among the immediate possibilities: the June G-8 summit in the United Kingdom, the September G-20 summit in Russia, the UN General Assembly meeting, and President Obama’s upcoming trip to Africa.
Africa’s industrial progress has been disappointing. Part of the reason is that labor costs are higher than one might expect, given GDP per capita. Alan Gelb, Christian Meyer, and Vijaya Ramachandran distill the policy lessons.
In Greenprint, Aaditya Mattoo and Arvind Subramanian argued that only radical technological progress can reconcile climate-change goals with those of development and energy access. In this paper, they show how trade policy and trade rules can facilitate action on climate change.
Split Decisions: Household Finance When a Policy Discontinuity Allocates Overseas Work - Working Paper 324
A temporary-worker program that allows Filipinos to work in South Korea sets up unusually good circumstances for measuring the effects of migration. Michael Clemens and Erwin Tiongson take advantage the natural experiment to find that affected households spend more, borrow less, and invest more in their human capital.
Biometric identification is spreading rapidly across the developing world, where it is helping to close the “identification gap” that separates poor countries from rich ones. India’s Unique Identification (UID) project offers important lessons for other countries.
Most of the world’s children now live in countries on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary completion by 2015. Countries have indeed made great progress getting kids in school, but behind that progress is a problem: many children are hardly learning anything in school. Some measures of learning are just dismal. In India, for example, only about one-third of children in grade 5 can perform long division. Nearly one-half cannot read a grade 2 text, and one in five cannot follow a grade 1 text.
What is to be done? Broadly speaking, schools, governments, and donors need to focus more on actual learning goals, not just filling seats. This report of the CGD Study Group on Measuring Learning Outcomes shows how to make some headway in that direction. Governments need to develop comparable, public learning assessments. Civil society should engage at the grassroots to demand accountability. Donors can play a secondary role by pegging funding to results or experimenting with different strategies. And the UN and other multilaterals should set global standards against which national efforts can be measured. One option is to establish a global learning goal as part of the post-2015 development agenda.