Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

 

Cover of Working Paper 554
October 12, 2020

Is the World Bank’s COVID Crisis Lending Big Enough, Fast Enough? New Evidence on Loan Disbursements

We compile a new data set, combining official sources with transaction-level records scraped from the World Bank website, spanning all commitments, disbursements, and payments on all World Bank loans from before the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis through August 2020, allowing us to compare the Bank’s COVID response to the last comparable global crisis. We find that lending has indeed accelerated in 2020, but the Bank appears to be on track to fulfill only half of its own target of $160 billion in new lending by June 2021.

The cover of the report
September 16, 2020

Sound Banks for Healthy Economies: Challenges for Policymakers in Latin America and the Caribbean in Times of Coronavirus

The purpose of this report is twofold: to identify and discuss a set of challenges, and to develop key recommendations. The overarching goal is to provide support to policymakers in the region who may face difficult decisions to ensure that banks play a constructive role and support families and firms through and beyond the current crisis. 

A cover image of a paper on private sector climate finance
September 9, 2020

Private Sector Climate Finance After the Crisis

Climate investments in the emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) have so far fallen well short of what is required to meet targets set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. National commitments ahead of the 2021 UN climate summit will further underline the discrepancy.

A piggy bank under water. Adobe Stock.
August 5, 2020

Restructuring Sovereign Debt to Private Creditors in Poor Countries: What’s Broken?

Two out of five low-income countries were in the grips of, or moving rapidly toward, unsustainable debt levels before the global pandemic. But the economic, financial, and fiscal effects of the pandemic have brought the day of reckoning for many countries much closer. The global financial community is likely entering another period of messy, prolonged, costly, and contentious debt defaults and restructurings. It does so with no more—and in some ways less—consensus on the principles that should govern collective action by public and private creditors, debtor governments, and the IFIs.

A chart showing revenue in five different countries
June 1, 2020

The COVID-19 Crisis and Fiscal Reform in Low-Income Countries

The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic output and public finances in 2020 and beyond is projected to be massive. Fiscal policy can have a crucial role in mitigating the pandemic’s overall economic impact and promoting a quick recovery. It can help save lives and shield the most-affected segments of population.

A fruit seller in Kenya. Photo by Sambrian Mbaabu / World Bank
May 27, 2020

The COVID-19 Development Innovation Agenda: An Economic and Financial Lens

The economic innovation agenda in pandemic response should be rooted in what we know about human behavior, and getting sustained scale in important mitigation solutions will require creativity. Behavior change initiatives such as handwashing, encouraging facemasks, and avoiding mass gatherings will be less costly for a stretched public service and a scared citizenry then other solutions effective in more developed economies.

Cover of Working Paper 533
May 14, 2020

The IMF’s Growth Forecasts for Poor Countries Don’t Match Its COVID Narrative

The IMF’s forecasts of GDP growth in 2020 suggest a substantially muted impact of the COVID crisis for developing countries compared to advanced economies. We hope that the relative optimism will not induce complacency and elicit a less-than-forceful response by countries themselves nor legitimize an ungenerous, conditionality-addled response on the part of the international community in the face of an unprecedented calamity.

May 8, 2020

China in Africa

On May 8, 2020, CGD senior fellow Scott Morris testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on China in Africa. Morris's testimony focused on China’s lending to sub-Saharan African countries, how it affects the debt picture on the continent, and how the US government can respond.

An image of stacked money
May 6, 2020

Making the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights Work for COVID-19 Economic Relief

Many prominent people have advocated that the IMF undertake an “SDR allocation” to assist countries in dealing with the global financial crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. If IMF shareholders show some leadership and bureaucratic flexibility, there are ways to allay the American government’s concerns and quickly get liquidity in the hands of countries who desperately need it.