Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

Current search

Topic

 

An image of a graph from the World Bank
October 12, 2021

How Four Small Successful Economies Improved Upon the Standard Growth Recipe

From the final decade of the twentieth century, four small economies were quick to capitalize on the developmental advantages conffered by globalization. Although they did not escape buffeting from periodic regional and international crises, Dubai, Ireland, Panama, and Singapore managed to sustain moderately high average rates of gross domestic product (GDP) growth for well over 25 years.

February 9, 2021

Financing a Possible Expansion of the IMF’s Support for LICs

The IMF’s concessional support for low-income countries (LICs) is provided primarily through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). Since the start of the pandemic, lending from the PRGT has risen very sharply in response to the unprecedented and urgent needs of LICs; total PRGT credit outstanding nearly doubled during 2020 to far exceed past peaks. This note considers possible financing sources, taking into account legal, political, and practical constraints including the timeliness with which different resources could be mobilized.

October 21, 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns and Expanded Social Assistance on Inequality, Poverty and Mobility in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico

Based on the economic sector in which household members work, we use microsimulation to estimate the distributional consequences of COVID-19-induced lockdown policies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Our estimates of the poverty consequences are worse than many others’ projections because we do not assume that the income losses are proportionally equal across the income distribution.

Cover of working paper 543
August 19, 2020

Social Protection Amidst Social Upheaval: Examining the Impact of a Multi-Faceted Program for Ultra-Poor Households in Yemen

We study the impact of a multi-faceted social protection program, often referred to as a “graduation” model program, in Yemen during a period of civil unrest. After four years we find positive impacts on asset accumulation and savings behavior, albeit substantially less than the amount the household originally received.

A worker with a container ship at the port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo by Rob Beechey, World Bank
July 22, 2020

A Manifesto for Globalization

Globalization is under attack.US isolationism is part of a worldwide phenomenon: anti-globalizers have risen to power in countries from Brazil and Hungary to the UK. And they led efforts to build walls real and virtual against trade and exchange. From the intellectual right, globalization is blamed for cultural decay. From the left it is attacked as a source of inequality and repression.

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.

The cover of the note
April 24, 2020

Pandemic Policies in Poor Places

There can be little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge threat to the world’s poor. There is, of course, the direct threat from the new coronavirus, to be taken seriously by everyone. But there are other threats looming too, and some no less worrying.

April 14, 2020

Headship and Poverty in Africa

With a little more care to take context and the confounding attributes that make female-headed households (FHHs) particularly prone to poverty into account, this paper argues that headship can be useful for identifying poor households in Africa.

The cover of the paper
October 31, 2019

Formal Employment and Organized Crime: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Colombia

Canonical models of crime emphasize economic incentive. Yet, causal evidence of sorting into criminal occupations in response to individual-level variation in incentives is limited. We link administrative socioeconomic microdata with the universe of arrests in Medellín over a decade. We exploit exogenous variation in formal-sector employment around a socioeconomic-score cutoff, below which individuals receive benefits if not formally employed, to test whether a higher cost to formal-sector employment induces crime. Regression discontinuity estimates show this policy generated reductions in formal-sector employment and a corresponding spike in organized crime, but no effects on crimes of impulse or opportunity.

August 6, 2018

Knowledge or its Adoption?

I argue that we did learn two very important things from growth research, and these were learned from research in the strong sense that they changed people’s views from a previous view that was incorrect.

Cover of Working Paper 485
June 1, 2018

Three Decades of Poverty Mobility in Nigeria: The Trapped, the Freed, and the Never Trapped - Working Paper 485

Individuals do escape poverty during periods of overall rise in the poverty rate; they also transit into poverty during periods of overall decline in the poverty rate. In this paper, I explore six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria (1980–2010) in an attempt to address these concerns. In addition, I test whether different processes are at work in determining chronic and transient poverty. 

Pages