Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity



December 18, 2009

Aid, Dutch Disease, and Manufacturing Growth - Working Paper 196

Decades of research have been unable to conclusively show either a positive or negative effect of aid on economic growth in poor countries. CGD senior fellow Arvind Subramanian and Raghuram G. Rajan use a new technique in their latest working paper that suggests aid slows the manufacturing sector by appreciating the exchange rate and making the production of manufacturing goods less profitable. And if aid slows the manufacturing sector, the implications for overall growth could be adverse.

Read the Working Paper

Raghuram G. Rajan and Arvind Subramanian
December 11, 2009

Intellectual Property Rights and Climate Change: Principles for Innovation and Access to Low-Carbon Technology

As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting convenes this month in Copenhagen, Denmark, intellectual property (IP) rights remain a highly contentious issue that threatens the long-term prospects of these negotiations. This note describes an approach that would facilitate the uptake of clean technologies, preserve incentives for privately financed innovation, and allow the Parties to address and move past the issue of IP rights in the UNFCCC negotiations.

December 7, 2009

It's One Climate Policy World Out There--Almost - Working Paper 195

With the Copenhagen climate talks finally underway, a CGD survey of 500 development and climate aficionados in 88 countries finds unexpected agreement about what should be done—and important differences between respondents from developed and developing countries about how an agreement should be financed and managed. Jan von der Goltz and CGD president Nancy Birdsall examine the survey results to shed light on some of the ingredients of a successful climate agreement.

Jan von der Goltz
December 7, 2009

Introduction to Microfinance for Development, Georgetown University (Syllabus)

This course explores the role of microfinance in economic development. It will discuss how poor people in poor countries use financial services such as credit and savings; the history and practice of delivering such services; what is known about their contribution to development; and how stories and statistical studies shape public perceptions of microfinance.

December 4, 2009

Partnerships with the Private Sector in Health

The Private Sector Advisory Facility Working Group recommends a practical way for donors and technical agencies to support successful public-private interactions to strenghthen health systems in developing countries.

Private Sector Advisory Facility Working Group
December 1, 2009

Development Assistance, Institution Building, and Social Cohesion after Civil War: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Liberia - Working Paper 194

Previous research on post-conflict reconstruction holds that sustainable institution building is an indigenous process. This paper, however, contributes to a new understanding of small-scale external interventions. Through a randomized field study in Liberia, the authors find that the IRC’s community-driven development projects positively impact social cohesion and democratic decision-making in villages.

James Fearon , Macartan Humphreys and Jeremy M. Weinstein
November 23, 2009

Will World Bank and IMF Lending Lead to HIPC IV? Debt Deja-Vu All Over Again - Working Paper 193

Benjamin Leo, formerly of the U.S. Treasury and National Security Council and a key behind-the-scenes player in the inception and implementation of Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives, examines the potential risk of renewed debt re-accumulation by countries that have only recently completed the HIPC/MDRI process that was to prevent a repeat of excessive debt accumulation.

November 17, 2009

FORMA: Forest Monitoring for Action--Rapid Identification of Pan-tropical Deforestation Using Moderate-Resolution Remotely Sensed Data - Working Paper 192

In this paper, we introduce FORMA (Forest Monitoring for Action), a prototype system for monitoring real-time deforestation from publicly available satellite data at a resolution of one square kilometer. Maps of the data showing probable areas of deforestation will be available on Google Earth and Google Maps, allowing open, public, on-the-ground verification of the results. The system is a model of a transparent, credible, and frequently updated source to aid and measure the success of forest conservation efforts.

Dan Hammer , Robin Kraft , Ernesto Zedillo and David Wheeler
November 16, 2009

Is Newer Better? Penn World Table Revisions and Their Impact on Growth Estimates - Working Paper 191

In this working paper, the authors shed light on systemic problems of variability and valuation in the Penn World Table GDP estimates that distort cross-country comparisons of the data. They propose creating a new chained series that values all data at PPP prices and makes better use of disaggregated data for different benchmark years to overcome the limitations.

Arvind Subramanian and et al.
October 22, 2009

Commitment to Development Index 2009

The 2009 Commitment to Development Index ranks 22 of the world's richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit the five billion people living in poorer nations. Moving beyond simple comparisons of foreign aid, the CDI ranks countries on seven themes: quantity and quality of foreign aid, openness to developing-country exports, policies that influence investment, migration policies, stewardship of the global environment, security policies and support for creation and dissemination of new technologies.

David Roodman and Cindy Prieto