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March 18, 2011

The New Bottom Billion: What If Most of the World's Poor Live in Middle-Income Countries?

Most of the world’s poor no longer live in low-income countries. An estimated 960 million poor people—a new bottom billion—live in middle-income countries, a result of the graduation of several populous countries from low-income status. That is good news, but it has repercussions. Donors will have to change the way they think about poverty alleviation. They should design development aid to benefit poor people, not just poor countries, keep supporting middle-income countries, think beyond traditional aid to craft coherent development policies, and work to help create space for more inclusive policy processes in new and old MICs.

October 7, 2010

Austerity and the IMF

Kenneth Rogoff delivers the Fifth Annual Richard H. Sabot Lecture on April 12, 2010.

Kenneth Rogoff
June 24, 2010

Tailored Aid for a Tailored Age?

In this short essay, senior fellow David Wheeler compares the world’s foreign assistance architecture to how the rest of the world operates in the digital age. He suggests that multilateral and bilateral transactions from one behemoth to another may be stuck in the past now that technology can and should create more person-to-person foreign aid programs.

June 24, 2010

Inside the World Bank's Black Box Allocation System: How Well Does IDA Allocate Resources to the Neediest and Most Vulnerable Countries? - Working Paper 216

As the International Development Association (IDA) pushes for more funding for the neediest and most vulnerable countries, visiting fellow Ben Leo examines whether IDA’s existing performance-based allocation system (PBA) gives the developing world its fair share of funds. He says the system already has several built-in biases toward the neediest, but some donors feel it is not enough.

June 8, 2010

Proposal for an IDA Blended Financing Facility (Policy Memo)

Against the backdrop of the fast approaching Millennium Development Goals deadline, World Bank shareholders have an opportunity to dramatically increase resources available for the poorest, most vulnerable countries. By better leveraging the IBRD’s balance sheet for creditworthy blend and hardened term countries, IDA could have provided up to an additional $7.5 billion for IDA-only countries during the IDA-15 period.

November 4, 2008

More Growth with More Income Equality in the Americas: Can Regional Cooperation Help? (White House and the World Policy Brief)

The next U.S. president has a great opportunity to lead regional economic integration in the Americas, to the benefit of both the United States and Latin America. For the Americas, the high hopes of a decade ago for a hemispheric trade agreement have faded, along with confidence in the region’s ability to act collectively to address fundamental economic challenges. The model for integration outlined here is a regional investment standards agreement—a collective effort to set common standards for key microeconomic policies affecting both domestic and foreign businesses.

October 9, 2008

Multilateralism Beyond Doha - Working Paper 153

The World Trade Organization’s collapsed Doha Round focused on issues of limited significance while the burning issues of the day were not even on the agenda. In this new working paper, CGD senior fellow Arvind Subramanian and co-author Aaditya Mattoo argue for a wider agenda for multilateral cooperation that includes such issues as food, energy, economic security, and the prevention and resolution of future financial crises.

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Aaditya Mattoo and Arvind Subramanian
February 28, 2008

Currency Undervaluation and Sovereign Wealth Funds: A New Role for the World Trade Organization - Working Paper 142

Two aspects of global imbalances -- undervalued exchange rates and sovereign wealth funds -- require a multilateral response. For reasons of inadequate leverage and eroding legitimacy, the International Monetary Fund has not been effective in dealing with undervalued exchange rates. In this working paper, CGD senior fellow Arvind Subramanian and his co-author propose new rules in the World Trade Organization to discipline cases of significant undervaluation that are clearly attributable to government action. Placing exchange rates and sovereign wealth funds on the trade negotiating agenda may help revive the Doha Round by rekindling the interest of a wide variety of groups, many of whom are currently disengaged from the round.

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Arvind Subramanian and Aaditya Mattoo
February 15, 2008

Crossroads at Mmamabula: Will the World Bank Choose the Clean Energy Path? - Working Paper 140

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for a revolutionary change in the world's energy mix. So why is the World Bank conducting business as usual? This new working paper by CGD senior fellow David Wheeler focuses on the bank's latest proposed venture, a huge coal-fired plant to be fueled by the Mmamabula coal field in Botswana. Using current cost estimates for coal-fired and low-carbon electricity, Wheeler calculates that a CO2 accounting charge of only about $35 per ton would be enough to make solar power competitive with coal. The difference, he argues, could easily be covered by the bank's Clean Technology Fund and other sources. He urges the bank to quickly adopt an explicit carbon accounting charge for all energy projects and says that given the current scientific consensus it would be very surprising if this is below $50/ton of CO2.

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October 15, 2007

From World Bank to World Development Cooperative

In this CGD Essay, Birdsall and Subramianian argue that the World Bank faces twin crises of relevance and legitimacy in a rapidly changing world. The solution, they argue, is for the bank to become a more active catalyst for generating global public goods and knowledge and a more reluctant lender to governments. The World Bank should move, in effect, from being a bank to being a global development cooperative. The essay suggests specific, practical steps for such reforms.

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