Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

 

August 2, 2013

US Development Assistance to Pakistan: 2014 and Beyond

In this note, CGD senior policy analyst Alexis Sowa outlines three recommendations for US development assistance to Pakistan: name the leader of US development efforts, clarify the mission, and finance what is already working.

Alexis Sowa
April 11, 2012

Supporting Private Business Growth in African Fragile States: A Guiding Framework for the World Bank Group in South Sudan and Other Nations

In this report, Benjamin Leo, Vijaya Ramachandran, and Ross Thuotte assess the bank’s private-sector interventions in African fragile states. They summarize and analyze project-level data from IDA, IFC, and MIGA, and introduce a new framework to assist in the design and implementation of projects in fragile states.

December 1, 2011

Economic Shocks and Conflict: The (Absence of?) Evidence from Commodity Prices - Working Paper 274

One of the most influential ideas in the study of political instability is that income shocks provoke conflict. “State prize” theories argue that higher revenues increase incentives to capture the state.“Opportunity cost” theories argue that higher prices decrease individual incen-tives to revolt. Both mechanisms are central to leading models of state development and collapse. But are they wellfounded? We examine the effects of exogenous commodity price shocks on conflict and coups, and find little evidence in favor of either theory. Evidence runs especially against the state as prize. We do find weak evidence that the intensity of fighting falls as prices rise—results more consistent with the idea that revenues augment state capacity, not prize-seeking or opportunity cost. Nevertheless,the evidence for any of these income-conflict mecha-nisms is weak at best. We argue that errors and publication bias have likely distorted the theoret-ical and empirical literature on political instability.

Samuel Bazzi and Chris Blattman
July 22, 2011

Constraints to Domestic Enterprise Financing in Post-Conflict Liberia - Working Paper 260

This paper examines the efficacy of loan programs in the development of domestic enterprises in the immediate aftermath of conflicts. The author explores whether the strategies employed by such programs are effective and if there are opportunities for improving the outcomes of similar projects in post-conflict environments.

John Gorlorwulu
March 2, 2011

Failed States, Vicious Cycles, and a Proposal - Working Paper 243

Failed states often suffer the repeated return to power of former warlords who weaken institutions and make people poorer. In this working paper, Rajan argues that the only way to break the cycle of dictators is to empower the citizenry through economic growth. In the case of failed states, he proposes a unique solution to allow the electorate to choose an impartial foreigner to govern the country and lay the foundations for good governance and sustainable economic progress.

Raghuram G. Rajan
August 10, 2010

How Should Oil Exporters Spend Their Rents? - Working Paper 221

This paper argues for approaches that increase public understanding of the need for prudent spending of oil revenues in booms, and for comprehensive consideration of a range of options for using rents. Drawing on the experience of a few successful countries, it points to a number of common factors that seem to be important in enabling countries to obtain a positive payoff from resource wealth. These include a strong concern for social stability and growth, a capable and engaged technocracy, and interests in the non-oil sectors able to act as agents of restraint.

Alan Gelb and Sina Grasmann
Cover of Greater Than the Sum Of Its Parts? Assessing "Whole of Government" Approaches to Fragile States
June 15, 2007

Greater Than the Sum Of Its Parts? Assessing "Whole of Government" Approaches to Fragile States

Experience shows that outside efforts to help reform or reconstruct fragile states must simultaneously address issues of security, governance, and economic growth. Greater than the Sum of Its Parts? looks at how seven governments—the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, and Sweden—are seeking to integrate their approach to fragile states. The authors find that "whole of government" approaches remain a work in progress and provide recommendations for how donors can best engage weak countries, including by experimenting with pooled funding arrangements, developing unified national strategies and by evaluating the impact of their interventions.

Stewart Patrick and Kaysie Brown