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Cover of Working Paper 489
July 10, 2018

Digital Governance in Developing Countries: Beneficiary Experience and Perceptions of System Reform in Rajasthan, India - Working Paper 489

India is at the forefront of the use of digital technology to transform the way in which citizens interact with states. This paper provides a picture of the perceived impact of digitization reforms in Rajasthan, based on a survey of beneficiaries of several benefit programs. We find that, on balance, the reforms appear to have improved perceptions of service delivery despite some difficulties during the digitization process and the possibility that there could have been some degree of exclusion.

Donald Trump speaking at 2017 CPAC conference. Photo by Gage Skidmore
July 10, 2018

Trump’s Protectionist Threat to Latin America

The economic impacts of Donald Trump’s trade dispute with China have so far been limited, but the countries of Latin America are nonetheless paying an early price. For a region where many economies are already constrained by weakened fiscal positions, the additional uncertainty caused by rising protectionism is especially unwelcome.

Fan of Pakistani rupees - Adobe stock photo
July 3, 2018

Why Does Pakistan Have Repeated Macroeconomic Crises?

Over the past 50 years, Pakistan’s record on macroeconomic management has been mixed. The next crisis is now approaching. Most economists agree that the post-election government will have no alternative but to approach the IMF yet again for another bailout with associated policy conditionality. Against this background, this note examines three questions that economists both within and outside Pakistan are asking.

Cover of Working Paper 487
July 2, 2018

The Rise of the Robot Reserve Army: Automation and the Future of Economic Development, Work, and Wages in Developing Countries - Working Paper 487

Emerging economies face a contemporary challenge to traditional pathways to employment generation: automation, digitalization, and labor-saving technologies. 1.8 billion jobs—or two-thirds of the current labor force of developing countries—are estimated to be susceptible to automation from today’s technological standpoint.

An aerial view of the Za'atri camp in Jordan for Syrian refugees on July 18, 2013. State Department photo/Public Domain.
June 28, 2018

Refugee Spending and the Macroeconomic Program in Jordan

Even with international assistance, the cost of providing refuge to so many people has strained the budget of the Jordanian government. At the same time, international partners, notably the IMF, have been insisting that Jordan take actions to bring down government debt to “more sustainable levels” through increasing fiscal discipline to tame government deficits. These dual imperatives by the international community—host more refugees and tame the budget—seem to put Jordan in an untenable situation as long as the refugee crisis continues. Something will have to give—the question is how, what, and when?

Clock with SDGs in background
June 21, 2018

Domestic Resource Mobilization in Low-Income Countries: Proposal for a Surge in Multilateral Support

Rising debt vulnerability in low-income countries (LICs) is emerging as a front-burner issue. Analysts at the IMF and elsewhere are tracking increases in public debt ratios that had fallen after the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. Forty percent of LICs are either in, or at high risk of, debt distress. Many factors have contributed to rising debt-to-GDP ratios: falling commodity prices, deteriorating fiscal balances, conflict, and corruption, among others. The larger fiscal deficits are fully or partially accounted for by increased public investment in about half of LICs. Which brings us to the challenge of financing the SDGs.

Cover of "Are Refugees Located Near Urban Job Opportunities?"
June 18, 2018

Are Refugees Located Near Urban Job Opportunities?

To help demonstrate where MNCs, regional and local businesses, and other actors are best positioned to expand economic opportunities for refugees, we created an interactive tool to map the locations of refugees, and analyzed the extent to which refugees overlap with major urban areas in 31 of the 37 developing countries hosting at least 25,000 refugees.

Cover of Policy Paper 125
June 14, 2018

Creating a Multilateral Wealth Fund for a Global Public Good: A Proposal for a Tropical Forest Finance Facility

The Tropical Forest Finance Facility is an attempt to generate significant new finance to fund pay-for-performance incentives for tropical forest conservation. The TFFF proposal includes two key innovations: 1) the way it will raise funds, by converting low-cost sovereign credit from mission-driven investor countries and companies into cash that can be used to drive change in developing countries, through an instrument similar to a sovereign wealth fund; and 2) the way it will distribute funds, using the Cash-On-Delivery aid approach that supports country ownership and only pays for results as they are achieved and verified.

Michele de Nevers , Kenneth Lay , Michael Wolosin and Patricia Bliss-Guest
Stock photo of a foggy rainforest
June 14, 2018

The Tropical Forest Finance Facility

A proposal for a pay-for-performance mechanism to finance sustainable development goals and global public goods that maximizes the efficient use of public credit and builds on major technology breakthroughs for measuring results.

Michele de Nevers , Kenneth Lay , Michael Wolosin and Patricia Bliss-Guest
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. 

Cover of "Migration Is What You Make It"
May 30, 2018

Migration Is What You Make It: Seven Policy Decisions that Turned Challenges into Opportunities

Policymakers and voters reasonably want to know what the effects of immigration are, to help them decide how much immigration there should be. But the effects of immigration are highly contingent on wherewhenhow, and who. We must ask a more fruitful question: how can different policy choices generate positive economic effects from immigration and avoid negative ones? Immigration is not inherently “good” or “bad.” Its effects depend on the context and the policy choices that shape it.

Cover of "Rethinking the Humanitarian Business Model"
May 30, 2018

Rethinking the Humanitarian Business Model

Disrupting the traditional humanitarian business model holds risks that must be managed carefully. If this disruption proceeds in an ad hoc manner, it could harm humanitarian effectiveness. Donors should reexamine their funding practices and work closely with aid groups to ensure these changes deliver constructive outcomes for populations in need.

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