With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
CGD's work in this area seeks to better understand the sources of global learning gaps and to identify solutions to help close these gaps.
While primary school enrolment levels have increased dramatically in recent decades, this progress has not been matched by equivalent gains in learning. Millions of children in the developing world leave school without basic literacy and numeracy skills. CGD seeks to better understand what causes this learning gap and to identify policies and ideas to help end the global learning crisis.
Abstract: In order to contest elections in Pakistan in 2002, all candidates for Member of National Assembly had to file proof of graduating with a Bachelors degree or higher with their candidacy papers. This policy experiment had the effect of disqualifying 60 of the 207 MNAs elected in the 1997 election, 29% of the National Assembly incumbents. Even more drastically, it restricted 97 percent of the country from running for Parliament, leaving only 3 percent of the voting population who were college graduates as eligible to contest national elections. I use this policy experiment to measure the effect of legislator education on a number of development fund outcomes, controlling for year and constituency fixed effects. I find that there is no overall effect of legislator education on total development spending. Not only is the overall effect of education on policy insignificant, there is no composite effect of education and political competition on development spending in areas where the incumbent was disqualified and there was a smaller pool of substitute candidates. Educated politicians also do not appear to be spending significantly differently on education versus non-education projects.
Efforts to decentralize educational systems often arouse fears that the quality of schooling will become less equal as a result. But what’s the evidence? CGD non-resident fellow Lant Pritchett and co-author Martina Viarengo show in a new CGD working paper that the supposedly greater equality of centralized systems is often little more than the illusion of a bureaucracy blinded to local realities.
This post also appeared on the Huffington Post on July 7, 2009.
Leaders of the worlds’ eight richest countries gather this week in Italy for the annual G8 summit. Crowding their agenda will be the financial crisis, climate change, and food security. Education should be high on the agenda, too. Others agree with me: three prominent moral leaders have written to the G8 urging them live up to their prior promises to ensure that every girl and boy has a chance for an education.
This working paper examines the relationship between high inequality and liberalization of the financial sector in Latin America from 1975 to 2000. Using panel data, the authors find that increases in financial liberalization were associated with bank crises and other domestic and external shocks, and that higher schooling inequality reduces the impetus for liberalization brought on by bank crises.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and U.S. President Barack Obama are both committed to boosting funding for global education. CGD visiting fellow Desmond Bermingham, the former head of the Education for All–Fast Track Initiative, offers suggestions about making the most of additional U.S. assistance for the two leaders to consider when they meet this week in the White House.