Search

You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Center for Global Development Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Center for Global Development Publication Year within 10 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 10 Years
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Macartan Humphreys, James Fearon, Jeremy M. Weinstein
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Can brief, foreign-funded efforts to build local institutions have positive effects on local patterns of governance, cooperation, and well-being? Prior research suggests that such small-scale, externally driven interventions are unlikely to substantially alter patterns of social interaction in a community, and that the ability of a community to act collectively is the result of a slow and necessarily indigenous process. We address this question using a randomized field experiment to assess the effects of a community-driven reconstruction (CDR) project carried out by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in northern Liberia. The project attempted to build democratic, community-level institutions for making and implementing decisions about local public goods. We find powerful evidence that the program was successful in increasing social cohesion, some evidence that it reinforced democratic political attitudes and increased confidence in local decision-making procedures, but only weak evidence that material well-being was positively affected. There is essentially no evidence of adverse effects. *Jeremy Weinstein is on leave from the Center for Global Development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Civil War, Development, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Four years ago, the G-7 pushed through an unprecedented initiative forcing the international financial institutions to cancel 100 percent of their outstanding debt claims on the world's poorest countries. Through the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), these heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) stand to receive up to $60 billion in debt relief over time. Moreover, the World Bank, African Development Bank, and IMF shareholders approved a new debt sustainability framework to govern future lending decisions and prevent the need for yet another round of systemic debt relief. All parties emerged from these landmark agreements confident that the dragon of unsustainable debt finally had been slain. However, several unsettling trends raise serious questions about the finality of these actions. First, World Bank and AfDB lending disbursement volumes to these very same HIPC countries remain very high, and nearly the same as compared to pre-MDRI. Emergency IMF lending in response to the global economic crisis has compounded the situation. Second, IMF and World Bank growth projections for HIPCs remain overly rosy compared to actual and historical performance. Our new dataset of IMF growth projections suggests a structural optimism of at least one percentage point per year. Third, HIPCs continue to experience significant volatility in country performance measures that has a direct impact on their ability to carry debt sustainably. Taken together, these findings suggest that donor countries should re-examine the issue of debt sustainability in low-income countries and the system for determining the appropriate grant/loan mix. The upcoming IDA and AfDF replenishment negotiations present a timely opportunity to do so. Absent assertive and corrective action, the international community may be faced with the prospect of a HIPC IV agreement in the not too distant future.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: David Wheeler, Robin Kraft, Dan Hammer
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Rising concern about carbon emissions from deforestation has led donors to finance UN-REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries), a program that offers direct compensation for forest conservation. Sustainable operation of UN-REDD and other direct-compensation programs will require a transparent, credible, frequently updated system for monitoring deforestation. In this paper, we introduce FORMA (Forest Monitoring for Action), a prototype system based on remotely sensed data. We test its accuracy against the best available information on deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia. Our results indicate that publicly available remotely sensed data can support accurate quarterly identification of new deforestation at 1 km spatial resolution. More rapid updates at higher spatial resolution may also be possible. At current resolution, with efficient coding in publicly available software, FORMA should produce global updates on one desktop computer in a few hours. Maps of probable deforestation at 1 km resolution will be accessible with Google Earth and Google Maps, with an open facility for ground-truthing each pixel via photographs and text comments.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Brazil
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Simon Johnson, William Larson, Chris Papageorgiou
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper sheds light on two problems in the Penn World Table (PWT) GDP estimates. First, we show that these estimates vary substantially across different versions of the PWT despite being derived from very similar underlying data and using almost identical methodologies; that this variability is systematic; and that it is intrinsic to the methodology deployed by the PWT to estimate growth rates. Moreover, this variability matters for the cross-country growth literature. While growth studies that use low-frequency data remain robust to data revisions, studies that use annual data are less robust. Second, the PWT methodology leads to GDP estimates that are not valued at purchasing power parity (PPP) prices. This is surprising because the raison d'être of the PWT is to adjust national estimates of GDP by valuing output at common international (PPP) prices so that the resulting PPP-adjusted estimates of GDP are comparable across countries. We propose an approach to address these two problems of variability and valuation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs
  • Author: Todd Moss, Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Zimbabwe is embarking on a long, complex, and difficult journey to rebuild its economy, which has been shattered by years of neglect and destructive government policies. If the final political hurdles are overcome hopefully sooner rather than later—the new coalition government will be faced with making politically difficult decisions and addressing conclusively the economic ghosts of the past. One of those ghosts is more than $5 billion owed to external creditors, of which nearly 80 percent is arrears. Clearing Zimbabwe's external debt arrears and securing comprehensive debt relief will be a critical step in eventual recovery. By doing so, the government will remove a crippling burden on its budget, investment climate, and overall macroeconomic environment. More important to the success of the coalition government, it will unlock hundreds of millions of dollars in new external assistance for critical reconstruction programs that will improve the Zimbabwean people's quality of life. This paper provides a detailed overview of the arrears clearance and debt relief processes. The purpose is to spark a debate in creditor capitals and hopefully to buttress the government's analytical foundation. With a strong dedicated team of experts—and support from relevant donor agencies— the Zimbabwean government will one day conclusively address its crushing debt burden and proceed with the rebuilding of a once vibrant and proud nation.
  • Topic: Corruption, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo, Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Jianwu He
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There is growing clamor in industrial countries for additional border taxes on imports from countries with lower carbon prices. A key factor affecting the impact of these taxes is whether they are based on the carbon content of imports or the carbon content in domestic production. Our quantitative estimates suggest that the former action when applied to all merchandise imports would address competitiveness and environmental concerns in high income countries but with serious consequences for trading partners. For example, China's manufacturing exports would decline by one-fifth and those of all low- and middle-income countries by 8 percent; the corresponding declines in real income would be 3.7 percent and 2.4 percent. In contrast, border tax adjustment based on the carbon content in domestic production, especially if applied to both imports and exports, would broadly address the competitiveness concerns of producers in high income countries without seriously damaging developing-country trade. Therefore, as part of a comprehensive agreement on climate change, new WTO rules could be negotiated that would prohibit the extreme form of action while possibly allowing trade actions based on domestic carbon content as a safety valve.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo, Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Jianwu He
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Most economic analyses of climate change have focused on the aggregate impact on countries of mitigation actions. We depart first in disaggregating the impact by sector, focusing particularly on manufacturing output and exports because of the potential growth consequences. Second, we decompose the impact of an agreement on emissions reductions into three components: the change in the price of carbon due to each country's emission cuts per se; the further change in this price due to emissions tradability; and the changes due to any international transfers (private and public). Manufacturing output and exports in low carbon intensity countries such as Brazil are not adversely affected. In contrast, in high carbon intensity countries, such as China and India, even a modest agreement depresses manufacturing output by 6-7 percent and manufacturing exports by 9-11 percent. The increase in the carbon price induced by emissions tradability hurts manufacturing output most while the Dutch disease effects of transfers hurt exports most. If the growth costs of these structural changes are judged to be substantial, the current policy consensus, which favors emissions tradability (on efficiency grounds) supplemented with financial transfers (on equity grounds), needs re-consideration.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Arvind Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The basic narrative on climate change between the rich and poor worlds has been problematic. The focus on emissions has made industrial countries inadequately sensitive to the unmet energy needs in developing countries. And it has led developing countries to adopt the rhetoric of recrimination and focus on the legacy of historical emissions by industrial countries. The ensuing blame game has led to the current gridlock. As a way out, we suggest some simple principles for determining equitable distribution of emission cuts between developed and developing countries to meet global targets. These principles emphasize basic energy needs and the equality of access to energy opportunities rather than emissions, taking account of development levels, as well as energy efficiency in creating such opportunities. To apply these principles, we develop a new data set to distinguish between energy needs and emissions-intensity for major developing and developed-country emitters and quantify the relationship between these variables and changes in income (or development). This quantification allows us to project emissions levels in 2050. Our main finding is that meeting global emissions targets equitably requires very large, probably revolutionary, improvements in the carbon intensity of production and consumption, much larger than seen historically. We conclude that a new shared narrative that places equality of energy opportunities at the forefront would naturally shift the focus of international cooperation from allocating emissions “rights” or reductions and blame to maximizing efforts to achieving technology gains and rapidly transferring them worldwide. Abandoning the setting of emissions targets for developing counries and creating instead a framework where all countries contribute to maximizing technology creation and diffusion is what Copenhagen should be about.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Treaties and Agreements