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  • Author: David Wheeler
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In May 2007 CGD launched an online survey of the global development community on three issues: the selection process for the next World Bank president; criteria for rating the candidates; and actual ratings for nine candidates who had been named by the international media. Between May 22 and May 31, CGD received nearly 700 responses from people whose characteristics reflect the diversity of the international development community. Survey participants represent 71 nations; all world regions; high-, middle- and low-income countries; a variety of professional affiliations; and all adult age groups. About 30% of respondents are women.
  • Topic: Globalization, Political Economy, Third World
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The depth of and access to financial services provided by banks throughout Latin America are extremely low in spite of its recognized importance for economic activity, employment and poverty alleviation. Low financial depth and access hurts the poor the most and is due to a variety of obstacles that are presented in this paper in four categories, along with recommendations to overcome them. The first category groups socio-economic obstacles that undercut the demand for financial services of large segments of the population. The second category identifies problems in the operations of the banking sector that impedes the adequate provision of financial services to households and firms. The third category captures institutional deficiencies, with emphasis on the quality of the legal framework and the governability of the countries in the region. The fourth category identifies regulations that tend to distort the provision of banking services. Recommendations to confront these obstacles include innovative proposals that take into consideration the political constraints facing individual countries. Some of the policy recommendations include: public-private partnerships to improve financial literacy, the creation of juries specialized in commercial activities to support the rights of borrowers and creditors, and the approval of regulation to allow widespread usage of technological innovations to permit low-income families and small firms to gain access to financial services.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: David Roodman
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The “difference” and “system” generalized method of moments (GMM) estimators for dynamic panel models are growing steadily in popularity. The estimators are designed for panels with short time dimensions (T), and by default they generate instruments sets whose number grows quadratically in T. The dangers associated with having many instruments relative to observations are documented in the applied literature. The instruments can overfit endogenous variables, failing to expunge their endogenous components and biasing coefficient estimates. Mean while they can vitiate the Hansen J test for joint validity of those instruments, as well as the difference-in-Sargan/Hansen test for subsets of instruments. The weakness of these specification tests is a particular concern for system GMM, whose distinctive instruments are only valid under a non-trivial assumption. Judging by current practice, many researchers do not fully appreciate that popular implementations of these estimators can by default generate results that simultaneously are invalid yet appear valid. The potential for type I errors—false positives—is therefore substantial, especially after amplification by publication bias. This paper explains the risks and illustrates them with reference to two early applications of the estimators to economic growth, Forbes (2000) on income inequality and Levine, Loayza, and Beck (LLB, 2000) on financial sector development. Endogenous causation proves hard to rule out in both papers. Going forward, for results from these GMM estimators to be credible, researchers must report the instrument count and aggressively test estimates and specification test results for robustness to reductions in that count.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Third World
  • Author: Peter Timmer, Neil McCulloch
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Most poor people in developing countries still live in rural areas and are primarily engaged in low productivity farming activities. Thus pathways out of poverty are likely to be strongly connected to productivity increases in the rural economy, whether they are realised in farming, rural non-farm enterprises or via rural-urban migration. We use cross-sectional data from the Central Statistical Board (BPS) for 1993 and 2002, as well as a panel data set from the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS) for 1993 and 2000, to show which pathways out of poverty were most successful over this period. Our findings suggest that increased engagement of farmers in rural non-farm enterprises is an important route out of rural poverty, but that most of the rural agricultural poor that exit poverty still do so while remaining rural and agricultural. Thus changes in agricultural prices, wages and productivity still play a critical role in moving people out of poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: David Goldsbrough, Ben Elberger
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper examines the nature of aid projections in IMF programs with low-income countries. On average, IMF projections of net aid increased sharply in the first year of programs but tapered off in subsequent years. Projections were also significantly more optimistic in countries with low initial levels of aid but differed little across regions. Most notably, projections of net aid to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa following the Gleneagles Summit are significantly more pessimistic than the path implied by commitments to double aid to Africa by 2010. This pattern is strong throughout the group with only two Sub-Saharan African countries showing increases in net aid consistent with the Gleneagles commitments.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Poverty, International Monetary Fund
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Kremer, Alix Peterson Zwane
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper critically reviews the existing research on the cost-effective prevention and treatment of diarrheal diseases, and identifies research priorities in this area aimed at finding ways to reduce the diarrheal disease burden. In contrast to the empirical knowledge base that exists for traditional child health programs to reduce diarrheal morbidity and mortality, evidence on the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of various environmental health interventions is limited and subject to significant methodological concerns. There is a limited understanding of the determinants of long-term water and sanitation technology adoption and behavior change at the individual level. Even less is known about how collective action problems in water and sanitation infrastructure maintenance can be overcome. An agenda for future research includes evaluating alternative transmission interruption mechanisms, improving understanding of the determinants of individual-level technology adoption in the water and sanitation sector, and assessing the quality of infrastructure maintenance under different management schemes.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: I review the literature on the effects of inequality on growth and development in the developing world. Two stylized facts emerge from empirical studies: inequality is more likely to harm growth in countries at low levels of income (below about $3200 per capita in 2000 dollars); and it is at high levels of inequality (at or above a Gini coefficient of .45) that a negative association emerges. Between 15 and 40 percent of the developing world's population lives in countries with these characteristics, depending on the inclusion of China, whose level of inequality has recently been measured at almost .45. Theory and evidence suggest that high inequality affects growth: (1) through interaction with incomplete and underdeveloped markets for capital and information; (2) by discouraging the evolution of the economic and political institutions associated with accountable government (which in turn enable a market environment conducive to investment and growth); and (3) by undermining the civic and social life that sustains effective collective decision-making.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Ferdinando Regalía, Leslie Castro
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Nicaragua's Red de Protección Social (RPS) is one of the first conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs implemented in a low-income country. Demand-side incentives, in the form of monetary transfers, are provided to poor households on condition that their children attend school and visit preventive health care providers. The design of the program is unique among CCT programs because these demand-side incentives are complemented by supply-side incentives aimed at improving the provision of health care. Health care providers are paid on the basis of their performance against predetermined targets. Both private and nonprofit health care providers contracted by the government extend the coverage of services to previously underserved areas.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Jessica Todd, Marie Gaarder
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In order to support poor families in the developing world to seek and use health care, a multi-pronged strategy is needed on both the supply and the demand side of health care. A demand-side program called Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) strives to reduce poverty and also increase food consumption, school attendance, and use of preventive health care. Since 1997, seven countries in Latin America have implemented and evaluated CCT programs with health and nutrition components. The core of the program is based on encouraging poor mothers to seek preventive health services and attend health education talks by providing a cash incentive for their healthy behavior (with healthy behavior representing performance). Evaluations of these programs measured outputs in the utilization of services; health knowledge, attitudes, and practice; food consumption; the supply and quality of services; as well as outcomes in vaccination rates; nutritional status; morbidity; mortality; and fertility.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Jessica Todd, Marie Gaarder
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: USAID launched a project in 1995 to deliver basic health services in Haiti. The project began by reimbursing contracted NGOs for documented expenditures or inputs. In 1999, payment was changed to being based partly on attaining performance targets or outputs. The project also provided technical assistance to the NGOs, along with opportunities to participate in an NGO network and other cross-fertilization activities. Remarkable improvements in key health indicators have been achieved in the six years since payment for performance was phased in. Although it is difficult to isolate the effects of performance-based payment on these improved indicators from the efforts aimed at strengthening NGOs and other factors, panel regression results suggest that the new payment incentives were responsible for considerable improvements in both immunization coverage and attended deliveries. Results for prenatal and postnatal care were less significant, perhaps suggesting a strong patient behavioral element that is not under the influence of provider actions.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Rena Eichler, Diana Weil, Alexandra Beith
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Tuberculosis is a public health emergency in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Of the estimated 1.7 million deaths from TB, 98 percent are in the developing world, the majority being among the poor. In order to reach the MDG and the Stop TB partnership targets for 2015, TB detection rates need to double, treatment success rates must increase to more than 7075 percent, and strategies to address HIV-associated TB and multi-drug resistant TB must be aggressively expanded. DOTS, the internationally-recommended TB control strategy is the foundation of TB control efforts worldwide. A standard recording and monitoring system built on routine service-based data allows nearly all countries in the world to track progress in case detection and treatment completion through routine monitoring. This provides a good base for measuring the impact of different strategies for improving TB control outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Michael Clemens
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The emigration of highly skilled workers can in theory lower social welfare in the migrant-sending country. If such workers produce a good whose consumption conveys a positive externality—such as nurses and doctors in a very poor country—the loss can be greater, and welfare can even decline globally. Policies to impede emigration thus have the potential to raise sending-country and global welfare. This study uses a new database of health worker emigration from Africa to test whether exogenous decreases in emigration raise the number of domestic health professionals, increase the mass availability of basic primary care, or improve a range of public health outcomes. It identifies the effect through two separate natural quasi-experiments arising from the colonial division of the African continent. These produce exogenous changes in emigration comparable to those that would result from different immigration policies in principal receiving countries. The results suggest that Africa's generally low staffing levels and poor public health conditions are the result of factors entirely unrelated to international movements of health professionals. A simple model proposes that such results would be explained by segmentation of health workforce labor markets in the sending countries. The results further suggest that emigration has caused a greater production of health workers in Africa.
  • Topic: International Relations, Health, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The implicit assumption of the donor community is that Africa is trapped by its poverty, and that aid is necessary if Africa is to escape the trap. In this note I suggest an alternative assumption: that Africa is caught in an institutional trap, signaled and reinforced by the small share of income of its independent middle-income population. Theory and historical experience elsewhere suggest that a robust middle-income group contributes critically to the creation and sustenance of healthy institutions, particularly healthy institutions of the state. I propose that if external aid is to be helpful for institution-building in Africa's weak and fragile states, donors need to emphasize not providing more aid but minimizing the risks more aid poses for this group in Africa.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Government, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Scott Standley, Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the question of investment in sub-Saharan African listed securities by examining characteristics of the continent's 15 equity markets, the rise and fall of African regional funds, and the asset allocation trends for global emerging market (GEM) funds. The data shows that South Africa is now a leading destination of capital, but that few managers invest elsewhere on the continent. However, we find that African markets are not treated differently than other markets and present evidence that small market size and low levels of liquidity are a binding deterrent for foreign institutional investors. Thus, orthodox market variables rather than market failure appear to explain Africa's low absolute levels of inward equity flows. The paper then turns to new data from firm surveys to explore why African firms remain small. The implications of our findings are threefold: (a) efforts to encourage greater private investment in these markets should concentrate on domestic audiences and specialized regional funds, (b) the depth and success of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange can perhaps be better utilized to benefit other parts of the continent, and (c) any long-term strategy should concentrate on the underlying barriers to firm entry and growth.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Xavier Giné, Dean Karlan
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Group liability is often portrayed as the key innovation that led to the explosion of the microcredit movement, which started with the Grameen Bank in the 1970s and continues on today with hundreds of institutions around the world. Group liability claims to improve repayment rates and lower transaction costs when lending to the poor by providing incentives for peers to screen, monitor and enforce each other's loans. However, some argue that group liability creates excessive pressure and discourages good clients from borrowing, jeopardizing both growth and sustainability. Therefore, it remains unclear whether group liability improves the lender's overall profitability and the poor's access to financial markets. We worked with a bank in the Philippines to conduct a field experiment to examine these issues. We randomly assigned half of the 169 pre-existing group liability “centers” of approximately twenty women to individual-liability centers (treatment) and kept the other half as-is with group liability (control). We find that converting to individual liability from group liability but keeping other aspects of group lending such as weekly repayment meeting does not affect the repayment rate, but leads to higher outreach by attracting new clients.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Policymakers often prescribe that microfinance institutions increase interest rates to eliminate reliance on subsidies. This strategy makes sense if the poor are rate insensitive: then microlenders increase profitability (or achieve sustainability) without reducing the poor's access to credit. We test the assumption of price inelastic demand using randomized trials conducted by a consumer lender in South Africa. The demand curves are downward-sloping, and steep for price increases relative to the lender's standard rates. We also find that loan size is far more responsive to changes in loan maturity than to changes in interest rates, which is consistent with binding liquidity constraints.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Information asymmetries are important in theory but difficult to identify in practice. We estimate the presence and importance of adverse selection and moral hazard in a consumer credit market using a new field experiment methodology. We randomized 58,000 direct mail offers issued by a major South African lender along three dimensions: 1) an initial "offer interest rate" featured on a direct mail solicitation; 2) a "contract interest rate" that was revealed only after a borrower agreed to the initial offer rate; and 3) a dynamic repayment incentive that extended preferential pricing on future loans to borrowers who remained in good standing. These three randomizations, combined with complete knowledge of the Lender's information set, permit identification of specific types of private information problems. Our setup distinguishes adverse selection from moral hazard effects on repayment, and thereby generates unique evidence on the existence and magnitudes of specific credit market frictions. We find evidence of moral hazard and weaker evidence for adverse selection. A rough calibration suggests that perhaps 7% to 16% of default is due to asymmetric information problems. Asymmetric information may help explain the prevalence of credit constraints even in a market that specializes in financing high-risk borrowers at very high rates.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Expanding credit access is a key ingredient of development strategies worldwide. Microfinance practitioners, policymakers, and donors have ambitious goals for expanding access, and seek efficient methods for implementing and evaluating expansion. There is less consensus on the role of consumer credit in expansion initiatives. Some microfinance institutions are moving beyond entrepreneurial credit and offering consumer loans. But many practitioners and policymakers are skeptical about “unproductive” lending. These concerns are fueled by academic work highlighting behavioral biases that may induce consumers to overborrow. We estimate the impacts of a consumer credit supply expansion using a field experiment and follow-up data collection. A South African lender relaxed its risk assessment criteria by encouraging its loan officers to approve randomly selected marginal rejected applications. We estimate the resulting impacts using new survey data on borrower behavior and well-being, and administrative data on loan repayment. We find that the marginal loans increased credit access and produced measurable benefits in the form of increased employment, reduced hunger, and reduced poverty. The marginal loans also appear to have been profitable for the lender. The results must be interpreted with caution but suggest that consumer credit expansions can be welfare-improving.
  • Topic: Development, Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Dean Karlan, Martin Valdivia
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Can one teach basic entrepreneurship skills, or are they fixed personal characteristics? Most academic and development policy discussions about microentrepreneurs focus on their access to credit, and assume their human capital to be fixed. The self-employed poor rarely have any formal training in business skills. However, a growing number of microfinance organizations are attempting to build the human capital of micro-entrepreneurs in order to improve the livelihood of their clients and help further their mission of poverty alleviation. Using a randomized control trial, we measure the marginal impact of adding business training to a Peruvian group lending program for female microentrepreneurs. Treatment groups received thirty to sixty minute entrepreneurship training sessions during their normal weekly or monthly banking meeting over a period of one to two years. Control groups remained as they were before, meeting at the same frequency but solely for making loan and savings payments. We find that the treatment led to improved business knowledge, practices and revenues. The program also improved repayment and client retention rates for the microfinance institution. Larger effects found for those that expressed less interest in training in a baseline survey. This has important implications for implementing similar market-based interventions with a goal of recovering costs.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Gender Issues
  • Author: Dean Karlan, Wesley Yin, Nava Ashraf
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Female “empowerment” has increasingly become a policy goal, both as an end to itself and as a means to achieving other development goals. Microfinance in particular has often been argued, but not without controversy, to be a tool for empowering women. Here, using a randomized controlled trial, we examine whether access to an individually-held commitment savings product leads to an increase in female decision-making power within the household. We find positive impacts, particularly for women who have below median decision-making power in the baseline, and we find this leads to a shift towards female-oriented durables goods purchased in the household.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Markus Goldstein, Joshua Graff Zivin, Harsha Thirumurthy
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The provision of life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment has emerged as a key component of the global response to HIV/AIDS, but very little is known about the impact of this intervention on the welfare of children in the households of treated persons. We estimate the impact of ARV treatment on children's schooling and nutrition outcomes using longitudinal household survey data collected in collaboration with a treatment program in western Kenya. We find that children's weekly hours of school attendance increase by over 20 percent within six months after treatment is initiated for the adult household member. For boys in treatment households, these increases closely follow their reduced market labor supply. Similarly, young children's short-term nutritional status—as measured by their weight-for-height Z-score—also improves dramatically. We also present evidence that the impact of treatment is considerably larger when compared to the counterfactual scenario of no ARV treatment. The results illustrate how intrahousehold allocations of time and resources are altered in response to significant health improvements. Since the improvements in children's schooling and nutrition at these critical early ages will affect their socio-economic outcomes and wellbeing in adulthood, the widespread provision of ARV treatment is likely to generate significant long-run welfare benefits.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Manju Kedia Shah
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Much of the growth in Sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade has come from extractive industries, rather than from private, entrepreneurial activity. Furthermore, non-extractive activity in the private sector is often dominated by firms owned by ethnic minorities. This paper analyzes the characteristics of the formal private sector in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on Black African-owned (indigenous) firms. We find that indigenous firms start smaller and grow more slowly; however their rate of growth is positively influenced by whether the owner-entrepreneur has a university degree. We do not find overwhelming evidence that credit is the binding constraint but we do find that indigenous firms get less access to trade credit than firms owned by minority entrepreneurs. Finally, we discuss policy solutions that might enable a larger number of indigenous entrepreneurs to enter and survive in a vibrant, multi-ethnic private sector.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Roodman
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Arellano-Bond (1991) and Arellano-Bover (1995)/Blundell-Bond (1998) linear generalized method of moments (GMM) estimators are increasingly popular. Both are general estimators designed for situations with “small T, large N” panels, meaning few time periods and many individuals; with independent variables that are not strictly exogenous, meaning correlated with past and possibly current realizations of the error; with fixed effects; and with heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation within individuals. This pedagogic paper first introduces linear GMM. Then it shows how limited time span and the potential for fixed effects and endogenous regressors drive the design of the estimators of interest, offering Stata-based examples along the way. Next it shows how to apply these estimators with xtabond2. It also explains how to perform the Arellano-Bond test for autocorrelation in a panel after other Stata commands, using abar.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Owen Barder
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There are significant differences of opinion about the merits of additional aid in meeting the MDGs, including whether and how aid should be given in 'fragile states', whether additional aid on the scale envisioned can be effectively used even in well-managed economies, and whether the aid system, particularly in highly aid-dependent countries, undermines instead of strengthens local institutions. We discuss an approach to scaling up foreign aid that would explicitly be aimed at strengthening local capacity and institutions, including in fragile states. “Payments for progress” would link additional aid to clear evidence of progress already achieved on the ground. This approach would give flexibility and autonomy to local institutions, providing an opening for local institutional experimentation, while at the same time ensuring that aid pays only for real, measurable achievements. Donors would bind themselves as a group to pay a specific amount for clear evidence of progress against one or more agreed goals in low-income developing countries. Developing country governments would present an independently audited statement reporting their progress on the measures, and donors would pay the agreed amount. Payments would be determined as a function of the outcomes, and not linked to the implementation of any particular policies, any other intermediate outputs, or “tied” to purchases from particular suppliers or companies. Governments that found ways to provide services efficiently and so reduce the costs of providing them would benefit from a larger surplus. We discuss the issues such an approach raises—in setting the benchmarks against which progress is measured, in avoiding cheating, and in managing unintended negative consequences of an incentives-based approach. We conclude with a summary of the advantages for donors and recipients.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Third World
  • Author: David Roodman
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index of the Center for Global Development rates 21 rich countries on the “development-friendliness” of their policies. It is revised and updated annually. The component on foreign assistance combines quantitative and qualitative measures of official aid, and of fiscal policies that support private charitable giving. The quantitative measure uses a net transfers concept, as distinct from the net flows concept in the net Official Development Assistance measure of the Development Assistance Committee. The qualitative factors are: a penalty for tying aid; a discounting system that favors aid to poorer, better-governed recipients; and a penalty for “project proliferation.” The charitable giving measure is based on an estimate of the share of observed private giving to developing countries that is attributable to a) lower overall taxes or b) specific tax incentives for giving. De-spite the adjustments, overall results are dominated by differences in quantity of official aid given. This is because while there is a seven-fold range in net concessional transfers/GDP among the scored countries, variation in overall aid quality across donors appears far lower, and private giving is generally small. Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden score highest while the largest donors in absolute terms, the United States and Japan, rank at or near the bottom. Standings by the 2006 methodology have been relatively stable since 1995.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Norway, Netherlands
  • Author: David Roodman, Uzma Qureshi
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: IN THIS PAPER, we analyze microfinance institutions (MFIs) as businesses, asking how some MFIs succeed in reducing and covering costs, earning returns, attracting capital, and scaling up. We are interested in MFIs that are financially self-sufficient (covering the cost of daily operations as well as the cost of capital at a commercial rate) or merely operationally self-sufficient (not covering capital costs) or only, say, 90% operationally self-sufficient. All such MFIs strive for efficiency and are in many respects businesslike.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Markets
  • Author: William Easterly, Janina Matuszeski, Alberto Alesina
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Artificial states are those in which political borders do not coincide with a division of nationalities desired by the people on the ground. We propose and compute for all countries in the world two new measures how artificial states are. One is based on measuring how borders split ethnic groups into two separate adjacent countries. The other one measures how straight land borders are, under the assumption the straight land borders are more likely to be artificial. We then show that these two measures seem to be highly correlated with several measures of political and economic success.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Economics, Politics
  • Author: Devesh Kapur, Richard Webb
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A consensus has developed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not fulfilling its role, prompting multiple proposals for reform. However, this paper argues that the focus on reform should be complemented with an exploration of alternatives outside the IMF which hold the potential to not only give developing countries greater bargaining leverage with the Fund but also, by increasing competition, spurring the institution to better performance. The paper argues that most of the IMF's functions are being carried out in part through alternative institutional arrangements. It focuses in particular on the insurance role of the Fund and argues that developing countries are developing alternative insurance mechanisms, from a higher level of reserves, to regional co-insurance facilities to remittances as a counter-cyclical source of foreign exchange. The de facto exit of its clientele has been driven by the high political costs associated with Fund borrowing and now poses unprecedented challenges for the Fund, in particular pressures on its income. The paper argues for a rapid restructuring and significant cuts of the Fund's administrative budget with the budget savings instead directed to lower the interest rates charged to borrowers.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Third World
  • Author: Rachel Glennerster, Heidi Williams, Georg Weizsacker, Ruth Levine, Jean Lee, Michael R. Kremer, Ernst R. Berndt
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The G8 is considering committing to purchase vaccines against diseases concentrated in low-income countries (if and when desirable vaccines are developed) as a way to spur research and development on vaccines for these diseases. Under such an “advance market commitment,” one or more sponsors would commit to a minimum price to be paid per person immunized for an eligible product, up to a certain number of individuals immunized. For additional purchases, the price would eventually drop to close to marginal cost. If no suitable product were developed, no payments would be made. We estimate the offer size which would make revenues similar to the revenues realized from investments in typical existing commercial pharmaceutical products, as well as the degree to which various model contracts and assumptions would affect the cost-effectiveness of such a commitment. We make adjustments for lower marketing costs under an advance market commitment and the risk that a developer may have to share the market with subsequent developers. We also show how this second risk could be reduced, and money saved, by introducing a superiority clause to a commitment. Under conservative assumptions, we document that a commitment comparable in value to sales earned by the average of a sample of recently launched commercial products (adjusted for lower marketing costs) would be a highly cost-effective way to address HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Sensitivity analyses suggest most characteristics of a hypothetical vaccine would have little effect on the cost-effectiveness, but that the duration of protection conferred by a vaccine strongly affects potential cost-effectiveness. Readers can conduct their own sensitivity analyses employing a web-based spreadsheet tool.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Markets
  • Author: Lant Pritchett, Amer Hasan, Deon Filmer
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Millennium Development Goal for primary schooling completion has focused attention on a measurable output indicator to monitor increases in schooling in poor countries. We argue the next step, which moves towards the even more important Millennium Learning Goal, is to monitor outcomes of learning achievement. We demonstrate that even in countries meeting the MDG of primary completion, the majority of youth are not reaching even minimal competency levels, let alone the competencies demanded in a globalized environment. Even though Brazil is on track to the meet the MDG, our estimates are that 78 percent of Brazilian youth lack even minimally adequate competencies in mathematics and 96 percent do not reach what we posit as a reasonable global standard of adequacy. Mexico has reached the MDG—but 50 percent of youth are not minimally competent in math and 91 percent do not reach a global standard. While nearly all countries' education systems are expanding quantitatively nearly all are failing in their fundamental purpose. Policymakers, educators and citizens need to focus on the real target of schooling: adequately equipping their nation's youth for full participation as adults in economic, political and social roles. A goal of school completion alone is an increasingly inadequate guide for action. With a Millennium Learning Goal, progress of the education system will be judged on the outcomes of the system: the assessed mastery of the desired competencies of an entire age cohort—both those in school and out of school. By focusing on the learning achievement of all children in a cohort an MLG eliminates the false dichotomy between “access/enrollment” and “quality of those in school”: reaching an MLG depends on both.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Education
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Stewart Patrick, Kaysie Brown
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Bush administration has increasingly acknowledged that weak and failing states represent the core of today's global development challenge. It has also recognized that such states are potential threats to international peace and security. But despite the rhetoric, it has yet to formulate a coherent strategy around fragile states or commit adequate resources towards engaging them. Excluding funding for Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and HIV/AIDS, the administration's FY07 budget request proposes to spend just $1.1 billion in direct bilateral assistance to fragile states—little more than a dollar per person per year. In this new working paper, CGD research fellow Stewart Patrick and program associate Kaysie Brown urge U.S. policymakers to consider increasing aid to fragile states and to think creatively about how and when to engage these troubled countries. The authors also call for the policy community to integrate non-aid instruments into a more coherent government strategy. To put its money where its mouth is, the U.S. should treat aid to weak and failing states as a form of venture capital, with high risk but potentially high rewards.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Gunilla Petterson, Michael A. Clemens
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The migration of doctors and nurses from Africa to developed countries has raised fears of an African medical brain drain. But empirical research on the causes and effects of the phenomenon has been hampered by a lack of systematic data on the extent of African health workers' international movements. We use destination-country census data to estimate the number of African-born doctors and professional nurses working abroad in a developed country circa 2000, and compare this to the stocks of these workers in each country of origin. Approximately 65,000 African-born physicians and 70,000 African-born professional nurses were working overseas in a developed country in the year 2000. This represents about one fifth of African-born physicians in the world, and about one tenth of African-born professional nurses. The fraction of health professionals abroad varies enormously across African countries, from 1% to over 70% according to the occupation and country. These numbers are the first standardized, systematic, occupation-specific measure of skilled professionals working in developed countries and born in a large number of developing countries.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: William Easterly, Michael Woolcock, Jozef Ritzen
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We present evidence that measures of “social cohesion,” such as income inequality and ethnic fractionalization, endogenously determine institutional quality, which in turn casually determines growth.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government, Poverty
  • Author: William Easterly
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Using a newly assembled dataset spanning from 1820 to 1998, we study the relationship between the occurrence and cruelty of episodes of mass killing and the levels of development and democracy across countries and over time. We find that massacres are more likely at intermediate levels of income and less likely at very high levels of democracy, but we do not find evidence of a linear relationship between democracy and probability of mass killings. In the 20th century, discrete improvements in democracy are systematically associated with less cruel massacre episodes. Episodes at the highest levels of democracy and income involve relatively fewer victims.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Crime, Democratization, Development
  • Author: Steven Radelet
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Controversies about aid effectiveness go back decades. Some experts charge that aid has enlarged government bureaucracies, perpetuated bad governments, enriched the elite in poor countries, or just been wasted. Others argue that although aid has sometimes failed, it has supported poverty reduction and growth in some countries and prevented worse performance in others. This new working paper by CGD senior fellow Steve Radelet explores trends in aid, the motivations for aid, its impacts, and debates about reforming aid. It begins by examining aid magnitudes and who gives and receives aid. It discusses the multiple motivations and objectives of aid, some of which conflict with each other. It then explores the empirical evidence on the relationship between aid and growth, which is divided between research that finds no relationship and research that finds a positive relationship (at least under certain circumstances). It also examines some of the key challenges in making aid more effective, including the principal-agent problem and the related issue of conditionality, and concludes by examining some of the main proposals for improving aid effectiveness.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty
  • Author: Owen Barder
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: It is sometimes claimed that an increase in aid might cause Dutch Disease—that is, an appreciation of the real exchange rate which can slow the growth of a country's exports— and that aid increases might thereby harm a country's long-term growth prospects. This essay argues that it is unlikely that a long-term, sustained and predictable increase in aid would, through the impact on the real exchange rate, do more harm than good, for three reasons. First, there is not necessarily an adverse impact on exports from Dutch Disease, and any impact on economic growth may be small. Second, aid spent in part on improving the supply side—investments in infrastructure, education, government institutions and health—result in productivity benefits for the whole economy, which can offset any loss of competitiveness from the Dutch Disease effect. Third, the welfare of a nation's citizens depends on their consumption and investment, not just output. Even on pessimistic assumptions, the additional consumption and investment which the aid finances is larger than any likely adverse impact on output. However, the macroeconomic effects of aid can cause substantial harm if the aid is not sustained until its benefits are realized. The costs of a temporary loss of competitiveness might well exceed the benefits of the short-term increase in aid. To avoid doing harm, aid should be sustained and predictable, and used in part to promote economic growth. This maximizes the chances that the long-term productivity and growth benefits will offset the adverse effects—which may be small if they exist at all—that big aid surges may pose as a result of Dutch Disease.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David Roodman
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The proliferation of aid projects may overburden recipient governments with reporting requirements, donor visits, and other administrative overhead, siphoning off scarce domestic recipient resources, such as tax revenue or the time of skilled government officials, from directly productive use. But greater oversight may also improve the administration of projects, increasing development. I present a model of aid projects that reflects both sides of this coin. It posits a distinction between national-level governance and project-level governance. A donor can raise project-level governance above the baseline national level by requiring oversight activities of the recipient, although the benefits from doing so are less where national-level governance is already high. The model assumes that larger projects demand proportionally less oversight activity from the recipient. Comparative statics analysis suggests that to maximize development, projects should be larger where aid volume is higher, to avoid overburdening recipient administrative capacity; where recipient resources are scarcer, for the same reason; and where national governance is good, since the marginal benefit of oversight is then lower. A multi-donor generalization shows how donors that are imperfectly altruistic, caring most about the success of their own projects, will tend to sink into competitive proliferation, in which each donor subdivides its aid budget into smaller projects to raise the marginal productivity of the recipient's resources in those projects and attract them away from other donors. The inefficiency arises from the lack of a market among donors for recipient resources. In a Nash equilibrium, competitive proliferation reduces overall development. But the smallest (selfish) donors can gain. This would discourage them from cooperating with other donors to contain competitive proliferation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Humanitarian Aid
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) is the latest phase of debt reduction for poor countries from the World Bank, the IMF, and the African Development Bank. The MDRI, which will come close to full debt reduction for at least 19 (and perhaps as many as 40) qualifying countries, is being presented as a momentous leap forward in the battle against global poverty. However, the analysis in this paper suggests that the actual gains may be more modest and elusive. This is not because, as some anti-debt campaigners fear, that the initiative is a mere accounting trick. Rather, the limited short-term financial impact of the MDRI on affected countries is because the debt service obligations being relived were themselves relatively insignificant. For example, in 2004 the average African country in the program paid $19 million in debt service to the World Bank, but received 10 times that amount in new Bank credit and more than 50 times as much in total aid. Just as importantly, finances are rarely the binding constraint on poverty and other development outcomes. This is not to say that the MDRI is futile. Indeed the impact could be considerable over the long-term, especially on the ability of creditors to be more selective in the future. But most of the impact of the MDRI will be long-term and difficult to measure. As such, expectations of the effect on indebted countries and development indicators should be kept modest and time horizons long.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John Nellis
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In the last 25 years many thousands of formerly state-owned and operated firms have been privatized in developing and transition countries, generating over $400 billion (US) in sales proceeds. In addition, thousands of firms have been transferred by privatization processes in which no money was raised (though a surprising number of state-owned firms remain in these regions). The vast majority of economic studies praise privatization's positive impact at the level of the firm, as well as its positive macroeconomic and welfare contributions. Moreover, contrary to popular conception, privatization has not contributed to maldistribution of income or increased poverty——at least in the best-studied Latin American cases. In sum, the technical picture is generally positive. Nonetheless, public opinion in the less developed world is generally suspicious of, and often hostile to, privatization. A good part of the problem is that privatization has proven harder to launch, and is more likely to produce errant results, in low-income, institutionally weak states, particularly in the most important infrastructure sectors. Privatization is hard to sell politically; it has become a lightning rod and handy scapegoat for all discontent related to liberalization and globalization. What is needed are reform mechanisms that give incentives and comfort to reputable private investors, that create and sustain the policy and regulatory institutions that make governments competent and honest partners with the private operators, while at the same time protecting consumers, particularly the most disadvantaged, from abuse.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In the absence of US fiscal adjustment and a further correction of the dollar, the current account deficit is headed to $1.3 trillion by 2010 (8 to 8.5 percent of GDP) and net US foreign liabilities to over $8 trillion (50 percent of GDP). According to CGD/IIE Senior Fellow William R. Cline, the rising trade deficit and associated borrowing from abroad are now financing a decline in personal saving and a rise in the government deficit. This imbalance will increasingly put the US economy—and the developing countries—at risk. This working paper focuses on the impact that the US external deficit and a possible “hard landing” for the US and world economies will have on developing countries. Cline finds that these countries are at risk since they have relied heavily on a continuing expansion of trade surpluses with the United States as a source of demand. Developing countries with high borrowing abroad are also doubly sensitive to a spike in world interest rates—once directly from higher US interest rates, and once indirectly through higher risk spreads—that might be associated with a hard landing. This Working Paper is based on The United States as a Debtor Nation, a book published in 2005 by the Center for Global Development and the Institute for International Economics.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nathan Converse, Ethan Kapstein
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Since the “third wave” of democratization began in 1974, nearly 100 states have adopted democratic forms of government, including, of course, most of the former Soviet bloc nations. Policy-makers in the west have expressed the hope that this democratic wave will extend even further, to the Middle East and onward to China. But the durability of this new democratic age remains an open question. By some accounts, at least half of the world's young democracies—often referred to in the academic literature as being “unconsolidated” or “fragile”—are still struggling to develop their political institutions, and several have reverted back to authoritarian rule. Among the countries in the early stages of democratic institution building are states vital to U.S. national security interests, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Iraq
  • Author: John Nellis
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Too many African state-owned enterprises (SOEs), particularly those in infrastructure sectors, have a long history of poor performance. African governments and donors labored through the 1970s and 1980s to improve SOE performance through “commercialization”——i.e., methods short of ownership change. These generally failed, giving rise, in the 1990s, to much more heavy reliance on private sector participation and ownership. This approach produced some successes, but Africa's private participation in infrastructure (PPI) initiatives have been comparatively few and weak. A number of those that have been launched have run into problems, to the point where both investor and African government interest in the approach has waned in the last few years. The reform is not popular——surveys of public opinion in 15 African countries reveal that only a third of respondents prefer private to state-owned firms. Nonetheless, African states (and their supporters) should not jettison the PPI approach. Rather, they should acknowledge its limitations, and recognize the large scope and moderate pace of the preparatory measures required both to improve their investment climates and to make PPI work effectively.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steven Radelet
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The IMF began to play a prominent role in low-income countries in the late 1970s and 1980s when many countries faced overvalued exchange rates, growing budget deficits, high inflation, and low reserves. But times have changed, and many low-income countries no longer face these problems and do not need classic IMF programs. This paper explores options for the role of the IMF in well-performing low-income countries that no longer require IMF financing. It argues that in these countries the IMF should use more non-funded programs, and it should play a much less dominant role in overall conditionality. These countries should be able to focus more on achieving high-priority development goals that are outside the expertise of the IMF, such as in health, water, education, private sector development, and agriculture. While playing a less prominent role, the Fund should continue to be engaged in helping countries to maintain an appropriate macroeconomic framework. For some countries, a non-funded program like the new Policy Support Instrument (PSI) would be appropriate, while others could shift further to a program of surveillance and monitoring. In well-performing countries the Fund should provide public ratings on macroeconomic policy, ideally fully incorporated into the World Bank's CPIA rating system.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Author: David Roodman, Scott Standley
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Researchers have written hundreds of papers on the causes and consequences of official foreign aid, while paying almost no attention to private overseas giving, by individuals, universities, foundations, and corporations. Yet private giving is significant—some $15.5 billion/year, compared to more than $60 billion/year in public giving—and is in no small part an outcome of public policy. In most rich countries, tax deductions and credits lower the “price” of charity to donors. And governments with low tax revenue/GDP ratios leave more money in private pockets for private charity. To correct the near-complete lack of information on this de facto aid policy, we survey officials of 21 donor nations on the use of tax incentives to promote private charity. From the results, we develop an index of the overall incentive for private charity, expressed as a percentage increase over the hypothetical giving level absent incentives. France's tax code creates the largest price incentive while those of Austria, Finland, and Sweden offer none. Factoring in the income effect of the tax ratio, Australia, Ireland, Germany, and the United States move to the top, with combined price and income effects sufficient to double private giving. As a result, tax policy appears to have nearly doubled private overseas giving from donor countries in 2003, from a counterfactual $8.0 billion. Two-thirds of the $7.5 billion increase occurred in the United States. Of that, nearly 40% appears to be U.S. charity to Israel. According to 21-country scatter plots, countries with lower church attendance and more faith in the national legislature have lower taxes (stronger income effect), but average levels of targeted tax incentives. Income (GDP/capita) does correlate with private overseas aid/capita, but also with public aid/capita, so that the two aid flows are complementary in magnitude.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Finland, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Austria
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Openness is not necessarily good for the poor. Reducing trade protection has not brought growth to today's poorest countries, and open capital markets have not been good for the poorest households in emerging market economies. In this paper I present evidence on these two points. First, countries highly dependent on primary exports two decades ago, despite their substantial engagement in trade and a marked decline in their tariff rates in the 1990s, have failed to grow. Second, within high-debt emerging market economies the financial crises of the last decade, whether induced by domestic policy problems or global contagion, have been especially costly for the poor (in welfare terms if not in terms of absolute income losses). I discuss the asymmetries in the global economy that help explain why countries and people cannot always compete on equal terms on the “level playing field” of the global economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Owen Barder, Ethan Yeh
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: How can the international community save more children's lives faster and more effectively in the 21st century? This Working Paper analyzes the extent to which “frontloading” and predictable vaccine funding, as proposed by the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm), is more effective in impacting vaccine coverage than spending vaccine funds equally throughout the lives of projects. The IFFIm is an initiative of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and supported by the governments of the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Norway. An initial IFFIm investment of $4 billion is expected to prevent 5 million child deaths by 2015, and more than 5 million future adult deaths. Using a stylized model, the authors quantify the positive and negative effects of predictable vaccine funds and frontloading, and finds IFFIm's approach can increase the impact of vaccine coverage by 22%. This is because stable and long-term financing allows vaccine manufacturers and countries to plan for long periods of time, knowing that resources will be available. Front-loading helps to reduce the spread of disease and to immunize large groups of people faster.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Human Welfare, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Norway, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden
  • Author: Theodore H. Moran
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: How effective are G-8 and OECD efforts to combat bribery and corrupt payments when multinational companies bid on concessions in the developing world? Have the rich countries – and the United States, in particular – done what is necessary to restrain multinational investors from paying off daughters of Presidents and cronies of Ministers to secure favors for their activities?
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Maureen Lewis
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: What factors affect health care delivery in the developing world? Anecdotal evidence of lives cut tragically short and the loss of productivity due to avoidable diseases is an area of salient concern in global health and international development. This working paper looks at factual evidence to describe the main challenges facing health care delivery in developing countries, including absenteeism, corruption, informal payments, and mismanagement. The author concludes that good governance is important in ensuring effective health care delivery, and that returns to investments in health are low where governance issues are not addressed.
  • Topic: Corruption, Government, Health, Third World
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Kemal Derviş
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A number of high-debt emerging-market economies face structural, long-term debt problems that tend to keep their growth rates low, that impart an unequalizing bias to the growth process, that severely constrain social spending and human development, and that make them vulnerable to capital flow reversals. Unless the nature and pace of growth can be improved in these lower-middle income countries, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are unlikely to be met either in many of these countries, or globally. These high-debt emerging-market economies face an impossible choice between draconian and never-ending fiscal austerity, or crisis and a “debt event.” Both “bitter pills" impose high social and economic costs.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Debt, Economics, International Organization
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Manju Kedia Shah, Ginger Turner
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of firms' decision to provide HIV/AIDS prevention activities. Using data from 860 firms and 4,955 workers in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya, it shows that larger firms, and firms with higher skilled workers tend to invest more in AIDS prevention. Firms where more than 50 percent of workers are unionized are also more likely to do more prevention activity. Finally, these characteristics are also significant in determining whether or not a firm carries out pre-employment health checks of its workers. The results shed light on the likelihood of private sector intervention and the gaps that will require public sector assistance.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania