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  • 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
  • Author: Stewart Patrick
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A key motivation behind recent donor attention and financial resources devoted to developing countries is the presumed connection between weak and failing states, on the one hand, and a variety of transnational threats, on the other. Indeed, it has become conventional wisdom that poorly performing states generate multiple cross-border “spillovers,” including terrorism, weapons proliferation, organized crime, regional instability, global pandemics, and energy insecurity. What is striking is how little empirical evidence underpins such sweeping assertions. A closer look suggests that the connection between state weakness and global threats is less clear and more variable than typically assumed. Both the type and extent of “spillovers” depend in part on whether the weakness in question is a function of state capacity, will, or a combination of the two. Moreover, a preliminary review suggests that some trans-border threats are more likely to emerge not from the weakest states but from stronger states that possess narrower but critical gaps in capacity and will. Crafting an effective U.S. and international strategy towards weak states and the cross-border spillovers they sometimes generate will depend on a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms linking these two sets of phenomena. The challenge for analysts and policymakers will be to get greater clarity about which states are responsible for which threats and design development and other external interventions accordingly. This working paper represents an initial foray in this direction, suggesting avenues for future research and policy development.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction