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              Ideas to Action:

              Independent research for global prosperity





              A shot of the front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Adobe Stock
              November 18, 2020

              Bargaining with Beijing: A Tale of Two Borrowers

              We examine the behavior of Chinese government lenders in two debt rescheduling episodes: a “low stakes” case involving Seychelles and a “high stakes” case involving the Republic of Congo. The fact that the Republic of Congo was worse off after rescheduling its debts with Beijing underscores the importance of exposing these deals to public scrutiny before they are finalized and building borrower country capacity to negotiate more favorable deals.

              A cover image of the policy paper on institutional and political determinants of statutory tax rates
              November 18, 2020

              Institutional and Political Determinants of Statutory Tax Rates: Empirical Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

              This paper investigates the extent to which institutional and political factors explain statutory tax rates in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In particular, it examines the effect of regulatory quality, political accountability, political fragmentation, the electoral cycle, and ideological orientation on corporate income tax (CIT) rates as well as top marginal personal income tax (PIT) rates during 1990-2017

              Cover of policy paper 190
              November 12, 2020

              Governing Data for Development: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

              To better understand how governments can use data to support economic development and inclusive growth while protecting citizens and communities against harm, we interviewed over 40 data policy experts from government, civil society, the private sector, development organizations, and the data privacy community over summer 2020. This paper synthesizes the views we heard into key themes and explores some of the questions and challenges that a policy and research agenda aimed at supporting effective government data use should consider.

              The cover of the case study
              October 28, 2020

              From Displacement to Development: How Colombia Can Transform Venezuelan Displacement into Shared Growth

              This case study is part of the “Let Them Work” initiative by Refugees International (RI) and the Center for Global Development (CGD). It outlines the barriers Venezuelans face in Colombia to economic inclusion, the impacts of these barriers, and the steps that the Government of Colombia, international organizations, donors, and the private sector could take to overcome them.

              Cover of working paper 559
              October 27, 2020

              Big Sisters

              We model household investments in young children when parents and older siblings share caregiving responsibilities and when investments by older siblings contribute to young children’s human capital accumulation. Having an older sister rather than an older brother improves younger siblings’ vocabulary and fine motor skills by more than 0.1 standard deviations. 

              Cover of Working Paper 558
              October 23, 2020

              How to Improve Education Outcomes Most Efficiently? A Comparison of 150 Interventions Using the New Learning-Adjusted Years of Schooling Metric

              Limited resources mean that policymakers must make tough choices about which investments to make to improve education. Although hundreds of education interventions have been rigorously evaluated, making comparisons between the results is challenging. This paper proposes using learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS)—which combines access and quality and compares gains to an absolute, cross-country standard—as a new metric for reporting gains from education interventions.

              October 22, 2020

              Testimony before the USITC on COVID-19 Related Medical Supply Chains

              On Wednesday, September 23, CGD Senior Fellow Prashant Yadav appeared before the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at a virtual hearing examining “COVID-19 Related Goods: The U.S. Industry, Market, Trade, and Supply Chain Challenges.” His testimony focused on trade and supply chain issues for COVID-19 related medical products and he offered recommendations for building more resilient supply chains.

              October 21, 2020

              Women’s Economic Empowerment in West Africa: Towards a Practical Research Agenda

              Evidence on ‘what works’ to promote women’s economic empowerment has expanded in recent years but remains geographically unbalanced, with English speaking countries and those with more longstanding research traditions better represented. Recognizing the importance of context specificity in understanding and advancing gender equality, we seek to fill a gap in the literature by reviewing interventions, policies, and broader socio-economic trends within West Africa and the extent to which they have contributed to progress in narrowing economic gender gaps in the region.

              October 21, 2020

              The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns and Expanded Social Assistance on Inequality, Poverty and Mobility in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico

              Based on the economic sector in which household members work, we use microsimulation to estimate the distributional consequences of COVID-19-induced lockdown policies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Our estimates of the poverty consequences are worse than many others’ projections because we do not assume that the income losses are proportionally equal across the income distribution.