Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Podcast

Exploring smart policies for a better world.

 

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Lant Pritchett on Mimicry in Development

This podcast was originally recorded in March 2011. Development is easy, right? All poor countries have to do is mimic the things that work in rich countries and they’ll evolve into fully functional states. If only it were that simple. My guest this week is Lant Pritchett, a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development and chair of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master’s program in international development. His latest work looks at how the basic functions of government fail to improve in some developing countries (a dynamic he defines as a “state capability trap”). Part of the problem, says Lant, is that donors often insist on transplanting institutions that work in developed countries into environments where those institutions don’t fit at all.

Haiti: Where Has All the Money Gone? – Vijaya Ramachandran and Julie Walz

This Wonkcast was originally recorded in May, 2012 Since the 2010 earthquake, $6 billion has been disbursed in official aid to help the people of Haiti. Nearly all of it has gone to intermediaries such as international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private contractors. Yet there has been a surprising lack of reporting on how the money has been spent. CGD senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran and research assistant Julie Walz try to follow the money in a new CGD policy paper: “Haiti: Where Has All the Money Gone?” They joined me on this week’s Wonkcast to explain their findings.

Behavioral Economics and Development - Saugato Datta

SaugatoEconomists, development and otherwise, often assume that people given the right information will make informed decisions in their own best interest. Not! Just like the rest of us, the poor people targeted by development programs sometimes lack self-control and fail to take actions that would benefit them in the long run, even when they understand the potential benefits.