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Democracy to the Rescue? Preserving Public Spending on Education as Private Education Expands Its Reach

As demand for quality education in many developing countries increases, and state capacity to provide this falls short, private education is growing in popularity. Significant attention has, in the past, been paid to the direct impacts of private schools on student outcomes (see, for example, this comprehensive review, commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development in 2014 and follow-up analysis by CGD researchers).

An image of the Sydney, Australia skyline.

Australia Needs More Pacific Mid-Skill Migration: Here’s How to Facilitate it

Turn on the news these days and you’re likely to be confronted with articles about worker shortages. Nurses, cooks, construction workers, accountants, care home employees, all seem to be in demand throughout high-income countries. Despite this need, these countries currently do very little to attract migrants with vocational skills, hoping that local workers, automation, and offshoring will reduce the need.

A person carrying an open umbrella walks by the entrance to the IMF on a rainy day

Rechanneling SDRs to MDBs: Urgent Action Is Needed to Jumpstart the Green Equitable Transition

With the recent allocation of special drawing rights (SDRs)—a reserve asset issued by the IMF—to help countries weather the economic effects of the pandemic, the international discussion has shifted to ways to rechannel a portion of the SDRs that were allocated to high-income economies. The focus has been on the IMF itself as the channel for getting these resources from advanced countries to vulnerable low- and middle-income countries.

An image of the IMF building.

The UK’s Planned Use of SDRs Will Take Resources Away From The Poor

The phrase “giving with one hand while taking with the other” has never been more apt than when applied to the UK’s recent approach to aid.

Under current plans, the UK will intentionally reduce the total amount of aid it makes available to developing countries by increasing its contributions to an IMF lending pot–and take credit for doing so. Because of how they are measured, the UK contributions to the IMF will displace other aid more than one-for-one, so overall, aid will be reduced.

There is no economic reason to reduce aid to accommodate such loans. Arguments about the deficit are irrelevant given that loans of this nature do not count towards it.

Here, we set out how this would work, how Treasury claims that they are simply “following the rules” do not justify this move, and what the IMF can do to mitigate the impact of this perverse move.

A graphic of an interconnected globe.

The Future of Globalization

Amidst the debate, fears, political polarization, and regrets surrounding globalization, we cannot ignore a central reality: much of it is not reversible or even resistable. As in other periods of human history where new connections are forged between geographies and civilizations—whether driven by empire building, technological change, regime change, or climate change-driven migration—Pandora’s Box, once opened, cannot be closed. We explore the major forces that will shape globalization in the future, and the policy and institutional changes needed globally and across a broad swath of countries.

Photo by Ryan Rayburn / World Bank

The Data Manipulation Scandal That Could Topple the Heads of the World Bank and IMF, Explained

As the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund kick off next week, the Bretton Woods institutions are mired in scandal. I want to set aside the broader political calculations and focus on the case at hand: the Doing Business scandal. Facts matter, and the credibility of the World Bank and IMF matters beyond current leadership. So let’s review what we actually know about the data manipulation, how it arose, and who may be to blame, starting at the very beginning.

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