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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Kerry on US Development Investments: Doing More with Less

The $52 billion FY2014 international affairs budget request is a small investment with big returns for the United States and the world, Secretary of State John Kerry said in congressional hearings last week.  The request is the same amount Congress allocated in FY2013 and a four percent cut from FY2012. Kerry told members of Congress that the State Department and USAID are prepared to do more with less.

World Immunization Week: Leaders and Laggards

Immunization saves millions of lives, is among the most cost-effective health interventions ever developed, and has attracted a great deal of attention and funding from public and private donors in recent years.  Indeed, global health leaders have committed to making this the ‘Decade of Vaccines’ with the vision of delivering universal access to immunization by 2020, and the World Health Organization has put out a Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) to serve as a blueprint to achieving this goal.

On Taxes, Trade, Transparency—and Turf

This is a joint post with Owen Barder.

In January, David Cameron nailed his colours to the mast with a speech in Davos that set out the three Ts agenda for the UK’s chairing of the June G8 meeting: taxes, trade and transparency. Since then, there has been much discussion of how serious the agenda is and what the G8 can actually deliver.

Beware the Duck of Doom

A recent post by Steve Weissman of Berkeley Law on Legal Planet, an environmental law and policy blog, highlights a chart that looks like a duck. The duck chart was produced by the California Independent System Operator, the organization in charge of managing the state's power grid. Weissman calls it the "Duck of Doom" -- with good reason.

A Global Map of Subnational GDP

Nicola Gennaioli, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes and Andrei Shleifer have just published a fascinating paper in the QJE: “Human Capital and Regional Development”.  They constructed a database of 1,569 subnational regions across 110 countries covering GDP, population, education levels, geographic and institutional factors, and looked at correlates with higher per capita income.  They suggest that geography and education are significant correlates of regional GDP, while their measures of institutions and culture are less well correlated.  They have followed up with a working paper using an expanded dataset, “Growth in Regions” that reports regional convergence of 2.5% a year and note that a rate so slow suggests “significant barriers to factor mobility within countries.”

Borders and the Beltway: W-Visas a Win for the United States and Developing Countries

If you thought the immigration debates of the last few months were rough, hold on to your visas, because it’s about to get ugly. The Senate Gang of 8’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, has been released. And at the epicenter of these debates is the provision creating visas for what are often called “guest workers”—an issue close to CGD’s heart.

Asset Recovery = Development Issue

As attention shifts from traditional foreign aid to private and domestic sources of finance for development, recovering stolen assets is not only a matter of justice but increasingly a development issue in its own right. That’s why organizations like the StAR initiative (a joint effort of the World Bank and UNODC) and NGOs like Transparency International and Global Witness have been making these points and successfully pushing the agenda.

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