Fuel subsidies are bad for the planet, expensive, and often regressive. With new, high-frequency price data researchers explore why they’re also so hard to kill.
CGD Policy Blogs
As economic indicators deteriorate, the Tanzanian government has jailed an opposition leader for questioning the Bank of Tanzania's growth statistics. It's time for the World Bank and the IMF to speak up. If it's illegal to question a government's statistics, why should anyone trust them?
Earlier this month the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4481, Education for All, a bill that aims to strengthen USAID’s efforts in the realm of education. While the Senate has yet to take up the companion bill, S. 3256, here are a few thoughts on what American aid can and can’t do to improve learning around the world.
Even the most ardent defenders of democracy sometimes worry that populist pressure may lead to short-sighted (or populist) economic policy choices. So after polling 2,000 ordinary Tanzanians in 2015 about their views on the use of expected natural gas revenue, we decided to follow up with an experiment polling Tanzanian “elites,” to see whether they are aligned with citizens, or could be swayed by citizens’ views.
The research organization Aid Data has been getting a lot of attention in the aid world of late with its survey of recipient country policymakers and practitioners and their views of the utility, influence and helpfulness during reform of various aid agencies. Suggests the press release: “According to nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners, the development partners that have the most influence on policy priorities in their low-income and middle-income countries are not large Western donors like the United States or UK. Instead it is large multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the GAVI Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria." That conclusion is based on average worldwide agency scores from the survey.
Rigorous evaluations show giving poor people cash is a very effective policy. But polls show poor Tanzanians would rather have government services.
This is part II in our blog series about poll results from Tanzania on managing the country’s newfound natural gas wealth. Read part I on fuel subsidies and stay tuned for part III on transparency.
How can poor countries beat the resource curse? CGD research fellow Justin Sandefur returns to the Podcast hotseat to update us on a project that posed this question to ordinary people in Tanzania. CGD teamed up with REPOA to bring hundreds of Tanzanians to Dar es Salaam to debate what to do with that country’s newly-discovered natural gas deposits. This week, Justin is back to share the project’s results.
Experts worry letting ordinary citizens manage resource windfalls will lead to populism. We ran a randomized trial in deliberative democracy in Tanzania to find out.
As African leaders meet in Washington this week, one issue is not on the agenda: the poor quality of basic economic and social data in the region.