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Latin America faces old and new development challenges. While, over the last two decades, some countries have implemented solid macroeconomic policies and many have improved their financial regulatory and supervisory frameworks, large segments of the population have not reaped the benefits from economic growth. The COVID-19 crisis has only made things worse—poverty reduction is expected to suffer a setback of more than 10 years and inequality continues to rise.
Structural problems, including very low productivity, the substantial size of the informal economy and the lowest savings rate in the emerging world, remain unsolved. Novel issues, like the migration from Venezuela, or the health and economic challenges that COVID-19 brings about add further pressure to weak social and political consensus—and the looming risk of a financial crisis persists.
CGD’s Latin America Initiative provides sound analysis on these issues and advances recommendations to policymakers and multilateral organizations to support the effort of overcoming these challenges to climb the development ladder and reach shared prosperity.
América Latina afronta, al mismo tiempo, nuevos y viejos desafíos en materia de desarrollo. Aunque, en las últimas dos décadas, algunos países han implementado políticas macroeconómicas sólidas y han mejorado sus marcos regulatorios y de supervisión, amplios segmentos de la población no se han beneficiado del crecimiento económico. La crisis de la COVID-19 solo ha empeorado las cosas: se espera un retroceso de más de 10 años en materia de reducción de la pobreza y la desigualdad continúa aumentando.
Problemas estructurales, como la muy baja productividad, el gran tamaño de la economía informal y los niveles de ahorro más bajos en el mundo emergente, continúan sin resolverse. Nuevos temas, como la migración venezolana o los desafíos sanitarios y económicos generados por la COVID-19, ejercen aun mayor presión sobre un débil consenso social y político. Además, continúa existiendo la amenaza de una crisis financiera.
La Iniciativa Latinoamericana de CGD busca analizar estos temas y proponer recomendaciones que apoyen los esfuerzos de los formuladores de políticas y los organismos multilaterales para avanzar en el proceso de desarrollo de la región y lograr una prosperidad compartida.
One feature of adjustment loans that has been often overlooked in their evaluation is their frequent repetition to the same country, with such extremes as the 30 IMF and World Bank adjustment loans to Argentina over 1980-99 or the 26 adjustment loans to Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana. Repetition changes the nature of the selection problem, with the possible implication that new loans had to be given because earlier loans were not effective. This study finds that while there were relative successes and failures, none of the top 20 recipients of adjustment lending over 1980-99 were able to achieve reasonable growth and contain all policy distortions. The findings of this paper are in line with the foreign aid literature that shows that aid does not discriminate between good and bad policies. There's a big difference between structural adjustment lending and structural adjustment policies.
We study a natural experiment that excluded almost half a million Mexican ‘bracero’ seasonal agricultural workers from the United States, with the stated goal of raising wages and employment for domestic farm workers. We reject the wage effect of bracero exclusion required by the model in the absence of induced technical change, and fail to reject the hypothesis that exclusion had no effect on US agricultural wages or employment. Important mechanisms for this result include both adoption of less labor-intensive technologies and shifts in crop mix.
In this paper, Nancy Birdsall sets out basic information on the growing middle class in Latin America and the Caribbean and provides grounds for optimism that such expansion might reinforce the inclusive politics that sustain broadly shared growth.
Recognizing the growing global premium on environmental sustainability in a climate-challenged world, we call on member governments of the World Bank to take the first step in that direction by renaming the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Sustainable Development (IBRSD)—and to reshape its mission accordingly, toward leadership on issues of the global commons or global public goods that are squarely in the development domain and require a global shareholder base to respond collectively. Shareholders should in turn look to the regional MDBs to take leadership in supporting the new imperative of sustainable development through country and regional operations across all sectors, but particularly in increasing investment in infrastructure that takes into account the logic of low-carbon and climateresilient economies in the developing world. In line with this approach to differentiated roles within an MDB system, the panel makes five recommendations to better realize the MDB system’s potential for meeting today’s development challenges.