Glassman, A., Kenny, C., & Yang, G. (2022). Covid-19 vaccine development and rollout in historical perspective. Center for Global Development Working Paper. At the start of 2022, profound inequities in the pace of access to COVID-19 vaccines and the level of coverage of COVID-19 vaccination remain, especially with regard to the world’s poorest countries. Yet despite this inequity, we find that global COVID-19 vaccine development and diffusion has been the most rapid in history, and this rapid scale-up is evident not only in high- income countries but also in upper- and lower-middle-income countries, home to the majority of the world’s population. This paper explores the historical record in the development and deployment of vaccines globally and puts the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in that context. Although far more can be done and should be done to speed equitable access to vaccines in the COVID-19 response, it is worth noting the revolutionary speed of both the vaccine development and the diffusion process, and the potential good news that this signals for the future of pandemic preparedness and response.

Kenny, C., & Yang, G. (2021). Can Africa Help Europe Avoid Its Looming Aging Crisis?. Center for Global Development Working Paper. There will be 95 million fewer working-age people in Europe in 2050 than in 2015, under business as usual. This will cause significant fiscal stress as well as slower economic growth. The paper compares business as usual estimates of inflows to 2050 with the size of the labor gap in Europe. Under plausible estimates, business as usual will fill one-third of the labor gap. This suggests a need for an urgent shift in migration policy if Europe is to avoid an aging crisis.

Duggan, J., Morris, S., Sandefur, J., & Yang, G. (2020). Is the World Bank’s COVID-19 Crisis Lending Big Enough, Fast Enough?: New Evidence on Loan Disbursements. Center for Global Development Working Paper. The World Bank has forecast an unprecedented global recession in 2020-21, and the reversal of a decades-long fall in global poverty, provoking an acute need for short-term financing in low- and lower-middle income countries. We compile a new data set of all commitments, disbursements, and payments on all World Bank loans from before the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) through August 2020, allowing us to compare the Bank’s COVID response to the last comparable global crisis. We find that lending has indeed accelerated in 2020, with new loan commitments up 118 percent year on year in the first seven months of 2020, but actual disbursements up only 31 percent. While the Bank forecasts a 4.1 percent decline in GDP growth between 2019 and 2020 in the median low- income country, World Bank disbursements in 2020 have risen by just 0.3% of GDP by comparison.

Kenny, C., & Yang, G. (2020). Measuring the Development Impact of the IFC and Development Finance. Center for Global Development Working Paper. Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) tend to look at their development impact using project-level indicators of outputs and employment impacts. Using a database of IFC and other investments and sector outcomes covering infrastructure and finance, we find the quantity of IFC investment was significantly associated with larger sums of future non-IFC private investment, but it is diffcult to find evidence of an impact on outcomes.