Tim Besley, Robin Burgess, Adnan Khan, Jonathan Old, Guo Xu, 08 November 2021

How does bureaucracy matter for development? Over the last years, an enormous interest in this question has created a large body of research, mostly focused around evidence from field experiments and micro-level administrative data. This column reviews this recent literature and embeds it in the broader discussion on how bureaucracies contribute to economic development. The authors argue that this recent evidence matters, but also encourage future research to study bureaucracies as systems, and to analyse their systemic relations to politics, citizens, firms, and NGOs.

Pamina Koenig, Sebastian Krautheim, Claudius Löhnert, Thierry Verdier, 30 July 2021

With economic globalisation facing a legitimacy crisis fuelled by various scandals associated with globalised value chains, advocacy NGOs and their campaigns are in the limelight. Still, little systematic knowledge has been generated on how global sourcing and exporting decisions of firms interact with the upsurge of this international social activism. This column uses a unique dataset on NGO campaigns against firms to show how the internationalisation and geographical structure of NGO campaigns are closely intertwined with patterns of global production and trade. 

Axel Dreher, Dirk-Jan Koch, Peter Nunnenkamp, Rainer Thiele, 20 May 2008

How do NGOs spend their development assistance? This column discusses research showing that NGO aid is no better targeted to the neediest countries than state aid agencies either by choosing needier countries, or by entering un-chartered waters and trying to excel where state aid is most likely to fail.

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