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Your commitment in 7 colors

October 30, 2009

The Center for Global Development releases the Commitment to Development Index annually, comparatively tracking how supportive developed countries are of developing countries.  The resulting maps and charts are entirely too fascinating for my workday productivity.

I don’t find the overall score to be very helpful (the US is towards the bottom, Scandinavian countries take the lead), but poking around gets you to some interesting findings.  For example, a surprisingly large portion of the US’s Aid points are in the private aid category.  Digging a little deeper: it’s because (this time not surprising) we’ve been penalized for our nasty habit of giving a large percentage of our total aid to “less poor and relatively undemocratic governments” and tying or partially tying our aid so that recipients can only spend it on donor goods and services.

The Migration score also caught my eye—especially since Greece and the US, unlikely partners by my reasoning, received the same score.  US points mostly come from an increase in the number of unskilled workers allowed into the country.  Greece gets points for a large foreign student population and the number of refugee and asylum applications accepted, the latter particularly worrisome in light of this story.

Poking around at the Trade score, and particularly the “trade-distorting farm subsidies,” I wasn’t expecting Norway to score so poorly.  Those are some unbelievably high subsidies!

Anyway, you get the picture.  Go play.

Jonas

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