The Project | Call for Proposals | The Global Governance Dimension | Country Case Studies

CEDES - IDRC Call for Proposals
Four Country Studies for the Project
“Asymmetric Demography and Global Financial Governance:
In search of growth and common interests in the post-crisis world”

CEDES and IDRC are launching a competitive Call for Proposals for research teams to conduct four country studies. The selected teams will undertake policy-oriented research on the linkages between the demographic transition and financial constraints in four systemically important developing countries. The country studies are part of a global research project on Asymmetric Demography and Global Financial Governance.

The country studies are to focus on: the linkages between demographic trends, the current account, and international financial flows; the ability of the domestic financial system to respond to the requirements regarding the allocation of investment, savings and risks associated with different stages of the demographic transition; and the design of initiatives for developing countries to take advantage of the demographic dividend and demographic-driven capital flows.

Eligible developing countries for these case studies must be systemically important (i.e. members of the G-20) and the country teams’ research institution must be based in a developing country. Priority will be given, nonetheless, to proposals concerning four countries: Brazil, China, India, and South Africa.

Context and motivation

The main hypotheses motivating the project are the following:

  • The demographic asymmetries created by the varying cross-country pace of demographic transition give rise to global growth complementarities and mutual advantages for trading financial assets.
  • For developing countries, the main challenge posed by the demographic transition is straightforward: to become rich before getting old. To meet this challenge, it is imperative to take full advantage of the growth potential of the demographic bonus and of international capital flows motivated by demographic asymmetries.
  • The opportunities are not sufficiently exploited because three obstacles restrain the expansion of demographic-driven financial flows: first, perverse policy incentives originating in the flaws in the global financial architecture and aggravated by the effects of the financial crises in the developed world; second, the lack of financial deepening and institutional weaknesses that restrain financial development in the developing world; and third, the lack of policy space because the national policies to deal with the demographic transition must compete for resources and instruments with policies pursuing other national goals.
  • Systemically relevant developing countries should promote coordinated initiatives in the international arena that can simultaneously address the global and national distortions that make it difficult to take advantage of demographic asymmetries. This means:
    • For the international financial architecture: first, to seek initiatives that eliminate the incentives for the countries to adopt non-cooperative, defensive strategies –such as reserve accumulation, currency wars, and financial protectionism; second, design growth-friendly, volatility-reducing reforms to improve the global governance of demographic-driven financial flows.
    • For developing countries’ policies and institutions: first, identify and remove the distortions that restrain the development of the financial instruments, agents, and regulations that the demographic transition demands as each of its stages unfolds; second, create sufficient policy space to implement the necessary measures and reforms to be able to take advantage of the demographic bonus and prepare society for the later stages of the transition.    

The country studies will analyze the developing country aspects of these problems.

Expression of Interest and Proposals

Research teams are invited to submit Expressions of Interest (EoI) by June 30th, 2012. The Expressions of Interest (up to eight pages) must be written in English and detail the following items: 

  1. Overview of the team’s proposed study (up to six pages)

This part must present the strategies (analytical approach and methodologies) to conduct policy-oriented research concerning the following:

  • The linkages between the country’s demographic trends and the present, as well as the expected evolution of savings, investment, the current account, and financial flows.  
  • The factors related to financial underdevelopment and flaws in domestic financial architecture that are deemed the most relevant obstacles to demographic-driven transactions and to the effective materialization of the (first and second) demographic dividends.
  • The characteristics of the national policy space so as to: (a) identify the incentives to adopt non-cooperative strategies given the characteristics of the current global financial architecture and the national policy goals that are relevant to the needs and opportunities associated with the demographic transition; (b) characterize the distortions and institutional constraints that restrain financial development and impede a correct response to the problems of allocation of savings, investment, and risk associated with the demographic bonus.
  • The analysis of policy implications and the identification of initiatives to eliminate domestic financial constraints and design initiatives for discussion at international fora to take advantage of global demographic asymmetries.
  1. Research-to-policy and dissemination strategies

The Expressions of Interest must specify the linkages between the issues to be analyzed and the national debate on such issues, and the potential of the expected research results to inform and enrich this debate. The research teams are expected to produce a strategy to disseminate and discuss the research results at the country level so as to contribute to enhancing the country’s ability to propose initiatives at international fora, such as the G-20. The results will also be disseminated at international seminars organized by this project.  The final product will be a book encompassing all of the case studies and the rest of the papers highlighting cross-cutting policy lessons and issues that are applicable beyond the case-study countries.

  1. CVs of all team members

 Application procedure and project timeline

Send the Expressions of Interest and CVs in PDF format to
Selection process: Expressions of Interest and team’s experience. May 1, 2012-June 30, 2012

The Expressions of Interest will be evaluated by the coordination of the project considering their compliance with the project’s goals, academic rigor, research team’s experience, and policy relevance.  The coordination will select the Expressions of Interest with the most potential for the project. Selections will be announced on July 15, 2012, when the most promising EoI will be invited to present a full proposal for the country studies for 12 to 15 months of work.

Tentative schedule: The studies are to begin immediately following the completion of the proposal and the final versions of the country case studies are to be submitted by July 2013. The final schedule detailing intermediate deadlines, peer review processes, and payments will be specified upon signing the contract.


Each of the four selected proposals will be awarded USD 45,000 to finance wages, research expenses, and the dissemination at the national level.