The CEQ Institute Entered Into A Fiscal Analysis Partnership With The Millennium Challenge Corporation

We are pleased to announce that the Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Institute entered into a Fiscal Analysis Partnership with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on September 30, 2020. The MCC, an independent U.S. Government foreign aid agency, is guided by its founding principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom and investments in people.

The two-and-a-half year $449,956.39 award will:

  • Integrate CEQ-developed fiscal incidence analysis methods and tools with the MCC’s growth diagnostic toolkit. This will enable distributional analyses of the welfare impacts of MCC Compact-designed program investments early in the MCC Compact design and negotiation processes.
  • Develop practical applications for incidence, distributional analysis, and for quantifying the current impact on inequality and poverty of public investments in infrastructure, including infrastructure investments carried out by subnational government levels such as municipalities, districts, or provinces.
  • Develop fiscal incidence analysis and toolkits for use by MCC and partner country governments and transfer capacity for the application and utilization of these tools in real world settings, via training sessions, workshops, and other dissemination.

CEQ Institute Data Center Receives NSF Grant

Tulane University has been awarded a two-year grant by the National Science Foundation in the amount of $241,814 to support the CEQ Institute Data Center on Fiscal Policy, Poverty, and Inequality.

With Nora Lustig as the Principal Investigator and Sean Higgins as a co-PI, the project will develop a state of the art visualization tool as well as software modules to make the CEQ Institute data easily accessible and useful to researchers, policy makers, and the public. It will also develop on-line training videos to help users of the CEQ data.

Please click here to read the description of the grant.

Gates Foundation awards $4.9 million to the CEQ Institute at Tulane University

The CEQ Institute at Tulane University has been awarded a $4.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study ways to reduce inequality and poverty through taxes and social spending in developing countries.

Directed by Nora Lustig, the Institute was established in May 2015 to analyze the impact of taxation and social spending on inequality and poverty in developing countries as well as to provide a roadmap for governments and nongovernmental organizations to build more equitable societies.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the Commitment to Equity Institute $4.9 million dollars to support the Institute’s activities for the next five years. The purpose of the grant is to increase the equity and poverty reduction impact of fiscal policies in developing countries, in particular Africa.

Professor Lustig in conjunction with Professor Feoli—the Director of Tulane’s Center for Inter-American Policy and Research, and of the Policy Area of the CEQ Institute—and other collaborators at Tulane and around the world, will use the grant to achieve the Institute’s four goals:

• To further develop the policy tools and database necessary for evaluating the consistency and effectiveness of tax collection and government spending with global equity goals.
• To establish an information system designed for monitoring the progress of taxation and government spending in achieving global equity goals.
• To mainstream the use of CEQ Assessments worldwide through partnerships, training programs and policy forums with members of the policy community.
• To disseminate CEQ findings through an active communication and advocacy program undertaken in conjunction with key partners in the research, philanthropic and social activist communities.

Gates Foundation awards US$580,000 to Nora Lustig to apply the CEQ in Ghana and Tanzania

Nora Lustig –Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Economics, senior associate research fellow at CIPR and nonresident fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue– has been awarded a US$580,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty in low-income countries.

Lustig is co-founder and director of the Commitment to Equity (CEQ)–a project jointly sponsored by CIPR and the Department of Economics at Tulane University and the Inter-American Dialogue–designed to analyze the impact of taxes and social spending on inequality and poverty, and to provide a roadmap for governments, multilateral institutions, and nongovernmental organizations in their efforts to build more equitable societies ( To date, the project has analyzed and compared the incidence of taxation and social spending in twelve Latin American countries, and studies are currently under way in three additional Latin American countries and six countries in other regions of the world.

The grant will enable Lustig and her team to implement the analysis in two pilot countries in Africa, Ghana and Tanzania, as well as to adapt the CEQ methodology to encompass the idiosyncrasies of low-income countries. She will work alongside co-principal investigators James Alm, Chair of the Economics Department, and Sean Higgins, Economics PhD student.

By undertaking a thorough and transparent analysis of who bears the burden of taxation and who receives the benefits of public spending, the project ultimately hopes to foster evidence-based policy discussion and, ideally, implementation of reforms related to taxation, public spending, and social programs in the two countries.