The economic impacts of Donald Trump’s trade dispute with China have so far been limited, but the countries of Latin America are nonetheless paying an early price. For a region where many economies are already constrained by weakened fiscal positions, the additional uncertainty caused by rising protectionism is especially unwelcome.
Over the past 50 years, Pakistan’s record on macroeconomic management has been mixed. The next crisis is now approaching. Most economists agree that the post-election government will have no alternative but to approach the IMF yet again for another bailout with associated policy conditionality. Against this background, this note examines three questions that economists both within and outside Pakistan are asking.
The Rise of the Robot Reserve Army: Automation and the Future of Economic Development, Work, and Wages in Developing Countries - Working Paper 487
Emerging economies face a contemporary challenge to traditional pathways to employment generation: automation, digitalization, and labor-saving technologies. 1.8 billion jobs—or two-thirds of the current labor force of developing countries—are estimated to be susceptible to automation from today’s technological standpoint.
Even with international assistance, the cost of providing refuge to so many people has strained the budget of the Jordanian government. At the same time, international partners, notably the IMF, have been insisting that Jordan take actions to bring down government debt to “more sustainable levels” through increasing fiscal discipline to tame government deficits. These dual imperatives by the international community—host more refugees and tame the budget—seem to put Jordan in an untenable situation as long as the refugee crisis continues. Something will have to give—the question is how, what, and when?
Women own more than half of all micro, small, and medium enterprises in Indonesia. But of the estimated 22–33 million businesswomen in the country, most operate informal unregistered microenterprises, with significantly fewer assets and profits than men’s.
Domestic Resource Mobilization in Low-Income Countries: Proposal for a Surge in Multilateral Support
Rising debt vulnerability in low-income countries (LICs) is emerging as a front-burner issue. Analysts at the IMF and elsewhere are tracking increases in public debt ratios that had fallen after the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. Forty percent of LICs are either in, or at high risk of, debt distress. Many factors have contributed to rising debt-to-GDP ratios: falling commodity prices, deteriorating fiscal balances, conflict, and corruption, among others. The larger fiscal deficits are fully or partially accounted for by increased public investment in about half of LICs. Which brings us to the challenge of financing the SDGs.
To help demonstrate where MNCs, regional and local businesses, and other actors are best positioned to expand economic opportunities for refugees, we created an interactive tool to map the locations of refugees, and analyzed the extent to which refugees overlap with major urban areas in 31 of the 37 developing countries hosting at least 25,000 refugees.
Creating a Multilateral Wealth Fund for a Global Public Good: Proposed Governance Arrangements for a Tropical Forest Finance Facility
This paper outlines the proposed governance arrangements for the TFFF. The performance payments would be allocated as part of a global offer, available to all countries with extensive tropical forests that meet the performance standards.
Creating a Multilateral Wealth Fund for a Global Public Good: Proposed Financing Strategy for a Tropical Forest Finance Facility
This paper outlines the proposed financing strategy for the pay-for-performance financing facility. The performance payments would be distributed as part of a global offer, available to all countries with extensive tropical forests.
A proposal for a pay-for-performance mechanism to finance sustainable development goals and global public goods that maximizes the efficient use of public credit and builds on major technology breakthroughs for measuring results.
Creating a Multilateral Wealth Fund for a Global Public Good: A Proposal for a Tropical Forest Finance Facility
The Tropical Forest Finance Facility is an attempt to generate significant new finance to fund pay-for-performance incentives for tropical forest conservation. The TFFF proposal includes two key innovations: 1) the way it will raise funds, by converting low-cost sovereign credit from mission-driven investor countries and companies into cash that can be used to drive change in developing countries, through an instrument similar to a sovereign wealth fund; and 2) the way it will distribute funds, using the Cash-On-Delivery aid approach that supports country ownership and only pays for results as they are achieved and verified.
Creating a Multilateral Wealth Fund for a Global Public Good: Proposed Approach to Assessing Performance and Awarding Returns for a Tropical Forest Finance Facility
This paper explains proposed options for assessing performance and allocating returns to the TFFF to achieve these objectives.
As an African woman leader who grew up on African soil, Joyce Banda has seen firsthand how young rural girls face obstacles that shape the rest of their lives. From Day One makes the case of how, if African girls are to realize their potential and become the leaders that their continent so badly needs, gender interventions should and can start from day one.
Three Decades of Poverty Mobility in Nigeria: The Trapped, the Freed, and the Never Trapped - Working Paper 485
Individuals do escape poverty during periods of overall rise in the poverty rate; they also transit into poverty during periods of overall decline in the poverty rate. In this paper, I explore six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria (1980–2010) in an attempt to address these concerns. In addition, I test whether different processes are at work in determining chronic and transient poverty.
Policymakers and voters reasonably want to know what the effects of immigration are, to help them decide how much immigration there should be. But the effects of immigration are highly contingent on where, when, how, and who. We must ask a more fruitful question: how can different policy choices generate positive economic effects from immigration and avoid negative ones? Immigration is not inherently “good” or “bad.” Its effects depend on the context and the policy choices that shape it.
Disrupting the traditional humanitarian business model holds risks that must be managed carefully. If this disruption proceeds in an ad hoc manner, it could harm humanitarian effectiveness. Donors should reexamine their funding practices and work closely with aid groups to ensure these changes deliver constructive outcomes for populations in need.
Speeding Sustainable Development: Integrating Economic, Social, and Environmental Development - Working Paper 484
This paper discusses the role for policy integration to speed progress towards delivering the SDGs. This paper suggests a mechanism for prioritizing coordination and the use of coordination tools including regulation, safeguards, taxes, and subsidies. It also suggests re-orienting ministerial responsibilities where possible from input control to achievement of outcomes as well as tools to promote innovation by subnational governments and the private sector.
This brief essay explores a key but often overlooked hurdle to using blockchain solutions, which is the complexity that decentralized solutions necessarily introduce. At times, the benefits of such solutions appear to exceed the added cost of complexity but often they do not. With this tradeoff in mind, the paper considers two use cases, digital ID and health supply chain management.