Covid-19 has exacerbated economic and social vulnerabilities across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). There is a risk that growth could be lower for longer, with a setback to development. Post-pandemic reforms thus become even more important, especially with constrained scope for fiscal and monetary stimuli. Reforms could boost per capita growth by an additional 0.3-1.3 percentage points, relative to the 1.9 percent average since 2010. Such growth would reduce per capita income doubling time from 37 years to about 22 years. Low-income countries stand to gain the most from reforms. The largest gains come from governance, products markets, and factor accumulation. Importantly, these reforms can be implemented in the post-pandemic environment characterized by weaker social and distributional outcomes.
Chiara Fratto, Brendan Harnoys Vannier, David de Padua, and Ms. Helene Poirson Ward
The COVID-19 crisis induced an unprecedented launch of unconventional monetary policy through asset purchase programs (APPs) by emerging market and developing economies. This paper presents a new dataset of APP announcements and implementation from March until August 2020 for 27 emerging markets and 8 small advanced economies. APPs’ effects on bond yields, exchange rates, equities, and debt spreads are estimated using different methodologies. The results confirm that APPs were successful in significantly reducing bond yields in EMDEs, and these effects were stronger than those of policy rate cuts, suggesting that such UMP could be important tools for EMDEs during financial market stress.