For more than three decades, Honduras’s average annual growth in real per capita GDP has been almost zero and highly uneven, even though its total investment-to-GDP ratio has been relatively large. This paper argues that policy and efficiency variables seem to have had less of an influence on growth in Honduras than they had on other countries. Instead, lack of growth can be attributed to the offsetting negative influence of low labor and capital productivity, which result from deficient levels of human capital and inadequate composition of investment. Other constraints to growth in Honduras include inadequate physical and institutional infrastructures.
This Selected Issues paper reviews the extent to which growth in Ethiopia has translated into higher living standards. A key feature of the economic strategy has been an explicit commitment to poverty reduction and structural transformation. This is underpinned by the vision of a “developmental state,” whereby a proactive public sector leads the development process and the private sector is oriented to support the development goals. The paper also identifies key bottlenecks hindering further broadening of growth across key sectors to reduce poverty, and highlights the main areas for policy action.
This paper describes the nature and evolution of poverty in Nigeria between 1985 and 1992. It highlights the potential wealth of the Nigerian economy and examines how the economic policies pursued in the 1980s and 1990s impacted economic growth and welfare. The headcount measure of poverty in Nigeria declined from 43 percent to 34 percent between 1985 and 1992. Decomposing the factors causing the reduction in poverty shows that the overall decline of 9 percentage point was the net result of a 14 percentage point decline owing to the growth factor and a 5 percentage point increase owing to the income distribution factor. The paper proposes that promoting broad-based growth and targeted interventions in health, education, and infrastructure need to be central strategies in the fight against poverty in Nigeria.
Mr. Olumuyiwa S Adedeji, Huancheng Du, and Mr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari
The inclusiveness of growth depends on the extent of access to economic and social opportunities. This paper applies the concept of social opportunity function to ascertain the inclusiveness of growth episodes in selected African countries. Premised on the concept of social welfare function, inclusive growth is associated with increased average opportunities available to the population and improvement in their distribution. The paper establishes that the high growth episodes in the last decade in the selected countries came with increased average opportunities in education and health; but distribution of such opportunities varied across countries, depending on the country-specific policies underpining the growth episodes.
This paper examines the impact of highway expansion on aggregate productivity growth and
sectoral reallocation between cities in China. To do so, I construct a unique dataset of
bilateral transportation costs between Chinese cities, digitized highway network maps, and
firm-level census. I first derive and estimate a market access measure that summarizes all
direct and indirect impact of trade costs on city productivity. I then construct an instrumental
variable to examine the causal impact of highways on economic outcomes and the underlying
channels. The results suggest that highways promoted aggregate productivity growth by
facilitating firm entry, exit and reallocation. I also find evidence that the national highway
system led to a sectoral reallocation between cities in China.
Going forward, Korea faces two closely related challenges: sustaining economic growth against the backdrop of a rapidly aging population and ameliorating income inequality. This paper argues that a gradual increase in social spending could promote more sustainable and inclusive growth in Korea. In particular, simulation results suggest that social spending which supports labor market reforms can boost longer-term growth. However, despite rapid increases recently—albeit from a low base—there is still a social spending gap relative to Korea’s OECD peers. Because of several fiscal challenges in the coming decades, increases in social spending should be incremental, and would be usefully guided by a longer-term fiscal framework.
Mr. Ralph Chami, Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Anjali Garg, and Connel Fullenkamp
Using data on the distribution of migrants from Africa, GDP growth forecasts for host countries, and after estimating remittance multipliers in recipient countries, this paper estimates the impact of the global economic crisis on African GDP via the remittance channel during 2009-2010. It forecasts remittance declines into African countries of between 3 and 14 percentage points, with migrants to Europe hardest hit while migrants within Africa relatively unaffected by the crisis. The estimated impact on GDP for relatively remittance-dependent countries is 2 percent for 2009, but will likely be short-lived, as host country income is projected to rise in 2010.
This paper seeks to document key characteristics of small island states in the Pacific. It restricts itself to a limited number of indicators which are macro-orientated - population, fertility of land, ability to tap into economies of scale, income, and geographic isolation. It leaves aside equally important but more micro-orientated variables and development indicators. We show that small island states in the Pacific are different from countries in other regional groupings in that they are extremely isolated and have limited scope to tap economies of scale due to small populations. They often have little arable land. There is empirical evidence to suggest that these factors are related to income growth.
Ruchir Agarwal, Ms. Gita Gopinath, Jeremy Farrar, Richard Hatchett, and Peter Sands
The pandemic is not over, and the health and economic losses continue to grow. It is now evident that COVID-19 will be with us for the long term, and there are very different scenarios for how it could evolve, from a mild endemic scenario to a dangerous variant scenario. This realization calls for a new strategy that manages both the uncertainty and the long-term risks of COVID-19. There are four key policy implications of such as strategy. First, we need to achieve equitable access beyond vaccines to encompass a comprehensive toolkit. Second, we must monitor the evolving virus and dynamically upgrade the toolkit. Third, we must transition from the acute response to a sustainable strategy toward COVID-19, balanced and integrated with other health and social priorities. Fourth, we need a unified risk-mitigation approach to future infectious disease threats beyond COVID-19. Infectious diseases with pandemic potential are a threat to global economic and health security. The international community should recognize that its pandemic financing addresses a systemic risk to the global economy, not just the development need of a particular country. Accordingly, it should allocate additional funding to fight pandemics and strengthen health systems both domestically and overseas. This will require about $15 billion in grants this year and $10 billion annually after that.