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Ms. Manal Fouad, Chishiro Matsumoto, Rui Monteiro, Isabel Rial, and Ozlem Aydin Sakrak
Investment in infrastructure can be a driving force of the economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of shrinking fiscal space. Public-private partnerships (PPP) bring a promise of efficiency when carefully designed and managed, to avoid creating unnecessary fiscal risks. But fiscal illusions prevent an understanding the sources of fiscal risks, which arise in all infrastructure projects, and that in PPPs present specific characteristics that need to be addressed. PPP contracts are also affected by implicit fiscal risks when they are poorly designed, particularly when a government signs a PPP contract for a project with no financial sustainability. This paper reviews the advantages and inconveniences of PPPs, discusses the fiscal illusions affecting them, identifies a diversity of fiscal risks, and presents the essentials of PPP fiscal risk management.
Mr. Ales Bulir, Daniel Baksa, Mr. Juan S Corrales, Andres Gonzalez, Diego Rodriguez, and Dyna Heng
This technical note and manual (TNM) addresses the following issues: • Evaluating the full implications from the policies adopted to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy requires a well-developed macroeconomic framework. This note illustrates how such frameworks were used to analyze Colombia and Cambodia's shock impact at the beginning of the pandemic. • The use of macroeconomic frameworks is not to infer general policy conclusions from abstract models or empirical analysis but to help policymakers think through and articulate coherent forecasts, scenarios, and policy responses. • The two country cases illustrate how to construct a baseline scenario consistent with a COVID-19 shock within structural macroeconomic models. The scenario is built gradually to incorporate the available information, the pandemic's full effects, and the policy responses. • The results demonstrate the value of combining close attention to the data, near-term forecasting, and model-based analyses to support coherent policies.
Tahsin Saadi Sedik and Rui Xu
In this paper we analyze the dynamics among past major pandemics, economic growth, inequality, and social unrest. We provide evidence that past major pandemics, even though much smaller in scale than COVID-19, have led to a significant increase in social unrest by reducing output and increasing inequality. We also find that higher social unrest, in turn, is associated with lower ourput and higher inequality, pointing to a vicious cycle. Our results suggest that without policy measures, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely increase inequality, trigger social unrest, and lower future output in the years to come.