This Selected Issues paper aims to measure the impact of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic on economic growth in Sierra Leone. A novel empirical approach is used, which is based on a Difference in Differences setup, called the Synthetic Control Method. The model suggests that EVD had a severe impact on growth. In 2014, the first year EVD hit the country, the impact on real growth excluding iron ore is estimated to be more than 5 percentage points. It is suggested that in outer years, the severity of the impact will lessen, and growth will converge to its normal path by 2018.
Mr. Dhaneshwar Ghura, Mr. Anupam Basu, and Mr. Anthony E Calamitsis
This paper analyzes the factors affecting economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, using data for 1981–97. The results indicate that per capita real GDP growth is positively influenced by economic policies that raise the ratio of private investment to GDP, promote human capital development, lower the ratio of the budget deficit to GDP, safeguard external competitiveness, and stimulate export volume growth. The favorable evolution of these variables played an important role in the region’s apparent postreform recovery of 1995–97. The paper also discusses a policy framework to promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa