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Mr. Thomas Helbling and Ms. Sena Eken

Abstract

Following the 15-year civil war that started in 1975, Lebanon's government began the difficult task of economic stabilization and confidence building, on the one hand, and postwar reconstruction and development, on the other. The government led the reconstruction effort by formulating programs that aimed to rapidly rehabilitate the country's severly damaged infrastructure in preparation for private-sector-led growth over the medium term. At the same time, Lebanon introduced an exchange-rate-based nominal anchor policy to stabilize expectations and cut inflation. This paper analyzes the government's progress with the policies adopted.

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.