Productivity growth is the primary source of lasting income growth, which in turn is the main driver of poverty reduction. Whereas the one-quarter of emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) with the fastest productivity growth have reduced their extreme poverty rates by an average of more than 1 percentage point per year since 1981, poverty rates rose in EMDEs with productivity growth in the lowest quartile. The broad-based slowdown in labor productivity growth over the past decade has raised concerns about progress in achieving development goals.
Following an intense research and writing process over the last 10 months, I am pleased to announce that a draft of the World Development Report (WDR) 2020 – Trading for Developing in the Age of Global Value Chains is now available online for public comment.
Why Global Value Chains (GVCs) and why now?
The World Bank’s last report on trade was more than thirty years ago – WDR 1987 Industrialization and Foreign Trade. In the meantime:
Unsustainable debt. Debt distress. Debt trap. These dire terms are once again back in the headlines, just a decade after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.
In the past five years alone, public debt in the poorest countries has increased from 36 percent of GDP to 51 percent of GDP. In addition, debt-service ratios in some countries are rising at an alarming pace, threatening countries’ ability to invest in much-needed infrastructure, education, health and many other needs crucial for lifting their citizens out of poverty and achieving the international community’s Sustainable Development Goals by their 2030 deadline.
“Mother, you shall not fear as long as your sons live in Germany” goes a popular folk song in Kosovo. Its equivalent in Bosnia and Herzegovina says “I am from Bosnia, take me to America” and in Albania the most famous morning show goes by the motto “Love your country, like Albania loves America”. In these countries, migration and remittances are synonyms of economic prosperity in the homeland. More than 40 percent of the population of these countries lives and works abroad for decades, and regularly sends money to their families back home. Remittance inflows in 2018 are estimated to range from $1.3 to $2.3 billion in these countries, exceeding foreign direct investment and accounting for 10 to 16 percent of the GDP.
When you think of a city, what comes to your mind? Skyscrapers? Subways? Crowds of people jostling each other as they head to work? And what comes to mind when you think of an Eastern Caribbean island? Sun, sand, beaches paradise? Yet, Eastern Caribbean countries also have cities of thousands of people. In 2017, 35% of the Eastern Caribbean* population was urban: 221,000 out of 628,000 people lived in cities.
Submitted by Haishan Fu On Thu, 06/14/2018
I’ve been thinking about the role of data and digital technology in today’s information landscape. New platforms and technologies have democratized access to much of the world’s knowledge, but they’ve also amplified disinformation that affects public discourse. In this context, the official statistics community plays a critical role in bringing credible, evidence-based information to the public.
Safety nets protect vulnerable households from impacts of economic shocks, natural disasters, and other crises
- An estimated 36 percent of the very poor escaped extreme poverty because of social safety nets, providing clear evidence that social safety net programs are making a substantial impact in the global fight against poverty.
- In developing and transition countries, 2.5 billion people are covered by safety net programs. Of these, 650 million people are from the poorest quintile.
- Yet, in low-income countries, only 1 in 5 of the poorest are covered by safety net programs.
- Global wealth grew significantly over the past two decades with middle-income countries catching up to high-income countries.
- New World Bank report includes estimates of human capital for the first time. Human capital is the largest component of global wealth, pointing to the need to invest in people.
- Natural capital makes up nearly half of the wealth in low income countries. More efficient, long-term management of natural resources is key to sustainable development.
WASHINGTON, July 26, 2016 – The World Bank (WB) Board of Executive Directors approved a US$100 million loan yesterday that will contribute to reducing transportation costs and improving road safety, as well as the planning and management capacity of Paraguay’s road network. The project will benefit approximately 400,000 Paraguayans that use Routes 1 and 3, which link important development hubs in the country.