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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-11-17) Pollitt, Hector ; Islamaj, Ergys ; Kitchlu, Rahul ; Le, Duong Trung ; Mattoo, Aaditya ; Mattoo, AadityaSeveral countries in East Asia have increased fossil fuel subsidies to keep consumer prices lower than currently high international prices. These subsidies are discouraging the shift in consumption away from fossil fuels, while high prices are encouraging investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure. Providing income transfers instead of price subsidies would encourage consumption of cleaner alternatives, while softening the welfare loss. And subsidizing investment in renewables would avert the risk of being locked in to fossil fuels. The total cost need not be higher than that of fossil fuel subsidies.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-01-07) Islamaj, Ergys ; Kim, Young Eun ; Le, Duong TrungSince early 2020, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has spread to most countries and territories around the world. For many countries, the second wave of infections is turning out to be more serious than the first. Notwithstanding the global spread of the virus, public policy responses have varied across countries and regions. This brief analyzes the spread of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of policy efforts to contain the disease across a large number of countries. The findings suggest that public health measures - especially testing - and economic support policies are associated with effective containment of the disease, and thus are supporting fundamental prerequisites for a resumption of normalcy. This brief examines the evolution of COVID-19 and public policy responses across country groups around the world; presents an econometric analysis of the relationship between the spread of infections and the policy responses; and concludes with main policy implications.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10-27) Devadas, Sharmila ; Kim, Young EunNarrowing the gender gap is critical to sustainable and inclusive growth. This brief discusses how moving toward gender equality can improve female labor force participation, human capital, and total factor productivity, leading to higher economic growth. The analysis simulates the cross-country impact of increasing female labor force participation and education on GDP growth for the next three decades. In practice, achieving substantial gains in gender equality across generations will require sustained efforts to reset gender norms, starting with the young, and to increase women's economic participation and voice in society in areas of influence.