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  • Publication
    Distributional Impacts of Brazil’s Tax Reform: scenarios regarding Cesta Básica exemption
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-10-31) Vale, Ricardo; Lara Ibarra, Gabriel; Fleury, Eduardo; Trzcinski, Kajetan
    A consumption tax reform in Brazil has been recently approved by the House of Representatives, providing a full tax exemption for the yet undefined ‘National Basic Basket’ of goods (cesta basica nacional), alongside a cashback scheme that is yet to be determined. This note simulates the distributional impacts of different fiscally neutral scenarios of reduced rates and exemptions. The authors show that the exemption of taxes for food and personal care goods (such as those suggested by Law 10,925) would benefit the most vulnerable. Nonetheless, overall expenditures on certain items that are being considered for inclusion in the cesta are relatively concentrated on households in the top decile of the income distribution. Thus, a blanket exemption on Cesta Basica items may benefit the richest more in absolute terms. If the list of items in the exempted Cesta Basica is shortened and the equivalent resources of the potential forgone revenues are returned into a targeted cashback scheme, a far less regressive indirect tax system could be achieved.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2022: Helping Countries Adapt to a Changing World
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022) World Bank
    The Annual Report is prepared by the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)--collectively known as the World Bank--in accordance with the by-laws of the two institutions. The President of the IBRD and IDA and the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors submit the Report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.
  • Publication
    Recovering Growth: Rebuilding Dynamic Post‐COVID-19 Economies amid Fiscal Constraints
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-10-06) World Bank
    After its worst economic crisis in 100 years, Latin America and the Caribbean countries are emerging from the COVID‐19 pandemic. The need to recover dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable growth to redress both the legacy of the pandemic and long‐standing social needs has never been more acute. However, despite progress in some areas, the region is facing a weaker recovery than expected given the favorable international tailwinds and is likely return to the low growth rates of the 2010s. Moreover, growth could be further slowed by both internal and external factors: the emergence of a new variant of the virus, a rise in international interest rates to combat global inflation, and high levels of debt in both the private and public sector. Beyond offering the current macroeconomic outlook of the region and the near‐term challenges it faces, this report explores three broad areas where growth‐advancing policies and reforms could be undertaken within a constrained fiscal context: mobilizing sources of revenue that appear to be growth-neutral; improving public spending efficiency to free up resources for other purposes; and reallocating spending to areas with highest growth and social impact.
  • Publication
    Mozambique - Country Economic Memorandum: Reigniting Growth for All
    (Washington, DC, 2021-10) World Bank
    Mozambique has experienced rapid growth for over two decades. Growth accelerated remarkably following the end of the civil war, averaging 7.9 percent over 1993-2015, among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, growth decelerated sharply following the hidden debt crisis in 2016, which led to a crisis of economic governance and a protracted economic slowdown, with growth falling to 3 percent in 2016-2019. The growth slowdown has been further exacerbated by the natural disasters in 2019, the insurgency in Northern Mozambique, escalating since 2017, and the global pandemic since 2020. Mozambique’s existing growth strategy has been limited in its capacity to generate productive jobs and support accelerated poverty reduction. However, the discovery of some of the largest natural gas (LNG) reserves in the world is expected to provide Mozambique with a transformative opportunity for sustained and inclusive growth. The Mozambique Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) assesses Mozambique’s current growth model and presents a set of recommendations to: (i) make the best use of the non-renewable natural resource revenues, which includes putting in place an adequate policy and institutional framework well ahead of the revenue windfalls from the LNG sector; and (ii) promote growth in non-extractive sectors, accompanied by spatial transformation, and improved agricultural productivity. The report consists of five chapters. Chapter one provides an overview of Mozambique’s current growth model, asking what’s driving growth and outlining why this model needs rethinking. Chapter two provides analysis of the potential impact of Mozambique’s resource boom on GDP, exports, revenue, and employment, and discusses how to make good use of the opportunities and manage the associated risks. Chapter three tells Mozambique’s growth story from a spatial perspective. It constructs a unique district-by-district sectoral GDP database to identify the main growth nodes in Mozambique and understand why there is a weak link between growth and poverty reduction. The services sector is the subject of chapter four, exploring how to overcome bottlenecks to deliver on its potential to drive growth in Mozambique. Chapter five continues this theme, examining the challenges posed to private sector growth by weak governance and rising corruption. All five chapters make policy recommendations for the way forward.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2021: From Crisis to Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Recovery
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-10-01) World Bank
    The Annual Report is prepared by the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)--collectively known as the World Bank--in accordance with the by-laws of the two institutions. The President of the IBRD and IDA and the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors submits the Report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.
  • Publication
    Renewing with Growth
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-03-29) World Bank
    Latin America and the Caribbean suffered the largest death toll from Covid‐19 across developing regions and the sharpest decline in economic activity. With fewer school days and lower employment rates, with higher public debt and more firms under stress, the effects could be long‐lasting. The crisis also triggered large‐scale economic restructuring, with productivity higher in the expanding than in the contracting sectors. Accelerated digitization could instill dynamism in finance, trade and labor markets, but it may amplify inequality within and across the countries in the region. Technology could transform the energy sector as well. Latin America and the Caribbean has the cleanest and potentially cheapest electricity generation matrix of all developing regions. But its electricity is the most expensive, due mainly to inefficiencies. Distributed generation within countries and electricity trade across countries, could make energy greener and cheaper, provided that the pricing is right.
  • Publication
    World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-03-24) World Bank
    Today’s unprecedented growth of data and their ubiquity in our lives are signs that the data revolution is transforming the world. And yet much of the value of data remains untapped. Data collected for one purpose have the potential to generate economic and social value in applications far beyond those originally anticipated. But many barriers stand in the way, ranging from misaligned incentives and incompatible data systems to a fundamental lack of trust. World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives explores the tremendous potential of the changing data landscape to improve the lives of poor people, while also acknowledging its potential to open back doors that can harm individuals, businesses, and societies. To address this tension between the helpful and harmful potential of data, this Report calls for a new social contract that enables the use and reuse of data to create economic and social value, ensures equitable access to that value, and fosters trust that data will not be misused in harmful ways. This Report begins by assessing how better use and reuse of data can enhance the design of public policies, programs, and service delivery, as well as improve market efficiency and job creation through private sector growth. Because better data governance is key to realizing this value, the Report then looks at how infrastructure policy, data regulation, economic policies, and institutional capabilities enable the sharing of data for their economic and social benefits, while safeguarding against harmful outcomes. The Report concludes by pulling together the pieces and offering an aspirational vision of an integrated national data system that would deliver on the promise of producing high-quality data and making them accessible in a way that promotes their safe use and reuse. By examining these opportunities and challenges, the Report shows how data can benefit the lives of all people, but particularly poor people in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Publication
    Loud and Clear: Effective Language of Instruction Policies for Learning
    (Washington, DC, 2021) World Bank
    Part 1 addresses why we should care about LoI (Language of Instruction) issues and the major challenges involved. Its four sections are entitled: (i) why should we care (ii) how big is the problem (iii) the role of political economy; and (iv) diverse LoI contexts. Part 2 presents existing solutions (in section 5) and proposes a detailed way forward for the WB Education Global Practice (section 6). It should be noted that the paper does not claim to possess or propose a complete set of technical solutions for the myriad of difficult policy issues involved. By enhancing engagement and devoting adequate resources to the problem, existing solutions will be deployed, and new solutions devised. Increased partnership and knowledge sharing will be part of this, as will be the testing of innovative approaches. The new approach will involve learning at the individual and institutional level, with an intensity of engagement commensurate with the urgency of the issue.
  • Publication
    The Cost of Staying Healthy
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-10-09) World Bank
    Latin America and the Caribbean was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which arrived on the back of years of disappointing economic growth and limited social progress, and after a wave of social unrest. This report reviews the impacts of the crisis as well as the policy responses by countries, which often involved sizeable social transfers. It also presents growth forecasts, and quarterly growth estimates based on satellite imagery. With countries experiencing a diverse mix of health costs and economic costs, the report analyzes how the effectiveness of containment policies, and their impact on economic activity, differ between richer and poorer countries. It also assesses the cost of staying healthy in normal times, showing how it is affected by the structure of the domestic pharmaceutical sector and by the effectiveness of public procurement of medicines. As the region may have to live with the virus for a while, four policy directions are proposed for discussion.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2020: Supporting Countries in Unprecedented Times
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10-01) World Bank
    The Annual Report is prepared by the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)--collectively known as the World Bank--in accordance with the by-laws of the two institutions. The President of the IBRD and IDA and the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors submits the Report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.