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    Opportunities for All: Brazil Policy Notes 2022
    (Washington, DC, 2022-12) World Bank
    This package of Public Policy Notes is directed to Brazilian policy makers and society to present the World Bank Group’s overview of key challenges facing the country at this juncture, and possible ways forward to address them. We present an agenda prioritized around four issues of core relevance to Brazil’s recovery and its future resilience. First is the goal of financing development sustainably given the immediate challenge of situating the country’s enormous growth, inclusion and climate action needs within a credible macroeconomic framework and efficient and effective fiscal policies. The second theme addressed in this note is building opportunities through productivity-led growth. With the growing reliance of Brazilians on social assistance policies, it is critical to keep sight of growth and jobs as the most important vehicles for the dignity and upward mobility of the poor. Third is increasing the capabilities and economic inclusion of the poor so that they are better able to capture the opportunities that come with growth. Thefourth theme we address in this note is meeting Brazil’s potential as a as a leader in green and climate friendly development. This document is accompanied by a package of six policy presentations and an underlying set of more detailed policy reports that can be accesses here: https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/brazil.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    The Fast Track to New Skills: Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-09-29) Ferreyra, María Marta ; Dinarte, Lelys ; Urzúa, Sergio ; Bassi, Marina
    Higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has expanded dramatically in the new millennium, yet enrollment in short-cycle programs (SCPs) is still relatively low. Shorter and more practical than bachelor’s programs, SCPs can form skilled human capital fast. The economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated underlying trends, such as automation, the use of electronic platforms, and the need for lifelong learning. Addressing these demands requires the urgent upskilling and reskilling of the population—a task for which SCPs are uniquely suited. The Fast Track to New Skills: Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean explores the labor market outcomes and returns of SCPs, examines their providers, and identifies the practices adopted by the best programs. Relying on unique data that includes a novel survey of SCP directors in five LAC countries, it finds that while SCPs generate, on average, good labor market outcomes, they vary greatly in quality. SCP providers respond quickly and flexibly to local economy needs; and specific practices related to faculty, job search assistance, and interaction with prospective employers are distinctive of the best programs. Drawing on these findings, The Fast Track to New Skills discusses how to create an environment where good programs are offered and students have the interest and means to attend them. It draws attention to a higher education sector that has been typically overlooked, both in research and policy. The Fast Track to New Skills will be of interest to policy makers, researchers, and the public at large.
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    Nature-Related Financial Risks in Brazil
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-08) Calice, Pietro ; Diaz Kalan, Federico ; Miguel, Faruk
    Biodiversity loss and associated economic costs are increasingly recognized as a source of financial risks. This paper explores how and to what extent Brazilian banks are exposed to the loss of biodiversity through their lending to non-financial corporates. The results suggest that such exposures are material. Forty-six percent of Brazilian banks’ non-financial corporate loan portfolio is concentrated in sectors highly or very highly dependent on one or more ecosystem services. Output losses associated with the collapse in ecosystem services could translate into a cumulative long-term increase in corporate nonperforming loans of 9 percentage points. Moreover, 15 percent of Brazilian banks’ corporate loan portfolio is to firms potentially operating in protected areas, which could increase to 25 percent should conservation gaps close, and 38 percent should all priority areas become protected. Finally, 7 percent of corporate loans are to firms for which environmental controversies have been recorded. While preliminary, the results have important policy implications for both Brazilian banks and Banco Central do Brasil.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    The Economy in the Time of Covid-19
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-04-12) World Bank
    After a period of rapid economic growth associated with high commodity prices, the region had entered a phase of lackluster performance. Recent developments, including a new oil price shock, and the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic will push the region into recession. Many countries are struggling to contain the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic while avoiding a dramatic decline in economic activity. The report analyzes how to think about this tradeoff. It estimates the potential health costs, assesses the effectiveness of diverse containment strategies, and discusses how large the economic cost could be. The current crisis is unprecedented because it combines a fall in global demand, tighter financial conditions and a major supply shock. The response needs to consider how to socialize the losses, how to prevent a collapse of the financial sector, how to protect jobs and livelihoods, and how to manage and divest the assets that will inevitably end up in the hands of the state.