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    From Known Unknowns to Black Swans: How to Manage Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018-10-05) Vegh, Carlos A. ; Vuletin, Guillermo ; Riera-Crichton, Daniel ; Medina, Juan Pablo ; Friedheim, Diego ; Morano, Luis ; Venturi, Lucila
    After a growth recovery, with an expansion of 1.1 percent in 2017, the region has encountered some bumps in the road. The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region is expected to grow at a modest rate of 0.6 percent in 2018 and 1.6 percent in 2019. This slowdown in the region’s recovery is mainly explained by the crisis that started in Argentina in April, the growth slowdown in Brazil, and the continuing economic, social, and humanitarian collapse in Venezuela. Furthermore, net capital inflows to the region have fallen dramatically since early 2018, bringing once again to the fore the risks faced by LAC. In addition, natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes have brought devastation to the region with disturbing frequency. The core of the report analyzes the foundations of risk, develops a theoretical framework to price risk instruments, and reviews how LAC has managed risk in practice. The overall message of the report is that there are different types of risk: (i) those that follow standard probabilistic distributions that can be easily insured by the market; and (ii) those that exhibit fat-tails (i.e., non-negligible probabilities of extreme events) that are much harder to ensure by the market (like earthquakes). Finally, there are “black swans” that, by definition, are unpredictable events that cannot be insured and force countries to rely exclusively on ex-post aid and/or broad preventive measures. In other words, the fatter are the tails of a distribution, the less market insurance is available, and the more countries will have to rely on ex-post aid. Yet progress in managing risk continues to be made (the Catastrophe Bond for earthquakes in the Pacific Alliance, recently sponsored by the World Bank, being an outstanding example). This would have been unthinkable some time ago. New knowledge and insurance schemes, all supported by institutions such as the World Bank, will undoubtedly make LAC a safer region to live and prosper.
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    Women, Business and the Law 2018
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018-03-29) World Bank Group
    How can governments ensure that women have the same employment and entrepreneurship opportunities as men? One important step is to level the legal playing field so that the rules for operating in the worlds of work and business apply equally regardless of gender. Women, Business and the Law 2018, the fifth edition in a series, examines laws affecting women’s economic inclusion in 189 economies worldwide. It tracks progress that has been made over the past two years while identifying opportunities for reform to ensure economic empowerment for all. The report updates all indicators as of June 1, 2017 and explores new areas of research, including financial inclusion.
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    Global Economic Prospects, January 2016: Spillovers Amid Weak Growth
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016-01-06) World Bank Group
    The January 2016 edition of Global Economic Prospects discusses current global and regional economic developments and prospects, analyzing key challenges and opportunities confronting developing countries. This volume addresses, among other topics, spillovers from large emerging markets and macroeconomic vulnerabilities during resource development. Global Economic Prospects is a World Bank Group Flagship Report. Semiannually (January and June), it examines global economic developments and prospects, with a special focus on developing countries. The report includes analysis of topical policy challenges faced by developing countries through in-depth research in the January edition and shorter analytical pieces in the June edition.
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    Global Monitoring Report 2015/2016: Development Goals in an Era of Demographic Change
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016) World Bank ; International Monetary Fund
    The Global Monitoring Report 2015/2016, produced by the World Bank Group in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, comes at an inflection point in both the setting of global development goals and the demographic trends affecting those goals. This year marks the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the launching of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while the World Bank Group has in parallel articulated the twin goals of sustainably ending extreme poverty and sharing prosperity. This report presents the latest global poverty numbers, based on the 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP) data, and examines the pace of development progress through the lens of the evolving global development goals. The special theme of this year’s report examines the complex interaction between demographic change and development. With the number of children approaching a global ceiling of two billion, the world’s population is growing slower. It is also aging faster, with the share of people of working age starting a decline in 2013. But the direction and pace of these trends vary starkly across countries, with sizeable demographic disparities between centers of global poverty (marked by high fertility) and drivers of global growth (marked by rapid aging). These demographic disparities are expected to deeply affect the pursuit of the post-2015 agenda, accentuating existing challenges and creating new opportunities.
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    The World Bank Annual Report 2015
    (Washington, DC, 2015-10-02) 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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    Resource Financed Infrastructure : A Discussion on a New Form of Infrastructure Financing
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-05-29) Halland, Havard ; Beardsworth, John ; Land, Bryan ; Schmidt, James
    This report, consisting of a study prepared by global project finance specialists Hunton and Williams LLP and comments from six internationally reputed economists and policy makers, provides an analytical discussion of resource financed infrastructure (RFI) contracting from a project finance perspective. The report is meant as a forum for in-depth discussion and as a basis for further research into RFI's role, risks, and potential, without any intention to present a World Bank, supported view on RFI contracting. It is motivated by the conviction that if countries are to continue to either seeks RFI or receive unsolicited RFI proposals, there is an onus on public officials to discern bad deals from good, to judge unavoidable trade-offs, and to act accordingly. The report aims to provide a basis for developing insights on how RFI deals can be made subject to the same degree of public policy scrutiny as any other instrument through which a government of a low or lower-middle-income country might seek to mobilize development finance. The report also feeds into the global mainstreaming of 'open contracting,' providing citizens with the means to engage with governments and other stakeholders on how nonrenewable resources are best managed for the public benefit. In the case of RFI, there is a very direct link made between the value of resources in the ground and the development of (infrastructure) benefits. It should not be a surprise, therefore, that the revised Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Standard, adopted in May 2013, addresses extractive transactions with an infrastructure component, including RFI.
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    Review of International Practices for Determining Medium Term Resource Needs of Spending Agencies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05-01) Di Francesco, Michael ; Barroso, Rafael
    This volume presents two research reports carried out with the objective of advancing practical knowledge in costing and use of cost information in the public sector. Both reports were carried out with support of the Governance Partnership Facility Trust Fund and in partnership between the Brazilian and Indonesian country offices of the World Bank. The first report aims to review international practices for determining medium term resource needs of spending agencies (what is also referred to as bottom-up costing for medium term expenditure frameworks). The principal objective is to compile comparative information on practices and methodologies used by selected OECD countries to determine program costs as part of their medium term expenditure planning. The second report details the experiences of three selected subnational governments in Brazil: Sao Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul and Pernambuco with the development and use of cost information. The main objective is to present comparative information on practices adopted by these jurisdictions. It is expected that this volume helps to fill a gap in the technical literature by presenting practical examples of the development and use of cost information within budgetary and fiscal planning frameworks in advanced and developing countries both at the national and subnational level.
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    The World Bank Annual Report 2014
    (Washington, DC, 2014) 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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    MIGA Annual Report 2014 : Insuring Investments, Ensuring Opportunities
    (Washington, DC: World Bank Group, 2014) Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
    In 2014, the World Bank Group adopted a joint strategy for dealing with impediments to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. One of the strategy’s key elements underscores the essential role private sector investment can play working alongside public sector support to bear down on the most challenging development issues client countries face, such as job creation, infrastructure deficits, and climate change. MIGA’s role has become increasingly valuable in delivering results to achieve these twin goals as demonstrated by the increased demand for our political risk insurance and credit enhancement products that facilitate the expansion of private investment into emerging markets. In fiscal year 2014, MIGA issued a record $3.2 billion in new guarantees while our gross exposure reached $12.4 billion. MIGA’s added value stems from our ability to mobilize private sector investment in environments that are often beyond the risk tolerance of commercial sources of capital. This past fiscal year, MIGA worked with various stakeholders to develop our own strategy that aligns our objectives with the World Bank Group’s twin goals and underscores our aspiration to achieve significant development impact beyond what we can do alone. To achieve this, MIGA will need to be financially sustainable by prudently managing our risks, covering operating costs, and creating financial latitude by growing the Agency’s capital base.
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    MIGA Annual Report 2013 : Insuring Investments, Ensuring Opportunities
    (Washington, DC: World Bank Group, 2013-10-11) Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
    In fiscal year 2013, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) issued 2.8 billion dollars in investment guarantees for projects in our developing member countries. At 1.5 billion dollars, representing more than half of new business, the bulk of MIGA's guarantees issued support investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sixty-nine percent of new business volume this year was in complex projects in infrastructure and extractive industries, a strategic priority for the Agency. This year, 82 percent of MIGA's new volume fell into one or more of strategic priority areas: investments in the world's poorest countries, "South-South" investments, investments in conflict-affected countries, and investments in complex projects. MIGA also established the conflict-affected and fragile economies facility to further deepen support to this priority area.