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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015-04) Cord, Louise ; Genoni, Maria Eugenia ; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos ; Cord, Louise ; Genoni, Maria Eugenia ; Rodriguez Castelan, CarlosOver the last decade Latin America and the Caribbean region has achieved important progress towards the World Bank Group's goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting income growth of the bottom 40 percent, propelled by remarkable economic growth and falling income inequality. Despite this impressive performance, social progress has not been uniform over this period, and certain countries, subregions and even socioeconomic groups participated less in the growth process. As of today, more than 75 million people still live in extreme poverty in the region (using $2.50/day/capita), half of them in Brazil and Mexico, and extreme poverty rates top 40 percent in Guatemala and reach nearly 60 percent in Haiti. This means that extreme poverty is still an important issue in both low- and middle-income countries in the region. As growth wanes and progress in reducing the still high levels of inequality in the region slows, it will be more important than ever for governments to focus policies on inclusive growth. The book includes an overview that highlights progress towards the goals of poverty eradication and shared prosperity between 2003 and 2012, unpacks recent gains at the household level using an income-based asset model, and examines some of the policy levers used to affect social outcomes in the region. It draws on 13 country studies, eight of which are featured in this volume: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The other case studies include: Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Honduras, which will be included in the web version of the book.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013-02-13) Canuto, Otaviano ; Liu, Lili ; Canuto, Otaviano ; Liu, LiliWith decentralization and urbanization, the debts of state and local governments and of quasi-public agencies have grown in importance. Rapid urbanization in developing countries requires large-scale infrastructure financing to help absorb influxes of rural populations. Borrowing enables state and local governments to capture the benefits of major capital investments immediately and to finance infrastructure more equitably across multiple generations of service users. With debt comes the risk of insolvency. Subnational debt crises have reoccurred in both developed and developing countries. Restructuring debt and ensuring its sustainability confront moral hazard and fiscal incentives in a multilevel government system; individual subnational governments might free-ride common resources, and public officials at all levels might shift the cost of excessive borrowing to future generations. This book brings together the reform experiences of emerging economies and developed countries. Written by leading practitioners and experts in public finance in the context of multilevel government systems, the book examines the interaction of markets, regulators, subnational borrowers, creditors, national governments, taxpayers, ex-ante rules, and ex-post insolvency systems in the quest for subnational fiscal discipline. Such a quest is intertwined with a country’s historical, political, and economic context. The formal legal framework interacts with political reality to influence the dynamics of and incentives for reform. Often, the resolution of a subnational debt crisis unfolds in the context of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reforms. The book includes reforms that have not been covered by previous literature, such as those of China, Colombia, France, Hungary, Mexico, and South Africa. The book also presents a comprehensive review of how the United States developed its debt market for state and local local governments through a series of reforms that are path dependent, including the reforms and lessons learned following state defaults in the 1840s and the debates that shaped the enactment of Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code in 1937. Looking forward, pressures on subnational finance are likely to continue—from the fragility of global recovery, the potentially higher cost of capital, refinancing risks, and sovereign risks. This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to know the challenges and reform options in debt restructuring, insolvency frameworks, and public debt market development.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2012) World BankAs the global population heads toward 9 billion by 2050, decisions made today will lock countries into growth patterns that may or may not be sustainable in the future. Care must be taken to ensure that cities and roads, factories and farms are designed, managed, and regulated as efficiently as possible to wisely use natural resources while supporting the robust growth developing countries still need. Economic development during the next two decades cannot mirror the previous two: poverty reduction remains urgent but growth and equity can be pursued without relying on policies and practices that foul the air, water, and land. Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development makes the case that greening growth is necessary, efficient, and affordable. Yet spurring growth without ensuring equity will thwart efforts to reduce poverty and improve access to health, education, and infrastructure services. Countries must make strategic investments and farsighted policy changes that acknowledge natural resource constraints and enable the world's poorest and most vulnerable to benefit from efficient, clean, and resilient growth. Like other forms of capital, natural assets are limited and require accounting, investment, and maintenance in order to be properly harnessed and deployed. By maximizing co-benefits and avoiding lock-in, by promoting smarter decisions in industry and society, and by developing innovative financing tools for green investment, we can afford to do the things we must.