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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023) Schady, Norbert ; Holla, Alaka ; Sabarwal, Shwetlena ; Silva, Joana ; Yi Chang, AndresWorldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an enormous shock to mortality, economies, and daily life. But what has received insufficient attention is the impact of the pandemic on the accumulation of human capital—the health, education, and skills—of young people. How large was the setback, and how far are we still from a recovery? Collapse and Recovery estimates the impacts of the pandemic on the human capital of young children, school-age children, and youth and discusses the urgent actions needed to reverse the damage. It shows that there was a collapse of human capital and that, unless that collapse is remedied, it is a time bomb for countries. Specifically, the report documents alarming declines in cognitive and social-emotional development among young children, which could translate into a 25 percent reduction in their earnings as adults. It finds that 1 billion children in low- and middle-income countries missed at least one year of in-person schooling. And despite enormous efforts in remote learning, children did not learn during the unprecedentedly long school closures, which could reduce future lifetime earnings around the world by US$21 trillion. The report quantifies the dramatic drops in employment and skills among youth that resulted from the pandemic as well as the substantial increase in the number of youth neither employed nor enrolled in education or training. In all of these age groups, the impacts of the pandemic were consistently worse for children from poorer backgrounds. These losses call for immediate action. The good news is that evidence-based policies can recover these losses. Collapse and Recovery reviews governments’ responses to the pandemic, assessing why there was a collapse in human capital accumulation, what was missing in the policy architecture to protect human capital during the crisis, and how governments can better prepare to withstand future shocks. It offers concrete policy recommendations to recover losses in human capital—programs that will end up paying for themselves in the long term. To better prepare for future shocks such as climate change and wars, the report emphasizes the need for solutions that bring health, education, and social protection programs together in an integrated human development system. If countries fail to act, the losses in human capital documented in this report will become permanent and last for multiple generations. The time to act is now.
The Global Findex Database 2021: Financial Inclusion, Digital Payments, and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-06-29) Demirguc-Kunt, Asli ; Klapper, Leora ; Singer, Dorothe ; Ansar, Saniya ; Singer, DorotheThe fourth edition of the Global Findex offers a lens into how people accessed and used financial services during the COVID-19 pandemic, when mobility restrictions and health policies drove increased demand for digital services of all kinds. The Global Findex is the world’s most comprehensive database on financial inclusion. It is also the only global demand-side data source allowing for global and regional cross-country analysis to provide a rigorous and multidimensional picture of how adults save, borrow, make payments, and manage financial risks. Global Findex 2021 data were collected from national representative surveys of about 128,000 adults in more than 120 economies. The latest edition follows the 2011, 2014, and 2017 editions, and it includes a number of new series measuring financial health and resilience and contains more granular data on digital payment adoption, including merchant and government payments. The Global Findex is an indispensable resource for financial service practitioners, policy makers, researchers, and development professionals.
Reshaping Global Value Chains in Light of COVID-19: Implications for Trade and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-04) Brenton, Paul ; Ferrantino, Michael J. ; Maliszewska, MarylaGlobal value chains (GVCs) have driven dramatic expansions in trade, productivity, and economic growth in developing countries over the past three decades. Reshaping Global Value Chains in Light of COVID-19: Implications for Trade and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries examines the economic impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on GVCs and explores whether they can continue to be a driver of trade and development. The book undertakes the following: • Assesses what the impact of previous crises, such as the global financial crisis of 2008–09, can say about of the resilience of GVC firms to shocks • Examines what high-frequency data on trade flows can show about the impact of COVID-19 during the sharp global recession of 2020 • Uses discussions with GVC firms to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of—and their responses to—the COVID-19 shock • Explores simulations from a global economic model to assess the potential longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on low- and middle-income countries and key factors shaping the global economy, including the evolving role of China, the rise of trade restrictions, and policy responses to global warming • Asks what steps countries and international institutions can take to enhance the resilience of GVCs in low-income countries to future shocks. The analysis shows that well-operating GVCs are a source of resilience more than a source of vulnerability. Moreover, steps to maintain and enhance trade contribute to managing a crisis and recovery, while measures to reshore production make all countries worse off. This economic crisis offers countries an opportunity to reshape the global economy into a greener, more resilient, and inclusive system that is better equipped for a changing world. Trade is a powerful tool for achieving this aim.