Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Education, Health, Nutrition, Labor, Poverty, Risk
Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Last updated May 17, 2023
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Shocks and Social Safety Net Program Participation in Ghana - Descriptive Evidence from Linking Climate Risk Maps to Programs Beneficiary Rolls(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-01-27) Nxumalo, Mpumelelo ; Raju, DhushyanthThis study discusses the association between household exposure to negative shocks and social safety net program participation in Ghana. To examine this issue, we link data from high-resolution geospatial maps of drought and flood risks to government administrative data on safety net program beneficiaries at the district level. We find that drought risk is positively associated with household participation in selected, main public social safety net programs. (The corresponding evidence for flood risk is weaker.) We interpret the finding to be a result of pre-shock program coverage of drought-prone areas, in part achieved indirectly through the intentional targeting of poor areas by the programs.
Barriers to Growth-Enhancing Structural Transformation: The Role of Subnational Differences in Intersectoral Productivity Gaps(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Paul, Saumik ; Raju, DhushyanthThe movement of workers from the farm sector to a more productive nonfarm sector has failed to generate significant gains in labor productivity in recent decades in many developing countries. This paper offers a new perspective on the barriers to growth-enhancing structural transformation, combining structural modeling with enterprise census data from Ghana. The paper argues that subnational differences in the intersectoral productivity gap between the nonfarm informal and formal sectors constrain the productivity gain from structural transformation. In Ghana, intersectoral productivity gaps among the richer regions are on average three times larger than among the poorer regions. The disparity in regional intersectoral productivity gaps is modeled as reflecting the disparity in the regional misallocation of labor between the informal and formal sectors. Misallocation is identified as the output wedge between the informal and formal sectors. Simulations suggest that a more productive nonfarm informal sector reduces the disparity in regional intersectoral productivity gaps and, in turn, increases national productivity and the contribution of structural transformation to national productivity. For example, a 90-percent reduction in the disparity in regional intersectoral productivity gaps raises Ghana’s national aggregate productivity by 11.9 percent and the contribution of structural transformation to productivity by 19.7 percent.
Africa's Pulse, No. 25, April 2022(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-04-13) Zeufack, Albert G. ; Calderon, Cesar ; Kabundi, Alain ; Kubota, Megumi ; Korman, Vijdan ; Raju, Dhushyanth ; Abreha, Kaleb Girma ; Kassa, Woubet ; Owusu, SolomonSub-Saharan Africa's recovery from the pandemic is expected to decelerate in 2022 amid a slowdown in global economic activity, continued supply constraints, outbreaks of new coronavirus variants, climatic shocks, high inflation, and rising financial risks due to high and increasingly vulnerable debt levels. The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the already existing tensions and vulnerabilities affecting the continent. Given the sources of growth in the region and the nature of the economic linkages with Russia and Ukraine, the war in Ukraine might have a marginal impact on economic growth and on overall poverty—as this shock affects mostly the urban poor and vulnerable people living just above the poverty line. However, its largest impact is on the increasing likelihood of civil strife as a result of food- and energy-fueled inflation amid an environment of heightened political instability. The looming threats of stagflation require a two-pronged strategy that combines short-term measures to contain inflationary pressures and medium-to-long-term policies that accelerate the structural transformation and create more and better jobs. In response to supply shocks, monetary policy in the region may prove ineffective to bring down inflation and other short-run options may be restricted by the lack of fiscal space. Concessional financing might be key to helping countries alleviate the impact of food and fuel inflation. Over the medium term, avoiding stagflation may require a combination of actionable measures that improve the resilience of the economy by shoring up productivity and job creation. Lastly, ongoing actions to enhance social protection—including dynamic delivery systems for rapid scalability and shock-sensitive financing—could be strengthened further to improve economic resilience against shocks and foster investments in productive assets.
Structural Transformation and Labor Market Performance in Ghana(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-11-24) Nxumalo, Mpumelelo ; Raju, DhushyanthStructural transformation can spur economic growth and development if it increases overall productivity growth. A labor market environment that enables workers and enterprises to transition smoothly across sectors and into more productive economic pursuits can enhance the effect of structural transformation on economic growth. This study examines Ghana’s recent record of structural transformation and labor market performance. Based on the findings, the study proposes ways to further transform the country’s economy, in a way that stimulates stronger, sustained growth and produces gainful, productive, and inclusive private employment. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and associated global economic crisis have posed a substantial setback to Ghana’s economic progress and plans, but these challenges also underscore the need for structural transformation that can both strengthen economic performance and improve labor conditions and outcomes.
Sectoral Productivity Shock, Regional Differences in Intersectoral Linkages, and Structural Transformation in Ghana(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-05-17) Paul, Sumik ; Raju, DhushyanthThis paper studies the effect of a local sectoral productivity shock on subnational structural transformation. The analysis is based on regional input-output tables constructed for 2004 and 2013 and available censuses of firms in 2003 and 2013 for Ghana. Based on the data, the analysis confirms the occurrence of a mining productivity shock. Between 2004 and 2013, mining grew dramatically as a share of gross domestic product. The mining shock occurred primarily in the south of Ghana with much larger increases in mining’s share in regional output, the number of mining firms, and mining employment than in the north of the country. The findings show that the mining productivity shock led to growing regional (north-south) differences in intersectoral linkages, with greater intermediate use of mining output and a larger sectoral total factor productivity ratio between mining and manufacturing in the south than in the north. Informed by international evidence of strong intersectoral linkages between mining and heavy manufacturing industries, the paper examines the performance of heavy manufacturing in response to the mining productivity shock. The elasticity of heavy manufacturing to mining employment growth is 50 percent larger in the south than in the north, generated by an increase in both average firm employment and the entry of new firms. These north-south differences are interpreted as possibly due to weak interregional production linkages.