Giving Everyone a Fair Shot

By David Amaglobeli, Vitor Gaspar, and Paolo Mauro The COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying the vicious circle of inequality. To break this pattern and give everyone a fair shot at prosperity, governments need to improve access to basic public services—such as health care (including vaccination) and education—and strengthen redistributive policies. For most countries, this would require […]

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Asia-Pacific, the Gigantic Domino of Climate Change

By Vitor Gaspar and Chang Yong Rhee Forget the poetic flap of a butterfly’s wings in Beijing causing rain in Central Park. Climate issues in Asia-Pacific are measured in superlatives. The world’s biggest population. Two of the three largest carbon dioxide-emitting countries and the largest share of emissions globally. The most exposed to extreme weather […]

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CHART OF THE WEEKHow Countries Are Helping Small Businesses Survive COVID-19

By Kazuko Shirono, Esha Chhabra, and Jessica Fan The economic downturn caused by the pandemic has taken a painful toll on small businesses. Scores of retail businesses have permanently closed in cities around the world since the Great Lockdown in the spring of 2020. Small and medium enterprises have an out-sized impact on local economies. […]

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Divergent Recoveries in Asia: History is not Destiny

by Davide Furceri, Jonathan D. Ostry, and Anthony C.K. Tan Asian economies are performing better than expected. In the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook Update, we upgraded our growth estimate for 2020 by 0.7 percentage point from our previous forecast in October, to a contraction of 1.5 percent—in regional terms, a better outcome than other […]

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Chart of the WeekWhen it Comes to Services vs. Manufacturing, Words Matter

By Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov Efforts to revive national manufacturing sectors get a lot of airtime. After all, the sector propelled many East and South East Asian economies—the so-called “East Asia Miracle”—and was a gateway to the middle class for millions of workers. However, for all the obsession with manufacturing, economists for their part […]

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COVID’s Long Shadow: Social Repercussions of Pandemics

By Philip Barrett, Sophia Chen, and Nan Li In 1832, the great cholera pandemic hit Paris. In just a few months, the disease killed 20,000 of the city’s 650,000 population. Most fatalities occurred in the heart of the city, where many poor workers lived in squalid conditions, drawn to Paris by the Industrial Revolution. The […]

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