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Economic Policy & Debt

Infant mortality rates in Africa will increase by 30,000-50,000 - Girls will fare worse

Norbert Schady's picture

The impact of the global financial crisis on infant mortality is a topic of great policy importance. However, estimates of the likely impacts of the crisis, cited by international institutions and in the popular press, differ wildly.

This blogpost summarizes the main conclusions from some of my own recent research on this topic, jointly with various colleagues.

These conclusions include:

African economic policies and the global crisis: Orthodox responses to a heterodox shock?

Shanta Devarajan's picture

When the global economic crisis hit Africa, I worried (along with others) that the continent’s economic reforms would be stalled or reversed.  Political support for these reforms may be undermined as economic growth slowed.  Furthermore, the response of high-income countries in response to the crisis—large fiscal deficits and greater government participation in the banking sector—was in the opposite direction of the reforms that African countries had been pursuing

Education and Finance in Africa

Shanta Devarajan's picture

At a recent conference that brought together African Finance and Education ministers, the keynote speaker, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, finance minister (and former education minister) of Singapore gave a beautiful speech about Singapore's experience that contained some potentially difficult and controversial messages for Africa.

A South African puzzle

Sandeep Mahajan's picture

In recent months, the external sector in South Africa has strengthened in ways that are somewhat perplexing. The strengthening has partly to do with weak import demand due to the economic slowdown.  But the surprising aspect has been sustained inflows of foreign portfolio investment in South African domestic securities.  Just as the news on the real sector and fiscal balances has gotten worse, somewhat paradoxically foreign investors’ appetite for South African securities has grown.

How have policies and institutions in low-income African countries fared?

Shanta Devarajan's picture

Last Friday, the World Bank released its Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) of low-income countries.  While the assessments are mainly used to determine the allocation of concessional IDA resources to poor countries, they can also provide a useful picture of the evolution of policies and institutions in Africa, as a r

Critiques from inside the World Bank

Shanta Devarajan's picture

While my blog posts seemed to elicit a fair number of comments, I had been wondering how many of them, if any, were coming from my World Bank colleagues. Last Friday, I got to find out. Our Internal Communications department ran a story on the Bank’s intranet with the headline “The effects of the global recession on Africa will be permanent, says Africa Chief Economist.” The story then linked to my blog post, “Why aid to A


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