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Blog: What Latin America needs to address in 2022

Marisol Argueta de Barillas (Head of the Regional Agenda, Latin America; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum)
January 21, 2022

In early 2022, COVID-19 and its economic and social consequences continue to pose a threat around the world. The pandemic has left a legacy of death, unemployment, greater inequality and poverty. Governments have faced the challenge of maintaining a balance between their primary obligation to preserve lives and the need to safeguard their economies. It has also been a test of their resilience, as they have had to diligently adjust their strategies and measures to respond to the dynamics of changing and uncertain circumstances.


Working paper: Peaceful entry: Entrepreneurship dynamics during Colombia’s peace agreement

Carolina Bernal, Mónica Ortiz, Mounu Prem and Juan F. Vargas
January 20, 2022

While there is a large literature on how conflict affects entrepreneurship and private investment, much less is known about how the end of a conflict affects businesses and firms’ creation. A priory, the direction of the effect is not obvious, as conflicts bequest poverty traps and inequality that reduce the returns of investment, and the territorial vacuum of power that is inherent to most post-conflict situations may trigger new violent cycles. Studying Colombia’s recent peace agreement and using a difference-in-differences empirical strategy, we document that dynamics of entrepreneurship in traditionally violent areas closely mapped the politics that surrounded the peace agreement. When the agreement was imminent after a 5-decade conflict and violence had plummeted, local investors from all economic sectors established new firms and created more jobs. Instead, when the agreement was rejected by a tiny vote margin in a referendum and the party that promoted this rejection raised to power, the rate of firms’ creation rapidly reversed.


Blog: The global education crisis is even worse than we thought. Here's what needs to happen

Ellinore Ahlgren (Education Consultant, World Bank), João Pedro Azevedo (Lead Economist, The World Bank), Jessica Bergmann (Education Researcher, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti), Matt Brossard (Chief, Education, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti), Gwang Chol Chang (Chief of Education Policy Section, Division of Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, UNESCO Education Sector), Borhene Chakroun (Director, Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, UNESCO Education Sector), Marie Helene Cloutier (Senior Economist, World Bank), Suguru Mizunoya (Senior Advisor, Statistics and Monitoring (Education), UNICEF New York HQ), Nicolas Reuge (Senior Adviser Education, UNICEF Headquarters) and Halsey Rogers (Lead Economist, Education Global Practice)
January 19, 2022

In our recent The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery report (produced jointly by UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank), we sounded the alarm: this generation of students now risks losing $17 trillion in lifetime earnings in present value, or about 14 percent of today’s global GDP, because of COVID-19-related school closures and economic shocks. This new projection far exceeds the $10 trillion estimate released in 2020 and reveals that the impact of the pandemic is more severe than previously thought.


Working papers: Latest Research

New entries as of January 18, 2022


Blog: El impacto del COVID-19 en el cuidado de los más pequeños

Florencia Lopez Boo y Laura Ripani
January 17, 2022

“No queremos volver a la ‘normalidad’ que nos discriminaba y marginalizaba, queremos que esta ‘nueva normalidad’ sea algo distinto”. Esas fueron las palabras de una activista que participó en el video proyecto En Primera Persona. Esta serie de videos, compuesta por materiales de 2 minutos y realizada por familias en situación de pobreza en seis países de América Latina, muestra no solo las dificultades que enfrentan, sino los recursos que desarrollan para sobrellevarlas. Los testimonios develan el peso que significa para las mujeres cumplir con las imposibles medidas de aislamiento, en el marco de las limitaciones habitacionales y la carencia de centros de cuidado y educación.


Blog: Construir confianza para la cohesión social y el crecimiento en América Latina y el Caribe

Phil Keefer y Carlos Scartascini
January 14, 2022

Una broma que siempre ha hecho reír a los lectores de la vieja tira cómica Peanuts, o  Snoopy y sus amigos, es cuando Lucy sostiene la pelota para que Charlie Brown la patee, y justo en el último instante ella la retira haciéndolo caer de espaldas. La broma, que se repetía una y otra vez a lo largo de los años, resultaba bastante divertida debido al comportamiento absurdamente confiado de Charlie. ¿Acaso después de haber sido engañado una y mil veces por Lucy, no se daba cuenta de que ella lo engañaría una y otra vez y otra vez más y la siguiente?


Working paper: Colombia: Democratic but Violent?

Leopoldo Fergusson and Juan F. Vargas
January 13, 2022

Colombia is a Latin American outlier in that it has traditionally been a very violent country, yet at the same time remarkably democratic. This chapter explores Colombia’s puzzle from a political economy perspective, shedding light on the broader relationship between democracy and violence. The chapter studies some of the most important democratization reforms since Colombia’s independence 200 years ago. It argues that the reforms often failed to curb violence and sometimes even actively, though perhaps unintendedly, exacerbated violent political strife. Democratic reforms were unable to set the ground for genuine power-sharing.


Blog: ¿Qué tan nueva puede ser la “nueva normalidad”?

Alberto Minujin
January 12, 2022

“No queremos volver a la ‘normalidad’ que nos discriminaba y marginalizaba, queremos que esta ‘nueva normalidad’ sea algo distinto”. Esas fueron las palabras de una activista que participó en el video proyecto En Primera Persona. Esta serie de videos, compuesta por materiales de 2 minutos y realizada por familias en situación de pobreza en seis países de América Latina, muestra no solo las dificultades que enfrentan, sino los recursos que desarrollan para sobrellevarlas. Los testimonios develan el peso que significa para las mujeres cumplir con las imposibles medidas de aislamiento, en el marco de las limitaciones habitacionales y la carencia de centros de cuidado y educación.

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