Research and Publications

Global growth has continued to soften this year. A modest recovery in emerging market and developing economies continues to be constrained by subdued investment, which is dampening prospects and impeding progress toward achieving critical development goals. Downside risks to the outlook remain elevated, and policymakers continue to face major challenges to boost resilience and foster long-term growth.

Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform introduces a new index measuring legal rights for women throughout their working lives in 187 economies. The index is composed of 35 data points grouped into eight indicators. The data covers a 10-year period not only to understand the current situation but to see how laws affecting women’s equality of opportunity have evolved over time.

Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform, a World Bank Group flagship publication, is the 16th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.

Electricity Access in Sub-Saharan Africa shows that the fundamental problem is poverty and lack of economic opportunities rather than power. The solution lies in understanding that the overarching reasons for the unrealized potential involve tightly intertwined technical, financial, political, and geographic factors. The ultimate goal is to enable households and businesses to gain access to electricity and afford its use, and utilities to recover their cost and make profits.

Petroleum discovery in a country presents its policy makers with a challenging and complex task: formulating and agreeing on policies that will shape the country’s petroleum sector and guide the translation of the newly discovered resources into equitable and sustainable economic and social growth for the nation over the long term. Balancing Petroleum Policy provides policy makers and other stakeholders with the basic sector-related knowledge they need to embark on this task.

Pursuing effective reconstruction within the context of conflict and fragility is a formidable challenge because of the uncertain, fluid, and complex environment. Based on the experience in Iraq, how can the international community support the effectiveness and durability of reconstruction? This book identifies lessons in seven areas and offers four recommendations for international and domestic actors and citizens engaged in reconstruction activities.

New and Noteworthy

Logistics and transportation of container cargo ship . Copyright: Travel mania/Shutterstock.com

Global Growth to Weaken to 2.6% in 2019, Substantial Risks Seen

Global economic growth is forecast to ease to a weaker-than-expected 2.6% in 2019 before inching up to 2.7% in 2020. Growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to stabilize next year as some countries move past periods of financial strain, but economic momentum remains weak.

A small business owner in Mexico City. © Jessica Belmont/World Bank

Despite Gains, Women Face Setbacks in Legal Rights Affecting Work

Globally, women are accorded only three-quarters of the legal rights that men enjoy according to a new index released by the World Bank today, constraining their ability to get jobs or start businesses and make economic decisions that are best for them and their families.

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Emerging, Developing Economies to Face Challenges if Global Inflation Rises

The adverse effects of high inflation can fall disproportionately on the poor, who hold most of their assets in cash and rely heavily on wage income, welfare benefits, and pensions, says new report on Inflation in Emerging and Developing Economies: Evolution, Drivers, and Policies.

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Pinelopi Goldberg

Chief Economist, World Bank Group

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Senior Director, Development Economics

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