Daniel Prinz

Fiscal consolidation after COVID-19: issues and policy options in sub-Saharan Africa

(with Vedanth Nair, David Phillips, and Ross Warwick) IFS Report R193

Since Spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the public finances of both developed and developing countries. Falls in revenues and increases in public expenditure have pushed up deficits and debts, posing a particular challenge for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). After the debt relief of the 2000s, the 2010s saw public debt and debt-servicing costs grow substantially across the region, with the fiscal situation looking increasingly unsustainable in some countries even prior to the pandemic. This difficult context may be one reason why the scale of discretionary tax and spending policy measures undertaken in response to the pandemic has generally been much smaller than in high-income countries. This report sets out the trends and forecasts for budget deficits, debts and debt-servicing costs in SSA, and provides an overview of the issues and options for potential post-COVID-19 fiscal consolidation efforts.

Paper | Slides

IFS Report R193 | Presentation Video | Twitter Thread 1 | Twitter Thread 2

The Evolving Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19 in Developing Countries

(with Melanie Khamis, David Newhouse, Amparo Palacios-Lopez, Utz Pape, and Michael Weber) JobsWatch COVID-19 Brief

The early labor market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in widespread disruption to livelihoods. Previous analysis showed that between April and July 2020, across a sample of 39 countries, an average of 34 percent of workers stopped work, 20 percent of employees experienced partial or no payments for work performed, and 9 percent changed jobs during the early part of the pandemic. This brief discusses how labor markets have evolved since the initial phase of the crisis in the spring and early summer of 2020. It uses harmonized data from high-frequency phone surveys (HFPS) conducted in 33 developing countries and provides information on the changing labor market impacts of the crisis in these countries from the initial phase of the pandemic in April 2020 through December 2020.

Paper

World Bank JobsWatch Covid-19 Brief | World Bank Covid-19 High-Frequency Monitoring Dashboard

The Early Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19 in Developing Countries: Evidence from High-Frequency Phone Surveys

(with Melanie Khamis, David Newhouse, Amparo Palacios-Lopez, Utz Pape, and Michael Weber) World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9510

The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply reduced mobility and economic activity, disrupting the lives of people around the globe. This paper presents estimates on the early impact of the crisis on labor markets in 39 countries based on high-frequency phone survey data collected between April and July 2020. Workers in these countries experienced severe labor market disruptions following the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on simple averages across countries, 34 percent of the respondents reported stopping work, 20 percent of wage workers reported lack of payment for work performed, 9 percent reported job changes due to the pandemic, and 62 percent reported income loss in their household. Stopping work was more prevalent in the industrial and service sectors than in agriculture. Measures of work stoppage and income loss in the high-frequency phone survey are generally consistent with gross domestic product growth projections in Latin America and the Caribbean but not in Sub-Saharan Africa. This suggests that the survey data contribute new and important information on economic impacts in low-income countries.

Paper | Slides

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9510 | World Bank Jobs Working Paper 58 | World Bank JobsWatch Covid-19 Brief | World Bank Jobs Group Blog | World Bank Covid-19 High-Frequency Monitoring Dashboard