ECA Research Newsletters Archive

A monthly summary of the The Office of the Chief Economist, Europe and Central Asia, provides a snapshot of our recent research and activities, as well as information on our upcoming events.

2020 Monthly Newsletters (PDF)

December Digital Technologies Rapid technological change is not a new phenomenon, but with the COVID-19 crisis, it has become even more clear how important it really is. Technology has allowed us to continue to work remotely and educate our children while staying healthy. However, not everyone can benefit from technology to the same extent. Read more in our December newsletter.
November Financial Stability after COVID-19 The economic impact of shutdowns and continued interruptions in normal business operations have placed a significant strain on the global economy. It has fallen to the financial sector to take action to supply vital credit to the corporate sector and to households. To enable this, central banks and governments have enacted a wide range of policies. While these can help increase the flow of credit in the short run, how will they affect the future stability of the financial sector?
October COVID-19 and Human Capital This October newsletter focuses on human capital. Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will require strong investments in human capital – both education and health. In our latest ECA Economic Update we pay special attention to tertiary education and health risk factors of obesity, smoking, and heavy drinking – highlighting the challenges that are particularly important for the region. Read more about the ECA Economic Update along with a collection of latest research on health and education.
September Governance in the Post-COVID-19 World This month we are focusing on the topic of Governance. Many of the social and political impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are yet to be seen, but we know it is changing the relationship between government and society. Read the related research and watch the recording of the recent ECA Talk with the featured speaker - professor Daron Acemoglu.
July Banking after COVID-19 We are continuing to investigate the impact and implications of COVID-19. What started as a health crisis quickly turned into an economic crisis. The featured topic this month is: what will the future hold for banking systems? If you missed the ECA Talk, you can now watch the recording.
June Debt Sustainability While emerging and developing countries need to support their health care systems, their vulnerable citizens, and firms as they fight the pandemic, they are also under great fiscal pressures renewing debt sustainability concerns, especially given to the huge global contraction, reduced demand for their exports, lower tax revenues, commodity prices, and plunging portfolio and other flows. The June newsletter focuses on the implications of the COVID-19 crisis and debt sustainability.
May Impact of COVID-19 The COVID-19 crisis is likely to have a major impact on globalization and global value chains, and it could bring about a rethinking of the social contract and the role of the state in major economies. The May newsletter focuses on both the near-term economic impact of the pandemic, as well as its long-term implications.
April Fighting COVID-19 The April newsletter highlights the most recent policy research on COVID-19. It features the Spring 2020 ECA Economic Update “Fighting COVID-19” which looks at what countries in the region can do to contain the spread of the virus and save lives, while also working to protect the vulnerable and cushion the economic downturn for a faster recovery after the pandemic.
March Gender in Europe and Central Asia The Europe and Central Asia is a diverse region, but there are some common challenges with regard to gender equality. The March newsletter focuses on how the region can make progress addressing gender issues and which trade-offs to consider in policy and regulatory reforms.
February Automation and the Future of Work Robots are often blamed for displacing workers, but is there another dimension of automation that could be a boon to Europe? The February ECA Research Notes newsletter focuses on the impact of automation on jobs, offshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) decisions.
January ECA Academy Winning Research In the January issue we introduce the 2019 ECA Academy winning research. The ECA Academy competition identifies the best new policy-relevant research from across the World Bank Group. Whether analyzing the impact of a minimum wage hike in Turkey or evaluating the impact of the Belt and Road initiative for the countries involved, or documenting and exploring implications of city decline in the region - these are all papers that address significant policy issues relevant to Europe and Central Asia region.

2019 Monthly Newsletters (PDF)

December Bank Regulation and Supervision The December newsletter focuses on the launch of the Global Financial Development Report 2019/2020. Over a decade has passed since the onset of the largest global economic crisis since the Great Depression. The crisis revealed major shortcomings in market discipline, regulation, and supervision. The report provides new data and evidence on the regulatory remedies adopted to prevent future financial instability and sheds light on ongoing policy debates.
November FDI and Green Transition One of the events I want to draw your attention in this newsletter is the ECA Lecture we hosted with Beata Javorcik discussing, “Can Foreign Direct Investment Facilitate Green Transition?”. Beata makes the case that FDI is not only good for innovation and growth but it can also benefit the climate by improving the efficiency of energy use, and improve energy mix as well as reducing the CO2 emissions. So policies to attract FDI are “win-win” policies, they are not only good for growth but also the environment.
October Migration and Brain Drain The share of immigrants in Western and Eastern Europe has increased rapidly over the past four decades. Today, one of every three immigrants in the world goes to Europe. The Fall 2019 Economic Update for Europe and Central Asia focused on the design of policies on labor mobility and presents the trends, determinants, and impacts of low- and high-skilled labor. Read more
September Econothon In case you missed it, the Bank held its first-ever "Econothon" in July, featuring 24 consecutive hours of online discussions of development issues, based on the World Bank’s deep expertise and data-driven research. ECA had a very interesting part, including two live segments.
July Globalization and Value Chains Susan Lund, of McKinsey Global Institute, shared her findings about the trends shaping the global value chains, particularly how value chains are becoming more regional and less global as developing economies consume more of their own goods, and the way in which technology is reshaping them.
June Migration in Europe and Central Asia Migration is an important social and economic issue in the ECA region. We had a lively discussion at our last ECA Talks about the outflow of skilled workers and its impacts for the country they leave and the country they migrate to.
May Financial Inclusion Last month during the World Bank’s busy spring meetings, we issued our ECA Economic Update with a special focus on financial inclusion. Inclusive financial systems play a vital role in promoting economic development. This newsletter summarizes the main message of the update and provides links for further reading.
April Corporate Debt – Lessons of Europe for Asia An extensive rise in corporate leverage in Europe prior to the 2008 financial crisis has been followed by a sluggish recovery. Despite policy interventions to ease the credit supply, European investment remains low because firms are still going through a process of deleveraging.
March Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia and the Caucasus The March newsletter focuses on the massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) plans to build roads, railways, seaports and other trade infrastructure in dozens of countries in the Eurasian continent. The BRI aims to connect Asia to Europe, and the initiative has steadily expanded economic corridors and projects as far as Africa.

Chief Economist, Europe and Central Asia
Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Chief Economist for the Europe and Central Asia region.