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.

This report proposes a reform agenda that emphasizes productivity and innovation to help policymakers promote China's future growth and achieve their vision of a modern and innovative China.

Lifelines lays out a framework for understanding infrastructure resilience and it makes an economic case for building more resilient infrastructure. Lifelines concludes by identifying five obstacles to resilient infrastructure and offering concrete recommendations and specific actions that can be taken by governments, stakeholders, and the international community to improve the quality and resilience of these essential services.

This white paper focusses on the policy interventions made to help people manage risk, uncertainty and the losses from events whose impacts are channeled primarily through the labor market. The objectives of the white paper are: to scrutinize the relevance and effects of prevailing risk-sharing policies in low- and middle-income countries; take account of how global drivers of disruption shape and diversify how people work; propose alternative risk-sharing policies; and map a reasonable transition path from the current to an alternative policy approach that substantially extends protection to a greater portion of working people and their families.

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