Fiscal Space for Social Protection: Options to expand social investments in 187 countries Isabel Ortiz, Matthew Cummins and Kalaivani Karunanethy

Given the importance of public investments for human rights and inclusive development, it is imperative that governments explore all possible options to expand fiscal space. Social_Protection (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article is originally published as an Extension of Social Security series: No 48 by the Social Protection Department of International Labour Office, Geneva 2015.)

When the Global Crisis and Youth Bulge Collide: Double the jobs trouble for youth Isabel Ortiz and Matthew Cummins

The global economic crisis hit many countries just as they were experiencing a youth bulge. This working paper describes recent labour market trends; analyses how young people are experiencing a double employment crisis as a result of the demographic phenomenon known as the ‘youth bulge,’; explores the household level impacts of the jobs crisis, with particular attention to the severe risks posed to children and young workers; discusses policy responses during the two phases of the crisis—fiscal expansion (2008-09) and fiscal contraction (2010- ); and presents a UN agenda on how to generate decent employment, which covers macroeconomic and sector…

Austerity Measures Threaten Children and Poor Households : Recent Evidence in Public Expenditures from 128 Developing Countries Isabel Ortiz, Jingqing Chai and Matthew Cummins

In the wake of the food, fuel and financial shocks, a fourth wave of the global economic crisis began in 2010, viz., fiscal austerity. Updating earlier research by UNICEF, this working paper examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 128 developing countries, comparing the three periods of 2005-07 (pre-crisis), 2008-09 (fiscal expansion) and 2010-12 (fiscal contraction). It discusses the possible risks of the adjustment measures for social expenditures and summarises a series of alternative policy options. poor_households (Download the full text in PDF format)

Global Inequality: Beyond the bottom billion Isabel Ortiz and Matthew Cummins

This working paper provides an overview of global, regional and national income inequalities based on the latest distribution data; discusses the negative implications of rising income inequality; and describes the likelihood of inequalities being exacerbated during the global economic crisis. It calls for placing equity at the center of development in the context of the UN development agenda and advocates urgent policy changes at national and international levels to ensure a “Recovery for All”. It also provides a summary of the most up-to-date income distribution and inequality data for 141 countries. global_inequality (Download the full text in PDF format)

Prioritizing Expenditures for a Recovery for All Isabel Ortiz, Jingqing Chai, Mathew Cummins, Gabriel Vergara

This UNICEF paper examines government expenditure projections for 126 low and middle income countries and their potential implications for children and poor households during the ongoing fragile economic recovery. While recognizing the importance of macroeconomic stability, the paper questions if the projected fiscal adjustment trajectory in a number of countries is conducive to the objective of protecting vulnerable households and the achievement of development goals such as the MDGs. (Financing options for pro-poor social spending are also explored). unicef (Download the full text in PDF format)

Fiscal Stimulus Plans: The Need for a Global New Deal Isabel Ortiz

This article reviews the fiscal stimulus packages announced in 43 countries. In March 2009, the total amount announced for these stimulus plans is US$ 2.18 trillion, or 3.5% of world’s GDP, mostly in higher income economies. The majority of these recovery packages contain measures to stimulate firms, consumers, and public investment in infrastructure. The author argues that a country approach is inadequate;a global crisis requires global responses. Developing countries will be hit hard; there is a need for increased ODA to enable them to engage in countercyclical stimulation. Stimulating global demand (and reducing poverty) will require further redistributive measures. Responses…

Putting Financing for Development in Perspective: The South Finances the North Isabel Ortiz

The gross asymmetries in the distribution of wealth justify North-South transfers, through increased and improved ODA. However, net global financial flows show a different picture: the reality is that Southern countries transfer resources to the North. This article reviews the issues and calls for multilateral action. Putting_Financing  (Download the full text in PDF format)

New Developments in South-South Cooperation: China ODA, Alternative Regionalisms, Banco del Sur Isabel Ortiz

South-South cooperation is becoming increasingly important given criticisms on the current process of globalization. Since the 19th century, non-hegemonic countries and regions forged alliances as a strategy to reduce dependency and dominance from Northern powers. At the beginning of the 21st century, Southern countries remain associating to promote South-South cooperation. This article focuses on new developments in bilateral South-South ODA and regional integration, including South-South banks. South-South Bilateral ODA and Investments: Emergence of China South-South aid and investment tend to occur on bilateral basis. Main non-OECD donors are Brazil, China, India, Kuwait, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa,…