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Marcelo Giugale
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Marcelo Giugale is the World Bank’s Director of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs for Africa. An international development leader, his twenty-five years of experience span the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin-America and Africa, where he led senior-level policy dialogue and over fifteen billion dollars in lending operations across the development spectrum. He has published widely on economic policy, finance, development economics, business, agriculture and applied econometrics. Notably, he was the chief editor of collections of policy notes published for the presidential transitions in Mexico (2000), Colombia (2002), Ecuador (2003), Bolivia (2006) and Peru (2006). His opinion editorials are published in the leading newspapers and blog-sites of Latin-America and the USA. He received decorations from the governments of Bolivia and Peru, and taught at the American University in Cairo, The London School of Economics, and the Universidad Católica Argentina. A citizen of Argentina and Italy, he holds a PhD and a MSc in Economics from The London School of Economics, and a Suma-Cum-Laude BA in Economics from Universidad Católica Argentina.

Entries by Marcelo Giugale

The Economic Impact of Ebola

(3) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 9:44 AM

The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has claimed thousands of lives -- more than 3,000 and counting -- and it has the power to take many more. It also has the power to wreck the economies of one of the poorest regions in the world. Whether it does or...

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Does Debt Forgiveness Work? Ask Africa

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 5:13 PM

When countries in sub-Saharan Africa ("Africa" for short) gained independence in the 1960s, they inherited little or no public debt. And they stayed relatively debt-free until the early 1980s. Then, they went on a borrowing binge. By mid-1990s, the average African nation owed more than the value of all the...

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What Can Foreign Investment Really Do for Your Country?

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 11:29 AM

When a respectable multinational company announces a new project in a poor country, it is usually a cause for celebration -- especially when the project won't hurt the environment and won't corrupt public officials. These companies create jobs, pay taxes, and bring badly-needed foreign currency. More subtly, they use better...

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Impact Evaluation: A Woman's Best Friend?

(1) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 9:50 AM

Since the early 1900s, the world celebrates international women's day each March. In the earlier years, there was not much to "celebrate." Today, there is. The past three decades have witnessed real progress towards gender equity. Women have gained access to education, health, jobs, land, and other assets...

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Should Foreign Aid Be Abandoned or Adapted?

(16) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 11:27 AM

In his latest book, Angus Deaton, an idol among development data junkies, makes two claims. First, advances in medicine have helped humans live longer and better lives. Over the centuries, greater awareness of germs, the discovery of vaccines, and the use of sanitation drastically brought child mortality down,...

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Why Can't We Innovate Our Way Out of Poverty?

(48) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 9:21 AM

It is one of those unproven-but-probably-true facts that developing countries have an easier time getting out of poverty than getting into prosperity. They go from "low-" to "middle-income" level relatively fast, but rarely make it to "high-income" status. [A country is considered middle-income if its average citizen makes between $1,200...

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Can Africa Follow China's Industrialization Path?

(11) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 7:28 PM

The simple answer is "No". But there is a lot that sub-Saharan Africa ("Africa" for short) can learn from the Chinese industrialization experience -- that incredible transformation from an old, inward-looking, heavy industrial sector which provided relatively little employment, exported almost nothing, and was owned and managed by the state,...

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How Green Should Economic Growth Be?

(12) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 4:15 PM

First dilemma. When your country sells its oil, copper, or timber, it is actually swapping one asset for another: out goes a natural resource, in comes cash. Your national wealth has not changed. Now, if the cash is invested wisely, you might be better off -- rather than leaving hydrocarbons,...

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What on Earth Are 'Commodity Super-Cycles' and Why Do They Matter?

(11) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 8:58 AM

The average developing country lives off exporting commodities like oil, gas, copper, cocoa or soybeans. The sale of these resources brings both revenue to the government and foreign currency to import what is not produced at home -- which, in these places, tends to be most things. So whatever happens...

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Les Misérables: How Many People Live in Extreme Poverty?

(15) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 7:49 PM

Every year, for the past 35 years, the World Bank has published the World Development Indicators, a fine collection of data on developing countries. The just-released 2013 issue of "the WDI" is unusually telling. Deep into the report, there is a table that shows the status and the...

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What's the Future of Foreign Aid?

(2) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 9:02 AM

Rich countries have been giving money to poor ones for many decades and for many reasons -- from geopolitics to post-colonial guilt to altruism. Much of that money was meant for development, that is, to build the schools, hospitals and roads that, over time, would make the recipients less poor....

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Can Governments Create Industries?

(14) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 10:38 AM

It is an old debate. Back in the '50s and '60s, from Asia to Latin-America, an idea caught fire among development economists: governments should try to create industries. Typically, civil servants would pick industries that could employ lots of people or substitute imports, required huge upfront investments, were considered strategic,...

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Why Do the Poor Complain So Little?

(16) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 12:54 PM

You are visiting a poor village somewhere in the developing world. No paved roads, no electricity, no running water, no clinic and only a thatch-roofed shack for a school. You soon hear stories of malnutrition, disease and illiteracy -- all symptoms of no or lousy public services. But you know...

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How to Tell When Your Country Is Managing Its Riches Well

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 5:22 PM

Say that your country is blessed with natural resources. Oil, gas, minerals -- it has it all. New technologies are leading to even more discoveries. Your president is on television on an almost daily basis signing new exploration deals -- likely with foreign companies -- or happily announcing new finds....

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Fix Africa's Statistics

(6) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 3:17 PM

How would you feel if you were on an airplane and the pilot made the following announcement: "This is your captain speaking. I'm happy to report that all of our engines checked fine, we have just climbed to 36,000 feet, will soon reach our cruising speed, and should get to...

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Working in the Shadows: What Have We Learned About Informality?

(4) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 6:21 AM

In the average developing country, most people work outside the law -- they have no contract, are not registered, carry no license, pay no tax or make no pension contribution. They get no social benefits or labor protection either. They are "informal."

Think of the small farmer toiling on...

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Why Economic Growth Happens in Some Places and Not in Others?

(13) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 10:27 AM

Have you ever wondered why, sometimes, poverty continues to increase in countries that grow super-fast? Take the case of India, a model of economic take-off. The number of Indians living on less than $1.25 a day (yes, $1.25 a day, that's how poor the extremely poor are) went up in...

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Has Decentralization Worked?

(3) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 9:49 AM

Think back to the 1990s. The Soviet Union had just disintegrated. The American economy was on a roll. Technology and the Internet were starting to connect people. And democracy was spreading fast, especially among developing countries that never had it before. The headlines were about fresh new presidents and voters...

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Can Africa Feed Africa?

(30) Comments | Posted September 18, 2012 | 10:27 AM

Africa does not produce all the food it needs. In fact, as more Africans leave their rural villages and move into cities, more maize, rice, wheat and other staples have to be shipped in from outside the continent. The cost is huge -- well above $20 billion per year --...

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What Have Economists Learned About Indigenous Peoples?

(19) Comments | Posted June 21, 2012 | 12:58 PM

By some estimates, 350 million people qualify as "indigenous" -- individuals bound together by their ancestry, lands, culture, language and, ultimately, self-identification. Think of Bolivia's Aymara, Canada's Inuit, Congo's Pygmy, India's "Scheduled Tribes," Laos' Hmong, New Zealand's Maori, Niger's Touareg, or the United States' Navajo. Common wisdom has...

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