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January 11, 2021

How Covid will slow human capital development

By Paul Dennis

11 January

Global economic output is expected to expand by four percent in 2021 but will still remain more than five percent below pre-pandemic trends.

Harry A Patrinos, an education economist and manager at the World Bank, discusses how the Covid-19 is most likely to hold up human capital development.

He shared a World Bank Group Flagship report that highlights how the pandemic will lead to longer unemployment spells, higher rates of school dropouts, increased income disparities, reduced learning-adjusted years of education, and lower future earnings.

The pandemic has forced governments and firms to adapt to a changing economic landscape, where protecting the poor has become imperative, while at the same time having to build effective policies to allow labour, capital, and innovation for a greener and stronger post-Covid recovery.

The World Bank report also highlighted how investments have collapsed in many emerging and developing economies in 2020 due to the virus crisis but will eventually resume in 2021.

However, despite digital technology advancements, the increase will not be enough to compensate for the large 2020 decline, experts added.

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