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Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy. Responses on Children in West and Central Africa

Author

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  • John Cockburn
  • Ismaël Fofana
  • Luca Tiberti

Abstract

The current global financial and economic crisis, which exacerbates the impacts of the energy and food crises that immediately preceded it, has spread to the developing countries endangering recent gains in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction. The effects of the crisis are likely to vary substantially between countries and between individuals within the same country. Children are among the most vulnerable population, particularly in a period of crisis. Especially in least developed countries, where social safety nets programs are missing or poorly performing and public fiscal space is extremely limited, households with few economic opportunities are at a higher risk of falling into (monetary) poverty, suffering from hunger, removing children from school and into work, and losing access to health services. This study simulates the impacts of the global economic crisis and alternative policy responses on different dimensions of child welfare in Western and Central Africa (WCA) over the period 2009-2011. It is based on country studies for Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Ghana, which broadly represent the diversity of economic conditions in WCA countries. In order to capture the complex macro-economic effects of the crisis and the various policy responses – on trade, investment, remittances, aid flows, goods and factor markets – and to then trace their consequences in terms of child welfare – monetary poverty, hunger (caloric poverty), school participation, child labour, and access to health services – a combination of macro- and micro-analysis was adopted. The simulations suggest that the strongest effects are registered in terms of monetary poverty and hunger, although large differences between countries emerge. More moderate impacts are predicted in terms of school participation, child labour, and access to health care, although these are still significant and require urgent policy responses. Specifically, Ghana is the country where children are predicted to suffer the most in terms of monetary poverty and hunger, while Burkina Faso is where the largest deteriorations in schooling, child labour and access to health services are simulated. Among the policy responses examined to counteract the negative effects of the crisis on child well-being, a targeted cash transfer to predicted poor children is by far the most effective program. A comparison between a universal and targeted approach is also presented.

Suggested Citation

  • John Cockburn & Ismaël Fofana & Luca Tiberti, 2010. "Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy. Responses on Children in West and Central Africa," Working Papers MPIA 2010-10, PEP-MPIA.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:mpiacr:2010-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luca Tiberti & Ismaël Fofana & John Cockburn & Lacina Balma & Samuel Kaboré, 2010. "Simulation des effets de la crise économique et des politiques de reponse sur les enfants en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre: le cas du Burkina Faso," Papers inwopa599, Innocenti Working Papers.
    2. Skoufias, Emmanuel, 2003. "Economic Crises and Natural Disasters: Coping Strategies and Policy Implications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, July.
    3. Sami Bibi & John Cockburn & Massa Coulibaly & Luca Tiberti, 2009. "The Impact of the Increase in Food Prices on Child Poverty and the Policy Response in Mali," Papers inwopa09/66, Innocenti Working Papers.
    4. Sami Bibi & John Cockburn & Ismaël Fofana & Luca Tiberti, 2010. "Impacts of the Global Crisis and Policy Responses on Child Well-being: A macro-micro simulation framework," Papers inwopa602, Innocenti Working Papers.
    5. Ismaël Fofana & John Cockburn & Luca Tiberti & Edgar A. Cooke & Daniel K. Twerefou & Theodore Antwi-Asare, 2010. "Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy Responses on Children in Ghana," Papers inwopa601, Innocenti Working Papers.
    6. Sami Bibi & John Cockburn & Christian Arnault Emini & Luca Tiberti & Ismaël Fofana & Paul Ningaye, 2010. "Incidences de la crise economique mondiale de 2008/09 et des options de la politique de reponse sur la pauvreté des enfants au Cameroun," Papers inwopa600, Innocenti Working Papers.
    7. Ronald Mendoza, 2009. "Aggregate Shocks, Poor Household and Children: Transmission Channels and Policy Responses," Working papers 0901, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    8. Dilip Ratha & Sanket Mohapatra & Ani Silwal, 2009. "Outlook for Remittance Flows 2009-2011 : Remittances Expected to Fall by 7-10 Percent in 2009," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10975, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carmen Estrades & Cecilia Llambí, 2013. "Lessons from the 2008 Financial Crisis: Policy Responses to External Shocks in Uruguay," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 51(3), pages 233-259, September.
    2. Sami Bibi & John Cockburn & Ismaël Fofana & Luca Tiberti & Paul Ningaye & Christian Arnault Emini, 2010. "Impacts of the Global Economic Crisis on Child Poverty in Cameroon and Options for a Policy Response," Papers inwopa598, Innocenti Working Papers.
    3. Jean-Yves Duclos & Luca Tiberti & Abdelkrim Araar, 2018. "Multidimensional Poverty Targeting," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(3), pages 519-554.
    4. Sami Bibi & John Cockburn & Christian Arnault Emini & Luca Tiberti & Ismaël Fofana & Paul Ningaye, 2010. "Incidences de la crise economique mondiale de 2008/09 et des options de la politique de reponse sur la pauvreté des enfants au Cameroun," Papers inwopa600, Innocenti Working Papers.
    5. Franziska Gassmann & Cecile Cherrier & Andrés Mideros Mora & Pierre Mohnen, 2013. "Making the Investment Case for Social Protection: Methodological challenges with lessons learnt from a recent study in Cambodia," Papers inwopa694, Innocenti Working Papers.
    6. Luca Tiberti & Ismaël Fofana & John Cockburn & Lacina Balma & Samuel Kaboré, 2010. "Simulation des effets de la crise économique et des politiques de reponse sur les enfants en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre: le cas du Burkina Faso," Papers inwopa599, Innocenti Working Papers.
    7. Lacina Balma & John Cockburn & Ismaël Fofana & Samuel Kaboré & Luca Tiberti & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. MONEE project & UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa, 2010. "Simulation of the Effects of the Economic Crisis and Response Policies on Children in West and Central Africa: The Case of Burkina Faso," Papers inwopa615, Innocenti Working Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Global economic crisis; child poverty; hunger; education; child labour; health; West and Central Africa; Burkina Faso; Cameroun; Ghana; social protection;

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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