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The Decade of Adjustment: A Review of Austerity Trends 2010-2020 in 187 Countries

Isabel Ortiz, Matthew Cummins, Jeronim Capaldo, Kalaivani Karunanethy

  • Overview

This paper: (i) examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 187 countries between 2005 and 2020; (ii) reviews 616 IMF country reports in 183 countries to identify the main adjustment measures considered by governments in both high-income and developing countries; (iii) applies the United Nations Global Policy Model to simulate the impact of expenditure consolidation on economic growth and employment; (iv) discusses how austerity threatens welfare and social progress; and (v) calls for urgent action by governments to adopt alternative and equitable policies for socio-economic recovery.

About the Authors

Isabel Ortiz
Global Social Justice Program Director
Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Isabel Ortiz is Director of the Global Social Justice Program at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University. Earlier, she was Associate Director of Policy at UNICEF, and senior advisor at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and at the Asian Development Bank. She has worked in more than 30 countries, providing advisory services to governments and development institutions, among them, DFID, the European Commission, KfW, UNDP and the World Bank. She has a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, and has written 50 publications translated in several languages.

Matthew Cummins
Social Policy and Economic Specialist
UNICEF

Matthew Cummins leads research and is an advisor on real-time monitoring, fiscal space and social budgeting issues, as well as on designing policies to protect children and poor households from the impacts of macroeconomic shocks. He has worked on social policy issues for more than ten years with the Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, U.S. Peace Corps and the World Bank. He holds a MA in International Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS and has published widely in international development books and journals.

Jeronim Capaldo

Jeronim Capaldo is a Econometrics and Data Specialist at the International Labor Organization. 

Kalaivani Karunanethy

Publication Information

Type Working Papers
Program Global Social Justice
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Posted 03/13/17