Austerity: the New Normal
A Renewed Washington Consensus 2010-24
This working paper: (i) examines historical and projected government expenditure trends for 189 countries; (ii) reviews the latest IMF country reports for countries to identify the main channels used by governments to adjust expenditures; (iii) discusses the negative social impacts of austerity measures; (iv) presents the renewed Washington Consensus advised to governments that are left with limited budgets—and the alternative UN Consensus on Development for All; and (v) calls for urgent action by governments to identify fiscal space to accelerate development, human rights, a green recovery with jobs and inclusive growth, and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This publication was translated into Chinese by Jianjun Zhou and Zhong Yang and is available here.
About the Authors
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 Director at the International Labour Organization/ILO and UNICEF, and senior advisor at the United Nations and at the Asian Development Bank. She has an MSc and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. She worked in more than 50 countries, and has written about 60 publications translated in several languages.
Social Policy and Economic Specialist
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.