Global Austerity Alert: Looming Budget Cuts in 2021-25 and Alternative Pathways
Working Paper #0
This paper warns of an emerging post-pandemic fiscal austerity shock—one that is far more premature and severe than the one that followed the global financial crisis—and presents alternative options to ensure that populations do not yet again have to suffer austerity cuts. It does so by: (i) examining IMF government expenditure projections until 2025; (ii) summarizing the most common austerity measures to be avoided, given their negative social impacts; (iii) calling on governments to urgently create fiscal space to finance an equitable socio-economic recovery and progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
About the Authors
Global Social Justice Program Director
Initiative for Policy Dialogue
Isabel Ortiz is director of the Global Social Justice Program at Joseph Stiglitz’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, New York. Earlier she was director at the International Labor Organization (ILO Geneva, 2013-19) and at UNICEF (New York, 2009-12); senior official at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN New York, 2005-09) and at the Asian Development Bank (ADB Manila, 1995-2003), where she was a founding member of the ADB Poverty Reduction Unit. In 1993-95 she was a researcher at the Department of International Economics of the High-Level Council of Scientific Research (CSIC Madrid) and a lecturer at Madrid and Salamanca Universities in Spain. In 1992-93 she worked at the European Commission in Brussels and in 1991 at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC Buenos Aires). Isabel Ortiz has worked in more than 50 countries in all world regions, providing advisory services to governments and engaging in high level initiatives at the United Nations, G20, BRICS, African Union and UNASUR, among others. Additionally, she actively supports policy advocacy work of civil society organizations. She has a MSc and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, and has written more than 80 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.