Public investment is a catalyst for inclusive growth and private sector-enabling development. Its role (and that of potential waste) in recovery is vital: with high debt levels and lack of fiscal space globally, better infrastructure governance will be key for countries get much more “bang for the buck” on their investment spending.
A new book by the International Monetary Fund shows that countries can lose up to one-third of the value of their investments due to inefficiencies stemming from bad management and corruption. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, strong infrastructure governance are likely to become even more important: public investment will have to be part of stimulating weak aggregate demand. For example, in the area of health, the pandemic has revealed a lack of preparedness of many health systems and an urgent need for upgrading health infrastructure that will have to be addressed. Second, countries will emerge from the pandemic with scarce fiscal space, elevated debt levels, large financing needs, and therefore a renewed need for higher efficiency.
Professor Tim Besley, Professor of Economics, LSE Department of Economics and Fellow, CEPR.
Taufik Hanafi, Deputy Minister of National Development Planning for Development Monitoring, Evaluation and Control, Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas), Indonesia.
Evelyn Hernandez, Head of Members and Affiliate Programmes at CoST- The Infrastructure Transparency Initiative.
Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the African Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Geneviève Verdier, Division Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF.
Piroska Nagy Mohacsi, Interim Director and Programme Director, Institute of Global Affairs at the LSE School of Public Policy.
Erik Berglöf, Chief Economist, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); Professor, LSE School of Public Policy and Fellow, CEPR.
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