COVID-19 and Human Capital (News and Research 216)

The latest Economic Update for Europe and Central Asia, titled COVID-19 and Human Capital, is launched. Emerging and developing economies in the Europe and Central Asia region are on course to contract by 4.4 percent this year, the worst recession since the global financial crisis of 2008. The pace of recovery depends on the duration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the availability and distribution of a vaccine, and the degree of improvement in global trade and investment. As a result, growth in the region could be weaker than expected if the pandemic worsens. Significant and sustained investment in quality education and health care will be especially critical. The pandemic has also adversely affected education and health in the region. School closures may lead to learning losses equivalent to one-third to one full year of schooling, and they are likely to exacerbate inequalities by disproportionately affecting students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A special analysis in the report finds that improving access to and quality of tertiary education and reducing adult risk factors for health are key for a resilient recovery in the region. While countries in the region provide relatively good basic education and health services, as measured by the World Bank’s Human Capital Index, more needs to be done for individuals and countries to succeed in the future. Good quality higher education is critical for people to remain competitive in fast-changing labor markets. Improving higher education in countries of Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, and Central Asia would also help them retain their high-skilled labor force in the face of sustained out-migration. Gender differences in education and health across the region are limited and, where they exist, they tend to favor women. In fact, it is men who need to catch up in both basic and higher education. However, women’s presence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is considerably lower than that of men in every country. This has important implications because people with tertiary degrees in STEM disciplines are more likely to be employed and earn higher wages. Blog by Anna Bjerde and Asli Demirguc-Kunt: Smart investments in health and education are key to resilient recovery in emerging Europe and Central Asia. Press release in English, Russian, Romanian, Albanian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Armenian. Country-specific releases for Poland and Georgia.

Investing in people crucial to economic recovery in Central Asia, World Bank says

Remote working brings rich opportunities for Russia’s recruiters Until last month, the chief executive of Russia’s Alfa-Bank had always assumed he was the only person employed at the lender who hailed from Tarusa, a small town of just 9,000 people. Now he knows of three others…

Tigran on Russian TV speaks truth (pravda) in a discussion of online education. He spoke about distance education and. The most important thing is to protect the vulnerable and provide equipment to ensure that all children are learning.

Making Remote Schooling a Family Affair Parents are more crucial than ever to their children’s education. Here are two programs, thousands of miles apart, that have helped get them involved.

A Structural Model of the Labor Market to Understand Gender Gaps among Marginalized Roma Communities This paper constructs and estimates a household-level search model to analyze Roma spouses’ utility maximization for leisure, home production, and work…

Returns to Education in Russia:

Updated and Online: Measuring Human Capital. Policy Research working paper no. 8742, with N. Angrist, S. Djankov, P. Goldberg (October 2020)

Future earnings gap due to COVID-19 school closures | Today’s global cohort of students may lose up to US$ 15 trillion over a lifetime

Media coverage of our HCI event in Kazakhstan:

·       Индекс человеческого капитала вырос в Казахстане

·       Всемирный банк представил индекс человеческого…

·       Всемирный банк представил индекс человеческого…

·       Индекс человеческого капитала Казахстана за 10 лет вырос до 0,63

Recording of the joint OECD-HARVARD-HundrED-World Bank webinar: Le​ssons from Turkey’s Education Emergency Response and Digital Education Reforms for a New Way of Teaching and Learning ​| In this seventh Lesson for Education webinar, Reha Denemeç, Turkish Deputy Minister of Education shared  his experience in managing the extensive digital platform to deliver effective and equitable education services, Turkey’s strategies to mitigate internet access and bandwidth problems, and the role of new digital educational materials and tools to respond to the needs of education, today and in the future. Jaime Saavedra, World Bank Global Director of Education participated in the webinar, with Michelle Kaffenberger (University of Oxford) and Andreas Schleicher (OECD Director for Education and Skills). Re​​​c​o​​​​r​​​ding​​​​​  in English​ ​(1hr​​)​; Recording in Turkish (1hr)​​​; Presentations and documents​: ​Blog: How to invest in remote learning while building the education system of the future? Note: Building Back Better: Education Systems for Resilience, Equity and Quality in the Age of Covid-19.