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Dilyana Dimova
The labor share in Europe has been on a downward trend. This paper finds that the decline is concentrated in manufacture and among low- to mid-skilled workers. The shifting nature of employment away from full-time jobs and a rollback of employment protection, unemployment benefits and unemployment benefits have been the main contributors. Technology and globalization hurt sectors where jobs are routinizable but helped others that require specialized skills. High-skilled professionals gained labor share driven by productivity aided by flexible work environments, while low- and mid-skilled workers lost labor share owing to globalization and the erosion of labor market safety nets.
International Monetary Fund
This report responds to the February 2016 request from the G20 for the IMF, OECD, United Nations and World Bank Group to: “…recommend mechanisms to help ensure effective implementation of technical assistance programs, and recommend how countries can contribute funding for tax projects and direct technical assistance, and report back with recommendations at our July meeting.” The report has been prepared in the framework of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (the “PCT”), under the responsibility of the Secretariats and Staff of the four mandated organizations. The report reflects a broad consensus among these staff, but should not be regarded as the officially endorsed views of those organizations or of their member countries.
Mr. Dmitry Gershenson, Mr. Albert Jaeger, and Mr. Subir Lall
In 2011, following years of large-scale external imbalances financed by debt, Portugal’s economy reached a crisis point. To restore economic growth and credibility with international lenders, the country embarked on a difficult path of fiscal adjustment and structural reforms. By many metrics, Portugal’s 2011–14 macroeconomic stabilization program has been a success, but going forward Portugal would benefit from policies to reduce vulnerabilities, absorb labor slack, and generate sustainable growth.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Bulgaria achieved modest economic growth in 2014, which is expected to continue in 2015, albeit at a lower rate. Consumer prices declined by an average 1.6 percent in 2014, among the sharpest contractions in the European Union, but are projected to turn positive late in the year. The banking system has shown substantial resilience to the damage to confidence resulting from the bank failure. The budget targets a 3 percent of GDP deficit in 2015, and a further 0.5 percentage point reduction per year in coming years. Measures to improve the composition and quality of expenditure and mitigate contingent liabilities arising from state-owned enterprises remain the key.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Informational Annex highlights that the World Bank has been leading the policy dialogue in structural and institutional reforms aimed at Bulgaria’s successful European Union (EU) integration and convergence. The Country Partnership Strategy of the World Bank maintains a strong focus on Bulgaria making the most of its EU membership. It aims to partner with Bulgaria in strengthening national institutions and capacity to meet EU targets and in accelerating the absorption of EU grant funds. The World Bank also continues to undertake substantial knowledge and advisory services on policy reforms in selected sectors and themes of Bulgaria’s National Reform Program 2011–15, such as innovation, education, business regulation, transportation, water, climate change, and social inclusion.
International Monetary Fund
Threats to external stability in the pre-crisis period have now been reduced substantially and foreign non-debt creating flows have declined, sufficient to support external stability. The global economic downturn has raised challenges for evaluating the countries’ fiscal stance and fiscal policy focus should be lowering support to debt sustainability, private sector development, and the currency board stability. The two entity pension funds have been under increasing financial pressures. Putting the public pension systems on a sound footing will encompass a number of complementary steps.
Mr. Rudolfs Bems and Mr. Philip Schellekens
This paper examines the macroeconomic impact of migration on income convergence in the EU's New Member States (NMS). The paper focuses on cross-border mobility of labor and examines the implications for policymakers with the help of a general equilibrium model. It finds that cross-border labor mobility provides ample benefits in terms of faster and smoother convergence. Challenges, however, include containing wage pressures and better mobilizing and utilizing resident labor that does not cross borders.
International Monetary Fund
This paper provides an assessment of Greece’s competitiveness, export performance, and national saving and investment. It examines the Greek tax ratio and structure, and places them in the EU context. It also reviews the design of the various tax categories, and identifies the scope for further simplifying the tax system and broadening the tax base. The paper discusses that it would be desirable to raise the tax ratio through expanding the tax base before considering raising tax rates.