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  • Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination x
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Daniel Baksa, Zsuzsa Munkacsi, and Carolin Nerlich
Several European countries are currently considering reversing parts of their pension reforms that were adopted previously to improve sustainability. In this paper we present a framework that allows us to quantify the macroeconomic and fiscal costs of such reversals. We thereby integrate the country-specific information from the latest Ageing Report into a dynamic general equilibrium model with overlapping generations. Focusing on Germany and Slovakia as country cases, our model replicates the Ageing Report’s pension expenditure projections very well. We calculate the macroeconomic impact of first the additional pension reforms needed to contain the public debt pressures arising from population ageing and second the costs of reform reversals. Our model results show that undoing past pension reforms would generate substantial adverse macroeconomic costs and could pose challenges for fiscal sustainability.
Benjamin Hilgenstock and Zsoka Koczan
The paper examines the potential effects of international migration on labor force participation in advanced economies in Europe. It documents that migration played a significant role in alleviating aging pressures on labor supply by affecting the age composition of receiving countries’ populations. However, micro-level analysis also points to differences in average educational levels, as well as differences in the effects of any given level of education on participation across migrants and natives. Difficulties related to the recognition of educational qualifications appear to be associated with smaller effects of education on the odds of participation for migrants, especially women.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the challenges for the Spanish pension system. Spain’s population, like those in many other advanced economies, is projected to age over the coming decades. Although projections are uncertain, the simple fact is that Spain’s aging and shrinking population has put and will continue to put relentless pressure on contributory pension finances. The reforms adopted in 2011 and 2013 if fully implemented will ensure the financial viability of the contributory pension system. A package of reforms could include parametric changes such as automatically linking the retirement age to changes in life expectancy and adjusting accrual rates and the calculation of pensionable earnings.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar and Mr. Christian H Ebeke
The age-distribution of Europe’s workforce has shifted towards older workers over the past few decades, a process expected to accelerate in the years ahead.. This paper studies the effect of the aging of the workforce on labor productivity, identifies the main transmission channels, and examines what policies might mitigate the effects of aging. We find that workforce aging reduces growth in labor productivity, mainly through its negative effect on TFP growth. Projected workforce aging could reduce TFP growth by an average of 0.2 percentage points every year over the next two decades. A variety of policies could ameliorate this effect.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper highlights Bulgaria’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) sector and to assess its performance in a regional perspective. A detailed and rich firm-level dataset of state-owned and private firms was compiled for this note to compare key performance indicators of SOEs to private firms in the same sector and to similar firms in Croatia and Romania for a regional comparison. In some network industries, such as energy, SOEs are heavily loss-making. Large amounts of debt have been piled up notably in the energy and transport sectors which, to the extent that it is classified outside the general government accounts, can pose significant risk to public finances in the form of contingent liabilities if the SOEs run into financial difficulties. SOE profitability and resource allocation efficiency largely lag private firms in the same sectors, even when isolating SOEs engaged in competitive market activities and hence classified outside of general government. Coupled with comparably poor output quality, these challenges have the potential to impair competitiveness and productivity across the economy.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper estimates the fiscal impact of demographic changes in Portugal and the euro area over the period 2015–2100. Under the baseline projections of the United Nations, Portugal is among the countries in the euro area that is expected to be most hurt by demographic developments. During 2015–2100, its population is expected to shrink by about 30 percent while the old-age dependency ratio is expected to more than double, driven mostly by low fertility, higher longevity, and migration outflows. Age-related public spending would increase by about 6 percentage points of GDP under the baseline over the period 2015–50, and the public debt path would become unsustainable in the absence of offsetting policies.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the impact of workforce aging on productivity in the euro area. The euro area population has aged considerably over the past few decades, and the process is expected to accelerate in the years ahead. At the same time, labor productivity growth in the euro area has been sluggish, posing risks to long-term growth prospects. It is estimated that workforce aging could significantly retard total factor productivity (TFP) growth over the medium to long term. Given current demographic projections from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the aging of the workforce in the euro area could lower TFP growth by about 0.2 percentage points each year between 2014 and 2035. Appropriate policies can, however, mitigate the adverse effects of aging.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) provides expert and up-to-date analysis of global capital flows that play a critical role in world economic growth and Financial stability. The report focuses on current conditions in global Financial markets, analyzing Financial imbalances and structural issues that could pose risks to stability and sustained market access by emerging market borrowers. Along with the IMF’s semiannual World Economic Outlook, the GFSR is a key vehicle for communicating the IMF’s multilateral surveillance. The GFSR also draws out the Financial ramifcations of economic imbalances highlighted by the WEO, making it an indispensable companion publication.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Mr. Mario Catalan and Mr. Nicolas E Magud
We compare the long-term output and current account effects of pension reforms that increase the retirement age with those of reforms that cut pension benefits, conditional on reforms achieving similar fiscal targets. We show the presence of a policy trade-off. Pension reforms that increase the retirement age have a large positive effect on output, but a small (and often negative) effect on the current account. In contrast, reforms that cut pension benefits improve the current account balance but reduce output. Mixed pension reforms, which extend the working life and cut pension benefits, can simultaneously boost output and the current account.