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Mr. George M Kabwe, Elie Chamoun, Riaan van Greuning, Mowele Mohlala, and Ms. Julia Cardoso
Safeguards assessments are a key pillar of the risk management arrangements for IMF lending. Safeguards assessments aim to mitigate the risks of misuse of Fund resources and misreporting of program monetary data under Fund arrangements. Safeguards assessment reports are confidential and therefore the IMF Executive Board is provided with a periodic report on safeguards activities on a biennial basis, in addition to high-level summaries in member country staff reports on key findings and recommendations. This update on safeguards activity covers the period May 2017 to end-April 2019 (the period).
Dong Frank Wu and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
This paper is the first attempt to directly explore the long-run nonlinear relationship between the shadow economy and level of development. Using a dataset of 158 countries over the period from 1996 to 2015, our results reveal a robust U-shaped relationship between the shadow economy size and GDP per capita. Our results imply that the shadow economy tends to increase when economic development surpasses a given threshold or at least does not disappear. Our findings suggest that special attention should be given to the country’s level of development when designing policies to tackle issues related to the shadow economy.
Ms. Hali J Edison, Dimitre Milkov, and Josephat Koima
The IMF provides training to its membership in its core areas of expertise mainly through its Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) or formerly the IMF Institute (INS). This paper looks at the methods that ICD used to evaluate this activity and analyzes the data collected over the period 2006–13. Since 2015, ICD has undertaken a review of its curriculum and revamped its courses and evaluations. Hence this paper provides a detailed analysis of the situation prior to the review.The study's novel feature is its attempt to distill information from all evaluation sources in one place. It also conducts analysis to explain the evaluation results using participant demographic information. An important message that emerges from the different surveys is that ICD’s training program is well liked. Notable differences in results surface when sorting evaluations results by course type or by geographic location, and whether evaluations were filled out by participants or by their sponsoring managers.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes budget financing options and their potential macro-financial implications for Kuwait. With large financial buffers and low debt, Kuwait has substantial room to finance the emerging fiscal deficits. The financing strategy should be underpinned by sound institutional and legal reforms and geared toward the development of the domestic debt markets. A balanced mix of asset drawdown and borrowing from a diversified investor base (nonresidents, domestic banks and nonbank financial institutions) would help mitigate negative implications for the economy and develop the corporate debt market.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that decline in oil prices has adversely affected Kuwait’s fiscal and current account balances and slowed growth in 2014–15. Real non-oil GDP growth is projected to slow in 2015 and 2016, and pick up to 4 percent in the medium term, supported by government investment in infrastructure and private investment. The fiscal and external positions are projected to deteriorate further in 2015 and 2016, and improve somewhat over the medium term as oil prices and production recover partially.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes energy price reform in Kuwait. It emphasizes that Kuwait should take advantage of current low global energy prices to strengthen efforts to reform domestic energy prices. In the longer term, this would benefit growth by increasing efficiency in the economy and creating space for higher public and private investment. In the short-term, one-off effects on inflation should be manageable. Productive activities more sensitive to energy costs, particularly the transport sector, would be able to adjust to higher energy prices more easily if the reform is gradual.
Mr. Alberto Behar
We estimate the elasticity of private-sector employment to non-oil GDP in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for GCC nationals and expatriates using a Seemingly Unrelated Error Correction (SUREC) model. Our results indicate that the employment response is lower for nationals, who have an estimated short-run elasticity of only 0.15 and a long-run response of 0.7 or less. The elasticity is almost unity for expatriates in the long run and 0.35 in the short run. We interpret low elasticities as indirect evidence of labor market adjustment costs, which could include hiring and firing rigidities, skills mismatches, and reluctance to accept private sector jobs. Forecasts suggest that, absent measures to reduce adjustment costs, the private sector will only be able to absorb a small portion of nationals entering the labor force.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discus