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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the wage moderation in the Netherlands. Wage growth has been subdued in the Netherlands despite tighter labor market conditions in recent years. Besides various cyclical factors, rising labor market flexibility may have contributed to the wage moderation in the Netherlands. Like other advanced economies, slower productivity growth and lower expected inflation are important drivers to the wage moderation in the recent years. In addition to that, remaining slack in the labor market also weighed on wage growth. Going forward, wages are expected to grow faster given higher expected inflation, foreign wage spillovers, and tightening labor market.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on United States 2012 Article IV Consultation discusses rebound of manufacturing production. The U.S. share in global manufacturing production declined through most of the past three decades, but it has stabilized since the Great Recession. It currently represents about 20 percent of global manufacturing value added. Interestingly, after a sharp increase during most of the previous decade, China’s share in global manufacturing has also stabilized since the Great Recession, at a level similar to that of the United States. The notion of a manufacturing renaissance has been fuelled partly by the rebound in production since the end of the Great Recession.
Mr. David E. Sahn and Mr. Stephen D. Younger
This paper examines the progressivity of social sector expenditures and taxes in eight sub-Saharan African countries. It uses dominance tests to determine whether health and education expenditures redistribute resources to the poor. The paper finds that social services are poorly targeted. Among the services examined, primary education tends to be most progressive, and university education is least progressive. The paper finds that many taxes are progressive as well as efficient, including some broad-based taxes such as the VAT and wage taxation. Taxes on kerosene and exports appear to be the only examples of regressive taxes.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper examines the policy of protectionism in world trade. It reviews alternatives to trade restrictions, factors influencing trade policies, and implications of protection for developing countries. The paper highlights that the rise in protectionist pressures is worrisome, because the likelihood of chain reactions toward more protectionism generated by individual restrictive actions is greatest in a setting of slow economic growth and highly interdependent economies. The paper also analyzes capital utilization in the manufacturing enterprises.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that in a shift of policy, the World Bank decided to finance directly health projects in developing countries. Under its old policy, formulated in 1974, health components providing basic health care for low-income individuals were incorporated into projects in other sectors, such as agriculture and rural development, urban development, and water supply and sewerage. Lending for such components will continue. After reviewing the World Bank’s experience in financing health-related activities in 44 countries, the report recommends the adoption of a three-tier pyramidal structure for delivery of health services, adapted to local conditions.

Michael J. Sharpston

There is a growing awareness of the close relationship between health and economic development. The author traces this relationship and stresses the need for more effective health policies in the developing countries.