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Dmitry Plotnikov
This paper presents a structural model of crime and output. Individuals make an occupational choice between criminal and legal activities. The return to becoming a criminal is endogenously determined in a general equilibrium together with the level of crime and economic activity. I calibrate the model to the Northern Triangle countries and conduct several policy experiments. I find that for a country like Honduras crime reduces GDP by about 3 percent through its negative effect on employment indirectly, in addition to direct costs of crime associated with material losses, which are in line with literature estimates. Also, the model generates a non-linear effect of crime on output and vice versa. On average I find that a one percent increase in output per capita implies about ½ percent decline in crime, while a decrease of about 5 percent in crime leads to about one percent increase in output per capita. These positive effects are larger if the initial level of crime is larger.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
This note provides operational guidance to staff on how to engage on social safeguard issues with low-income countries in both program and surveillance contexts. The note is not intended as a comprehensive guide, and should be used in conjunction with other operational guidance notes, such as those relating to conditionality and surveillance.
Mr. Javier Kapsoli and Iulia Ruxandra Teodoru
Developing and low-income economies face the challenge of increasing public spending to address sizeable infrastructure and social gaps while simultaneously restoring the fiscal discipline weakened to countervail the effect of the global recession. Increasing the efficiency of social spending could be the key policy to address the dilemma as it allows the optimization of the existing resources by reducing spending inefficiencies. This paper quantifies the efficiency gap in the health and education sectors for a large sample of developing and emerging countries and proposes measures to reduce these gaps for the specific cases of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
International Monetary Fund
This report examines macroeconomic developments and related vulnerabilities in low-income developing countries (LIDCs)—a group of 60 countries that have markedly different economic features to higher income countries and are eligible for concessional financing from both the IMF and the World Bank. Collectively, they account for about one-fifth of the world’s Population.
Ms. Evridiki Tsounta and Anayochukwu Osueke
Income inequality in Latin America has declined during the last decade, in contrast to the experience in many other emerging and developed regions. However, Latin America remains the most unequal region in the world. This study documents the declining trend in income inequality in Latin America and proposes various reasons behind this important development. Using a panel econometric analysis for a large group of emerging and developing countries, we find that the Kuznets curve holds. Notwithstanding the limitations in the dataset and of cross-country regression analysis more generally, our results suggest that almost two-thirds of the recent decline in income inequality in Latin America is explained by policies and strong GDP growth, with policies alone explaining more than half of this total decline. Higher education spending is the most important driver, followed by stronger foreign direct investment and higher tax revenues. Results suggest that policies and to some extent positive growth dynamics could play an important role in lowering inequality further.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that key developments in Guatemala since the 2012 Article IV Consultation have been positive. As commodity prices stabilized and domestic demand pressures weakened, inflation fell sharply in 2012—closing at 3.4 percent by December. Although subsequently inflation rose somewhat—to 4.3 percent by May 2013, owing mainly to domestic prices—it still remained within the central bank’s target range of 4.0±1 percent. The economic outlook is generally benign. Growth is expected to edge up to 3½ percent in 2013 and 2014, reaching its potential rate, supported by ongoing buoyant domestic demand and healthy private-sector credit.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Fiscal policy in Haiti should be oriented toward more developmental objectives. Steps have been taken in sustaining inclusiveness; however, the current taxation and expenditure frameworks do not completely fulfill the necessary requirements for these objectives. Inefficient public investment and lack of transparency have resulted in lower growth, lower fiscal revenue, and higher costs as well as macroeconomic imbalances, limited competitiveness, and slow economic integration. The country should take advantage of the available financial assistance and step up efforts to improve public investment quality.
International Monetary Fund
The paper is an elaborated report on Nicaragua’s potential economic growth. The challenges and idiosyncratic shocks were immense but the policies of better education, labor contracts, and accomplishments in public investments paved the way for movement of the economy. The external competitiveness and exchange rate assessment also have an important hand. The achievements in the electricity sector and the improvement in reforming the pension system are the prominent aspects. On the whole, the Board considers this growth as a positive trial of development in the global panorama.