Juan Pablo Cuesta Aguirre and Mrs. Swarnali A Hannan
Mexico has had one of the highest death tolls from Covid-19 and among the largest declines in output compared to peers. This paper utilizes data on Mexico’s thirty-two states to better understand the relationship between health and economic outcomes. For instance, did the states with worse pandemic outcomes suffer more economically? What state-level characteristics impacted health and economic outcomes? Among the findings are: individual traits such as age and certain pre-existing conditions were associated with higher illness and fatality risks. States with higher initial health expenditure and capacity on average had a lower case fatality rate. The economic fallout was widespread well beyond the direct impact of the pandemic. Tourism-heavy states were particularly badly affected, while states with larger exposures to manufacturing exports performed better. These findings support the case for adequate health spending, fiscal lifelines for hard-hit workers and sectors, and further integration into global value chains to bolster economic outcomes and resilience.
This Selected Issues Paper states that Israel’s growth performance is impressive, with real GDP growing at a faster pace than many other OECD countries. The secular Jewish population enjoys a high level of living standards, whereas most Arab and Haredi people are poor, with poverty incidence reaching 60 percent for both groups. Low employment in Arab and Haredi communities is mainly accounted for by the low employment rate of Arab women and Haredi men.
This paper outlines some of the arguments for and against the funding of public pensions, with a view to establishing whether there is an economic basis for judging funding to be superior to pay-as-you-go (PAYG). It is argued that funding does not have a clear advantage, and the case for a shift from PAYG to funding is thus an uneasy one. There is nonetheless growing advocacy of funded public pensions as part of an ideal pension system, which raises more general issues about the role of the public sector in pension provision.