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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.
Mrs. Swarnali A Hannan, Ms. Keiko Honjo, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
Mexico’s fiscal response to the pandemic has been modest compared to its peers, reflecting the authorities’ desire to not issue new debt for spending. This approach, however, risks a more severe recession and a weaker economic recovery, with further costs in the future. Balancing the need for stronger near-term fiscal support for the people and the recovery against medium-term discipline, this paper lays out an alternative strategy. We show that credibly announcing a pro-growth and inclusive medium-term fiscal reform upfront—including increased tax capacity, higher public investment and strengthened social safety nets—would open space for larger short-term support and close medium-term fiscal gaps. Model simulations suggest that this package would boost output, limit lasting economic damage from the pandemic, and put debt trajectory on a declining path in the medium term as tax reforms pay off and risk premia decline.
Mr. Lorenzo U Figliuoli, Valentina Flamini, Misael Galdamez, Frederic Lambert, Mike Li, Mr. Bogdan Lissovolik, Rosalind Mowatt, Jaume Puig, Mr. Alexander D Klemm, Mauricio Soto, Mr. Saji Thomas, Christoph Freudenberg, and Anna Orthofer
This paper estimates the fiscal costs of population aging in Latin America and provides policy recommendations on reforms needed to make these costs manageable. Although Latin American societies are still younger than most advanced economies, like other emerging markets the region is already in a process of population aging that is expected to accelerate in the remainder of the century. This will directly affect fiscal sustainability by putting pressure on public pension and health care systems in the region that are already more burdened than, for example, in emerging Asia, a region with a similar demographic structure. A stylized cross-country exercise, drawing on demographic projections from the United Nations and methodologies developed by the IMF to derive public spending projections, is used to quantify long-term fiscal gaps generated by population aging in 18 Latin American countries. Several aspects of current pensions and health care systems in Latin Amer-ica make the region’s long-term fiscal positions particularly vulnerable to population aging.
Mr. Santiago Acosta Ormaechea, Marco A Espinosa-Vega, and Diego Wachs
The paper develops a simple, integrated methodology to project public pension cash flows and healthcare spending over the long term. We illustrate its features by applying it to the LAC5 (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico), where public spending pressures are expected to increase significantly over 2015-50 due to demographic trends and rising healthcare costs. We simulate alternative pension reforms, including the transition from a defined benefit to a defined contribution pension system and the fiscal burden of a minimum guaranteed pension under the latter. We also analyze public healthcare outlays in the LAC5, which is likewise expected to increase significantly over 2015-50 due to aging and the so-called excess cost growth factor of healthcare services, showing that curbing the evolution of the latter (e.g., through enhanced competition in the healthcare sector) could aid in containing spending pressures. Despite its simplicity, the methodology yields projections that compare well with other approaches. It therefore provides a good benchmark for assessing alternative reform scenarios, particularly in data-constrained countries.
International Monetary Fund
This supplement provides country case studies on public health care expenditures and reform experiences in eight advanced and six emerging market economies. The case studies for the advanced economies seek to highlight specific episodes of success in containing public health spending during the past 30 years. For the emerging economies, the case studies take a broader approach and examine reform experiences and challenges during the past two decades rather than focusing exclusively on episodes of successful reform. The lessons from the case studies for other countries are integrated into the main Board paper.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
La edición en Internet del Boletín del FMI, que se actualiza varias veces a la semana, contiene numerosos artículos sobre temas de actualidad en el ámbito de las políticas y la economía. Consulte las últimas investigaciones del FMI, lea entrevistas y escuche podcasts de los principales economistas del FMI sobre importantes temas relacionados con la economía mundial. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
L’édition web du Bulletin du FMI est mise à jour plusieurs fois par semaine et contient de nombreux articles sur des questions de politique générale et de politique économique d'actualité. Accédez aux dernières recherches du FMI, lisez des interviews et écoutez des podcasts proposés par les principaux économistes du FMI sur des questions importantes de l'économie mondiale. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Mr. Erwin H Tiongson, Mr. Hamid R Davoodi, and Sawitree S. Asawanuchit
This paper provides a primer on benefit incidence analysis (BIA) for macroeconomists and a new data set on the benefit incidence of education and health spending covering 56 countries over 1960-2000, representing a significant improvement in quality and coverage over existing compilations. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of BIA in two dimensions. First, the paper finds, among other things, that overall education and health spending are poorly targeted; benefits from primary education and primary health care go disproportionately to the middle class, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, HIPCs and transition economies; but targeting has improved in the 1990s. Second, simple measures of association show that countries with a more propoor incidence of education and health spending tend to have better education and health outcomes, good governance, high per capita income, and wider accessibility to information. The paper explores policy implications of these findings.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.