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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.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper reports about current mainstream growth projections for the United States and the European Union over the medium term represent a marked slowdown from growth rates in the decades prior to the global financial crisis. Slower growth in Europe and the United States has mixed implications for growth prospects in developing economies. Most obviously, on the negative side, it means less demand for these countries’ exports, so models of development based on export-led growth may need to be rethought. In contrast, for Western Europe the narrative is about catch-up growth rather than the rate of cutting-edge technological progress. From the middle of the 20th century to the recent global crisis, this experience comprised three distinct phases. European medium-term growth prospects depend both on how fast productivity grows in the United States and whether catch-up growth can resume after a long hiatus. Economic historians see social capability as a key determinant of success or failure in catch-up growth.
Mr. Alfred Schipke and Mr. Dominique Desruelle

Abstract

How to entrench hard-won gains, increase resilience to shocks, and improve growth performance to reduce poverty? As Central America moves forward in regaining macroeconomic stability, these are the challenges. This study analyzes Central America’s real, fiscal, monetary, and financial sector policies at the regional level, starting with a review of growth performance and the macroeconomic implications of remittances. It then looks at the sustainability of pension systems, financial system development, sovereign debt vulnerabilities, and ways to sustain progress in reducing inflation by strengthening the credibility of central banks.

Mr. Daniel P. Hewitt
Econometric results from an analysis of the determinants of military expenditure in 125 countries during 1972-88 are presented. The dependent variable is the ratio of military expenditure to GDP; included among the explanatory variables are economic and financial indicators, political variables summarizing the form of government, and demographic and geographic features of nations. The results strongly confirm the importance of these variables in explaining cross-country differences in levels of military expenditure.
Mr. Peter S. Heller and Mr. Alan A. Tait

Abstract

Many studies on International tax compaisons have been undertaken since the early 1970s. While controversial, such studies have facilitated more subtle comparisons of a country's tax performance than would be afforded by focusing on its simple tax ratio.