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International Monetary Fund
This supplement presents country case studies reviewing country experiences with managing wage bill pressures, which are the basis for the compensation and employment reform lessons identified in the main paper. The selection of countries for the case studies reflects past studies carried out by either the IMF or the World Bank in the context of technical assistance or bilateral surveillance (Table 1). These studies provide important insights into the different sources of wage bill pressures as well as the reform challenges governments have faced when addressing these pressures over the short and medium term. The studies cover 20 countries, including five advanced economies, six countries from sub-Saharan Africa, two countries in developing Asia, one country in the Middle East and North Africa, three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and three countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS. The structure of each case study is similar, with each study starting with a presentation of the institutional coverage and framework for setting and managing the wage bill; a description of employment and compensation levels, including their comparison with the private sector; and a discussion of the challenges that motivated the need for reforms and, when applicable, the reforms implemented and lessons derived from these.
Ms. Christine Dieterich, Anni Huang, and Mr. Alun H. Thomas
As labor market data is scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), this paper uses household survey data to analyze the determinants of the gender gap in the labor market and its welfare implications for five SSA countries in multinomial logit models with propensity score matching method. The analysis confirms that education opens up opportunities for women to escape agricultural feminization and engage in formal wage employment, but these opportunities diminish when women marry—a disadvantage increasingly relevant when countries develop and urbanization progresses. Opening a household enterprise offers women an alternative avenue to escape low-paid jobs in agriculture, but the increase in per capita income is lower than male-owned household enterprises. These findings underline that improving women’s education needs to be supported by measures to allow married women to keep their jobs in the wage sector.
Ms. Louise Fox
This paper reviews the evidence on how households in Sub-Saharan Africa segment along consumption, income and earning dimensions relevant for quantitative macroeconomic policy models which incorporate heterogeneity. Key findings include the importance of home-grown food in the income and consumption of house-holds well up the income distribution, the lack of formal financial inclusion for all but the richest households, and the importance of non-wage income. These stylized facts suggest that an externally-generated macroeconomic shock and the short-term policy response would mainly affect the behavior and welfare of these richer urban households, who are also more likely to have the means to cope. Middle class and poor households, especially in rural areas, should be insulated from these external shocks but vulnerable to a wide range of structural factors in the economy as well as idiosyncratic shocks.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Context. The emergence of large fiscal and external imbalances in recent years, which led to a slowdown in growth, is putting Ghana’s medium-term prospects at risk. The Government’s efforts to achieve fiscal consolidation since mid-2013 have been undermined by policy slippages, external shocks and rising interest cost. Until mid- 2014, the net international reserves position had further weakened and the exchange rate depreciated sharply, fueling inflationary pressures. The situation has stabilized on the back of the Eurobond issued in September and a short-term loan contracted by the Cocoa Board, but public debt continued to rise at an unsustainable pace. Extended Credit Facility Arrangement (ECF). The Ghanaian authorities have requested a three-year arrangement under the ECF in an amount of SDR 664.20 million (180 percent of quota) in support of their medium-term economic reform program. Program Framework. The authorities’ three year ECF-supported program, anchored on their second Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II), aims at a sizeable and frontloaded fiscal adjustment to restore debt sustainability, rebuild external buffers, and eliminate fiscal dominance of monetary policy, while safeguarding financial sector stability. It focuses on: ? Substantially strengthening the fiscal position by mobilizing additional revenues, restraining the wage bill and other primary spending, while making space for priority spending. The government is also taking additional adjustment measures to help offset lower-than-budgeted oil revenue. A prudent borrowing policy will complement fiscal consolidation efforts to restore debt sustainability. ? Accelerating the reform agenda: strengthening public financial management and expenditure controls, in particular cleaning-up the payroll and enhancing wage bill control; improving revenue collection through tax policy and tax administration reforms; restoring the effectiveness of the inflation-targeting (IT) framework by eliminating fiscal dominance and enhancing monetary policy operations. Risks. Risks to the program include delayed or partial implementation of policies, including next year in the run-up to elections, a slower growth recovery if the electricity crisis is not addressed quickly, and additional negative commodity price shocks. Staff supports the authorities’ request for IMF support. Forceful and sustained implementation of the program will be essential to address macroeconomic imbalances.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights the emergence of large fiscal and external imbalances since 2012, which has created significant challenges for Ghana. A swift return to macroeconomic stability in 2013 was thwarted by weaker external and domestic conditions. Reflecting lower gold and cocoa exports, the current account deficit exceeded 12 percent of GDP. Although recently revised estimates point to an only moderate slowdown in growth to about 7 percent, the fiscal deficit target of 9 percent of GDP was missed by about 1 percentage point. Ghana’ short-term economic outlook is subject to significant risks, and growth is projected to slow to 4¾ percent in 2014.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
El Boletín del FMI aborda de manera específica el trabajo del FMI y los grandes temas macroeconómicos y financieros internacionales y ofrece análisis sobre la evolución en los distintos países y regiones y en el mundo; información sobre las operaciones, políticas, reformas y asistencia técnica del FMI; síntesis de las principales investigaciones económicas mundiales; datos fundamentales que no suelen estar disponibles en otras fuentes, e informes sobre debates económicos y financieros que tienen lugar dentro y fuera del FMI. Este boletín de 16 páginas, publicado 12 veces al año, está orientado a una vasta audiencia, que incluye autoridades de política económica, analistas, profesionales del mundo académico y de los medios de difusión y estudiantes. Disponible en inglés, español y francés.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
En mettant l’accent sur le travail du FMI et sur les grandes questions macroéconomiques et financières internationales, le Bulletin du FMI présente une analyse des développements nationaux, régionaux et mondiaux, des informations sur le travail, les politiques, les réformes et les activités d'assistance technique du FMI, les conclusions d'études de calibre mondial, des données essentielles qui ne sont souvent pas disponibles ailleurs, ainsi que des rapports sur les discussions économiques et financières au sein du FMI et ailleurs. Publié douze fois par an, ce bulletin de seize pages s'adresse à un large public : dirigeants, analystes, chercheurs, étudiants et journalistes. Disponible en anglais, français et espagnol.
Ms. Annalisa Fedelino, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, and Marijn Verhoeven
This paper assesses whether the scaling up of aid and the resulting increase in government spending that is needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would be hampered by wage bill ceilings that are often part of government programs supported by the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Based on country case studies for 2003-05, the paper suggests that, in the past, wage bill ceilings have not restricted the use of available donor funds. Yet the paper offers a number of suggestions for further enhancing the flexibility of wage bill conditionality in PRGF-supported programs to respond to higher aid flows that may result in the future.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
MD meets SSA leaders; ART. IV: Belgium, Ecuador, Finland, Nepal; U.K. policy frameworks; Ghana: quasi-fiscal activities; Africa and Doha Round; euro area product markets; ASI: FDI; prescriptions for financial stability.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper reviews key trends in Haiti’s fiscal performance over the past decade and discusses various options for strengthening the fiscal system. It suggests that a key challe