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Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov
A universal testing and isolation policy is the most viable way to vanquish a pandemic. Its implementation requires: (i) an epidemiological rather than clinical approach to testing, sacrificing accuracy for scalability, convenience and speed; and (ii) state intervention to ramp up production, similar to True Industrial Policy (TIP), on a global level to achieve a scale and speed the market alone would fail to provide. We sketch a strategy to tackle market failures and implement smart testing, especially in densely populated areas. The estimated cost of testing is dwarfed by its return, mitigating the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Benjamin Hilgenstock and Zsoka Koczan
The paper examines the evolution and drivers of labor force participation in European regions, focusing on the effects of trade and technology. As in the United States, rural regions within European countries saw more pronounced declines (or smaller increases) in participation than urban regions. Unlike in the United States, however, trade and technology, captured here using novel measures of initial exposures to routinization and offshoring, did not result in detachment from the workforce in European regions. Instead, regions with high initial exposures to routinization and offshoring experienced so-far larger increases in participation, likely driven by an added second worker effect.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar and Mr. Christian H Ebeke
The age-distribution of Europe’s workforce has shifted towards older workers over the past few decades, a process expected to accelerate in the years ahead.. This paper studies the effect of the aging of the workforce on labor productivity, identifies the main transmission channels, and examines what policies might mitigate the effects of aging. We find that workforce aging reduces growth in labor productivity, mainly through its negative effect on TFP growth. Projected workforce aging could reduce TFP growth by an average of 0.2 percentage points every year over the next two decades. A variety of policies could ameliorate this effect.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the impact of workforce aging on productivity in the euro area. The euro area population has aged considerably over the past few decades, and the process is expected to accelerate in the years ahead. At the same time, labor productivity growth in the euro area has been sluggish, posing risks to long-term growth prospects. It is estimated that workforce aging could significantly retard total factor productivity (TFP) growth over the medium to long term. Given current demographic projections from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the aging of the workforce in the euro area could lower TFP growth by about 0.2 percentage points each year between 2014 and 2035. Appropriate policies can, however, mitigate the adverse effects of aging.
Giulia Bettin, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, and Mr. Nikola Spatafora
This paper examines how international remittances are affected by structural characteristics, macroeconomic conditions, and adverse shocks in both source and recipient economies. We exploit a novel, rich panel data set, covering bilateral remittances from 103 Italian provinces to 107 developing countries over the period 2005-2011. We find that remittances are negatively correlated with the business cycle in recipient countries, and increase in response to adverse exogenous shocks, such as natural disasters or large declines in the terms of trade. Remittances are positively correlated with economic conditions in the source province. Nevertheless, in the presence of similar negative shocks to both source and recipient economies, remittances remain counter-cyclical with respect to the recipient country.
Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. David Coady, Frank Eich, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Alvar Kangur, Baoping Shang, and Mauricio Soto


Pension reform is high on the policy agenda of many advanced and emerging market economies. In advanced economies the challenge is generally to contain future increases in public pension spending as the population ages. In emerging market economies, the challenges are often different. Where pension coverage is extensive, the issues are similar to those in advanced economies. Where pension coverage is low, the key challenge will be to expand coverage in a fiscally sustainable manner. This volume examines the outlook for public pension spending over the coming decades and the options for reform in 52 advanced and emerging market economies.

International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews past trends in public pension spending and provides projections for 27 advanced and 25 emerging economies over 2011–2050. In constructing these projections, the paper incorporates the impact of recent pension reforms and highlights the key assumptions underlying these projections and associated risks. The paper also presents reform options to address future pension spending pressures in the advanced and emerging economies. These reforms—mainly increasing retirement ages, reducing replacement rates, or increasing payroll taxes—are discussed in the context of their role in fiscal consolidation, and their implications for both equity and economic growth. In addition, the paper examines the challenge of emerging economies of expanding coverage in a fiscally sustainable manner