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Mr. Benedicte Baduel, Asel Isakova, and Anna Ter-Martirosyan
Sharing economic benefits equitably across all segments of society includes addressing the specific challenges of different generations. At present, youth and elderly are particularly vulnerable to poverty relative to adults in their middle years. Broad-based policies should aim to foster youth integration into the labor market and ensure adequate income and health care support for the elderly. Turning to the intergenerational dimension, everyone should have the same chances in life, regardless of their family background. Policies that promote social mobility include improving access to high-quality care and education starting from a very early age, supporting lifelong learning, effective social protection schemes, and investing in infrastructure and other services to reduce spatial segregation.
Raquel Fernández, Asel Isakova, Francesco Luna, and Barbara Rambousek
This paper considers various dimensions and sources of gender inequality and presents policies and best practices to address these. With women accounting for fifty percent of the global population, inclusive growth can only be achieved if it promotes gender equality. Despite recent progress, gender gaps remain across all stages of life, including before birth, and negatively impact health, education, and economic outcomes for women. The roadmap to gender equality has to rely on legal framework reforms, policies to promote equal access, and efforts to tackle entrenched social norms. These need to be set in the context of arising new trends such as digitalization, climate change, as well as shocks such as pandemics.
Ms. Emilia M Jurzyk, Medha Madhu Nair, Nathalie Pouokam, Tahsin Saadi Sedik, Anthony Tan, and Mrs. Irina Yakadina
The COVID-19 pandemic risks exacerbating inequality in Asia. High frequency labor surveys show that the pandemic is having particularly adverse effects on younger workers, women and people that are more vulnerable. Pandemics have been shown to increase inequalities. As a result, income inequality, which was already high and rising in Asia before the pandemic, is likely to rise further over the medium term, unless policies succeed in breaking this historical pattern. Many Asian governments have implemented significant fiscal policy measures to mitigate the pandemic’s effect on the most vulnerable, with the impact depending on the initial coverage of safety nets, fiscal space, and degree of informality and digitalization. The paper includes model-based analysis which shows that policies targeted to where needs are greatest are effective in mitigating adverse distributional consequences and underpinning overall economic activity and virus containment.
Yangkyoon Byeon, Kwanghae Choi, Heenam Choi, and Jun I. Kim
Korea is facing mounting economic challenges. Productivity growth has been on a trend decline amid demographic headwinds, while the societal demand for inclusive growth has been on a steep rise. Furthermore, the government-led unbalanced growth model—which served Korea well in the past—has become less effective and politically palatable in recent years. As such, Korea needs a major paradigm shift to embark on a new sustainable and inclusive growth path. But policy response has been modest at best with no major reforms being implemented over the past two decades. We propose a paradigm shift in Korea’s economic framework, involving a simultaneous big push for greater economic freedom and stronger social protection within the parameters set by long-run fiscal sustainability. We also provide a detailed account of structural reforms to boost economic freedom and sustainable funding plans for stronger social protection.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper evaluates corporate and banking sector vulnerabilities in India. The analysis shows that while corporate sector risks have subsided, debt repayment capacity remains strained, and high leverage continues to weigh on corporate resilience, which may pose further risks to banks’ asset quality. Public sector banks have stepped up recognition of nonperforming assets, but their debt recovery capacity remains weak. Simulations suggest that potential recapitalization needs, at current provisioning levels, should have a modest fiscal impact.
Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, and Min Zhu

Abstract

The “Gulf Falcons”—the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council—have high living standards as a result of large income flows from oil. The decline of oil prices between summer 2014 and fall 2015 underscores the urgency for the Gulf Falcons to diversify away from their current heavy reliance on oil exports. This book discusses attempts at diversification in the Middle East and North Africa and the complex choices policymakers face. It brings together the views of academics and policymakers to offer practical advice for future efforts to increase productivity growth.

Mr. Paulo Drummond, Mr. Vimal V Thakoor, and Shu Yu
Africa will account for 80 percent of the projected 4 billion increase in the global population by 2100. The accompanying increase in its working age population creates a window of opportunity, which if properly harnessed, can translate into higher growth and yield a demographic dividend. We quantify the potential demographic dividend based on the experience of other regions. The dividend will vary across countries, depending on such factors as the initial working age population as well as the speed and magnitude of demographic transition. It will be critical to ensure that the right supportive policies, including those fostering human capital accumulation and job creation, are in place to translate this opportunity into concrete economic growth.