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  • Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements x
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Vivian Malta, Ms. Lisa L Kolovich, Angelica Martinez, and Ms. Marina Mendes Tavares
In sub-Saharan Africa women work relatively more in the informal sector than men. Many factors could explain this difference, including women’s lower education levels, legal barriers, social norms and demographic characteristics. Cross-country comparisons indicate strong associations between gender gaps and higher female informality. This paper uses microdata from Senegal to assess the probability of a worker being informal, and our main findings are: (i) in urban areas, being a woman increases this probability by 8.5 percent; (ii) education is usually more relevant for women; (iii) having kids reduces men’s probability of being informal but increases women’s.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance (TA) report focuses on four key work areas which may lead to improvement of Government Finance Statistics (GFS) for fiscal analysis, support policy making decisions in Zambia, and improve African Department surveillance. The mission found out that the Coordinating Committee, recommended in the previous TA mission, was not yet established. The mission reviewed progress on the legal and institutional arrangements supporting the compilation of GFS as a follow up from recommendations of the previous GFS TA mission and found that the legislation reforms were on track, especially regarding the Public Finance Act. The report also found that Central Statistical Office (CSO) is working on the revision of the Statistics Act to follow the new strategy for National Development of Statistics. For sustainability and consistency purposes, the mission recommended that the CSO staff produce a GFS manual for compilation and dissemination of GFS data.
Dong Frank Wu and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
This paper is the first attempt to directly explore the long-run nonlinear relationship between the shadow economy and level of development. Using a dataset of 158 countries over the period from 1996 to 2015, our results reveal a robust U-shaped relationship between the shadow economy size and GDP per capita. Our results imply that the shadow economy tends to increase when economic development surpasses a given threshold or at least does not disappear. Our findings suggest that special attention should be given to the country’s level of development when designing policies to tackle issues related to the shadow economy.
Mr. Tito Boeri, Ms. Prachi Mishra, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo
Populists claim to be the only legitimate representative of the people. Does it mean that there is no space for civil society? The issue is important because since Tocqueville (1835), associations and civil society have been recognized as a key factor in a healthy liberal democracy. We ask two questions: 1) do individuals who are members of civil associations vote less for populist parties? 2)does membership in associations decrease when populist parties are in power? We answer thesequestions looking at the experiences of Europe, which has a rich civil society tradition, as well as of Latin America, which already has a long history of populists in power. The main findings are that individuals belonging to associations are less likely by 2.4 to 4.2 percent to vote for populist parties, which is large considering that the average vote share for populist parties is from 10 to 15 percent. The effect is strong particularly after the global financial crisis, with the important caveat that membership in trade unions has unclear effects.
International Monetary Fund
The Gambian authorities produced two Annual Progress Reports (APRs) covering implementation of the first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) during 2002–03 and 2004, respectively. This addendum is organized around four of the main themes of the first PRSP: (i) macroeconomic stability and effective public resource management; (ii) promotion of pro-poor growth and employment creation through private sector development, particularly in the rural agricultural sector; (iii) improved basic social services and infrastructure; and (iv) capacity-building of local communities and civil society organizations (CSOs).
International Monetary Fund
Rwanda’s second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), builds on the strong achievements in human capital development and promotes three flagship areas to mobilize resources and improve policy implementation and coordination across sectors. There has been rapid growth in the non-farm paid employment sector. Executive Directors support the EDPRS to provide an adequate framework for poverty reduction in Rwanda. The immediate risks to growth and poverty reduction are shocks related to regional conflict and unpredictable weather patterns.
International Monetary Fund
The Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) is Afghanistan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Implementation of the ANDS is highly dependent on donor assistance. The main general objectives of the ANDS are to improve the quality of life of Afghan people and to reduce poverty. ANDS will play a key role in improving aid coordination and aid effectiveness. The first draft of the ANDS chapter on implementation, monitoring and evaluation and the policy paper on how to improve aid coordination and aid effectiveness has been prepared.
International Monetary Fund
This Joint Staff Advisory Note examines Congo’s Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP). The I-PRSP recognizes the lack of recent and good quality data on poverty, and recommends new surveys and studies to improve poverty assessment and analysis. On the basis of the sparsely available data, the I-PRSP estimates that at least 50 percent of the population is poor. The I-PRSP also links the high poverty incidence to a significant decline in per capita output and the deterioration of basic social services.
International Monetary Fund
The Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Program (EDPRP) was developed with the active participation and support of society, executive authorities, nongovernment organizations, academia, businessmen, and donors. The study additionally provides coordinated mechanisms for bilateral and multilateral international economic relations. In preparing this strategy, the government was ably assisted by the international donor community, including the IMF and World Bank, the European Union, and the governments of the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Germany, as well as other organizations and governments.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Following a series of international donor meetings aimed at helping Afghanistan stabilize and rebuild its economy, the IMF sent a mission to Kabul for four days in late January. The team was led by Paul Chabrier, Director of the IMF’s Middle Eastern Department. He speaks here about the country’s immediate needs and the IMF’s role.