We propose a dynamic production function of population health and mortality from birth onwards. Our parsimonious model provides an excellent fit for the mortality and survival curves for both primate and human populations since 1816. The model sheds light on the dynamics behind many phenomena documented in the literature, including (i) the existence and evolution of mortality gradients across socio-economic statuses, (ii) non-monotonic dynamic effects of in-utero shocks, (iii) persistent or “scarring” effects of wars and (iv) mortality displacement after large temporary shocks such as extreme weather.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper discusses measures needed for structural transformation in Sri Lanka. The government has ambitious plans to achieve upper middle-income country status in 2025 by transforming Sri Lanka in an Indian Ocean Hub for trade, investment, and services. Stable and transparent regulatory systems would make Sri Lanka’s business environment more attractive for long-term investment and support trade integration. Reviewing trade barriers and developing a phased and sequenced strategy for gradual removal of restrictions is a first necessary step toward enabling more competitive trade. In this regard, the authorities’ decision to gradually rationalize para-tariffs and set up automated approval systems is a welcome step. Ongoing open consultative processes on reform strategies can also help building public consensus in support of these important objectives.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes that although demands for political transformation commanded the world’s attention, those calls were largely motivated by unresolved socioeconomic issues. Demonstrators in the streets of Cairo and Tunis demanding bread, dignity, and social justice expressed widely held aspirations for basic economic rights, along with greater prosperity and equity. Almost seven years later, notable progress has been achieved in terms of public finance reforms. However, these reforms still have a long way to go to reduce disparities in the distribution of wealth within most countries of the region or narrow the development gaps between them. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa now face a stark choice between short-term retrenchment and resolute pursuit of the long-term reforms needed to secure their future economic prosperity. Forsaking important economic adjustments needed to strengthen inclusive growth and modernize the state and private sectors would set the region back, possibly for decades.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the external stability of Niger. Niger’s real effective exchange rate has been depreciating recently, echoing fluctuations of the euro against the US dollar. A model-based analysis of Niger’s external sector suggests that the real effective exchange rate is broadly in line with macroeconomic fundamentals, which is also consistent with the findings of the 2014 external sector assessment. However, broader competitiveness indicators are worrisome, despite some improvement noted in recent years. The recent depreciation of the naira also suggests some weakening in competitiveness, at least with Nigeria.
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