International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper assesses the relationship between demographic trends and housing prices in Japan. Among various issues in the context of regional disparities, the paper focus on regional differences in population dynamics to try and understand to what extent demographic trends have influenced housing market prices in Japan in the past twenty years. Large cities, notably the Greater Tokyo area, are experiencing net migration inflows, while other regions are experiencing net migration outflows. Due to the durability of housing compared to other forms of investment, the magnitude of house price declines associated with population losses is larger than that of house price increases associated with population gains. These model-based predictions are likely to underestimate the actual fall in house prices associated with future population losses, as expectations of lower housing prices in the future could trigger more population outflows and disposal of houses, especially in rural areas. The paper suggests policy measures to help close regional disparities and avoid potential over-investment by taking account of demographic trends for housing supply.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper provides an overview of Belize’s tourism sector and main achievements and discusses the country’s comparative advantages and bottlenecks in tourism. It also analyzes the impact of structural and institutional reforms on tourist arrivals. The outturns in tourism have significantly exceeded targets set in the authorities’ National Sustainable Tourism Masterplan (NSTMP). The implementation of the NSTMP reforms has supported the tourism sector’s expansion. In order to guide the development of the tourism sector, the NSTMP 2011 proposes reforms and targets to propel Belize into an internationally recognized tourist destination by 2030. The emergence of the shared economy business model has also brought new challenges, in addition to opportunities. The benefits of the peer-to-peer accommodation available to customers on digital platforms include the expansion of tourism product, service, and sector offerings; improved access to market; and opportunities for income generation. It is imperative that reforms in the near term should focus on addressing the impact of recurring natural hazards, infrastructure bottlenecks, fortifying the institutional and governance framework, reducing crime, and mitigating concerns relating to the shared economy.
Seychelles has made noticeable progress toward economic stability and sustainability under successive Fund programs through prudent macroeconomic policies and bold reforms since the crisis in 2008. Despite significant headway, the country remains vulnerable to external shocks as a small, open, and tourism-dependent economy. Seychelles could face challenges to reconcile its goals to reduce its infrastructure gap, enhance its resilience to climate change, and bolster its medium-term fiscal and external sustainability.
The Growth and Social Protection Strategy (GSPS) provides the framework for Dominica’s economic and social policies over the next five years and sets out the macroeconomic framework; the growth strategy, including the enabling environment for private enterprise and sectoral strategies; and poverty reduction and social protection programs. Economic growth in Dominica was curtailed by a conjuncture of unfavorable developments, particularly with respect to trade, but there were underlying weaknesses in the economy such as a reliance on one or two sectors, with this lack of diversity exacerbating its vulnerability to economic shocks.