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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.
Ms. Enrica Detragiache, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, La-Bhus Fah Jirasavetakul, Koralai Kirabaeva, Mr. Davide Malacrino, Florian Misch, Hyun Woo Park, and Ms. Yu Shi
A hypothetical European Minimum Wage (MW) set at 60 percent of each country’s median wage would reduce in-work poverty but have limited effects on overall poverty, as many poor households do not earn a wage near MW and higher unemployment, higher prices, and a loss of social insurance benefits may erode direct benefits. Turning to competitiveness, since the MW increase to reach the European standard would be larger in euro area countries with excessive external surpluses, the associated real appreciation should help curb existing imbalances. However, a few countries with already weak external positions would experience an undesirable real appreciation.
Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Carlo Pizzinelli, and Mr. Roberto Perrelli
Economic volatility remains a fact of life in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). Household-level shocks create large consumption fluctuations, raising the incidence of poverty. Drawing on micro-level data from South Africa and Tanzania, we examine the vulnerability to shocks across household types (e.g. by education, ethnic group, and economic activity) and we quantify the impact that reducing consumption volatility would have on aggregate poverty. We then discuss coverage of consumption insurance mechanisms, including financial access and transfers. Country characteristics crucially determine which household-level shocks are most prevalent and which consumption-smoothing mechanisms are available. In Tanzania, agricultural shocks are an important source of consumption risk as two thirds of households are involved in some level of agricultural production. For South Africa, we focus on labor market risk proxied by transitions from formal employment to informal work or unemployment. We find that access to credit, when available, and government transfers can effectively mitigate labor market shocks.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the marginal impact of promoting inclusive growth in Malta. The paper uses a multi-country simulation model, the IMF’s Flexible System of Global Models calibrated for Malta, is used to analyze the macroeconomic impacts of ongoing and potential future reforms. Three different policies are analyzed, namely: increasing childcare and after care benefits; extending working lives; and upskilling the labor force. The model shows that the reduction of absolute poverty has been accompanied by rising inequality. The simulation evaluates the macroeconomic impact of introducing free childcare, which is the actual government policy since 2015. Simulations show that policies that are primarily aimed at improving social inclusion also end up boosting potential output, thereby mitigating the fiscal cost of such policies in the long term. Recent declines in poverty rate can partly be ascribed to the cycle, however, recent structural reforms likely have had a significant impact on growth.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Economic Development Document summarizes Mauritania’s Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP) for 2016–30. The first five-year phase of the SCAPP will complete projects under way and lay the foundations for a new, politically more peaceful Mauritania, with infrastructure put in place to support growth and encourage development of the country's natural resources. Steps will be taken to complete the reforms needed to improve the business climate and promote the private sector. In the second five-year period, the economy will be more diversified and competitive, with the real rate of growth averaging at about 10 percent a year. The third five-year phase will consolidate Mauritania's “new look” and the economic growth will exceed 12 percent a year.