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Mr. Jose L. Torres and Sidonia McKenzie
Uruguay enjoys favorable social outcomes, and its labor indicators are comparable to other Latin American countries, but its youth unemployment is one of the highest in the world. To help understand this duality, we employ synthetic panels from repeated household surveys for LA6 countries from 1990-2018 to investigate the determinants of the youth-to-adult unemployment gap. We find that a large part of the Uruguayan gap cannot be explained by standard variables, which opens the possibility that other uncontrolled factors, including labor market institutions, might be at play.
Mr. Antonio David, Frederic Lambert, and Mr. Frederik G Toscani
We analyze the performance of labor markets in Latin America since the late 1990s. Strong GDP growth during the commodity boom period led to important gains in employment and a fall in the unemployment rate as labor demand outpaced an increasing labor supply. We emphasize the role of informality in the dynamics of labor markets in Latin America. A re-examination of Okun’s law shows that informality dampens changes in unemployment accompanying output fluctuations. Moreover, we present some evidence that countries with higher redundancy costs and cumbersome dismissal regulations, exhibit “excess” informality over and above what would be expected based on their income and educational levels. Labor market reforms could thus contribute to reducing informality and increasing the responsiveness of labor markets to output growth. However, looking at selected case studies of reforms using the synthetic control method, we find mixed results in terms of labor market outcomes.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes—Data Module provides an assessment of Uruguay’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework 2012. The findings suggest that Uruguay exceeds the SDDS timeliness requirements for labor market (employment, unemployment, and wages/earnings), price (consumer prices and producer prices), and international investment position data. Currently, Uruguay is using two regular timeliness flexibility options for general government operations and central government operations. In addition, it is using an “as relevant” timeliness provision for analytical accounts of the banking sector for countries with extensive branch banking systems. No flexibility options are being used regarding real sector statistics.
International Monetary Fund
This report is part of the 2011 ROSC Initiative review. It focuses on generating additional inputs for an informed assessment of the effectiveness of the Initiative in strengthening institutions in member countries. In particular, it analyses in detail a sample of twenty-two specific country experiences—at least two for each standard currently included in the Initiative. The review of specific country experiences with ROSC exercises—diagnosis and implementation of recommendations and follow-up—contributes to evaluate the extent to which ROSCs have been instrumental in identifying institutional weaknesses and contributed to promote financial reform and reduce financial vulnerability. This is an independent review prepared by an external consultant.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Trade policy occupies an unusual and at times problematic place in the work of the IMF. Though trade policies of IMF members have strong influences on macroeconomic stability, they are often seen as peripheral to the IMF’s core competency. This evaluation, which examines the IMF’s involvement in trade policy issues during 1996–2007, addresses five questions. What is the nature of the IMF’s mandate to cover trade policy? Did the IMF work effectively with other international organizations on trade policy issues? Did the Executive Board provide clear guidance to staff on the IMF’s role and approach to trade policy? How well did the IMF address trade policy issues through lending arrangements and surveillance? Was IMF advice effective? The evaluation finds that the IMF’s role in trade policy has evolved in some desirable and some less desirable ways and recommends how to use the limited resources the IMF can devote to trade policy to fill these gaps.

Mr. Abdelhak S Senhadji
A growth accounting exercise is conducted for 88 countries for 1960-94 to examine the source of cross-country differences in total factor productivity (TFP) levels. Two differences distinguish this analysis from that of the related literature. First, the critical technology parameter—the share of physical capital in real output—is econometrically estimated and the usual assumption of identical technology across regions is relaxed. Second, while the few studies on the determinants of cross-country differences in TFP have focused on growth rates of real output this analysis is on levels. Recent theoretical as well as empirical arguments point to the level of TFP as the more relevant variable to explain.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews economic and policy developments in Japan during the 1990s. It suggests that, while growth is likely to be adversely affected in the near term owing to the fiscal consolidation measures adopted as part of the FY1997 budget, the prospects are favorable for continued economic recovery, supported by improved labor market developments and external demand. A declining working-age population, however, will constrain underlying growth over the longer term. The paper also suggests that a deeper and more accelerated fiscal adjustment would help ensure a declining debt ratio over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund
This Background Papers on Japan analyzes the recent movements of the yen from a long-term perspective. It reviews the movements in the real value of the yen during the post-war period. The paper highlights that movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI)- and WPI-based real exchange rate are shown to be characterized by transitory deviations around stable time trends. The paper discusses potential explanations for the secular real appreciation of the yen. The paper also examines the tax reform issues in Japan.
Mr. Arvind Subramanian, Mr. Richard T. Harmsen, Mr. Peter P Uimonen, Ms. Naheed Kirmani, and Mr. Michael P. Leidy

Abstract

This paper analyzes the achievements of the Uruguay Round, and issues with the post-Uruguay Round agenda. The paper highlights that the conclusion of the Uruguay Round is a major achievement in international trade relations and a crucial element in promoting world trade and growth in the medium term. It arrested the deterioration in the trading environment and created a strengthened framework for future trade relations, thereby boosting business and investment confidence. It also provides positive outcomes in several areas, including market liberalization and strengthening of rules and institutional structures.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.