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Mr. Ravi Balakrishnan, Sandra Lizarazo, Marika Santoro, Frederik G. Toscani, and Mr. Mauricio Vargas

Over the past decades, inequality has risen not just in advanced economies but also in many emerging market and developing economies, becoming one of the key global policy challenges. And throughout the 20th century, Latin America was associated with some of the world’s highest levels of inequality. Yet something interesting happened in the first decade and a half of the 21st century. Latin America was the only region in the World to have experienced significant declines in inequality in that period. Poverty also fell in Latin America, although this was replicated in other regions, and Latin America started from a relatively low base. Starting around 2014, however, and even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, poverty and inequality gains had already slowed in Latin America and, in some cases, gone into reverse. And the COVID-19 shock, which is still playing out, is likely to dramatically worsen short-term poverty and inequality dynamics. Against this background, this departmental paper investigates the link between commodity prices, and poverty and inequality developments in Latin America.

Mr. Ravi Balakrishnan, Sandra Lizarazo, Marika Santoro, Mr. Frederik G Toscani, and Mr. Mauricio Vargas
Over the past decades, inequality has risen not just in advanced economies but also in many emerging market and developing economies, becoming one of the key global policy challenges. And throughout the 20th century, Latin America was associated with some of the world’s highest levels of inequality. Yet something interesting happened in the first decade and a half of the 21st century. Latin America was the only region in the World to have experienced significant declines in inequality in that period. Poverty also fell in Latin America, although this was replicated in other regions, and Latin America started from a relatively low base. Starting around 2014, however, and even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, poverty and inequality gains had already slowed in Latin America and, in some cases, gone into reverse. And the COVID-19 shock, which is still playing out, is likely to dramatically worsen short-term poverty and inequality dynamics. Against this background, this departmental paper investigates the link between commodity prices, and poverty and inequality developments in Latin America.
Ruchir Agarwal, Ina Ganguli, Patrick Gaulé, and Geoff Smith
This paper studies the impact of U.S. immigration barriers on global knowledge production. We present four key findings. First, among Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medalists, migrants to the U.S. play a central role in the global knowledge network—representing 20-33% of the frontier knowledge producers. Second, using novel survey data and hand-curated life-histories of International Math Olympiad (IMO) medalists, we show that migrants to the U.S. are up to six times more productive than migrants to other countries—even after accounting for talent during one’s teenage years. Third, financing costs are a key factor preventing foreign talent from migrating abroad to pursue their dream careers, particularly for talent from developing countries. Fourth, certain ‘push’ incentives that reduce immigration barriers—by addressing financing constraints for top foreign talent—could increase the global scientific output of future cohorts by 42 percent. We concludeby discussing policy options for the U.S. and the global scientific community.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that UAE has successfully weathered recent external shocks, because of its large financial buffers, diversified economy, and strong policy response. The economy is starting to recover from the 2015–16 slowdown caused by a decline in oil prices. Growth momentum is expected to strengthen in the next few years, helped by higher oil output, increased public investment, and stepped-up structural reforms. Gradual and growth-friendly fiscal consolidation should resume once the recovery gains momentum to ensure intergenerational equity. Key priorities have been highlighted to raise spending efficiency, continue diversifying revenues, firmly anchor fiscal policy, and improve policy coordination and management of fiscal risks. The report also discusses that realizing the government’s Vision 2021 requires strong effort to foster productivity growth and increase the private sector’s role in the economy.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Context. Sustained low oil prices have led to a weakening of fiscal and external positions, tightening of monetary and financial conditions, and somewhat softer economic sentiment. Substantial fiscal consolidation was achieved in 2015, but it has weighed on non-oil growth and banks' asset quality. Outlook and risks. Non-oil growth is expected to slow further in 2016, before improving over the medium term as oil prices recover and investment picks up in the run-up to the Expo2020. Macro-financial risks have increased, though the UAE's large buffers and safe-haven status have helped to limit negative inward spillovers.

Mr. Andre O Santos
The objective of the paper is to assess ownership and control links in the GCC corporate sector. The analysis focuses on the integrated ownership and network arising from ownership data available in Bloomberg and GCC stock exchanges. The paper finds that ownership is concentrated in GCC public sector institutions, holding companies, financial institutions, and family groups. The paper then considers the effect of different definitions of control on the distribution of consolidated debt. Debt concentration is maximized when the wedge between ownership and control is the largest. This is the case when the largest shareholder has at least 5 percent of total shares as defined in Zingales (1994).