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  • Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity x
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Arina Viseth
This paper uses census and household survey data on Cameroon, Ghana, and South Africa to examine immigration’s impact in the context of a segmented labor market in Sub-Saharan Africa. We find that immigration affects (i) employment (ii) employment allocation between informal and formal sectors, and (iii) the type of employment within each sector. The direction of the impact depends on the degree of complementarity between immigrants and native workers’ skills. Immigration is found to be productivity-enhancing in the short to near term in countries where, the degree of complementarity between immigrants and native workers’ skill sets is the highest.
Manoj Atolia, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Milton Marquis, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
This paper takes a fresh look at the current theories of structural transformation and the role of private and public fundamentals in the process. It summarizes some representative past and current experiences of various countries vis-a-vis structural transformation with a focus on the roles of manufacturing, policy, and the international environment in shaping the trajectory of structural transformation. The salient aspects of the current debate on premature deindustrialization and its relation to a middle-income trap are described as they relate to the path of structural transformation. Conclusions are drawn regarding prospective future paths for structural transformation and development policies.
International Monetary Fund
This supplement presents country case studies reviewing country experiences with managing wage bill pressures, which are the basis for the compensation and employment reform lessons identified in the main paper. The selection of countries for the case studies reflects past studies carried out by either the IMF or the World Bank in the context of technical assistance or bilateral surveillance (Table 1). These studies provide important insights into the different sources of wage bill pressures as well as the reform challenges governments have faced when addressing these pressures over the short and medium term. The studies cover 20 countries, including five advanced economies, six countries from sub-Saharan Africa, two countries in developing Asia, one country in the Middle East and North Africa, three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and three countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS. The structure of each case study is similar, with each study starting with a presentation of the institutional coverage and framework for setting and managing the wage bill; a description of employment and compensation levels, including their comparison with the private sector; and a discussion of the challenges that motivated the need for reforms and, when applicable, the reforms implemented and lessons derived from these.
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 sector.
Ms. Louise Fox
This paper reviews the evidence on how households in Sub-Saharan Africa segment along consumption, income and earning dimensions relevant for quantitative macroeconomic policy models which incorporate heterogeneity. Key findings include the importance of home-grown food in the income and consumption of house-holds well up the income distribution, the lack of formal financial inclusion for all but the richest households, and the importance of non-wage income. These stylized facts suggest that an externally-generated macroeconomic shock and the short-term policy response would mainly affect the behavior and welfare of these richer urban households, who are also more likely to have the means to cope. Middle class and poor households, especially in rural areas, should be insulated from these external shocks but vulnerable to a wide range of structural factors in the economy as well as idiosyncratic shocks.
Ms. Annalisa Fedelino, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, and Marijn Verhoeven
This paper assesses whether the scaling up of aid and the resulting increase in government spending that is needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would be hampered by wage bill ceilings that are often part of government programs supported by the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Based on country case studies for 2003-05, the paper suggests that, in the past, wage bill ceilings have not restricted the use of available donor funds. Yet the paper offers a number of suggestions for further enhancing the flexibility of wage bill conditionality in PRGF-supported programs to respond to higher aid flows that may result in the future.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper reviews key trends in Haiti’s fiscal performance over the past decade and discusses various options for strengthening the fiscal system. It suggests that a key challenge will be to generate adequate resources to support development, which requires an increase in outlays on social programs, security, and infrastructure investment to at least the levels observed in other low-income countries. The paper reviews revenue trends and key features of the tax system. It also illustrates that Haiti’s public sector employment is far smaller than in other countries.
Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio


This chapter explores the key relationships between participatory democracy and successful economic development and reviews the early steps of participatory decision making in Ghana. More generally, it sets the stage for a discussion of Ghana's main achievements and failures since 1992 in raising the standard of living of its population and reducing poverty. The high-profile political process that launched constitutional democracy in the 1990s and generated Ghana—Vision 2020 placed poverty reduction at the center of economic policy. Based on a set of price and unit labor cost indicators, Ghana's competitiveness improved in the early 1990s through 1994. The evidence for 1995–98 is quite strong. The Bank of Ghana is suspected to have used administrative means and moral suasion to influence the exchange rate, resisting the cedi's depreciation. The terms-of-trade shock forced the Bank of Ghana to focus more clearly on maintaining adequate foreign reserves. The depreciation may then have helped make the foreign exchange market more active and the nominal exchange rate more representative of market conditions.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Henry Ma, and Mr. Christian Schiller
Privatization promotes economic efficiency and growth, thereby reinforcing macroeconomic adjustment. In the short run, however, it can lead to job losses and wage cuts for workers and higher prices for consumers. This paper discusses these impacts and the fiscal implications of privatization. It then reviews various methods of privatization and finds that public sales and auctions can have more negative effects on workers but maximize the government’s revenue gains. Policymakers’ options for mitigating the social impact of privatization are surveyed, and experiences under adjustment programs reviewed.