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Fernanda Brollo, Emine Hanedar, and Mr. Sébastien Walker
This paper assesses the additional spending required to make substantial progress towards achieving the SDGs in Pakistan. We focus on critical areas of human (education and health) and physical (electricity, roads, and water and sanitation) capital. For each sector, we document the progress to date, assess where Pakistan stands relative to its peers, highlight key challenges, and estimate the additional spending required to make substantial progress. The estimates for the additional spending are derived using the IMF SDG costing methodology. We find that to achieve the SDGs in these sectors would require additional annual spending of about 16 percent of GDP in 2030 from the public and private sectors combined.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper provides an overview of financial access and inclusion indicators, related causal factors, and both current and possible reform priorities for on Papua New Guinea (PNG). The paper presents indicators of financial market depth, development, and access for PNG and compares PNG’s performance against that of other countries in the region, at similar levels of development, and beyond. It provides an overview of country-specific challenges facing PNG related to financial inclusion that helps to explain its performance, as well as possible reform priorities in the near term. The government’s current initiatives aimed at promoting financial sector development and inclusion and their preliminary results are also discussed.
Mr. Serhan Cevik, Richard Harris, and Fatih Yilmaz
Standard models—based exclusively on macro-financial variables—have made little progress in explaining the behavior of exchange rates. In this paper, we introduce a neglected set of “soft power” factors capturing a country’s demographic, institutional, political and social underpinnings to uncover the “missing” determinants of exchange rate volatility over time and across countries. Based on a balanced panel dataset comprising 115 countries during the period 1996–2011, the empirical results are generally robust across different estimation methodologies and show a high degree of persistence in exchange rate volatility, especially in emerging market economies. After controlling for standard macroeconomic factors, we find that the “soft power” variables—such as an index of voice and accountability, life expectancy, educational attainment, the z-score of banks, and the share of agriculture relative to services—have a statistically significant influence on the level of exchange rate volatility across countries.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents a study on poverty in Madagascar. Madagascar is a country with general, widespread, and increasing poverty. Most of the population is extremely poor and struggling to pay for food. Madagascar has the potential to grow rapidly. It is endowed with abundant natural resources, a unique wildlife, and a young, vibrant, and rapidly growing population. Taking full advantage of the young population will require higher investment in education and healthcare. Economic inequality appears to have declined and the poorest have in fact increased their consumption. Thus, while it is true that more people are poor today than in 2001, on average those who are deepest into poverty appear to be economically better off today than in 2001. Poverty is primarily a rural challenge. An overriding majority of the population lives in rural areas and rural poverty rates are almost double those of urban areas.
John M. Piotrowski, Mr. Rabah Arezki, and Reda Cherif
The present paper investigates whether tourism specialization is a viable strategy for development. We estimate standard growth equations augmented with a variable measuring tourism specialization using instrumental variables techniques for a large cross-section of countries for the period 1980-2002. We introduce an instrument for tourism based on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We find that there is a positive relationship between the extent of tourism specialization and economic growth. An increase of one standard deviation in the share of tourism in exports leads to about 0.5 percentage point in additional annual growth, everything else being constant. Our result holds against a large array of robustness checks.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the 2006 Article IV Consultation on Botswana highlights economic developments and monetary and exchange rate policy. Botswana’s growth has been fueled by continued increases in diamond production; and real diamond output is projected to level off, and then decline sharply after about 15 years. Diversification of the economy will require implementation of substantial structural reforms, in particular the authorities’ planned reforms in labor markets, the investment environment, and the role of parastatals.