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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.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents Bolivia’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). Bolivia has requested a purchase under the RFI to cover the urgent balance of payments need arising from an ongoing shift in its terms of trade, slowdown in capital flows, and sudden increase in health care expenditure needs, precipitated by the coronavirus disease 2019 epidemic. The IMF staff assess that Bolivia meets the eligibility requirements for the RFI. Public debt is sustainable, and Bolivia has adequate capacity to repay the IMF. The epidemic will have a substantial impact on Bolivia’s economy, constraining domestic output, reducing export demand, lowering the price of its principal exports, curtailing external financing flows, squeezing fiscal revenues, and increasing expenditures for public health and social support. In IMF staff’s view, Bolivia’s debt remains sustainable over the medium term and, while the outlook remains highly uncertain, Bolivia maintains an adequate capacity to repay the IMF. The IMF staff therefore recommend Board approval of Bolivia’s request for a purchase under the RFI of 100 percent of quota.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The world economy and global trade are experiencing a broad-based cyclical upswing. Since October 2017, global growth outcomes and the outlook for 2018–19 have improved across all regions, reinforced by the expected positive near-term spillovers from tax policy changes in the United States. Accommodative global financial conditions, despite some tightening and market volatility in early February 2018, have been providing support to economic recovery. Higher commodity prices are contributing to an improved outlook for commodity exporters. The US and Canadian economies posted solid gains in 2017 and are expected to grow above potential in the near term. Despite the improved near-term outlook, however, medium-term prospects are tilted downwards. Growth prospects for advanced economies are subdued and many emerging market and developing economies are projected to grow in per capita terms more slowly than advanced economies, raising concerns about income convergence. While risks appear broadly balanced in the near term, they skew to the downside over the medium term, including a possible sharp tightening of financial conditions, waning popular support for global economic integration, growing trade tensions and risks of a shift toward protectionist policies, and geopolitical strains.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The world economy and global trade are experiencing a broad-based cyclical upswing. Since October 2017, global growth outcomes and the outlook for 2018–19 have improved across all regions, reinforced by the expected positive near-term spillovers from tax policy changes in the United States. Accommodative global financial conditions, despite some tightening and market volatility in early February 2018, have been providing support to economic recovery. Higher commodity prices are contributing to an improved outlook for commodity exporters. The US and Canadian economies posted solid gains in 2017 and are expected to grow above potential in the near term. Despite the improved near-term outlook, however, medium-term prospects are tilted downwards. Growth prospects for advanced economies are subdued and many emerging market and developing economies are projected to grow in per capita terms more slowly than advanced economies, raising concerns about income convergence. While risks appear broadly balanced in the near term, they skew to the downside over the medium term, including a possible sharp tightening of financial conditions, waning popular support for global economic integration, growing trade tensions and risks of a shift toward protectionist policies, and geopolitical strains.

Mr. Mauricio Vargas and Santiago Garriga
We investigate the factors driving Bolivia’s success in reducing inequality and poverty during the last 15 years. Our evidence suggests that the reduction was driven mainly by labor income growth at the bottom end of the income distribution. Increases in non-labor income (rents, transfers, remittances) also played a role, but a smaller one, although the introduction of Renta Dignidad has made a big difference for the elderly poor. Labor income increases were concentrated in the informal, low-skilled service and manufacturing sectors. As the gains from the commodity boom go into reverse, and the fiscal envelope becomes much tighter, it will be essential that labor and social policies are well designed and targeted to preserve the poverty and inequality reduction of the last 15 years.
International Monetary Fund
By combating malaria with mosquito nets or building schools and providing basic sanitation, philanthropy is helping transform the developing world. Rich donors are devoting fortunes—many of them earned through computer software, entertainment, and venture capitalism— to defeating poverty and improving lives, supplementing and in some cases surpassing official aid channels.From billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to Aliko Dangote and George Soros, the titans of capitalism are backing good causes with their cash. Whether financing new vaccines, building libraries, or buying up Amazon rain forest to protect the environment, philanthropists are supporting innovations and new approaches that are changing lives and building dreams.This issue of F&D looks at the world of targeted giving and social entrepreneurship.“ Philanthropy’s role is to get things started,” says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who is the world’s most generous giver. “We used foundation funds to set up a system to make market forces work in favor of the poor.” He says that catalytic philanthropy can make a big difference. “Good ideas need evangelists. Forgotten communities need advocates.” Former U.S. President Bill Clinton tells us that networks of creative cooperation between government, business, and civil society can get things done better to solve the world’s most pressing problems.Also in this issue, Prakash Loungani profiles superstar economist Jeffrey Sachs, who helped campaign for debt relief for developing economies and championed the Millennium Development Goals. We look at how, instead of spending commodity price windfalls on physical investments, which are often sources of corruption, governments of poor countries are sometimes well advised to hand some of the income over to their citizens. We examine moves by major central banks to ease our way out of the crisis enveloping advanced economies in our Data Spotlight column, and we hear about how China’s growth inspires creativity in the West.
International Monetary Fund
By combating malaria with mosquito nets or building schools and providing basic sanitation, philanthropy is helping transform the developing world. Rich donors are devoting fortunes—many of them earned through computer software, entertainment, and venture capitalism— to defeating poverty and improving lives, supplementing and in some cases surpassing official aid channels.From billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to Aliko Dangote and George Soros, the titans of capitalism are backing good causes with their cash. Whether financing new vaccines, building libraries, or buying up Amazon rain forest to protect the environment, philanthropists are supporting innovations and new approaches that are changing lives and building dreams.This issue of F&D looks at the world of targeted giving and social entrepreneurship.“ Philanthropy’s role is to get things started,” says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who is the world’s most generous giver. “We used foundation funds to set up a system to make market forces work in favor of the poor.” He says that catalytic philanthropy can make a big difference. “Good ideas need evangelists. Forgotten communities need advocates.” Former U.S. President Bill Clinton tells us that networks of creative cooperation between government, business, and civil society can get things done better to solve the world’s most pressing problems.Also in this issue, Prakash Loungani profiles superstar economist Jeffrey Sachs, who helped campaign for debt relief for developing economies and championed the Millennium Development Goals. We look at how, instead of spending commodity price windfalls on physical investments, which are often sources of corruption, governments of poor countries are sometimes well advised to hand some of the income over to their citizens. We examine moves by major central banks to ease our way out of the crisis enveloping advanced economies in our Data Spotlight column, and we hear about how China’s growth inspires creativity in the West.