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Hites Ahir, Hendre Garbers, Mattia Coppo, Mr. Giovanni Melina, Mr. Futoshi Narita, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, Vivian Malta, Xin Tang, Daniel Gurara, Luis-Felipe Zanna, Linda G. Venable, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
Despite strong economic growth since 2000, many low-income countries (LICs) still face numerous macroeconomic challenges, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the deceleration in real GDP growth during the 2008 global financial crisis, LICs on average saw 4.5 percent of real GDP growth during 2000 to 2014, making progress in economic convergence toward higher-income countries. However, the commodity price collapse in 2014–15 hit many commodity-exporting LICs and highlighted their vulnerabilities due to the limited extent of economic diversification. Furthermore, LICs are currently facing a crisis like no other—COVID-19, which requires careful policymaking to save lives and livelihoods in LICs, informed by policy debate and thoughtful research tailored to the COVID-19 situation. There are also other challenges beyond COVID-19, such as climate change, high levels of public debt burdens, and persistent structural issues.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
Executive Directors underscore the importance of promoting gender diversity at the IMF’s Executive Board and the Offices of Executive Directors (OEDs). The Executive Board recognizes that a diversity of views contributes to stronger decision making and is committed to ongoing efforts to improve the gender profile of the Board and Offices of the Executive Directors. The Fund’s membership has also indicated that it places importance on this issue; the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) has consistently drawn attention in its communiqués to the importance of enhancing the gender diversity of the Executive Board.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
Executive Directors underscore the importance of promoting gender diversity at the IMF’s Executive Board and the Offices of Executive Directors (OEDs). The Executive Board recognizes that a diversity of views contributes to stronger decisionmaking, and is committed to ongoing efforts to improve the gender profile of the Board and Offices of the Executive Directors. The Fund’s membership has also indicated that it places importance on this issue; the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) has consistently drawn attention in its communiqués to the importance of enhancing the gender diversity of the Executive Board.
Mr. Bernardin Akitoby, Mr. Jiro Honda, and Hiroaki Miyamoto
Would countercyclical fiscal policy during recessions improve or worsen the gender employment gap? We give an answer to this question by exploring the state-dependent impact of fiscal spending shocks on employment by gender in the G-7 countries. Using the local projection method, we find that, during recessions, a positive spending shock of 1 percent of GDP would, on average, lift female employment by 1 percent, while increasing male employment by 0.6 percent. Consequently such a shock would improve the female share of employment by 0.28 percentage point during recessions. Our findings are driven by disproportionate employment changes in female-friendly industries, occupations, and part-time jobs in response to fiscal spending shocks. The analysis suggests that fiscal stimulus, particularly during recessions, could achieve the twin objectives of supporting aggregate demand and improving gender gaps.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper discusses measures needed for structural transformation in Sri Lanka. The government has ambitious plans to achieve upper middle-income country status in 2025 by transforming Sri Lanka in an Indian Ocean Hub for trade, investment, and services. Stable and transparent regulatory systems would make Sri Lanka’s business environment more attractive for long-term investment and support trade integration. Reviewing trade barriers and developing a phased and sequenced strategy for gradual removal of restrictions is a first necessary step toward enabling more competitive trade. In this regard, the authorities’ decision to gradually rationalize para-tariffs and set up automated approval systems is a welcome step. Ongoing open consultative processes on reform strategies can also help building public consensus in support of these important objectives.

Abstract

This volume contains seven chapters that consider how fiscal policies can address women’s and girls’ disadvantages in education, health, employment, and financial well-being. Researchers from a joint collaboration between the International Monetary Fund and the UK’s Department for International Development presented papers at a 2016 international conference on gender budgeting at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, DC, and detail the findings of their work here, which draws on published materials, a questionnaire sent to ministries of finance to all International Monetary Fund member countries, and interviews with country officials and international organizations that offer technical assistance to countries seeking to implement gender budgeting. They describe key gender budgeting efforts planning, allocating, and monitoring government expenditures and taxes to address gender inequality in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Canada, the Middle East and Central Asia, and the Pacific Islands and Caribbean.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues Paper presents an overview of the Malaysian labor market. Malaysia’s economy and its labor market have undergone significant shifts in the last three decades. The labor market is now more urban and has a higher share of female workers and workers with tertiary education. Employment has kept pace with labor supply, keeping the unemployment rate stable for more than a decade. Meanwhile, reliance on noncitizen workers has also increased against the backdrop of slower growth in citizen population. Continuing with its economic transformation, Malaysia aspires to achieve high-income status, with a labor market that is ready for the economy of the future: a market that can support more female workers, more skilled jobs, and a higher labor productivity growth.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses whether there is a more efficient way of taxing labor in Argentina that has a minimal cost in terms of foregone revenues. Social security contributions for dependent workers are generally high in Argentina, despite the plethora of different regimes and exceptions. A reform of labor taxation in Argentina would need to address these inefficiencies. Reducing the tax wedge would stimulate employment and formalization, especially if targeted to low-paid workers, as there is evidence that it’s their employment that mostly responds to tax incentives. Argentina’s tax and transfer system appears to be less progressive than the estimated optimal one. The simulations suggest that the proposed changes would have a positive impact on economic activity and formality, with a minor cost in terms of foregone revenues. Greater labor supply and wages in the formal sector push up revenue from labor taxation, compensating part of the direct cost of the reform.