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Deon Filmer, Roberta Gatti, Halsey Rogers, Mr. Nikola Spatafora, and Drilona Emrullahu
We discuss existing shortfalls and inequalities in the accumulation of human capital—knowledge, skills, and health. We analyze their immediate and systemic causes, and assess the scope for public intervention. The broad policy goals should be to improve: the quality, and not just the quantity, of education and health care; outcomes for disadvantaged groups; and lifelong outcomes. The means to achieve these goals, while maximizing value for money, include: focusing on results rather than just inputs; moving from piecemeal interventions to systemic reform; and adopting a “whole-of-society” approach. Reforms must be underpinned by a robust evidence base.
Mrs. Jana Bricco, Florian Misch, and Alexandra Solovyeva
This paper examines the economic effects of policies to contain Covid-19, by extracting lessons from Sweden’s experience during the ‘Great Lockdown’. Sweden’s approach was less stringent and based more on social responsibility than legal obligations compared to European peers. First, we provide an account of Sweden’s strategy and the health outcomes. Second, drawing on a range of data sources and empirical findings, our analysis of the first Covid-19 wave indicates that a less stringent strategy can soften the economic impact initially. These benefits could be eroded subsequently, due to potentially higher infection rates and a prolonged pandemic, but in Sweden’s case, the evidence remains mixed in this regard, and it is premature to judge the outcome of Sweden’s containment strategy. In addition, the economic effects of the containment strategy also depend on social behavior, demographics and structural features of the economy, such as the degree of export orientation, reliance on global supply chains, and malleability to remote working.
Cristina Batog, Ernesto Crivelli, Ms. Anna Ilyina, Zoltan Jakab, Mr. Jaewoo Lee, Anvar Musayev, Iva Petrova, Mr. Alasdair Scott, Ms. Anna Shabunina, Andreas Tudyka, Xin Cindy Xu, and Ruifeng Zhang
The populations of Central and Eastern European (CESEE) countries—with the exception of Turkey—are expected to decrease significantly over the next 30 years, driven by low or negative net birth rates and outward migration. These changes will have significant implications for growth, living standards and fiscal sustainability.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Finance and Development, March 2017

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper analyzes the macroeconomic impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as well as its repercussions on fiscal policy of Namibia. The paper seeks to assess the macroeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS under a successful implementation of Medium-Term Plan III (MTP III) that would lower the prevalence rate to below its 2004 level. The paper also identifies the effect of HIV/AIDS on the real GDP growth rate over the medium term through a source of growth model that estimates the impact of HIV/AIDS on the factors of production.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The world is undergoing a major demographic transition. In industrial countries, aging populations will strain government finances and reduce growth. In contrast, expanding workforces in many developing countries may translate into higher growth. Both trends are likely to pose significant challenges for global and domestic economies. In the September World Economic Outlook (WEO), an IMF team analyzes these developments and examines how policymakers should respond. Nikola Spatafora of the IMF’s Research Department provides more details below.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper for Botswana highlights the macroeconomic impact of an effectively implemented National Strategic Framework (NSF) program. The NSF is anchored on the goals of prevention, care, and support; management of the national response; economic impact mitigation; and provision of a strengthened legal and ethical environment. The treatment of the pandemic focuses on the administration of antiretroviral drugs to the infected, the effect of which would be to prolong their lifespan, as well as increase the average level of productivity.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper focuses on the Fourth Annual Review of Project Performance Audit Results. The paper highlights that the purpose of the Review is to provide lessons of experience relevant to the World Bank’s current practices that can be applied to the design and implementation of future projects. The projects encompassed by this latest Review include: 38 in transportation, 20 in the field of public utilities, 17 in agriculture, 16 in development finance companies and industry, 11 in education, and 7 “nonproject” or program loans.