International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on Haiti near and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before coronavirus disease 2019 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. The outbreak has greatly amplified uncertainty and downside risks around the outlook. The IMF staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work on assessing its impact and the related policy response in Haiti and globally. Income inequality can hamper economic growth and development. Currently, the financial needs of the rural poor are sustained by microfinance institutions, financial cooperatives, humanitarian programs, and remittance providers. Greater financial inclusion could also be reached via solutions outside of traditional banking practices, including through fintech initiatives. In addition to being a moral imperative, addressing gender inequality is necessary for generating broad-based and inclusive growth. Formal employment opportunities for women need to be expanded. A good start would be to implement the 30 percent quota reserved for women in public-sector appointments, which was introduced in 2012 but never enforced.
The Dominican Republic has posted high rates of output and productivity growth, but labor market indicators have remained weak during the past 20 years. This paper documents these trends, showing that the rapid productivity growth originates in a few sectors, while the bulk of job creation is concentrated elsewhere. The speed of job creation has not been enough to raise employment rates, and lackluster real earnings along with still-rampant labor market informality suggest that most of the new jobs are of low quality. Low real wages and low labor force participation suggest the need of raising market wages above fallback incomes to attract individuals to the labor force. For that, measures to improve education and reduce product market distortions would be helpful.
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about Large Fiscal Consolidation Attempts in the Past and Implications for Policymakers Today (by Fuad Hasanov and Paolo Mauro). The research summaries are "Booms and Busts" (by Roberto Piazza) and " Did Export Diversification Soften the Impact of the Global Financial Crisis?" (by Rafael Romeu). The issue also provides details on visiting scholars at the IMF (mainly from September through December 2011), as well as recently published IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes.
New Q&A feature in this issue focuses on "Seven Questions about Recessions" (by Marco Terrones); IMF research summaries on financial stress (by Selim Elekdag) and on the real effects of the 2007–08 financial crisis (by Hui Tong); listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during April–June 2009; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; listing of contents of Vol. 56 No. 2 of IMF Staff Papers; listing of recent external publications by IMF staff; and a feature on Staff Position Notes, the IMF’s new policy paper series, including a list of recent papers.
This paper reports a brief description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its objectives, size, scope, and use, as well as assessments of its activities, with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2008—and the TA activities and scholarship programs that it finances. The IMF finances technical assistance for its member countries, devoting some 25 percent of its annual operating budget to TA work and training. Although most technical assistance is financed through internal resources, external financing from bilateral and multilateral partners has been increasing over the past few years and constitutes an important pillar. The responsibilities of the Regional Office in Tokyo include collaborative efforts between the IMF and Japan that strengthen economic prospects in the Asia-Pacific region, and also include support of various regional policy forums, such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Pacific Islands Forum.
The paper provides an assessment of poverty and inequality on the basis of the data gathered from the most recent surveys. The vision of state and nonstate actors as well as the challenges to be met by 2015 was outlined; the paper also summarizes the major areas of work decided upon by the government of Haiti. Macroeconomic framework and policies are also discussed. Finally, this study covers financing, implementation, and monitoring of the poverty reduction strategy. The growth strategy is based on four key areas or growth vectors.
This paper quantifies the magnitude and nature of migration flows from the Caribbean and estimates their costs and benefits. The Caribbean countries have lost 10-40 percent of their labor force due to emigration to OECD member countries. The migration rates are particularly striking for the highskilled. Many countries have lost more than 70 percent of their labor force with more than 12 years of completed schooling-among the highest emigration rates in the world. The region is also the world's largest recipient of remittances as a percent of GDP. Remittances constituted about 13 percent of the region's GDP in 2002. Simple welfare calculations suggest that the losses due to high-skill migration (ceteris paribus) outweigh the official remittances to the Caribbean region. The results suggest that there is indeed some evidence for brain drain from the Caribbean.
Mr. Erwin H Tiongson, Mr. Hamid R Davoodi, and Sawitree S. Asawanuchit
This paper provides a primer on benefit incidence analysis (BIA) for macroeconomists and a new data set on the benefit incidence of education and health spending covering 56 countries over 1960-2000, representing a significant improvement in quality and coverage over existing compilations. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of BIA in two dimensions. First, the paper finds, among other things, that overall education and health spending are poorly targeted; benefits from primary education and primary health care go disproportionately to the middle class, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, HIPCs and transition economies; but targeting has improved in the 1990s. Second, simple measures of association show that countries with a more propoor incidence of education and health spending tend to have better education and health outcomes, good governance, high per capita income, and wider accessibility to information. The paper explores policy implications of these findings.