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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.
Ms. Dalia S Hakura, Mr. Mumtaz Hussain, Ms. Monique Newiak, Mr. Vimal V Thakoor, and Mr. Fan Yang
A growing body of empirical evidence suggests that inequality—income or gender related—can impede economic growth. Using dynamic panel regressions and new time series data, this paper finds that both income and gender inequalities, including from legal gender-based restrictions, are jointly negatively associated with per capita GDP growth. Examining the relationship for countries at different stages of development, we find that this effect prevails mainly in lower income countries. In particular, per capita income growth in sub-Saharan Africa could be higher by as much as 0.9 percentage points on average if inequality was reduced to the levels observed in the fastgrowing emerging Asian countries. High levels of income inequality in sub-Saharan Africa appear partly driven by structural features. However, the paper’s findings show that policies that influence the opportunities of low-income households and women to participate in economic activities also matter and, therefore, if well-designed and targeted, could play a role in alleviating inequalities.
Ms. Sonali Jain-Chandra, Mr. Tidiane Kinda, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, Shi Piao, and Johanna Schauer
This paper focusses on income inequality in Asia, its drivers and policies to combat it. It finds that income inequality has risen in most of Asia, in contrast to many regions. While in the past, rapid growth in Asia has come with equitable distribution of the gains, more recently fast-growing Asian economies have been unable to replicate the “growth with equity” miracle. There is a growing consensus that high levels of inequality can hamper the pace and sustainability of growth. The paper argues that policies could have a substantial effect on reversing the trend of rising inequality. It is imperative to address inequality of opportunities, in particular to broaden access to education, health, and financial services. Also fiscal policy could combat rising inequality, including by expanding and broadening the coverage of social spending, improving tax progressivity, and boosting compliance. Further efforts to promote financial inclusion, while maintaining financial stability, can help.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper provides 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 scope and objectives, the size and uses of the TA contribution, and assessments of its TA activities and scholarship programs—with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2009. Japan has provided grant contributions to support IMF technical assistance to member countries since 1990. In 1997, the scope of the administered account was widened to allow for financing other IMF activities in Asia and the Pacific, carried out through the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo. Regular consultations are held between the IMF and the Japanese authorities; the most recent formal meeting took place in April 2009. The use of JSA resources is flexible. JSA funds can be used to cover the cost of short- and long-term TA experts and other costs associated with conducting seminars and workshops, such as room rental fees.

David Locke Newhouse and Ms. Daria V Zakharova
This paper assesses the distributional impact of the recent VAT reform in the Philippines and evaluates alternative methods to mitigate the effects of the reform on poor households. The reform was progressive and relatively well targeted. To alleviate the impact of the reform on the poor, several mitigating measures were introduced. Although these measures reduced the adverse impact of the VAT reform for all households, a sizable amount of the benefit accrued to high-income households. Targeted transfer schemes have the potential to deliver a much higher percentage of benefits to the poor.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper discusses Fiscal Year 2003 Annual Report for Japan Administered Account for Selected IMF Activities (JSA). The report consists of a brief description of the IMF and its activities, with a particular focus on its technical assistance activities. It provides greater detail with regard to the JSA and the scholarship programs. It also describes the objectives, size and scope, and use with a focus on fiscal year 2003. The report highlights that in FY2003, JSA financing accounted for 18 percent of total IMF technical assistance, 33 percent of the assistance delivered in the field, and 66 percent of the total external financing.

Marijn Verhoeven, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Mr. Erwin H Tiongson
This paper estimates the impact of public spending on the poor's health status in over 70 countries. It provides evidence that the poor have significantly worse health status than the rich and that they are more favorably affected by public spending on health care. An important new result is that the relationship between public spending and the health status of the poor is stronger in low-income countries than in higher-income countries. However, the results suggest that increased public spending alone will not be sufficient to meet international commitments for improvements in health status.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Les économistes du FMI travaillent en étroite collaboration avec les pays membres sur diverses questions. Leur point de vue unique sur les expériences nationales et leurs bonnes pratiques relatives aux questions macroéconomiques mondiales sont souvent partagés sous la forme de livres sur divers sujets tels que les comparaisons entre pays, le renforcement des capacités, la politique macroéconomique, l’intégration financière et la mondialisation.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper focuses on goal setting for development of the world. The paper highlights that the goals come from the agreements and resolutions of the world conferences organized by the United Nations in the first half of the 1990s. The paper focuses on seven goals that cover poverty, education, gender equality, infant and child mortality, maternal mortality, reproductive health, and environment. Each of the seven goals addresses an aspect of poverty. The paper also emphasizes that these goals should be viewed together because they are mutually reinforcing.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Los economistas del FMI trabajan en estrecha colaboración con los países miembros sobre una variedad de temas. Con frecuencia comparten su perspectiva única sobre las experiencias de los distintos países y sobre prácticas óptimas en cuestiones macroeconómicas mundiales en forma de libros sobre temas diversos, tales como estudios comparativos de países, fortalecimiento de las capacidades, política macroeconómica, integración financiera y globalización.