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Mr. Daouda Sembene
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have shown strong signs of growth resilience in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. Yet, this paper finds evidence that growth has more than proportionately benefited the top quintile during PRSP implementation. It finds that PRSP implementation has neither reduced poverty headcount nor raised the income share of the poorest quintile in Sub-Saharan Africa. While countries in other regions have been more successful in reducing poverty and increasing the income share of the poor, there is no conclusive evidence that PRSP implementation has played a role in shaping these outcomes.
Mr. Serhan Cevik and Carolina Correa-Caro
This paper investigates the empirical characteristics of income inequality in China and a panel of BRIC+ countries over the period 1980–2013, with a focus on the redistributive contribution of fiscal policy. Using instrumental variable techniques to deal with potential endogeneity, we find evidence supporting the hypothesis of the existence of a Kuznets curve—an inverted Ushaped relationship between income inequality and economic development—in China and the panel of BRIC+ countries. In the case of China, the empirical results indicate that government spending and taxation have opposing effects on income inequality. While government spending appears to have a worsening impact, taxation improves income distribution. Even though the redistributive effect of fiscal policy in China appears to be stronger than what we identify in the BRIC+ panel, it is not large enough to compensate for the adverse impact of other influential factors.
Mr. Damiano Sandri
This paper shows that the behavior of entrepreneurs facing incomplete financial markets and risky investment can explain why growth accelerations in developing countries tend to be associated with current account improvements. The uninsurable risk of losing invested capital forces entrepreneurs to rely on self-financing, so that when business opportunities open up entrepreneurs increase saving to finance the investment that produces growth. The key insight is that saving has to rise more than investment to allow also for the accumulation of precautionary assets. Plausibly calibrated simulations show that this net saving increase can sustain large and persistent net capital outflows.
Mr. Ruben V Atoyan and Jesmin Rahman
The Western Balkan countries have some of the lowest female labor force participation and employment rates across Europe. Almost two-thirds of working age women in the region are either inactive or unemployed: a huge bite into human capital for a region that endures high emigration and faces declining working age population. The paper uses both macro- and micro-level data to explore what explains low participation and employment rates among women in the region. Our findings show that improving educational attainment, having a more balanced family leave policy, and reducing tax wedge help improve participation of women in the labor force. However, these measures are not enough to notably improve employability of women, which require stronger growth supported by robust institutions.
Wai-Yip Alex Ho and Chun-Yu Ho
We find that from 1995 to 2002 in China, the dispersion of wealth decreased, the moneywealth ratio increased for all wealth levels and the aggregate money-output ratio increased. We develop a two-asset dynamic general equilibrium model in which households face a portfolio adjustment cost and a borrowing constraint. We find that financial development lowers the dispersion of wealth by reducing the precautionary motive of households. In addition, tight monetary policies increase the value of money and thus increase the moneywealth ratio for all wealth levels and the aggregate money-output ratio.