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Angana Banerji, Mr. Valerio Crispolti, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Romain A Duval, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Davide Furceri, Mr. Takuji Komatsuzaki, Mr. Tigran Poghosyan, Vitor Gaspar, Mr. Maurice Obstfeld, and Poul M. Thomsen

DISCLAIMER: Staff Discussion Notes (SDNs) showcase policy-related analysis and research being developed by IMF staff members and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in Staff Discussion Notes are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management. DISCLAIMER: Staff Discussion Notes (SDNs) showcase policy-related analysis and research being developed by IMF staff members and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in Staff Discussion Notes are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, Jesmin Rahman, and Mr. Rodrigo O. Valdes
Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff and are published to elicit comment and to further debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues. This Web-only series replaced Staff Position Notes in January 2011.
Mr. Romain A Duval and Mr. Prakash Loungani
This paper discusses theoretical aspects and evidences related to designing labor market institutions in emerging market and developing economies. This note reviews the state of theory and evidence on the design of labor market institutions in a developing economy context and then reviews its consistency with actual labor market advice in a selected set of emerging and developing economies. The focus is mainly on three broad sets of institutions that matter for both workers’ protection and labor market efficiency: employment protection, unemployment insurance and social assistance, minimum wages and collective bargaining. Text mining techniques are used to identify IMF recommendations in these areas in Article IV Reports for 30 emerging and frontier economies over 2005–2016. This note has provided a critical review of the literature on the design of labor market institutions in emerging and developing market economies, and benchmarked the advice featured in IMF recommendations for 30 emerging market and frontier economies against the tentative conclusions from the literature.
Angana Banerji, Mr. Valerio Crispolti, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Romain A Duval, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Davide Furceri, Mr. Takuji Komatsuzaki, and Mr. Tigran Poghosyan
Product and labor market reforms are needed to lift persistently sluggish growth in advanced economies. But reforms have progressed slowly because of concerns about their distributive and short-term economic effects. Our analysis, based on new empirical and numerical analysis and country case-studies shows that most labor and product market reforms can improve public debt dynamics over the medium-term. This because reforms raise output by boosting employment and/or labor productivity. But the effect of some labor market reforms on budgetary outcomes and fiscal sustainability depends critically on business cycle conditions. Our evidence also suggests that some temporary and well-designed up-front fiscal stimulus can help enhance the economic impact of reforms. In the past, countries have used fiscal incentives in the past to facilitate reforms by alleviating transition and social costs. But strong ownership of reforms was crucial for their successful implementation.