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Miss Catriona Purfield, Mr. Harald Finger, Mrs. Karen Ongley, Mr. Benedicte Baduel, Carolina Castellanos, Ms. Gaelle Pierre, Vahram Stepanyan, and Mr. Erik Roos
This publication brings together a set of IMF papers that prepared as backgrounds for the various sessions of the conference and will help put into broader dissemination channels the results of this important conference. An official IMF publication is well disseminated into academic and institutional libraries and book channels. The IMF metadata will also make the conference papers more discoverable online.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar and Mai Chi Dao
Kurzarbeit (KA), Germany’s short-time work program, is widely credited with saving jobs and supporting domestic demand during the COVID-19 recession. We quantify the impact by exploiting state-level variation in exposure to the pandemic shock and KA take-up. We construct a shift-share measure of the labor demand shock and instrument KA take-up using the pre-existing, state-specific share of workers eligible for KA. We find, first, that KA was crucial in mitigating unemployment: absent its expansion the unemployment rate would have increased by an additional 3 pp on average at the trough of the recession. Second, KA also bolstered domestic demand: the contraction in consumption could have been 2 to 3 times larger absent the program. Finally, we provide preliminary evidence on the sensitivity of the medium-run reallocation of resources to the prevalence of jobretention schemes during the Global Financial Crisis.
Mr. Roberto Piazza

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.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that since 2010, the Lesotho’s economy has performed well with the growth of real GDP averaging over 5 percent a year and inflation held to single-digit levels. International reserves have recovered to close to 5 months of import coverage after dipping to 3½ months of imports in 2012 in the wake of the balance of payments and fiscal crisis. The economic outlook for Lesotho is positive with strong economic growth and low inflation. Economic activity is expected to be supported by large public investment projects, including the second phase of Lesotho Highland Water Project.