International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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The Research Summaries in the March 2014 Research Bulletin focus on efficiency of health expenditure (Francesco Grigoli and Javier Kapsoli) and employment growth in European Union countries (Bas B. Bakker and Li Zeng). The Q&A article looks at “Seven Questions on Financial Interconnectedness” (Co-Pierre Georg and Camelia Minoiu). The Research Bulletin also includes a listing of IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from the IMF Bookstore. Information on the IMF Economic Review—the research journal of the IMF—is also provided.
Russia, the Baltic states and the other countries of the former Soviet Union inherited health and education systems that were in need of substantial structural and financial reform. In spite of a sharp decline of real resources, this reform has barely begun. While health and education have not suffered disproportionate cuts, employment has been maintained, with real wages sharply compressed, purchases of materials reduced and energy-related spending taking a greater share of resources in many countries. Structural and financial reform would include reducing staffing and physical capacity, while increasing expenditures for materials and wages for the more highly qualified.