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Mr. Philip Barrett, Mr. Sonali Das, Giacomo Magistretti, Evgenia Pugacheva, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a severe global recession with differential impacts within and across countries. This paper examines the possible persistent effects (scarring) of the pandemic on the economy and the channels through which they may occur. History suggests that deep recessions often leave long-lived scars, particularly to productivity. Importantly, financial instabilities—typically associated with worse scarring—have been largely avoided in the current crisis so far. While medium-term output losses are anticipated to be lower than after the global financial crisis, they are still expected to be substantial. The degree of expected scarring varies across countries, depending on the structure of economies and the size of the policy response. Emerging market and developing economies are expected to suffer more scarring than advanced economies.
International Monetary Fund
This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during January-June 1995 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period. Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201.
Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Alejandro Hajdenberg, and Mr. Javier Arze del Granado
This paper studies the cyclical behavior of public spending on health and education in 150 countries during 1987 - 2007. It finds that spending on education and health is procyclical in developing countries and acyclical in developed countries. In addition, education and health expenditures follow an asymmetric pattern in developing countries; they are procyclical during periods of positive output gap and acyclical during periods of negative output gap. Furthermore, the degree of cyclicality is higher the lower the level of economic development.
Michal Brzoza-Brzezina, Marcin Kolasa, and Krzysztof Makarski
We study the macroeconomic effects of the COVID-19 epidemic in a quantitative dynamic general equilibrium setup with nominal rigidities. We evaluate various containment policies and show that they allow to dramatically reduce the welfare cost of the disease. Then we investigate the role that monetary policy, in its capacity to manage aggregate demand, should play during the epidemic. According to our results, treating the observed output contraction as a standard recession leads to overly expansionary policy. Finally, we check how central banks should resolve the trade-off between stabilizing the economy and containing the epidemic. If no administrative restrictions are in place, the second motive prevails and, despite the deep recession, optimal monetary policy is in fact contractionary. Conversely, if sufficient containment measures are introduced, central bank interventions should be expansionary and help stabilize economic activity.
Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Nour Tawk, and Naihan Yang
This paper empirically examines the effects of fiscal policy measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a novel database of daily fiscal policy announcements—classified by type of fiscal measure—and high-frequency economic indicators for 52 countries from January 1 to December 31, 2020. The results suggest that fiscal policy announcements have been effective in stimulating economic activity, boosting confidence, and reducing unemployment, but their effect varies by type of measure and country characteristics. Emergency lifeline measures (which form the bulk of below-the-line measures) are more effective when containment policies are stringent, providing cashflow support to firms and households. Demand-support measures (which comprise most of above-the-line measures) are more effective when containment measures are relaxed.
International Monetary Fund
This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during July-December 1993 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period. Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201
Mr. John C Bluedorn, Francesca G Caselli, Mr. Niels-Jakob H Hansen, Mr. Ippei Shibata, and Ms. Marina Mendes Tavares
Early evidence on the pandemic’s effects pointed to women’s employment falling disproportionately, leading observers to call a “she-cession.” This paper documents the extent and persistence of this phenomenon in a quarterly sample of 38 advanced and emerging market economies. We show that there is a large degree of heterogeneity across countries, with over half to two-thirds exhibiting larger declines in women’s than men’s employment rates. These gender differences in COVID-19’s effects are typically short-lived, lasting only a quarter or two on average. We also show that she-cessions are strongly related to COVID-19’s impacts on gender shares in employment within sectors.
Mr. Sonali Das, Giacomo Magistretti, Evgenia Pugacheva, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
This paper examines the role of sectoral spillovers in propagating sectoral shocks in the broader economy, both in the past and during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we study how shocks that occur within a sector itself and spillovers from shocks to other sectors affect sectoral activity, for a large sample of countries from 1995 to 2014. We find that both supply and demand shocks—measured as changes in, respectively, productivity and government purchases at the sector level—have large spillover effects on sector-level gross value added and on a sector’s share of the economy. We then use these historical estimates, together with the network structure of global production, to quantify the spillovers from the economic shock associated with the pandemic. We find spillover effects to be sizeable, making up a significant fraction of the overall decline in activity in 2020.Our results have implications for the design of policies with a sectoral dimension.