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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper assesses the long-term fiscal position of Canada. Simulations based on current tax and spending policies suggest that the fiscal position will remain favorable until well into the middle of the century, and relatively modest adjustments would be required to make these policies sustainable in the long term. The analysis also illustrates that these conclusions could be easily overturned if pressures to spend the planning surpluses that are expected to emerge in coming years are not resisted, and if measures are not put in place to contain the cost of health care.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper reviews empirical evidence on the main determinants of the real bilateral exchange rate between the Canadian and the U.S. dollars, with particular emphasis on the role played by cyclical and longer-term economic factors. The paper aims to identify the nature of the shocks that have contributed to the recent downward trend in the Canadian dollar. The analysis shows that fluctuations in the real bilateral exchange rate can be explained reasonably well by its long-term fundamentals. The paper also analyzes inflation and the natural rate of unemployment in Canada.

Mr. Wayne W. Camard

For three days in August, Rutgers University Professor Michael Bordo and a group of noted academics provided senior officials from 30 countries and a number of IMF staff with a historical context for the often contentious issue of globalization. Sponsored by the IMF Institute, “Globalization in Historical Perspective” reprised an earlier National Bureau of Economic Research conference. The seminar focused, in particular, on the forces unleashed in the nineteenth century and the ensuing backlash and looked for insights into today’s policy debates.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper examines the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the recent acceleration of labor productivity growth in the United States. The analysis reveals that the increase of total factor productivity (TFP) growth is a broad phenomenon that encompasses non-ICT producing sectors, consistent with the view that ICT is a “general purpose technology.” The paper investigates whether the productivity boom may have dampened employment in recent years. It also assesses the contribution of immigrants to the United State economy.
Dominique M. Gross
This paper investigates the effects of the flows of immigrant workers on the French labor market between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s. Using a system of equations for unemployment, labor-force participation, the real wage, and the immigration rate, it is shown that, in the long run, legal and amnestied immigrant workers, and their families, lower the unemployment rate permanently. In the short run, the arrival of immigrants increases unemployment slightly with an impact similar to that of an increase in domestic labor-force participation. The composition of immigration flows matters, and the proportion of skilled and less-skilled workers should remain balanced.
Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. Kamil Dybczak, Vitor Gaspar, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Mauricio Soto
This Staff Discussion Note looks at the stark fiscal challenges posed by the decline and aging of populations between now and 2100. It finds that without reforms, pensions and health spending would rise to 25 percent of GDP by end-century in more developed countries (and 16 percent of GDP in less developed countries), with potentially dire fiscal consequences. Given the uncertainty underlying the population projections and associated large fiscal risks, a multi-pronged approach will be required. This could include entitlement reform—starting now but at a gradual pace; policies that affect demographics and labor markets; and better tax systems and more efficient public expenditure.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

According to the October 2016 "World Economic Outlook," global growth is projected to slow to 3.1 percent in 2016 before recovering to 3.4 percent in 2017. The forecast, revised down by 0.1 percentage point for 2016 and 2017 relative to April’s report, reflects a more subdued outlook for advanced economies following the June U.K. vote in favor of leaving the European Union (Brexit) and weaker-than-expected growth in the United States. These developments have put further downward pressure on global interest rates, as monetary policy is now expected to remain accommodative for longer. Although the market reaction to the Brexit shock was reassuringly orderly, the ultimate impact remains very unclear, as the fate of institutional and trade arrangements between the United Kingdom and the European Union is uncertain. Financial market sentiment toward emerging market economies has improved with expectations of lower interest rates in advanced economies, reduced concern about China’s near-term prospects following policy support to growth, and some firming of commodity prices. But prospects differ sharply across countries and regions, with emerging Asia in general and India in particular showing robust growth and sub-Saharan Africa experiencing a sharp slowdown. In advanced economies, a subdued outlook subject to sizable uncertainty and downside risks may fuel further political discontent, with anti-integration policy platforms gaining more traction. Several emerging market and developing economies still face daunting policy challenges in adjusting to weaker commodity prices. These worrisome prospects make the need for a broad-based policy response to raise growth and manage vulnerabilities more urgent than ever.