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SHAHID JAVED BURKI and SEBASTIAN EDWARDS

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF work program; de Rato in Australia, New Zealand; Improving the IEO; Swaziland, Philippines briefs; Inequality in Panama; Namibia: poverty and inequality; Gabon: post-oil era; Growth in Indian states; HIV/AIDS effect; China and India: emerging giants.

Jeffrey G. Williamson

The Economics of Demographics provides a detailed look at how the biggest demographic upheaval in history is affecting global development. The issue explores demographic change and the effects of population aging from a variety of angles, including pensions, health care, financial markets, and migration, and looks specifically at the impact in Europe and Asia. Picture This looks at global demographic trends, while Back to Basics explains the concept of the demographic dividend. Country Focus spotlights Kazakhstan, while People in Economics profiles Nobel prize winner Robert Mundell. IMF Economic Counsellor Raghuram Rajan argues for further change in India's style of government in his column, Straight Talk.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the marginal impact of promoting inclusive growth in Malta. The paper uses a multi-country simulation model, the IMF’s Flexible System of Global Models calibrated for Malta, is used to analyze the macroeconomic impacts of ongoing and potential future reforms. Three different policies are analyzed, namely: increasing childcare and after care benefits; extending working lives; and upskilling the labor force. The model shows that the reduction of absolute poverty has been accompanied by rising inequality. The simulation evaluates the macroeconomic impact of introducing free childcare, which is the actual government policy since 2015. Simulations show that policies that are primarily aimed at improving social inclusion also end up boosting potential output, thereby mitigating the fiscal cost of such policies in the long term. Recent declines in poverty rate can partly be ascribed to the cycle, however, recent structural reforms likely have had a significant impact on growth.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Joint Staff Advisory Note focuses on Republic Of Moldova’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and National Development Strategy (NDS). The NDS unifies in one document the government’s poverty reduction strategy and development vision. The NDS argues that Moldova needs to add productivity-enhancing investment and exports as growth drivers to its traditional consumption-based growth model. The strong pace of growth observed in the mid-2000s was driven by domestic consumption fuelled by remittances. The NDS calls for a shift from the current consumption-based growth model toward one based on raising investments, increasing productivity and competitiveness, developing export industries, and promoting a knowledge-based society.
International Monetary Fund
This Joint Staff Advisory (JSA) Note examines the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) Progress Report for Armenia. Overall, the Progress Report provides evidence of stronger-than-anticipated poverty reduction and economic performance, improvement in the labor market, and a number of other accomplishments, particularly in fiscal policy and social service delivery. The report also indicates that progress has been made on many issues raised in the previous JSA, including on improved monitoring and evaluation, participation, and aligning the budget process with the PRSP.
Mr. Benedicte Baduel, Asel Isakova, and Anna Ter-Martirosyan
Sharing economic benefits equitably across all segments of society includes addressing the specific challenges of different generations. At present, youth and elderly are particularly vulnerable to poverty relative to adults in their middle years. Broad-based policies should aim to foster youth integration into the labor market and ensure adequate income and health care support for the elderly. Turning to the intergenerational dimension, everyone should have the same chances in life, regardless of their family background. Policies that promote social mobility include improving access to high-quality care and education starting from a very early age, supporting lifelong learning, effective social protection schemes, and investing in infrastructure and other services to reduce spatial segregation.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Latin America may be in its third year of economic recovery with reasonable prospects for next year, but that is not quite enough to banish the ghosts of decades of starts and stops. Against the backdrop of current growth, the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department convened a day-long conference to examine the recent research of IMF economists and outside specialists on the issue of economic growth—perhaps the most important factor in poverty reduction—and the outlook for continued expansion in Latin American and Caribbean countries.