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Mr. David Coady, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta

Abstract

Using cross-country analysis and case studies, this book provides new insights and potential policy responses for the key fiscal policy challenges that both advanced and emerging economies will be facing.

John Akin and Nancy Birdsall

This paper reviews the World Bank lending for structural adjustment. The World Bank has always stressed the need to use limited investable resources efficiently. It has attempted to identify investment priorities in recipient countries and lent for projects that promised a high rate of return. The Bank’s Operational Manual defines structural adjustment lending as nonproject lending to support programs of policy and institutional change necessary to modify the structure of an economy so that it can maintain both its growth rate and the viability of its balance of payments in the medium term.

Victoria Fan and Amanda Glassman

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
This Selected Issues paper highlights that over the past decade, the Netherlands has undergone a remarkable fiscal adjustment, with the deficit, the tax burden, and the expenditure-to-GDP ratio falling significantly. The switch from a deficit-target-based to an expenditure-target-based fiscal framework in 1994 and commitments to two successive four-year fiscal plans have played an important role. The current multiyear framework expires in 2002, and the Study Group on the Budgetary Margin has produced recommendations for the coming government period.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper examines Germany’s growth record in 1992–2001 and analyzes how future performance might be enhanced. The paper focuses on the longer-term strains on the public finances. It reviews Germany’s external competitiveness, which deteriorated substantially in the wake of unification, and concludes that, by the beginning of the current decade, competitiveness had been largely restored. The paper also examines the recent slowdown in credit, which has gone beyond what might be expected on cyclical grounds.
Yaakov Kop
Health policy has been for some time high on the agenda of many countries--and where it has not, it should be. Since no ideal model of health services has ever been devised 9 one may look for favorable elements in the health sector of a given country and examine their applicability to other countries. This paper analyzes Israel’s health sector in this context.
International Monetary Fund
This paper describes how economic behavior in the market for health care in the United States is influenced by a range of impediments to the functioning of the price mechanism which impart an upward bias to health care costs and imply efficiency losses. The paper also considers how to reform the health care sector, with particular emphasis on finding a way of resolving the dilemma posed by the tradeoff between the risk spreading afforded by insurance and establishing appropriate incentives to restrain expenditures.
Ms. Ellen Marie Nedde
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Jose Torres
Over the last two decades, the Peruvian government has made great efforts to improve access to health care by significantly augmenting the coverage of the non-contributory public health care system Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS). This expansion has a positive impact on welfare and public health indicators, as it limits the risk of catastrophic health-related costs for previously uninsured individuals and allows for the appropriate treatment of illnesses. However, it also entails some unintended consequences for informality, tax revenues, and GDP, since a few formal agents are paying for a service that the majority of (informal) agents receive for free. In this paper, we use a general equilibrium model calibrated for Peru to simulate the expansion of SIS to quantify the unintended effects. We find that overall welfare increases, but informality rises by 2.7 percent, while tax revenues and output decrease by roughly 0.1 percent. Given the extent of the expansion in eligibility, the economic relevance of these results seems negligible. However, this occurs because the expansion of coverage was mostly funded by reducing the spending per-insured person. In fact, we find larger costs if public spending is increased to improve the quality of service given universal coverage.
Mr. Peter S. Heller
This primer aims to provide IMF macroeconomists with the essential information they need to address issues concerning health sector policy, particularly when they have significant macroeconomic implications. Such issues can also affect equity and growth and are fundamental to any strategy of poverty reduction. The primer highlights the appropriate roles for the state and market in health care financing and provision. It also suggests situations in which macroeconomists should engage health sector specialists in policy formulation exercises. Finally, it reviews the different health policy issues that confront countries at alternative stages of economic development and the range of appropriate policy options.