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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

This chapter was prepared by Kamil Dybczak, Carlos Mulas Granados, and Ezgi Ozturk with inputs from Vizhdan Boranova, Karim Foda, Keiko Honjo, Raju Huidrom, Nemanja Jovanovic and Svitlana Maslova, under the supervision of Jörg Decressin and the guidance of Gabriel Di Bella. Jaewoo Lee and Petia Topalova provided useful advice and comments. Nomelie Veluz provided administrative support. This chapter reflects data and developments as of September 28, 2020.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Christian Ebeke (co-lead), Nemanja Jovanovic, Svitlana Maslova, Francisco Parodi, Laura Valderrama (co-lead), Svetlana Vtyurina, and Jing Zhou prepared this chapter under the supervision of Mahmood Pradhan and the guidance of Laura Papi and Petia Topalova. Jörg Decressin provided useful advice and comments. Jankeesh Sandhu provided outstanding research assistance, and Nomelie Veluz was expertly in charge of administrative support.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper reviews the procurement process under World Bank projects. The paper highlights that the World Bank’s interest in procurement under its loans stems directly from the “project” requirement of its Articles, which stipulates that it should lend for specific projects, except in special circumstances, and that it should ensure that the proceeds of the loan are used only for its specified purpose, with due attention to economy and efficiency. In 1951, the World Bank began introducing international competitive bidding as the normal procedure for procurement of the goods and works needed for its projects.

Giuseppe Carone and Declan Costello

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. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The April 2012 Global Financial Stability Report assesses changes in risks to financial stability over the past six months, focusing on sovereign vulnerabilities, risks stemming from private sector deleveraging, and assessing the continued resilience of emerging markets. The report probes the implications of recent reforms in the financial system for market perception of safe assets, and investigates the growing public and private costs of increased longevity risk from aging populations.

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.
Mr. Franco Reviglio
In Italy, health care budget ceilings are not effective. The poor control by the central government results in excessive use of expensive inputs, in long waiting lines for medical procedures, and in the emergence of large arrears to suppliers and commercial banks. To fully gain the benefits of its decentralized structure, Italy needs to clarify the rules of the game and strengthen controls on local health authorities. Full fiscal responsibility should be extended to local governments on both the expenditure and revenue sides. The central government should be involved neither in decisions on the services that local governments should supply, nor in their planning and management.
Samya Beidas-Strom
This paper estimates public sector service efficiency in England at the sub-regional level, studying changes post crisis during the large fiscal consolidation effort. It finds that despite the overall spending cut (and some caveats owing to data availability), efficiency broadly improved across sectors, particularly in education. However, quality adjustments and other factors could have contributed (e.g., sector and technology-induced reforms). It also finds that sub-regions with the weakest initial levels of efficiency converged the most post crisis. These sub-regional changes in public sector efficiency are associated with changes in labor productivity. Finally, the paper finds that regional disparities in the productivity of public services have narrowed, especially in the education and health sectors, with education attainment, population density, private spending on high school education and class size being to be the most important factors explaining sub-regional variation since 2003.
Rupa Duttagupta and Mr. Montfort Mlachila
Although the economic growth literature has come a long way since the Solow-Swan model of the fifties, there is still considerable debate on the "real' or "deep" determinants of growth. This paper revisits the question of what is really important for strong long-term growth by using a Binary Classification Tree approach, a nonparametric statistical technique that is not commonly used in the growth literature. A key strength of the method is that it recognizes that a combination of conditions can be instrumental in leading to a particular outcome, in this case strong growth. The paper finds that strong growth is a result of a complex set of interacting factors, rather than a particular set of variables such as institutions or geography, as is often cited in the literature. In particular, geographical luck and a favorable external environment, combined with trade openness and strong human capital are conducive to growth.