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Mr. Matthew J. Slaughter and Mr. Phillip L Swagel

Abstract

Globalization—the international integration of goods, technology, labor, and capital—is everywhere to be seen. In any large city in any country, Japanese cars ply the streets, a telephone call can arrange the purchase of equities from a stock exchange half a world away, local businesses could not function without U.S. computers, and foreign nationals have taken over large segments of service industries. Over the past twenty years, foreign trade and the cross-border movement of technology, labor, and capital have been massive and irresistible. During the same period, in the advanced industrial countries, the demand for more-skilled workers has increased at the expense of less-skilled workers, and the income gap between the two groups has grown. There is no doubt that globalization has coincided with higher unemployment among the less skilled and with widening income inequality. But did it cause these phenomena, as many claim, or should we look to other factors, such as advances in technology? This paper seeks to answer that question.

Mr. Matthew J. Slaughter and Mr. Phillip L Swagel

Abstract

Increased globalization - the international integration of markets for goods, technology, labor, and capital - has coincided in the past 20 years with a shift in demand from less-skilled workers to those with more skills. Have imports from developing countries been responsible for the lowered wages of the unskilled, increased unemployment, and widened income inequality in the more advanced countries? This paper finds that a more important influence on labor markets during these years has been a technology-driven shift in labor demand.

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. The reason is simple: when any child fails to acquire the basic skills needed to function as a productive, responsible member of society, society as a whole—not to mention the individual child—loses. The cost of educating children is far outweighed by the cost of not educating them. Adults who lack basic skills have greater difficulty finding well-paying jobs and escaping poverty. Education for girls has particularly striking social benefits: incomes are higher and maternal and infant mortality rates are lower for educated women, who also have more personal freedom in making choices.

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. In many poor countries, however, governments lack either the financial resources or the political will to provide each child with a basic education, despite the benefits that would accrue not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In some of these countries, parents cover part or all of the cost of their children’s education. This paper explores the pros and cons of user payments.

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. In many poor countries, however, governments lack either the financial resources or the political will to provide each child with a basic education, despite the benefits that would accrue not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In some of these countries, parents cover part or all of the cost of their children’s education. This paper explores the pros and cons of user payments.

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. In many poor countries, however, governments lack either the financial resources or the political will to provide each child with a basic education, despite the benefits that would accrue not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In some of these countries, parents cover part or all of the cost of their children’s education. This paper explores the pros and cons of user payments.

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. In many poor countries, however, governments lack either the financial resources or the political will to provide each child with a basic education, despite the benefits that would accrue not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In some of these countries, parents cover part or all of the cost of their children’s education. This paper explores the pros and cons of user payments.

Mr. N. A. Barr

Abstract

Examina las opciones de política a la hora de diseñar un sistema de pensiones, y en especial analiza si es aconsejable reemplazar un régimen estatal basado en el sistema de reparto por planes privados o públicos basados en la capitalización. Examina las razones de la controversia en torno al diseño de los sistemas de pensiones y analiza si el segundo nivel de dichos sistemas debería ser obligatorio, privado, basado en la capitalización y en contribuciones definidas.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Budget deficits (the yearly excess of government expenditures over revenues) and government debt (the deficits accumulated over the years) have soared in many industrial countries over the past 20 years, and almost all these countries are now faced with the challenge of bringing them back to earth. The present very serious problem of budget deficits and public debt has come about mainly because the growth in government spending has exceeded the growth of goods and services and has left growth in revenues trailing far behind. While the average ratio of tax revenue to GDP in industrial countries increased from 28 percent in 1960 to 44 percent in 1994 (the value of 44 percent of everything produced in one year in these countries went to taxes and fees), the corresponding ratio for government expenditures rose from 28 percent to 50 percent (the government spent the equivalent of half the value of all goods and services produced in a year). Given the high levels to which taxes have risen and the danger of stifling growth by raising taxes further, to say nothing of the political consequences of trying to do so, it is reasonable to suppose that reducing government spending offers the best means, if not the only means, of eliminating these fiscal imbalances.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Reducing the budget deficit is not easy. Keynesian theory suggests thatlowering government expenditures and raising revenues can lead to afalloff in economic activity. This paper argues the neoclassical approach - that a firm and credible reduction in expenditures, by engendering confidence that taxes will be less burdensome in the future,may lead to lower interest rates, boost consumption, and increaseinvestment spending.