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International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Nicaragua reports that the Central America–Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) provides a general framework for country-specific bilateral agreements. In addition to the phased liberalization of trade in goods, CAFTA-DR provides broad market access for services and includes provisions in areas such as intellectual property rights, investment, government procurement, and competition policies. Labor provisions are slightly tighter than under other similar agreements by offering a platform to examine the quality of existing legislation, rather than only ensuring its implementation.
Ms. Annalisa Fedelino, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, and Marijn Verhoeven
This paper assesses whether the scaling up of aid and the resulting increase in government spending that is needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would be hampered by wage bill ceilings that are often part of government programs supported by the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Based on country case studies for 2003-05, the paper suggests that, in the past, wage bill ceilings have not restricted the use of available donor funds. Yet the paper offers a number of suggestions for further enhancing the flexibility of wage bill conditionality in PRGF-supported programs to respond to higher aid flows that may result in the future.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper for Nicaragua reports that the Central America–Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) provides a general framework for country-specific bilateral agreements. In addition to the phased liberalization of trade in goods, CAFTA-DR provides broad market access for services and includes provisions in areas such as intellectual property rights, investment, government procurement, and competition policies. Labor provisions are slightly tighter than under other similar agreements by offering a platform to examine the quality of existing legislation, rather than only ensuring its implementation.