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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

and virus containment . Labor Market Surveys Indicate Rising Inequality The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on Asia’s labor market. High-frequency labor market indicators have deteriorated markedly and to a much greater extent than during the global financial crisis. Aggregate hours worked have declined both at the extensive (employment rate) and intensive margins (hours worked per employee). Unemployment has surged and labor force participation plunged—an early sign of scarring effects. As in the United States ( Shibata 2020 ) and the United Kingdom

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

youth, and so is increasing inequality. These distributional effects could be even larger in the medium term as robots displace low-skilled workers, and the resulting higher levels of inequality could undermine social cohesion. Policies should be targeted to mitigate the pandemic’s adverse distributional consequences and so underpin overall economic activity and virus containment.

Ms. Emilia M Jurzyk, Medha Madhu Nair, Nathalie Pouokam, Tahsin Saadi Sedik, Anthony Tan, and Mrs. Irina Yakadina
The COVID-19 pandemic risks exacerbating inequality in Asia. High frequency labor surveys show that the pandemic is having particularly adverse effects on younger workers, women and people that are more vulnerable. Pandemics have been shown to increase inequalities. As a result, income inequality, which was already high and rising in Asia before the pandemic, is likely to rise further over the medium term, unless policies succeed in breaking this historical pattern. Many Asian governments have implemented significant fiscal policy measures to mitigate the pandemic’s effect on the most vulnerable, with the impact depending on the initial coverage of safety nets, fiscal space, and degree of informality and digitalization. The paper includes model-based analysis which shows that policies targeted to where needs are greatest are effective in mitigating adverse distributional consequences and underpinning overall economic activity and virus containment.
Ms. Emilia M Jurzyk, Medha Madhu Nair, Nathalie Pouokam, Tahsin Saadi Sedik, Anthony Tan, Mrs. Irina Yakadina, and Ms. Alison Stuart

packages to mitigate the pandemic’s effect on the most vulnerable, however the impact varies depending on the initial coverage of social safety nets and fiscal space but also the degree of informality and digitalization. Finally, model-based analysis shows that policies targeted to where needs are greatest are effective in mitigating adverse distributional consequences and underpinning overall economic activity and virus containment. In particular, fiscal support measures when governments have access to external financing not only help diminish the economic cost of the

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

This chapter uses new data and novel modeling techniques to examine the effect of containment and policy measures in affecting the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world into a sharp recession in the first half of 2020. Service sector activity, which relies on person-to-person contact, took a big hit. Manufacturing also weakened substantially, and global trade plummeted. Global growth is projected at –4.4 percent in 2020, 0.6 percentage points above the June 2020 World Economic Outlook Update forecast. The upgrade reflects a better second quarter outturn in major countries that eased lockdowns earlier than expected. The recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast. In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.2 percent, 0.3 percentage point lower than projected in June 2020, reflecting the persistence of social distancing into 2021.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is still unfolding around the globe. In Asia, as elsewhere, the virus has ebbed in some countries but surged in others. The global economy is beginning to recover after a sharp contraction in the second quarter of 2020, as nationwide lockdowns are lifted and replaced with more targeted containment measures.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

-19 outbreak. Extensive reliance on remittances and necessary lockdown measures are amplifying the economic effects of the pandemic. Limited healthcare coverage, especially of the poor and rural populations, pose a substantial challenge to virus containment. To mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the authorities are appropriately increasing healthcare spending and transfers for the most vulnerable, along with a monetary policy easing, expanded liquidity provision, and supportive prudential measures. Following the Executive Board’s discussion of Guatemala

Changyong Rhee and Katsiaryna Svirydzenka

are effective in mitigating adverse distributional consequences, while also underpinning economic activity and virus containment. The pandemic also had a disproportionate impact on the poorest and most vulnerable, exposing severe gaps in social protection and exacerbating already high inequality in advanced and emerging Asia. Chapter 12 takes stock of how governments responded during this crisis and explores whether they should do more to support the unemployed. The chapter lays out what this support would look like, taking into account important structural