Posted on December 21, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Benedict Clements, Sanjeev Gupta, and Masahiro Nozaki
Improvements in health can have a tremendously positive effect on society’s well-being and the level of economic activity. Indeed, 2013’s path-breaking report by the Lancet Commission indicates that about 11 percent of the economic growth in recent decades can be attributed to these improvements. As such, it makes good sense for macroeconomists to pay attention to health indicators and to the factors that influence them, such as public health spending.
In this context, it is not surprising that the impact of IMF-supported programs on public health spending has generated considerable attention. Previous research, focusing on periods before the global financial crisis, indicates that Fund-supported programs have a positive effect on public health spending (Martin and Segura, 2004; Center for Global Development, 2007; Clements, Gupta and Nozaki, 2013). But does this pattern still hold if we extend the analysis to more recent years? In this blog, we take a fresh look at this evidence for developing economies.
Filed under: Africa, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Global Governance, Globalization, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics, Reform | Tagged: Africa, ebola, health care, health spending, Liberia, public health spending, Sierra Leone, Sub-Saharan Africa, tax reform | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 8, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Jeff Hayden
“The first wealth is health,” American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in 1860.
Emerson’s quote, cited by Harvard economist and health expert David E. Bloom in Finance and Development’s lead article, reminds us that good health is the foundation on which to build—a life, a community, an economy.
Humanity has made great strides, developing vaccines and medical techniques that allow us to live longer, healthier lives. Other developments—such as increased access to clean water and sanitation—have helped beat back long-standing ills and pave the way for better health.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Globalization, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Transition | Tagged: ebola, Finance & Development magazine, Finance & Development. F&D, health care, life expectancy, Nobel Prize, poverty, public health spending, Rwanda | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 2, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Christine Lagarde
(version in Español and Português)
I am looking forward to being in Peru this week to discuss economic and social developments with the government and a wide range of stakeholders—and also to follow up on the preparations for the next IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings, which will be held in Lima in October 2015. Later this week, I will participate in the Santiago Conference in Chile, where I will meet policymakers and influential representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss economic approaches to strengthen the entire region.
As I travel to the land of the Andes, I am reminded of the natural beauty of the region, the richness of its culture, and its incredible diversity. Despite its current challenges—growth continues to slow, as global economic and financial conditions are shifting and economies run up against capacity limits—I remain decidedly optimistic about the region’s potential to raise living standards while protecting its unique heritage and precious environment.
Filed under: Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Español, Finance, Fiscal policy, Globalization, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Reform | Tagged: Caribbean, Chile, Christine Lagarde, commodiity prices, conference, education, health care, inequality, infrastructure, Latin America, Peru, poverty, youth | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 28, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Deniz Igan
(Version in Español)
Something unusual happened this year. For the first time in almost ten years, a book by an economist made it to Amazon’s Top 10 list. Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century captured the attention of people from all walks of life because it echoed what an increasing number of Americans have been feeling: the rich keep getting richer and poverty in America is a mainstream problem.
The numbers illustrate the troubling reality. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 6 Americans—almost 50 million people—are living in poverty. Recent research documents that nearly 40 percent of American adults will spend at least one year in poverty by the time they reach 60. During 1968–2000, the risk was less than 20 percent. More devastatingly, 1 in 5 children currently live in poverty and, during their childhood, roughly 1 in 3 Americans will spend at least one year living below the poverty line.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Financial Crisis, Globalization, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, recession, Reform, unemployment | Tagged: economic recovery, education, health care, jobs, labor market, poverty, poverty reduction, recession, rich and poor, tax, U.S., United States, wages | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 6, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Anders Borg and Christine Lagarde
Last autumn was a turbulent time for Europe. The debt crisis deepened and financial markets became embroiled in turmoil, driven by fears of widespread restructuring of public debt. The crisis has harmed growth, increased unemployment, and left a large number of people less protected.
We are now seeing some signs of stabilization. Most countries are reducing their deficits and even if debt ratios are still rising, the return back to fiscal health has begun.
The International Monetary Fund and the Swedish Ministry of Finance are hosting an international conference in Stockholm on May 7-8, with the purpose of sharing knowledge and providing guidance on the best way to achieve fiscal consolidation, and on the role that effective fiscal policy frameworks and institutions can play in this endeavor.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Employment, Europe, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Fiscal Stimulus, growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics, Public debt, recession | Tagged: aging, Anders Borg, Australia, budgets, Canada, Christine Lagarde, employment, Finland, health care, iMFdirect, jobs, Netherlands, New Zealand, pensions, productivity, public debt, Stockholm, Sweden | 8 Comments »