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International Monetary Fund


This paper focuses on concerns over wages, jobs, and future prospects are real and pressing for those who are not well equipped to thrive in this new world. History clearly tells us that closing borders or increasing protectionism is not the way to go. Many countries have tried this route, and just as many have failed. Instead, we need to pursue policies that extend the benefits of openness and integration while alleviating their side effects. Emerging and developing economies have been the prime beneficiaries of economic openness. According to the World Bank, trade has helped reduce by half the pro¬portion of the global population living in extreme poverty. China, for instance, saw a phenomenal drop in its extreme poverty rate—from 36 percent at the end of the 1990s to 6 percent in 2011. Another example is Vietnam, which—in a single generation—moved from being one of the world’s poorest nations to middle-in¬come status—which has allowed for increased investments in health and education.

Mr. Vimal V Thakoor and Mr. John Wakeman-Linn

-intensive production. Higher trade openness would aid job creation and allow the region to benefit from capital and technology transfers. From an economic perspective, migration could benefit both sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world. Higher remittances would benefit workers’ home countries while employers elsewhere would profit from the influx of labor as they face stagnant or declining numbers of workers in their own countries. Of course, high levels of migration can also have social and economic effects on both source and destination countries, as Oxford professor Paul

International Monetary Fund

’s global leadership. The more countries adopt it, the greater the mutual benefits for growth. More Support and Greater Fairness But how to make growth more inclusive and benefit workers across all economic sectors is a question that does not lend itself to the same clear-cut policy message. It is a challenge of a different order, because it has to do with economic incentives, but also with social, regional, and often ethnic and cultural factors that are hard to overcome—and require country-specific solutions. Let me speak to the economic policies involved

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

technological change is not vastly different from other periods of innovation and adjustment ( Borland and Coelli, 2017 ). In addition, automation is likely to have distributional consequences, as it will disproportionately affect workers in more automatable occupations while benefiting workers in non-automatable occupations (Autor, 2015; Berg, Buffie, Zanna, 2018 ). 6. However, the implications of automation may not be uniform across countries . Country-specific factors, such as demographics, the level of human capital, the advancement of automation technology, and its