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Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Nour Tawk, and Naihan Yang
This paper empirically examines the effects of fiscal policy measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a novel database of daily fiscal policy announcements—classified by type of fiscal measure—and high-frequency economic indicators for 52 countries from January 1 to December 31, 2020. The results suggest that fiscal policy announcements have been effective in stimulating economic activity, boosting confidence, and reducing unemployment, but their effect varies by type of measure and country characteristics. Emergency lifeline measures (which form the bulk of below-the-line measures) are more effective when containment policies are stringent, providing cashflow support to firms and households. Demand-support measures (which comprise most of above-the-line measures) are more effective when containment measures are relaxed.
Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Nour Tawk, and Naihan Yang

these two dimensions. The third goal of this paper is to examine whether the effect of fiscal stimulus measures varies depending on the type of measure used. For this, we follow the narrative approach (Romer and Romer, 2010 ; Ramey 2011 ; Alesina et al. 2014 ) and read the record of each of the policy measures implemented and classify them in: (i) demand support measures; (ii) emergency lifelines measures; (iii) above-the-line; and (iv) below-the-line measures. The results show that, on average, emergency lifelines measures—such as loans to firms and households

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

health care and to provide emergency lifelines to people and firms. The global economy is expected to contract sharply in 2020 by –3 percent, much worse than during the 2008–09 financial crisis, owing to the ongoing health crisis and its economic and financial ramifcations (Chapter 1 of the April 2020 World Economic Outlook ). The pandemic is causing local, regional, and global supply disruptions; local and sectoral demand repercussions; and confidence effects holding back demand. Social distancing efforts necessary to contain the spread of the virus have curtailed

Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Nour Tawk, and Naihan Yang

empirically examines the effects of fiscal policy measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a novel database of daily fiscal policy announcements—classified by type of fiscal measure—and high-frequency economic indicators for 52 countries from January 1 to December 31, 2020. The results suggest that fiscal policy announcements have been effective in stimulating economic activity, boosting confidence, and reducing unemployment, but their effect varies by type of measure and country characteristics. Emergency lifeline measures (which form the bulk of below

Mrs. Swarnali A Hannan, Ms. Keiko Honjo, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi

. Emergency Lifelines in 2020 versus Announced Discretionary Stimulus in 2009 Figure 3. The Role of Fiscal Policy at Different Stages of the Crisis Figure 4. Additional Health Spending in Response to Covid-19 Figure 5. Public Health Expenditure Figure 6. Pre-Covid-19 Health Capacity Figure 7. Social Assistance Spending Figure 8. Cash Transfers to Informal Workers Figure 9. Decomposition of Total Tax Revenue Figure 10. Components of the Tax Gap Figure 11. Benefits from Zero-Rated VAT on Food, by Income Decile Figure 12. Average PIT Rates Figure 13

Mrs. Swarnali A Hannan, Ms. Keiko Honjo, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
Mexico’s fiscal response to the pandemic has been modest compared to its peers, reflecting the authorities’ desire to not issue new debt for spending. This approach, however, risks a more severe recession and a weaker economic recovery, with further costs in the future. Balancing the need for stronger near-term fiscal support for the people and the recovery against medium-term discipline, this paper lays out an alternative strategy. We show that credibly announcing a pro-growth and inclusive medium-term fiscal reform upfront—including increased tax capacity, higher public investment and strengthened social safety nets—would open space for larger short-term support and close medium-term fiscal gaps. Model simulations suggest that this package would boost output, limit lasting economic damage from the pandemic, and put debt trajectory on a declining path in the medium term as tax reforms pay off and risk premia decline.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Andorra, the IMF’s newest member since October 2020, participated in its first Article IV consultation with a commitment to further enhance transparency. Tourism and banking-related services dominate economic activity in the euroized economy. The country enjoys long-standing political stability, a good track-record of fiscal discipline, a gender-balanced work force, and internationally competitive ski resorts. The authorities are managing the pandemic well with universal testing and expanded hospital capacity that kept fatality rates very low despite high case-loads. The testing strategy helped Andorra implement more targeted internal restrictions than in neighboring countries. At the same time, emergency fiscal measures stabilized real incomes and supported firms.
Juan Pablo Cuesta Aguirre and Mrs. Swarnali A Hannan
To shed light on the possible scarring effects from Covid-19, this paper studies the economic effects of five past pandemics using local projections on a sample of fifty-five countries over 1990-2019. The findings reveal that pandemics have detrimental medium-term effects on output, unemployment, poverty, and inequality. However, policies can go a long way toward alleviating suffering and fostering an inclusive recovery. The adverse output effects are limited for countries that provided relatively greater fiscal support. The increases in unemployment, poverty, and inequality are likewise lower for countries with relatively greater fiscal support and relatively stronger initial conditions (as defined by higher formality, family benefits, and health spending per capita).