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Mr. Davide Malacrino and Luigi Pistaferri
This paper summarizes statistics on the key aspects of the distribution of earnings levels and earnings changes using administrative (social security) data from Italy between 1985 and 2016. During the time covered by our data, earnings inequality and earnings volatility increased, while earnings mobility did not change significantly. We connect these trends with some salient facts about the Italian labor market, in particular the labor market reforms of the 1990s and 2000s which induced a substantial rise in fixedterm and part-time employment. The rise in parttime work explains much of the rise in earnings inequality, while the rise in fixed-term contracts explains much of the rise in volatility. Both these trends affect the earnings distribution through hours worked: part-time jobs reduce hours worked within a week, while fixed-term contracts reduce the number of weeks worked during the year as well as increase their volatility. We find weak evidence that fixed-term contracts represent a "stepping-stone" to permanent employment. Finally, we offer suggestive evidence that the labor market reforms contributed to the slowdown in labor productivity in Italy by delaying human capital accumulation (in the form of general and firm-specific experience) of recent cohorts.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes Germany’s past fiscal policy behavior and assesses the likely adjustments that would be necessary to bring future fiscal policy behavior in line with European Monetary Union and the Stability and Growth Pact requirements. Using estimated fiscal policy reaction functions that take account Germany’s decentralized fiscal decision-making structure, the statistical results suggest that discretionary fiscal policy at the general government level has maintained a procyclical stance since the end of the 1970s. The paper also examines disaggregated labor market developments in Germany.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Selected Issues

International Monetary Fund
This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic activity in Germany is slowly picking up, and there is scope for some further firming of growth in the course of 2006. The recovery, however, remains unbalanced, and strong exports have yet to feed through into higher household spending. Although the risks to the outlook are broadly neutral, an unwinding of global imbalances and higher oil prices could yet provide headwinds for the recovery. On balance, headline growth is forecast at 1 percent in 2005 and 1.5 percent in 2006, implying a gradual recovery in working-day-adjusted terms.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper examines national accounts revisions and the economic cycle for the United Kingdom. The paper concludes that upward revisions to GDP data are positively correlated with economic activity, in particular, with growth in its domestic component. The paper suggests that although revisions may have become smaller in recent years, the procyclical bias in the data revision has not been eliminated. The regression model employed also suggests that GDP growth in 1996—currently estimated at 2.4 percent—could be as much as a 0.6 percentage point higher than that estimate.
International Monetary Fund

The issue of productivity growth in Canada has received considerable attention reflecting its marked slowdown since the early 1970s and concerns about its implications for Canadian competitiveness. To better understand productivity developments in Canada, it is useful to decompose total factor productivity (TFP) into investment-specific productivity change (ISP) and technologically neutral productivity change (TNP). The gap in manufacturing productivity growth between Canada and the United States originates mostly in the strong performance of specific industries, such as electrical products and commercial and industrial machinery.