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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

This report analyses the main economic developments and achievements in the Western Balkan countries, and lays out the key macroeconomic policy challenges for the future.

Dmitriy Kovtun, Alexis Meyer-Cirkel, Ms. Zuzana Murgasova, Mr. Dustin Smith, and Suchanan Tambunlertchai
Labor markets in the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) are characterized by some of the highest unemployment and low employment rates in Europe. We analyze the poor labor market outcomes in these countries by comparison with the New Member States of the European Union and advanced European economies. Our findings suggest that long-lasting labor market weaknesses in the Western Balkans have structural roots: the institutional setup of the labor markets, labor cost factors, and especially the unfinished transition process. Finally, we offer policy recommendations for boosting job creation.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Funding the IMF; Middle East and Central Asia economic outlook; Is globalization a choice?; Latin American reform; Trade conference; Aid effectiveness; Long-term interest rates in G7 countries; Wage flexibility; Joint external debt website launched.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx