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Ms. Dora Benedek, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Mr. Abdelhak S Senhadji, and Alexander F. Tieman
The COVID-19 pandemic hit countries’ development agendas hard. The ensuing recession has pushed millions into extreme poverty and has shrunk government resources available for spending on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Staff Discussion Note assesses the current state of play on funding SDGs in five key development areas: education, health, roads, electricity, and water and sanitation, using a newly developed dynamic macroeconomic framework.
Mr. Ravi Balakrishnan, Sandra Lizarazo, Marika Santoro, Mr. Frederik G Toscani, and Mr. Mauricio Vargas
Over the past decades, inequality has risen not just in advanced economies but also in many emerging market and developing economies, becoming one of the key global policy challenges. And throughout the 20th century, Latin America was associated with some of the world’s highest levels of inequality. Yet something interesting happened in the first decade and a half of the 21st century. Latin America was the only region in the World to have experienced significant declines in inequality in that period. Poverty also fell in Latin America, although this was replicated in other regions, and Latin America started from a relatively low base. Starting around 2014, however, and even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, poverty and inequality gains had already slowed in Latin America and, in some cases, gone into reverse. And the COVID-19 shock, which is still playing out, is likely to dramatically worsen short-term poverty and inequality dynamics. Against this background, this departmental paper investigates the link between commodity prices, and poverty and inequality developments in Latin America.
Salih N. Neftci and Mr. Andre O Santos
This paper analyzes the price stabilizing properties of puttable and extendible bonds, their potential to help develop interest-rate derivative markets, and their use by governments. Their stabilizing properties imply that, when bond prices fall, prices for puttable and extendible bonds fall by less. Their embedded options work as a cushion and replicate the trading gains from hedging long-term bonds with interest rate derivatives. These bonds can help develop interest-rate derivative markets in developing countries and eventually increase demand for long-term government bonds. Informal evidence from OECD countries suggests that these bonds were useful in the 1980s, when interest rates were volatile.
International Monetary Fund
Measuring the size of the underground economy is obviously a difficult task. This paper reviews the literature, as applied to Belgium and elsewhere, on the determinants of the gray economy. The methods that have been used to measure the size of the gray economy are also discussed. The estimates for Belgium are updated using the currency demand approach. The major theory of the gray economy focuses on taxes, which drive a wedge between net incomes and gross labor costs.