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Niki Kalavrezou and Hui Jin
We review Greek public sector healthcare policies and health-related outcomes since 2010.We find that excess spending was successfully curtailed, elements of the institutional framework were modernized, and health outcomes have been relatively favorable. However, especially prior to Covid-19, public healthcare spending had been compressed to potentially unsustainable levels, with widening inequalities and large unmet needs, especially among the poor. Higher public spending and advancing structural healthcare reforms are needed to improve the efficiency and equity of the Greek healthcare system, including strengthening primary healthcare, reducing out-of-pocket payments, and eliminating remaining insurance gaps.
Marian Moszoro
We evaluate the direct employment effect of the public investment in key infrastructure—electricity, roads, schools and hospitals, and water and sanitation. Using rich firm-level panel data from 41 countries over 19 years, we estimate that US$1 million of public spending in infrastructure create 3–7 jobs in advanced economies, 10–17 jobs in emerging market economies, and 16–30 jobs in low-income developing countries. As a comparison, US$1 million public spending on R&D yields 5–11 jobs in R&D in OECD countries. Green investment and investment with a larger R&D component deliver higher employment effect. Overall, we estimate that one percent of global GDP in public investment can create more than seven million jobs worldwide through its direct employment effects alone.
Rania A. Al-Mashat, Mr. Ales Bulir, N. Nergiz Dinçer, Tibor Hlédik, Mr. Tomás Holub, Asya Kostanyan, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Armen Nurbekyan, Mr. Rafael A Portillo, and Hou Wang
This paper develops a new central bank transparency index for inflation-targeting central banks (CBT-IT index). It applies the CBT-IT index to the Czech National Bank (CNB), one of the most transparent inflation-targeting central banks. The CNB has invested heavily in developing a Forecasting and Policy Analysis System (FPAS) to implement a full-fledged inflation-forecast-targeting (IFT) regime. The components of CBT-IT index include measures of transparency about monetary policy objectives, the FPAS designed to support IFT, and the monetary policymaking process. For the CNB, all three components have shown substantial improvements over time but a few gaps remain. The CNB is currently working on eliminating some of these gaps.
Leandro Medina and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
We undertake an extended discussion of the latest developments about the existing and new estimation methods of the shadow economy. New results on the shadow economy for 158 countries all over the world are presented over 1991 to 2015. Strengths and weaknesses of these methods are assessed and a critical comparison and evaluation of the methods is carried out. The average size of the shadow economy of the 158 countries over 1991 to 2015 is 31.9 percent. The largest ones are Zimbabwe with 60.6 percent, and Bolivia with 62.3 percent of GDP. The lowest ones are Austria with 8.9 percent, and Switzerland with 7.2 percent. The new methods, especially the new macro method, Currency Demand Approach (CDA) and Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) in a structured hybrid-model based estimation procedure, are promising approaches from an econometric standpoint, alongside some new micro estimates. These estimations come quite close to others used by statistical offices or based on surveys.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes causes and consequences of real exchange rate appreciation in Albania. The paper highlights that Albania has experienced a sustained real appreciation since 1992, which appears to have been brought about by largely beneficial developments: price liberalization, productivity growth, external inflows, and a successful stabilization policy. The pace of appreciation has slowed in the last few years, and a real depreciation in 2002 has brought the real effective exchange rate back to its January 2000 level.