Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Carlo Pizzinelli, and Jay Rappaport
Labor markets in the UK have been characterized by markedly widening wage inequality for lowskill (non-college) women, a trend that predates the pandemic. We examine the contribution of job polarization to this trend by estimating age, period, and cohort effects for the likelihood of employment in different occupations and the wages earned therein over 2001-2019. For recent generations of women, cohort effects indicate a higher likelihood of employment in low-paying manual jobs relative to high-paying abstract jobs. However, cohort effects also underpin falling wages for post-1980 cohorts across all occupations. We find that falling returns to labor rather than job polarization has been a key driver of rising inter-age wage inequality among low-skill females. Wage-level cohort effects underpin a nearly 10 percent fall in expected lifetime earnings for low-skill women born in 1990 relative to those born in 1970.
After impressive growth in the 2000s, China's productivity has more recently stagnated. We use firm-level data to analyze productivity and firm dynamism trends from 2003 to 2018. We document six facts that together show a decline in China’s business dynamism. We show that (i) the revenue share of young firms has declined, (ii) the life-cycle growth of young firms relative to older incumbents has slowed, (iii) weaker life-cycle growth can be explained by slower productivity growth and weaker investment in intangibles, (iv) younger and smaller firms are more capital constrained than their older and larger counterparts, (v) the responsiveness of capital growth to the marginal product of capital has declined, and (vi) large productivity gaps between SOEs and private firms persist. We find that business dynamism is weaker in provinces where SOEs account for a larger share of the capital stock. Our results suggest that declining private business dynamism is an important factor in explaining China's sluggish TFP growth and that SOE reform could boost productivity growth indirectly by stimulating business dynamism.
Chile’s pension system came under close scrutiny in recent years. This paper takes stock of the adequacy of the system and highlights its challenges. Chile’s defined contribution system was quite influential when introduced, and was taken as an example by other countries. However, it is now delivering low replacement rates relative to OECD peers, as its parameters did not adapt over time to changing demographics and global returns, while informality persists in the labor market. In the absence of reforms, the system’s inability to deliver adequate outcomes for a large share of participants will continue to magnify, as demographic trends and low global interest rates will continue to reduce replacement rates. In addition, recent legislation allowing for pension savings withdrawals to counter the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, is projected to further reduce replacement rates and increase fiscal costs. A substantial improvement in replacement rates is feasible, via a reform that raises contribution rates and the retirement age, coupled with policies that increases workers’ contribution density.
Allan Dizioli, Daniel Rivera Greenwood, and Aneta Radzikowski
This paper introduces a simple, frequently and easily updated, close to the data epidemiological model that has been used for near-term forecast and policy analysis. We provide several practical examples of how the model has been used. We explain the epidemic development in the UK, the USA and Brazil through the model lens. Moreover, we show how our model would have predicted that a super infectious variant, such as the delta, would spread and argue that current vaccination levels in many countries are not enough to curb other waves of infections in the future. Finally, we briefly discuss the importance of how to model re-infections in epidemiological models.
Mr. Alvar Kangur, Niki Kalavrezou, and Mr. Daehaeng Kim
The Greek pension system has been costly, complex, and distortive, which has contributed to Greece’s fiscal problems and discouraged labor force participation. Several attempts to reform the system faltered due to lack of implementation, pushback by vested interests, and court rulings leading to reversals. A series of reforms introduced throughout 2015–17 unified benefit and contribution rules, removed several distortions and reduced fragmentation and costs. If fully implemented throughout the long-term, these reforms can go a long way towards enhancing the pension system affordability. However, reforms faced setbacks and fell short of creating stronger incentives to build long contribution histories, to deliver sustainable growth by improving the fiscal policy mix, and to ensure fairness and equitable burden sharing across generations and interest groups. Policy priorities should aim towards fully implementing the 2015–17 reforms and complementing them with additional reforms to address these remaining objectives.
Hibah Khan, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Frederico Lima, and Alexandre Sollaci
Quick vaccine rollouts are crucial for a strong economic recovery, but vaccine hesitancy could prolong the pandemic and the need for social distancing and lockdowns. We use individual-level data from nationally representative surveys developed by YouGov and Imperial College London to empirically examine the determinants of vaccine hesitancy across 17 countries and over time. Vaccine demand depends on demographic features such as age and gender, but also on perceptions about the severity of COVID-19 and side effects of the vaccine, vaccine access, compliance with protective behaviors, overall trust in government, and how information is shared with peers. We then introduce vaccine hesitancy into an extended SIR model to assess its impact on pandemic dynamics. We find that hesitancy can increase COVID-19 infections and deaths significantly if it slows down vaccine rollouts, but has a smaller impact if all willing adults can be immunized rapidly.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Hibah Khan, and Frederico Lima
The health and economic consequences of COVID-19 are closely tied to individual compliance with recommended protective behaviors. We examine the determinants of this compliance using survey data from the COVID Behavior Tracker for 29 advanced and emerging market economies between March and December 2020. Social distancing behaviors vary significantly by age, gender, occupation, and individual beliefs about COVID-19. In addition, those who trust their government’s response to COVID-19 are significantly more likely to adopt recommended behaviors and to self-isolate if advised, highlighting the need for well-coordinated actions on the health and economic fronts. We also find that mobility restrictions, such as stay-at-home orders, and mask mandates are associated with reduced social interactions and persistent increases in compliance. Together, these drivers account for over two-thirds of the regional differences in compliance, confirming their important role in increasing social distancing and containing the pandemic.