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International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The economic and social imperative for women’s economic empowerment is clear. Greater gender equality boosts economic growth and leads to better development outcomes. It contributes to reducing income inequality and boosting economic diversification and, in turn, supports economic resilience. Gender equality is one of the 17 global UN Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a roadmap for ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The G7 has emphasized the need for closing the gender gap. The Taormina Leaders’ Summit in 2017 renewed the emphasis on promoting women’s empowerment, which the leaders see as a crucial contribution to promoting sustainable development. In this regard, leaders committed to mainstreaming gender equality into all their policies. This is carried forward by Canada’s G7 Presidency. With growing recognition that gender equality promotes economic stability and growth, the IMF has scaled up its work in this area and is committed to continue these efforts. Work by the IMF will focus on (i) deepening its understanding of the economic benefits of women’s empowerment, both in the labor market and through more equal opportunities for boys and girls, also against the background of persistent megatrends, including in an environment of rapid technological change; (ii) integrating the analysis into Fund policy dialogue with member countries; (iii) providing customized assistance, workshops, and peer-learning courses in areas such as gender budgeting; and (iv) expanding collaboration with other international institutions on the subject to benefit from complementary areas of expertise.
Bengt Petersson, Rodrigo Mariscal, and Kotaro Ishi
How important are female workers for economic growth? This paper presents empirical evidence that an increase in female labor force participation is positively associated with labor productivity growth. Using panel data for 10 Canadian provinces over 1990–2015, we found that a 1 percentage point increase in the labor force participation among women with high educational attainment would raise Canada’s overall labor productivity growth by 0.2 to 0.3 percentage point a year. This suggests that if the current gap of 7 percentage points between male and female labor force participation with high educational attainment were eliminated, the level of real GDP could be about 4 percent higher today. The government has appropriately stepped up its efforts to improve gender equality, as part of its growth strategy. In particular, the government’s plan to expand access to affordable child care is a positive step. However, we argue that to maximize the policy outcome given a budget constraint, provision of subsidized child care—including publicly funded child care spaces—should be better targeted to working parents.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper evaluates corporate and banking sector vulnerabilities in India. The analysis shows that while corporate sector risks have subsided, debt repayment capacity remains strained, and high leverage continues to weigh on corporate resilience, which may pose further risks to banks’ asset quality. Public sector banks have stepped up recognition of nonperforming assets, but their debt recovery capacity remains weak. Simulations suggest that potential recapitalization needs, at current provisioning levels, should have a modest fiscal impact.
Robert C. M. Beyer
The paper uses a large survey (GSOEP) to analyze the labor market performance of immigrants in Germany. It finds that new immigrant workers earn on average 20 percent less than native workers with otherwise identical characteristics. The gap is smaller for immigrants from advanced countries, with good German language skills, and with a German degree, and larger for others. The gap declines gradually over time. Less success in obtaining jobs with higher occupational autonomy explains half of the wage gap. Immigrants are also initially less likely to participate in the labor market and more likely to be unemployed. While participation fully converges after 20 years, immigrants always remain more likely to be unemployed than the native labor force.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper addresses key areas that would contribute to maintaining macroeconomic stability and inclusive growth. Strong economic growth in Colombia has significantly reduced poverty, but has had limited impact on reducing inequality. Strong growth and social programs have helped reduce poverty. Going forward, efforts to further strengthen education, pension, and tax systems stand to yield important social gains, as recognized by the national development plan. Labor market distortions have declined in recent years, but challenges remain. The elimination of infrastructure gaps will also play a key role in sustaining strong and broad-based growth, and supporting further economic diversification.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This issue of the IMF Research Bulletin opens with a letter from the new editor, Rabah Arezki. The Research Summaries are a "Primer on 'Global Liquidity'" (Eugenio Cerutti, Stijn Claessens, and Lev Ratnovski); and "Trade Integration adn Business Cycle Synchronization" (Kevin Cheng, Romain Duval, and Dulani Senevirante). The Q&A column looks at "Seven Questions on the Global Housing Markets" (Hites Ahir, Heedon Kang, and Prakash Loungani). September 2014 issue of the Bulletin also includes updates on IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from the IMF Bookstore, as well as special announcements on new staff publications and the Fifteenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference. Also included is information on the latest issue of “IMF Economic Review” with a link to an article by Paul Krugman.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Pour les dernières idées sur le système financier international, la politique monétaire, le développement économique, la lutte contre la pauvreté et d’autres questions importantes, abonnez-vous à Finances & Développement (F&D). Ce trimestriel attrayant présente des analyses approfondies sur ces thèmes et d'autres sujets, rédigées par les membres des services du FMI ainsi que par des experts de renommée internationale. Les articles sont écrits pour les non-spécialistes qui souhaitent enrichir leur compréhension des rouages de l'économie mondiale et des politiques et activités du FMI.