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Mr. Adil Mohommad
The employment impact of environmental policies is an important question for policy makers. We examine the effect of increasing the stringency of environmental policy across a broad set of policies on firms’ labor demand, in a novel identification approach using Worldscope data from 31 countries on firm-level CO2 emissions. Drawing on evidence from as many as 5300 firms over 15 years and the OECD environmental policy stringency (EPS) index, it finds that high emission-intensity firms reduce labor demand upon impact as EPS is tightened, whereas low emission-intensity firms increase labor demand, indicating a reallocation of employment. Moreover, tightening EPS during economic contractions appears to have a positive effect on employment, other things equal. Quantifications exercises show modest positive net changes in employment for market-based policies, and modest negative net changes for non-market policies (mainly emission quantity regulations) and for the combined aggregate EPS. Within market-based policies, the percent decline in employment in high-emission firms (correspondingly the increase in low-emission firms) for a unit change in a policy index is smallest (largest) for trading schemes (“green” certificates, and “white” certificates)—although stringency is not comparable across indices. Finally, the employment effects of EPS are not persistent.
Ruud A. de Mooij, Ms. Li Liu, and Dinar Prihardini
Formula apportionment as a way to attribute taxable profits of multinationals across jurisdictions is receiving increased attention. This paper reviews existing literature and discusses experiences in selective federal states to evaluate the economic properties of formula apportionment relative to the current international tax regime that is based on separate accounting. It highlights major advantages, such as the elimination of profit shifting within multinational groups; and it discusses new distortions and the impact on tax competition. The analysis exploits different datasets to assess the direct revenue implications for individual countries under alternative formulas. The distributional effects across countries are found to be large, reflecting major discrepancies between where profits are currently attributed and where factors of production are located or sales take place. The largest losses appear in investment hubs (i.e. countries with a disproportionate ratio of foreign direct investment to GDP), while several large advanced countries are likely to gain. Developing countries gain most likely if employment receives a large weight in the formula; they also tend to benefit, on average, from a formula based on sales by destination.
Jorge Alvarez, Mr. Ivo Krznar, and Trevor Tombe
This paper assesses the costs of internal trade barriers and proposes policies to improve internal trade. Estimates suggest that complete liberalization of internal trade in goods can increase GDP per capita by about 4 percent and reallocate employment towards provinces that experience large productivity gains from trade. The positive impact highlights the need for federal, provincial and territorial governments to work together to reduce internal trade barriers. There is significant scope to build on the new Canadian Free Trade Agreement to more explicitly identify key trade restrictions, resolve differences, and agree on cooperative solutions.
Adriana D. Kugler
This paper documents recent labor market performance in the Latin American region. The paper shows that unemployment, informality, and inequality have been falling over the past two decades, though still remain high. By contrast, productivity has remained stubbornly low. The paper, then, turns to the potential impacts of various labor market institutions, including employment protection legislation (EPL), minimum wages (MW), payroll taxes, unemployment insurance (UI) and collective bargaining, as well as the impacts of demographic changes on labor market performance. The paper relies on evidence from carefully conducted studies based on micro-data for countries in the region and for other countries with similar income levels to draw conclusions on the impact of labor market institutions and demographic factors on unemployment, informality, inequality and productivity. The decreases in unemployment and informality can be partly explained by the reduced strictness of EPL and payroll taxes, but also by the increased shares of more educated and older workers. By contrast, the fall in inequality starting in 2002 can be explained by a combination of binding MW throughout most of the region and, to a lesser extent, by the introduction of UI systems in some countries and the role of unions in countries with moderate unionization rates. Falling inequality can also be explained by the fall in the returns to skill associated with increased share of more educated and older workers.
Mr. Bernardin Akitoby, Mr. Jiro Honda, and Hiroaki Miyamoto
Would countercyclical fiscal policy during recessions improve or worsen the gender employment gap? We give an answer to this question by exploring the state-dependent impact of fiscal spending shocks on employment by gender in the G-7 countries. Using the local projection method, we find that, during recessions, a positive spending shock of 1 percent of GDP would, on average, lift female employment by 1 percent, while increasing male employment by 0.6 percent. Consequently such a shock would improve the female share of employment by 0.28 percentage point during recessions. Our findings are driven by disproportionate employment changes in female-friendly industries, occupations, and part-time jobs in response to fiscal spending shocks. The analysis suggests that fiscal stimulus, particularly during recessions, could achieve the twin objectives of supporting aggregate demand and improving gender gaps.
Robin Boadway and Luc Eyraud
This paper discusses how decentralized countries can achieve sound fiscal relations between the central government and lower government levels. The concepts of “vertical gap” and “vertical balance” provide an analytical framework for identifying and addressing key challenges. These concepts can help policymakers ensure that the financing of subnational governments (composed of transfers received from the center, own revenues, and borrowing) is both efficient and adequate given the allocation of spending responsibilities. More generally, the paper offers some perspectives about the optimal design of decentralization systems by examining the sequencing and economic principles underlying revenue and expenditure assignments, the use of transfers, and borrowing.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The global upswing in economic activity is strengthening. Global growth, which in 2016 was the weakest since the global financial crisis at 3.2 percent, is projected to rise to 3.6 percent in 2017 and to 3.7 percent in 2018. The growth forecasts for both 2017 and 2018 are 0.1 percentage point stronger compared with projections earlier this year. Broad-based upward revisions in the euro area, Japan, emerging Asia, emerging Europe, and Russia—where growth outcomes in the first half of 2017 were better than expected—more than offset downward revisions for the United States and the United Kingdom. But the recovery is not complete: while the baseline outlook is strengthening, growth remains weak in many countries, and inflation is below target in most advanced economies. Commodity exporters, especially of fuel, are particularly hard hit as their adjustment to a sharp step down in foreign earnings continues. And while short-term risks are broadly balanced, medium-term risks are still tilted to the downside. The welcome cyclical pickup in global activity thus provides an ideal window of opportunity to tackle the key policy challenges—namely to boost potential output while ensuring its benefits are broadly shared, and to build resilience against downside risks. A renewed multilateral effort is also needed to tackle the common challenges of an integrated global economy.