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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
The topics discussed in this report are tax regimes for small taxpayers (Chapter II) and the tax treatment of special economic zones (Chapter III). Although these aspects of the tax system have little direct effect on public finances, they affect many people and how those people make decisions or impact the positioning of certain regions relative to the rest of the country. Both are of social and political scope that is disproportionate to their magnitude of tax revenue collection, which is why their design must remain focused in its most strategic sense.
Valentina Bonifacio, Mr. Luis Brandao Marques, Mrs. Nina T Budina, Mr. Balazs Csonto, Chiara Fratto, Philipp Engler, Davide Furceri, Ms. Deniz O Igan, Rui Mano, Mr. Machiko Narita, Murad Omoev, and Gurnain Kaur Pasricha
As central banks across the globe have responded to the COVID-19 shock by rounds of extensive monetary loosening, concerns about their inequality impact have grown. But rising inequality has multiple causes and its relationship with monetary policy is complex. This paper highlights the channels through which monetary policy easing affect income and wealth distribution, and presents some quantitative findings about their importance. Key takeaways are: (i) central banks should remain focused on macro stability while continuing to improve public communications about distributional effects of monetary policy, and (ii) supportive fiscal policies and structural reforms can improve macroeconomic and distributional outcomes.
Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov and Mr. Luca A Ricci
We aim to provide a broad descriptive overview of Chile’s social issues, in comparison to other countries and over time, in order to place the recent social unrest in historical and international perspectives which can help prepare the ground for future policy priorities. We follow an eclectic approach, classifying a broad set of indicators along six dimensions—inequality across: i) income; ii) perception; iii) access; iv) opportunity; v) redistribution; and vi) location. The analysis puts forward a set of descriptive findings. First, income inequality declined substantially but remains high, also compared to countries with similar level and path of development. Second, Chile seems to be one of the few countries in Latin America with declining inequality where perceived inequality actually increased. Third, notwithstanding an increase in social spending, access to essential services appears limited, particularly for middle and lower income classes, amid fast growth of out-of-pocket health expenses, relatively faster growth of cost of living for the relatively poorer, and remaining weaknesses in the pension and education systems. Fourth, inequality of opportunity is high, with limited competition. Fifth, fiscal redistribution has improved markedly, but remains low by international standards. Finally, inter-regional inequality has declined substantially over the last two decades, reaching levels similar to the OECD median.
Mrs. Paola Ganum and Mr. Vimal V Thakoor
Covid-19 has exacerbated economic and social vulnerabilities across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). There is a risk that growth could be lower for longer, with a setback to development. Post-pandemic reforms thus become even more important, especially with constrained scope for fiscal and monetary stimuli. Reforms could boost per capita growth by an additional 0.3-1.3 percentage points, relative to the 1.9 percent average since 2010. Such growth would reduce per capita income doubling time from 37 years to about 22 years. Low-income countries stand to gain the most from reforms. The largest gains come from governance, products markets, and factor accumulation. Importantly, these reforms can be implemented in the post-pandemic environment characterized by weaker social and distributional outcomes.