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Mrs. Nujin Suphaphiphat and Hiroaki Miyamoto
While unemployment rates in Europe declined after the global financial crisis until 2018/19, the incidence of long-term unemployment, the share of people who have been unemployed for more than one year to the total unemployed, remained high. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic could aggravate the long-term unemployment. This paper explores factors associated with long-term unemployment in European countries, using panel of 25 European countries over the period 2000–18. We find that skill mismatches, labor market matching efficiency, and labor market policies are associated with the incidence of long-term unemployment. Among different types of active labor market policies, training and start-up incentives are found to be effective in reducing long-term unemployment.
Agustin Velasquez and Svetlana Vtyurina
Hours worked vary widely across countries and over time. In this paper, we investigate the role played by taxation in explaining these differences for EU New Member States. By extending a standard growth model with novel data on consumption and labor taxes, we assess the evolution of trends in hours worked over the 1995-2017 period. We find that the inclusion of tax rates in the model significantly improves the tracking of hours. We also estimate the elasticity of hours (and its different margins) to quantify the deadweight loss introduced by consumption and labor taxes. We find that these taxes explain a large share of labor supply differences across EU New Member States and that the potential gains from policy actions are noteworthy.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic expansion continues, driven primarily by private consumption and exports of goods and services. Discussions primarily focused on increasing the economy’s flexibility and resilience. Fiscal performance has been strong, however, the materialization of contingent liabilities from government guarantees is likely to reduce the overall surplus. Low public and private investment, and continued emigration appear to weigh on medium-term growth prospects. Downside risks in the near-term stem could be due to possible changes in regional or global economic and financial conditions, and the further realization of contingent liabilities. The IMF staff advocated for a moderately faster fiscal adjustment. The report recommends accelerating the pace of debt reduction that would build fiscal space and help reduce downside risks. The Central Bank may need to address potentially tighter external conditions while continuing with strong bank supervision and macroprudential policies. Additional measures to prevent excessive household borrowing could be considered if needed.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper mainly examines fiscal decentralization, credit-loss recovery, and unemployment in Croatia. The degree of expenditure and revenue decentralization in Croatia appears limited relative to its peers. At about 16 percent of general government spending, subnational government spending in Croatia is modest compared to other southeastern European countries and to the EU-28 average, and particularly low compared to the most decentralized countries in the EU. Croatia’s recovery since late 2014 has been moderate. Croatia’s recession lasted six years and was thus the longest among the new EU member states. Croatia’s structural and cyclical unemployment rates are very high, at about 11.5 percent and 5 percent respectively in 2015.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

This report analyses the main economic developments and achievements in the Western Balkan countries, and lays out the key macroeconomic policy challenges for the future.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes whether Kazakhstan has made progress in achieving a more equal income distribution, lower poverty, and a higher level of employment. Given the overarching structural challenges for Kazakhstan, the authorities are stepping up efforts to implement various measures. In order to bolster youth employment and address labor market challenges, the authorities have been revamping a college internship program and a job placement program, which will help to make educated youth competitive in the labor market and to reduce labor market mismatches. The results suggest that Kazakhstan’s economic growth has been broadly inclusive; however, there is room for further improvement. Both income inequality and unemployment in Kazakhstan compare favorably to peers. Fiscal policy could be a useful tool to help reduce income inequality. Better targeting of transfers reduces their fiscal cost and tax levels required to finance them, thus achieving distributional objectives in a more efficient manner. An ambitious structural reform agenda is paramount to Kazakhstan becoming a dynamic emerging market economy and ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth.
International Monetary Fund
This note provides operational guidance to staff on Jobs and Growth issues in surveillance and program work, building on the Board paper “Jobs and Growth: Analytical and Operational Considerations for the Fund” (hereafter, “Board paper”). Jobs and Growth issues can be defined broadly as issues relating to GDP growth, employment, and income distribution. The Board paper noted that work on these issues needs to be consistent with both the Fund’s mandate and its areas of expertise. On a number of structural issues, especially related to labor market reforms and social protection schemes, the Fund would need to effectively collaborate with other institutions with greater relevant expertise.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper on Selected Issues was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country. It is based on the information available at the time it was completed on October 23, 2012. The views expressed in this document are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the government of the Republic of Croatia or the Executive Board of the IMF.