Nature

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  • Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: General x
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Johannes Emmerling, Davide Furceri, Francisco Líbano Monteiro, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Pietro Pizzuto, and Massimo Tavoni
COVID-19 has had a disruptive economic impact in 2020, but how long its impact will persist remains unclear. We offer a prognosis based on an analysis of the effects of five previous major epidemics in this century. We find that these pandemics led to significant and persistent reductions in disposable income, along with increases in unemployment, income inequality and public debt-to-GDP ratios. Energy use and CO2 emissions dropped, but mostly because of the persistent decline in the level of economic activity rather than structural changes in the energy sector. Applying our empirical estimates to project the impact of COVID-19, we foresee significant scarring in economic performance and income distribution through 2025, which be associated with an increase in poverty of about 75 million people. Policy responses more effective than those in the past would be required to forestall these outcomes.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on macro-critical issues related to governance and corruption in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Third-party indicators suggest that governance has been poor and corruption widespread in the country. Conducting an audit of the civil service and improving the transparency of its remuneration system, simplifying tax payment processes, and merging the activities of the numerous revenue agencies would boost public efficiency and improve the business environment. Contract enforcement and protection of property rights could be enhanced by insulating the courts from external influence. Limited information on the budget annexes and special accounts and little or no oversight by the central government, Parliament, and civil society, create scope for corruption. The multiplicity of special taxes and fees, some accruing to special accounts outside the Treasury, generate opportunities for corruption and informalization of economic activity. Despite some progress in strengthening public financial management, budget execution remains deficient. The government has formalized the four stages of the expenditure chain and introduced budget commitment plans to align expenditures with revenues.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The world economy and global trade are experiencing a broad-based cyclical upswing. Since October 2017, global growth outcomes and the outlook for 2018–19 have improved across all regions, reinforced by the expected positive near-term spillovers from tax policy changes in the United States. Accommodative global financial conditions, despite some tightening and market volatility in early February 2018, have been providing support to economic recovery. Higher commodity prices are contributing to an improved outlook for commodity exporters. The US and Canadian economies posted solid gains in 2017 and are expected to grow above potential in the near term. Despite the improved near-term outlook, however, medium-term prospects are tilted downwards. Growth prospects for advanced economies are subdued and many emerging market and developing economies are projected to grow in per capita terms more slowly than advanced economies, raising concerns about income convergence. While risks appear broadly balanced in the near term, they skew to the downside over the medium term, including a possible sharp tightening of financial conditions, waning popular support for global economic integration, growing trade tensions and risks of a shift toward protectionist policies, and geopolitical strains.

Munseob Lee and Cheikh A. Gueye
We examine the impact of resource windfall on the standard of living both in the short-run and long-run, using a sample of 130 countries, 1963-2007. Then, we systematically investigate the effect of resource windfall on welfare in three different groups of countries: We find that in the short-run resource windfall is welfare enhancing in the whole sample, especially via increases in income and decreases in inequality. However, in SSA countries, the size of welfare improvement is small and it is smaller and almost zero after one year in fragile Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. In the whole sample, a resource windfall shock leads to significant welfare growth even in the long-run, but we couldn’t find any significant long-run effect of resource windfall in SSA countries.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents the Joint Staff Advisory Note on Guinea-Bissau’s Second National Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP II) covering 2011–15. The PRSP II, adopted by the government in July 2011, provides the framework for the implementation of a comprehensive strategy aimed at consolidating macroeconomic stabilization and strengthening recent improvements in economic governance. Its successful implementation would help the country enhance its economic growth conditions, strengthen the rule of law, and accelerate progress toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Burcu Aydin
Will Ghana’s oil production from 2011 accelerate progress toward middle-income status, or will it retard gains in living standards through a possible "resource curse"? This paper examines the likelihood of "resource curse" effects, drawing on a dataset of 150 low and middle income countries from 1973 to 2008 using static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. Results confirm that resource rich countries in Ghana’s income range do experience slower growth than their more diversified peers, an effect that appears to be related to weaker governance. Provided that Ghana can preserve and improve its economic governance and also strengthen fiscal management, prospects look good for converting its oil wealth into sustained strong economic growth.
International Monetary Fund
The Joint Staff Advisory Note report assesses that Maldives has achieved notable development progress through sound macroeconomic management, tourism development, and public service provision improvement under the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Executive Directors emphasized the need to strengthen the fiscal policy framework, develop institutions, implement structural reforms and a realistic budget to mitigating risks, and ensure macroeconomic stability. Directors welcomed the Seventh National Development Plan, the new Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, and stressed the need for significant efforts to ensure the successful implementation of the economic development program.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews the joint advice of the staffs of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP). This I-PRSP outlines the main areas envisaged to reduce poverty and the measures for the implementation of the full Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). The full PRSP could improve on the I-PRSP by building on its strength of inclusiveness, strengthening its policy focus, including the link between policy and resource use, and elaborating a clear framework for the coordination and monitoring of the strategy.