Mrs. Jana Bricco, Florian Misch, and Alexandra Solovyeva
This paper examines the economic effects of policies to contain Covid-19, by extracting lessons from Sweden’s experience during the ‘Great Lockdown’. Sweden’s approach was less stringent and based more on social responsibility than legal obligations compared to European peers. First, we provide an account of Sweden’s strategy and the health outcomes. Second, drawing on a range of data sources and empirical findings, our analysis of the first Covid-19 wave indicates that a less stringent strategy can soften the economic impact initially. These benefits could be eroded subsequently, due to potentially higher infection rates and a prolonged pandemic, but in Sweden’s case, the evidence remains mixed in this regard, and it is premature to judge the outcome of Sweden’s containment strategy. In addition, the economic effects of the containment strategy also depend on social behavior, demographics and structural features of the economy, such as the degree of export orientation, reliance on global supply chains, and malleability to remote working.
This paper presents novel empirical evidence on the labor market integration of migrants across Europe. It investigates how successfully migrants integrate in 13 European countries by applying a unified framework to analyze a rich micro dataset with over ten million individuals surveyed between 1998 and 2016. Focusing on employment outcomes, we document substantial heterogeneity in the patterns of labor market integration across host countries and by migrant gender and origin. Our results also point to the importance of cohorts and network effects, initial labor market conditions, and the differential impact of education acquired domestically and abroad in determining migrants’ subsequent employment prospects. The analysis has implications for the design of effective integration policies.
Based on a permanent income analysis, Gagnon (2018) has prominently suggested that Norway has saved too much, thereby free-riding on the rest of the world for demand. Our public sector balance sheet analysis comes to the opposite conclusion, chiefly because it also accounts for future aging costs. Unsurprisingly, we find that Norway’s current assets exceed its liabilities by some 340 percent of mainland GDP. But its nonoil fiscal deficits have grown very large (to almost 8 percent of mainland GDP) and aging pressures are only commencing. Therefore, Norway’s intertemporal financial net worth (IFNW) is negative, at about -240 percent of mainland GDP. As IFNW represents an intertemporal budget constraint, this implies that Norway’s savings are likely insufficient to address aging costs without additional fiscal action.
This paper aims to provide European Union (EU), while recognizing that the choice of whether to remain in the EU is for U.K. voters to make and that their decisions will reflect both economic and noneconomic factors. The question of EU membership is both a political and an economic issue, and the referendum has sparked a wide-ranging debate on the United Kingdom’s role in the EU. Given the range of plausible alternative arrangements with the EU, the number of channels by which countries could be affected and the range of possible effects on the United Kingdom and other economies are broad.
The large influx of migrants to Nordic countries in recent years is challenging the adoptability of Nordic labor market institutions while also adding to potential growth. This paper examines the trends, economic drivers, and labor market implications of migration to Nordic countries with a particular focus on economic migration as distinct from the recent large flows of asylum seekers. Our analysis finds that migration inflows to the Nordics are influenced by both cyclical and structural factors. Although migration helpfully dampens overheating pressures during periods of strong demand, and over the longer term will cushion the decline in labor supply from population aging, in the near-term unemployment can rise, especially among the young and lower-skilled. The analysis highlights the need to adapt Nordic labor market institutions in a manner that better facilitates the integration of migrants into employment. In particular, greater wage flexibility at the firm level and continued strong active labor market measures will help improve labor market outcomes among immigrants.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes Norway’s economy that has a maturing oil and gas industry. Norway’s half century of good fortune from its oil and gas wealth may have peaked. Oil and gas production will continue for many decades on current projections, but output and investment have flattened out, and the spillovers from the offshore oil and gas production to the mainland economy may have turned from positive to negative. Thus far, economic policy has needed to focus on managing the windfall, and Norway’s institutions have been a model for other countries. Going forward, the challenges are expected to become more complex.
This Selected Issues paper examines migration patterns in Norway and their implications for estimates of potential output. It applies a new methodology proposed by Borio and others (2013) to estimate potential output by drawing on information about immigration and oil price movements. The paper also provides an overview of the recent trend in immigration in Norway and discusses various estimates of potential output using standard approaches. The results indicate that immigration plays a small but statistically significant role in the estimation of potential output for Norway. The data show that immigration inflows into Norway vary across source countries. The largest share of immigrants is from Poland, accounting for 15 percent of the total in 2012. Immigration patterns in Norway contain both cyclical and structural elements, but the latter seems dominant at least for now. Empirical results also suggest that immigration plays some role in determining potential output, however, its impact is quite small, consistent with the view that the recent immigration patterns are structural.
Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Enrique Flores
Some scholars have argued that direct distribution of natural resource revenues to the population would help resource-rich countries escape the “resource curse.” This discussion note analyzes whether this proposal is a viable policy alternative for resource-rich countries. The first priority for policymakers is to establish fiscal policy objectives to support macroeconomic stability and development objectives. In this regard, the establishment of an adequate fiscal framework that informs decisions on how much to save and invest, or how to smooth out revenue volatility, and deal with exhaustibility issues should precede any discussion of direct distribution of resource wealth to the population.
Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Enrique Flores
Algunos académicos han sostenido que la distribución directa a la población de ingresos públicos provenientes de recursos naturales ayudaría a los países ricos en recursos naturales a escapar de la “maldición de los recursos naturales”. Este documento analiza si esta propuesta constituye una alternativa política viable para países ricos en recursos naturales. La primera prioridad para los responsables de la formulación de políticas en los países ricos en materias primas consiste en establecer los objetivos de política fiscal para promover la estabilidad macroeconómica y el desarrollo de las economías. En este sentido, el establecimiento de un marco fiscal adecuado que aporte información para tomar decisiones sobre cuánto ahorrar y cuánto invertir, cómo atenuar la volatilidad de los ingresos públicos, y cómo abordar los problemas relacionados con el agotamiento de los recursos naturales debe preceder cualquier análisis sobre distribución directa de recursos a la población.