Over the last two decades, the Peruvian government has made great efforts to improve access to health care by significantly augmenting the coverage of the non-contributory public health care system Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS). This expansion has a positive impact on welfare and public health indicators, as it limits the risk of catastrophic health-related costs for previously uninsured individuals and allows for the appropriate treatment of illnesses. However, it also entails some unintended consequences for informality, tax revenues, and GDP, since a few formal agents are paying for a service that the majority of (informal) agents receive for free. In this paper, we use a general equilibrium model calibrated for Peru to simulate the expansion of SIS to quantify the unintended effects. We find that overall welfare increases, but informality rises by 2.7 percent, while tax revenues and output decrease by roughly 0.1 percent. Given the extent of the expansion in eligibility, the economic relevance of these results seems negligible. However, this occurs because the expansion of coverage was mostly funded by reducing the spending per-insured person. In fact, we find larger costs if public spending is increased to improve the quality of service given universal coverage.
Mr. Charles Enoch, Wouter Bossu, Carlos Caceres, and Ms. Diva Singh
With growth slowing across much of the Latin America as a result of the end of the commodity supercycle and economic rebalancing in China, as well as fragmentation of the international banking system, policies to stimulate growth are needed. This book examines the financial landscapes of seven Latin American economies—Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay—and makes a case for them to pursue regional financial integration. Chapters set out the benefits to the region of financial integration, the barriers to cross-border activity in banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and capital markets, as well as recommendations to address these barriers. Finally, the volume makes the case that regional integration now could be a step toward global integration in the short term.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Chile seeks to explain why foreign ownership of locally issued sovereign bonds is so low in Chile and its implications. The low foreign ownership seems to be the result of a combination of macroeconomic, regulatory, and technical factors. The Financial Stability Report discusses the issue, and points to the tax on capital gains, costs for custody of securities and other administrative costs, and the relatively small size of the sovereign bond market as the reasons. Our study also finds that a combination of factors contributed to the low foreign ownership, including a moderate supply of sovereign bonds shadowed by strong local demand, illiquid secondary market, tax and administrative burden, the dominance of inflation-indexed bonds, and inconvenience and potential risks associated with foreign exchange transactions. The small size of the market for nominal bonds, the lack of a liquid secondary market, the previous tax regime and existing administrative burden, and transaction costs in the foreign exchange market seem to be the main reasons.
The report gives a summary of the detailed assessment report on the implementation of the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking in the United States and its recommendations, securities and futures market regulatory, insurance regulation, Fixed Income Clearing Corporation -Government Securities Division (FICC-GSD) system, and other recommendations such as Depository Trust Company (DTC) against the Recommendations for Securities Settlement Systems (RSSS), the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) against the Recommendation for Central Counterparties (RCCP), the Fedwire Securities Service (FSS) against the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems -International Organization of Securities Commission (CPSS-IOSCO) RSSSs as well. The U.S. authorities welcomed the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) and independent reviews, and appreciated significant undertaking associated with reviews in the wake of the crisis.
This paper discusses the key sources of vulnerabilities for pension plans and insurance companies in light of the global financial crisis of 2008. It also discusses how these institutional investors transit shocks to the rest of the financial sector and economy. The crisis has re-ignited the policy debate on key issues such as: 1) the need for countercyclical funding and solvency rules; 2) the tradeoffs implied in marked based valuation rules; 3) the need to protect contributors towards retirement from excessive market volatility; 4) the need to strengthen group supervision for large complex financial institutions including insurance and pensions; and 5) the need to revisit the resolution and crisis management framework for insurance and pensions.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Pension reforms that establish individual accounts will diminish the relative importance of the traditional state pension while creating a significant role for individual accounts in providing income for retirement. This paper surveys the policy issues this new role entails. It offers general advice to countries considering such issues as the restrictions to be placed on the timing, extent, and form of withdrawals from individual accounts and the need for mandatory annuitization (conversion into annuities) of accumulated account balances. The paper also considers the role that private annuity markets should play and related regulatory, social safety net, tax, and administrative questions.