Middle East and Central Asia > Pakistan

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Mr. Edward F Buffie, Mr. Christopher S Adam, Luis-Felipe Zanna, and Mr. Kangni R Kpodar
We analyze the medium-term macroeconomic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lock-down measures on low-income countries. We focus on the impact over the medium-run of the degradation of health and human capital caused by the pandemic and its aftermath, exploring the trade-offs between rebuilding human capital and the recovery of livelihoods and macroeconomic sustainability. A dynamic general equilibrium model is calibrated to reflect the structural characteristics of vulnerable low-income countries and to replicate key dimensions of the Covid-19 shock. We show that absent significant and sustained external financing, the persistence of loss-of-learning effects on labor productivity is likely to make the post-Covid recovery more attenuated and more expensive than many contemporary analyses suggest.
Mr. Paul L Levine, Emanuela Lotti, Nicoletta Batini, and Young-Bae Kim
This paper reviews the literature on the informal economy, focusing first on empirical findings and then on existing approaches to modeling informality within both partial and general equilibrium environments. We concentrate on labour and credit markets, since these tend to be most affected by informality. The phenomenon is particularly important in emerging and other developing economies, given their high degrees of informal labour and financial services and the implications these have for the effectiveness of macroeconomic policy. We emphasize the need for dynamic general equilibrium (DGE) and ultimately dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models for a full understanding of the costs, benefits and policy implications of informality. The survey shows that the literature on informality is quite patchy, and that there are several unexplored areas left for research.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Civil service reform is often essential to bring about governanceimprovements that are needed for sustainable poverty reduction.A workshop hosted by the World Bank and the IMF in September 2001provided a forum to review the effectiveness of Bank-Fund advice and programs on civil service reform, and to propose ways to improve jointefforts in coming years. Programs in 11 countries were examined, (Benin,Bolivia, Cambodia, Macedonia, Mali, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tanzania,Yemen, Zambia), and macrofiscal and structural outcomes of Bank-Fund workin those countries considered. This book is a joint publication betweenthe IMF and the World Bank.

International Monetary Fund
This paper argues that the development of human capital in the public sector should be an important ingredient in any proposed set of “second-generation” reforms for Africa. In the post-colonial era the quality of governance has seriously declined, and the stock of human capital in the public sector has been eroded by a flight of human capital from many countries in response to compression of wages. The paper develops a simple theoretical framework to discuss these issues and the continent’s experience with foreign technical assistance in supplementing the low level of domestic human capital.
International Monetary Fund
We examine the issue of technical assistance versus brain drain repatriation as alternative strategies for transferring scarce skills to a skill-poor economy. Technical assistance relies mainly on expatriate skills and labor from the host country, while brain drain repatriation seeks to effect a return of skills that might have been lost in migration. We show that, even in the simplest setting with imperfect information, a surprisingly rich menu of responses is obtained.
International Monetary Fund
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper begins by describing the basic concepts of Islamic banking, focusing on the issue of elimination of the rate of interest from the system. Islam expressly prohibits a fixed or predetermined return on financial transactions but allows uncertain rates of return deriving from risk-taking activities. Consequently, a banking structure in which the return for the use of money fluctuates according to actual profits made from such use would be consistent with the precepts of Islam. The paper concludes that from an economic standpoint the principal difference between the Islamic and the traditional banking systems is not that one allows interest payments and the other does not. The more relevant distinction is that the Islamic system treats deposits as shares and accordingly does not guarantee their nominal value, whereas in the traditional system such deposits are guaranteed either by the banks or by the government.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
In this paper, various policy instruments at the disposal of national governments for dealing with the problem of disruptive international capital flows or, more generally, the problem of temporary and reversible payments imbalances, are passed in review. The instruments examined include: separate (dual) exchange markets for capital and current transactions; taxes and subsidies affecting capital transactions or income from capital; official intervention in forward exchange markets; monetary or interest rate policies (including the fiscal-monetary mix); official financing or use of reserves; and floating unitary exchange rates and wider margins. Attention is focused on the device of dual exchange markets, which is evaluated in comparison with each of the other approaches from the standpoint of allocative effects, scope, enforceability, flexibility, and so on. Dual markets, if conducted on appropriate lines, are found to compare favourably overall with most of the other policies, except for floating unitary rates. The paper closes with a suggestion for a system of dual exchange markets with floating rates (subject to appropriate official intervention) on both markets.