Social Science > Demography

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Koffie Ben Nassar, Mr. Joel Chiedu Okwuokei, Mike Li, Timothy Robinson, and Mr. Saji Thomas
Weighed down by population aging, slow economic growth, and high unemployment, National Insurance Schemes in the Caribbean are projected to run substantial deficits and deplete their assets in the next decades, raising the prospects of government intervention. With the region highly indebted, this paper quantifies the impact of three parametric reforms—freezing pension benefits for two years, raising the retirement age and increasing the contribution rate by one percentage point—that, if implemented, would put the pension schemes on a stronger financial footing. While the appropriate combination of reforms necessary to eliminate the actuarial deficits varies depending on each country’s circumstances, most countries need to undertake reforms now or risk even higher taxes, lower growth and unsustainable debt dynamics.
Mr. Tobias N. Rasmussen
Each year natural disasters affect about 200 million people and cause about $50 billion in damage. This paper compares the incidence of natural disasters across countries along several dimensions and finds that the relative costs tend to be far higher in developing countries than in advanced economies. The analysis shows that small island states are especially vulnerable, with the countries of the Eastern Caribbean standing out as among the most disaster-prone in the world. Natural disasters are found to have had a discernible macroeconomic impact, including large effects on fiscal and external balances, pointing to an important role for precautionary measures.