Limiting the Economic Fallout of the Coronavirus with Large Targeted Policies

2020-03-18T14:41:03-04:00March 9, 2020|

This blog is part of a special series on the response to the coronavirus.

By Gita Gopinath

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This health crisis will have a significant economic fallout, reflecting shocks to supply and demand different from past crises. Substantial targeted policies are needed to support the economy through the epidemic, keeping intact the web of economic and financial relationships between workers and businesses, lenders and borrowers, and suppliers and end-users for activity to recover once the outbreak fades. The goal is to prevent a […]

Fiscal Policies to Protect People During the Coronavirus Outbreak

2020-03-16T15:02:56-04:00March 5, 2020|

This blog is part of a special series on the response to the coronavirus.

By Vitor Gaspar and Paolo Mauro

عربي, 中文, EspañolFrançais, 日本語Português, Русский

A key role of government is to protect the well-being of its people—most crucially and visibly during emergencies such as the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. The IMF has $50 billion available in rapid-disbursing emergency financing to help countries suffering from the virus. As Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, what we want is to guarantee that people are not going […]

Chart of the Week: Inequality, Your Health, and Fiscal Policy

2019-03-15T11:06:05-04:00February 5, 2018|

By Mercedes García-EscribanoBaoping Shang, and Emmanouil (Manos) Kitsios

February 5, 2018 

 Catania Sicily, Italy.  Men with a lower level of education live shorter lives, on average, than their better educated fellow citizens (photo: Jann Huizenga/Getty Images/IStock).

The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor people is a worldwide phenomenon, and has grown dramatically in recent years in some countries. 

In our Chart of the Week, we show how this […]

What Happens to Public Health Spending in IMF-Supported Programs? Another Look

2017-04-14T01:49:11-04:00December 21, 2014|

By Benedict Clements, Sanjeev Gupta, and Masahiro Nozaki

(Versions in 中文Français日本語, Русский, and Español)

Improvements in health can have a tremendously positive effect on society’s well-being and the level of economic activity. Indeed, 2013’s path-breaking report by the Lancet Commission indicates that about 11 percent of the economic growth in recent decades can be attributed to these improvements. As such, it makes good sense for macroeconomists to pay attention to health indicators and to the factors […]

Debt in a Time of Protests

2017-04-15T14:01:13-04:00October 16, 2012|

As the world economy continues to struggle, people are taking to the streets by the thousands to protest painful cuts in public spending designed to reduce government debt and deficits. This fiscal fury is understandable. People want to regain the confidence they once had about the future when the economy was booming and more of us had jobs. But after a protracted economic crisis, this will take planning, fair burden-sharing, and time itself.

Raising Government Revenue in Africa: A Road out of Poverty

2017-04-15T14:27:47-04:00March 21, 2011|

Governments in Africa have a prime objective—to reduce poverty. To improve living standards and create jobs, they need to provide their citizens with better health care, better education, more infrastructure. They need to build hospitals, schools, and to pay doctors, nurses, teachers. All this costs money, and how to pay for this—in a way that is both fair and efficient—is a major challenge. With limits to how much a government can receive as grants or borrow, raising tax revenues will be a crucial element for governments to deliver more of these essential services and, in turn, reduce poverty. Policymakers will have an opportunity to exchange views on the challenges of Revenue Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa at a conference in Nairobi this week. To help frame that conversation, here are some ideas about priority areas for action.

Healing Public Health Care Finances: Budget Reforms That Work

2017-04-15T14:28:23-04:00February 8, 2011|

Health care reform is tricky. On the one hand, providing access to affordable health care is of paramount importance. But spending on health care is putting enormous pressure on public purses all over the world, and it’s only getting worse. How can we fix this? How can governments keep their health care promises to citizens without busting the budget? Despite the obvious differences, advanced and emerging markets share something very basic in common—they all need to get “more bang for their buck” when it comes to public health care spending.

The Health Care Challenge: Not Just a U.S. Problem

2017-04-15T14:43:17-04:00November 20, 2009|

Health spending in OECD countries increased from 4½ percent of GDP in 1960 to 12½ percent in 2007. What accounts for this dramatic increase? Income growth, insurance, demographics, and technological change all contributed, but the latter was the key driver.

Post-Crisis: What Should Be the Goal of a Fiscal Exit Strategy?

2017-04-15T14:43:23-04:00November 16, 2009|

One obvious fallout of the global financial crisis is a huge deterioration in fiscal conditions, particularly in advanced countries. The numbers are nothing short of staggering. Gross general government debt in the G-20 advanced economies is projected to approach 120 percent of GDP by 2014, up from about 80 percent in 2007, and this is even assuming no renewal of fiscal stimulus beyond 2010.
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