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Yang Liu, Di Yang, and Mr. Yunhui Zhao
Inflation has been rising during the pandemic against supply chain disruptions and a multi-year boom in global owner-occupied house prices. We present some stylized facts pointing to house prices as a leading indicator of headline inflation in the U.S. and eight other major economies with fast-rising house prices. We then apply machine learning methods to forecast inflation in two housing components (rent and owner-occupied housing cost) of the headline inflation and draw tentative inferences about inflationary impact. Our results suggest that for most of these countries, the housing components could have a relatively large and sustained contribution to headline inflation, as inflation is just starting to reflect the higher house prices. Methodologically, for the vast majority of countries we analyze, machine-learning models outperform the VAR model, suggesting some potential value for incorporating such models into inflation forecasting.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper reviews quantitative tools of financial stability assessments under the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). A key focus of FSAPs is on methodologies to gauge risks on a system-wide level and propose mitigating measures. Therefore, the paper concentrates on the main elements of the FSAP’s macroprudential stress testing framework:(i) the interaction among solvency, liquidity, and contagion risks in the banking sector, (ii) the assessment of the health of nonbank financial institutions (NBFIs), their interactions with banks and their impact on financial markets, (iii) the assessment of the health of nonfinancial sectors and their links to the financial sector, and (iv) macroprudential policy analysis. The paper also reviews recent improvements in microprudential bank solvency stress testing—an important foundation for the macroprudential stress testing framework—and discusses new tools for emerging risks (climate change, fintech, and cyber).
Tahsin Saadi Sedik and Rui Xu
In this paper we analyze the dynamics among past major pandemics, economic growth, inequality, and social unrest. We provide evidence that past major pandemics, even though much smaller in scale than COVID-19, have led to a significant increase in social unrest by reducing output and increasing inequality. We also find that higher social unrest, in turn, is associated with lower ourput and higher inequality, pointing to a vicious cycle. Our results suggest that without policy measures, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely increase inequality, trigger social unrest, and lower future output in the years to come.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Growth has been strong, benefiting from Luxembourg's major role in intermediating international capital flows, and prospects are good. However, the outlook remains clouded by risks arising from possible global retreat from cross-border integration and policy uncertainty and divergence which could cause financial market volatility; from the international tax transparency and anti-tax avoidance agenda; as well as from new shocks to the euro area economy. Unemployment, moderately high relative to historical standards, mainly reflects skills mismatches, and new jobs have increasingly been taken up by cross-border commuters.

Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz and Mr. Alfredo Mario Leone

Technology is generating a global convergence. A "big bang" of information—and education as well—is improving human lives. And with global interconnectivity growing by leaps and bounds, we are all witness to a rapid spread of information and ideas. But, as we have seen from the prolonged global financial crisis, our interconnectedness carries grave risks as well as benefits. This issue of F&D looks at different aspects of interconnectedness, globally and in Asia. • Brookings VP Kemal Devis presents the three fundamental trends in the global economy affecting the balance between east and west in "World Economy: Convergence, Interdependence, and Divergence." • In "Financial Regionalism," Akihiro Kawai and Domenico Lombardi tell us how regional arrangements are helping global financial stability. • In "Migration Meets Slow Growth," Migration Policy Institute president Demetrios Papademetriou examines how the global movement of workers will change as the economic crisis continues in advanced economies. • "Caught in the Web" explains new ways of looking at financial interconnections in a globalized world. • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde provides her take on the benefits of integration and the risks of fragmentation in "Straight Talk." Also in this issue, we take a closer look at interconnectedness across Asia as we explore how trade across the region is affected by China's falling trade surplus, how India and China might learn from each others' success, and what Myanmar's reintegration into the global economy means for its people. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Justin Yifu Lin, first developing country World Bank economist, and the Back to Basics series explains the origins and evolution of money.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the 2010 Article IV Consultation underlies a thorough and objective view of the macroeconomic situation in Luxembourg and the challenges the economy is facing. The country’s enviable position of public finances at the onset of the crisis provided the space to accommodate fiscal support to the economy, enhance social transfers, and protect household income. Executive Directors recommended a sharper focus on liquidity and credit risks arising from banks’ sizable and concentrated exposures to their foreign parent groups.

International Monetary Fund

The adverse impact of the crisis on Luxembourg’s growth outlook is partly mitigated by the authorities’ well-conceived fiscal policy response. The staff report for Luxembourg’s 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights economic developments and policies. It combines substantial fiscal stimulus, including subsidies aimed at stabilizing employment, with the full functioning of the automatic stabilizers. All major expenditure components of GDP are likely to be adversely affected by the financial crisis, waning confidence, and euro area recession.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The IMF's work on data dissemination standards consists of two tiers: the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), which applies to all IMF member countries, and the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), for those members having or seeking access to international capital markets. The GDDS framework provide governments with guidance on the overall development of the macroeconomic, financial, and sociodemographic data that are essential for policymaking and analysis in an environment that increasingly requires relevant, comprehensive, and accurate statistical data. This Guide explains the nature, objectives, and operation of the GDDS; the data dimensions it covers; and how countries participate. It provides national statistical authorities with a management tool and a framework to foster sound statistical methodology, professional data compilation, and data dissemination. The Guide supersedes the version updated in March 2002 and incorporates the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as specific elements of the GDDS sociodemographic component, which was articulated with the collaboration of the World Bank.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) was established by the IMF in 1996 to guide members that already had, or that might seek, access to international capital markets in providing key economic and financial data to the public. In the following year, the IMF established the General Data Dissemination Standard (GDDS), which seeks to prepare countries for meeting the requirements of the SDDS. Data supplied by countries subscribing to the SDDS, as well as information provided by countries participating in the GDDS, are posted on the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) on the IMF's public website (http://dsbb.imf.org). This Guide is intended to assist subscribers of the SDDS, GDDS participants moving toward subscription to the SDDS, and users of the DSBB in becoming aware of the features and scope of the SDDS and the DSBB. It is intended to further the IMF's initiatives in data transparency and standards, to enhance the public availability of timely and comprehensive international statistics, and therefore to contribute to countries pursuit of sound macroeconomic policies and to the improved functioning of global financial markets.

Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. Hugo Rodríguez, and Mr. Gerd Schwartz
The paper studies the economic determinants of government subsidies using panel data for 40 countries over 18 years (from 1975 to 1992) and finds that individual country-specific factors play a sizeable role in determining government subsidies. But it also suggests several characteristics—a small government, a small external current account deficit, and a productive structure geared more toward services and agriculture than manufacturing—may make it easier to keep subsidy expenditures down. The paper also suggests that globalization and the associated increase in openness are not impediments to reducing subsidies. In itself, an IMF-supported adjustment program is found not to be a significant determinant of government subsidy expenditures.