decent income and the resulting dignity). If this is because of binding political constraints against effective pre-distribution and re-distribution policies, governments today will have to try much harder to regain credibility in the eyes of those who have been left behind .” Perhaps saving capitalism and globalization for the winners may require much more attention by governments to those left behind, both ex ante in the reformchoices pursued, and ex post through more aggressive use of fiscal redistribution.▪
IMF Research Perspective (formerly published as IMF Research Bulletin) is a new, redesigned online newsletter covering updates on IMF research. In the inaugural issue of the newsletter, Hites Ahir interviews Valeria Cerra; and they discuss the economic environment 10 years after the global financial crisis. Research Summaries cover the rise of populism; economic reform; labor and technology; big data; and the relationship between happiness and productivity. Sweta C. Saxena was the guest editor for this inaugural issue.
We identify current challenges for creating stable, yet efficient financial systems using lessons from recent and past crises. Reforms need to start from three tenets: adopting a system-wide perspective explicitly aimed at addressing market failures; understanding and incorporating into regulations agents’ incentives so as to align them better with societies’ goals; and acknowledging that risks of crises will always remain, in part due to (unknown) unknowns – be they tipping points, fault lines, or spillovers. Corresponding to these three tenets, specific areas for further reforms are identified. Policy makers need to resist, however, fine-tuning regulations: a “do not harm” approach is often preferable. And as risks will remain, crisis management needs to be made an integral part of system design, not relegated to improvisation after the fact.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes France’s fiscal stance using a structural stochastic model. The theoretical model features a forward-looking benevolent government that needs to decide the optimal fiscal stance given the level of public debt, the cyclical position of the economy, and expectations about future shocks. This paper shows that a fiscal consolidation can help build buffers that could help France confront the next downturn from a stronger fiscal position. The analysis highlights that, on average, fiscal policy in France exhibited a deficit bias over the past four decades, being unable to react to either rising debt levels, or cyclical conditions. A model-based analysis further confirms that fiscal policy was generally looser than warranted by cyclical and debt sustainability considerations, and this is only partly due to the fact policymakers need to take decisions based on real-time output gap measures that are subject to uncertainty.
Ambiguity, as opposed to uncertainty, reflects lack of sufficient information about distribution and payoffs of infrequent events. Reforms are infrequent events, undertaken in ambiguous second-best environments where bad reform outcomes are feasible. A general case for the gradualist reform strategy is that it may pay to defer some reforms until relevant information about possible reform outcomes and associated probabilities is revealed, and ambiguity is reduced over time. Gradualism may dominate the big bang strategy, if some of the reforms in a reform sequence are not sure bets and waiting costs do not dominate reversal costs under some information sets forthcoming over time. The relation to Ellsberg's Paradox is discussed. Some cases for and against gradualism are reviewed.
This report summarizes the sixth review of the economic program of Mali under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and assesses the progress made in adjusting the economy. The Malian authorities continued to make good progress in implementing the IMF program, under difficult conditions. Executive Directors stressed the need for prudent macroeconomic policies and structural reforms. They emphasized the need to enhance private sector competitiveness, liberalize the cotton sector, and promote good governance.
The paper reviews and draws lessons from the experience of fast growing economies including a sub-set of these termed High Growth Economies (HGEs) with a decadal rate of over 7 per cent. It then reviews the history of the Indian growth acceleration following the reforms of the 1990s and its future prospects given the recent slowdown. It analysis the potential dangers and reasons for India’s growth slowdown and proposes policy reforms for sustaining fast growth.