Mr. Tobias Adrian, Mr. Patrick Bolton, and Alissa M. Kleinnijenhuis
We measure the gains from phasing out coal as the social cost of carbon times the quantity of avoided emissions. By comparing the present value of the benefits from avoided emissions against the present value of costs of ending coal plus the costs of replacing it with renewable energy, our baseline estimate is that the world can realize a net gain of 77.89 trillion USD. This represents around 1.2% of current world GDP every year until 2100. The net benefits from ending coal are so large that renewed efforts, carbon pricing, and other financing policies we discuss, should be pursued.
Public sector balance sheets provide the most comprehensive picture of public wealth. They bring together all the accumulated assets and liabilities that the government controls, including public corporations, natural resources, and pension liabilities. They thus account for the entirety of what the state owns and owes, offering a broader fiscal picture beyond debt and deficits. Most governments do not provide such transparency, thereby avoiding the additional scrutiny it brings. Better balance sheet management enables countries to increase revenues, reduce risks, and improve fiscal policymaking. There is some empirical evidence that financial markets are increasingly paying attention to the entire government balance sheet and that strong balance sheets enhance economic resilience. This issue of the Fiscal Monitor presents a new database that shows comprehensive estimates of public sector assets and liabilities for a broad sample of 31 countries, covering 61 percent of the global economy, and provides tools to analyze and manage public wealth. Estimates of public wealth reveal the full scale of public assets and liabilities. Assets are worth US$101 trillion or 219 percent of GDP in the sample. This includes 120 percent of GDP in public corporation assets. Also included are natural resources that average 110 percent of GDP among the large natural-resource-producing countries. Recognizing these assets does not negate the vulnerabilities associated with the standard measure of general government public debt, comprising 94 percent of GDP for these countries. This is only half of total public sector liabilities of 198 percent of GDP, which also includes 46 percent of GDP in already accrued pension liabilities. Once governments understand the size and nature of public assets, they can start managing them more effectively. Potential gains from better asset management are considerable. Revenue gains from nonfinancial public corporations and government financial assets alone could be as high as 3 percent of GDP a year, equivalent to annual corporate tax collections across advanced economies. In addition, considerable gains could be realized from government nonfinancial assets. Public assets are a significant resource, and how governments use and report on them matters, not just for financial reasons, but also in terms of improving service delivery and preventing the misuse of resources that often results from a lack of transparency.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This article profiles economist David Card, whose work on minimum wages, immigration, and education challenged conventional wisdom. Card rose to prominence in 1995 when he won the coveted John Bates Clark Medal, then awarded every two years by the American Economic Association to the leading economist under the age of 40 who is working in the United States. It is considered the top award in economics barring the Nobel Prize. Through empirical research into a series of “natural experiments”—real-life situations underpinned by robust data—Card challenged conventional economic thinking in several important areas. He found that, unlike in classical models, raising the minimum wage does not necessarily increase unemployment, and even has the potential to reduce it. More than 15 years of research led to a landmark 1993 paper and subsequent book—coauthored with Princeton professor Alan B. Krueger—that analyzed the impact of the minimum wage on the New Jersey fast-food industry.
This handbook is one of the first of its kind to focus attention on effectively administering revenues from extractive industries. It provides policymakers and officials in developing and emerging market economies with practical guidelines to establish a robust legal framework, organization, and procedures for administering revenue from these industries. It discusses transparency and how to promote it in the face of increasing demands for clarity and how developing countries can strengthen their managerial and technical capacity to administer these revenues.
This paper surveys decision-making roles of governing bodies of central banks that have formally adopted inflation targeting as a monetary framework. Governance practices seek to balance institutional independence needed for monetary policy credibility with accountability required to protect democratic values. Central bank laws usually have price stability as the primary monetary policy objective but seldom require an explicit numerical inflation target. Governments are frequently involved in setting targets, but to ensure operational autonomy, legal provisions explicitly limit government influence in internal policy decision-making processes. Internal governance practices differ considerably with regard to the roles and inter-relationships between the policy, supervisory, and management boards of a central bank.