Posted on April 1, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Min Zhu
The economies of small states have unique features. They have relatively higher costs, higher public spending needs, and more volatile economies. And their growth has not matched the improved economic performance of the rest of the world since the late 1990s, despite their many efforts over the years. We wanted a better grasp of why this is so we can better tailor our advice and support. Here is what we found.
Filed under: Asia, Emerging Markets, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: Caribbean, Climate change, development, financial markets, markets, Min Zhu, small states | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 2, 2013 by iMFdirect
By David Lipton
(Versions in عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Русский, 日本語)
With the New Year, we all hope to put the global financial crisis behind us. We also need to do more to secure our future.
Beyond our current economic and financial problems, there are long-term issues that we all know about, but that get too little attention in an era when policymakers are so fully engaged in slogging away at more immediate problems. Unfortunately, long-term issues unaddressed today will become crises tomorrow.
So we had better lengthen our focus, see what looms on the horizon, and do more to steer the global economy in a better direction.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Financial Crisis, Globalization, growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Politics | Tagged: advanced economies, Climate change, crisis, David Lipton, developing economies, emerging markets, global economy, global warming, Globalization, growth, Hurricane Sandy, iMFdirect blog, structural reforms, technology | 7 Comments »
Posted on August 23, 2012 by iMFdirect
Three years after the launch of iMFdirect as a forum for discussing economic issues around the world, we look back at some of our most popular posts.
The IMF blog has helped stimulate considerable debate about economic policy in the current crisis, on events in Europe and around the world in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, on fiscal adjustment, on regulating the financial sector, and the future of macroeconomics–as economists learn lessons from the Great Recession.
As readers struggled to understand the implications of the crisis, our most popular post by far was IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard’s Four Hard Truths, a look back at 2011 and the economic lessons for the future.
Here’s our Top 20 list of our most popular posts by subject (from more than 300 posts):
1. Global Crisis: Four Hard Truths; Driving With the Brakes On
2. Financial Stability: What’s Still to Be Done?
3. Fiscal Policy: Ten Commandments ; Striking the Right Balance
4. Macroeconomic Policy: Rewriting the Playbook; Nine Tentative Conclusions ; Future Study
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Finance, Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, Financial sector supervision, Fiscal policy, Fiscal Stimulus, Global Governance, Globalization, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America, LICs, Low-income countries, Middle East, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics, Public debt, recession | Tagged: Arab, blog, China, Climate change, Four Hard Truths, global crisis, Greece, Iceland, iMFdirect, inclusive, India, inequality, Islamic, islamic finance, Japan, jobs, Lavia, lessons, lost generation, macroeconomic policy, macroprudential, Michael Mussa, natural resources, Olivier Blanchard, pensions, ten commandments, Top 20, United States, women, youth | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 19, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Min Zhu
Putting an accurate price on pollution is something the world has been struggling with now for decades. Getting prices to reflect environmental damage will help slow pollution by encouraging people and firms to change their behavior and shift away from activities and products that pollute the planet. Paying true prices is something we need to do if we want to keep economic development on an environmentally sustainable track.
Behind the concept of sustainable development lies a bold vision of the future, or “The Future We Want,” as Ban Ki-Moon puts it. It is about the vitality of our global economy, the harmony of our global society, the nurturing of our global inheritance.
It is about laying the foundation so that every single person can flourish and reach their true potential.
Eyes on Rio
This week the world is looking to Rio de Janeiro as those of us gathered there for the Rio+20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development affirm our commitment to sustainable development—the idea that we should strive for economic growth, environmental protection, and social progress at the same time.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Europe, Globalization, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Low-income countries, Middle East, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics | Tagged: Africa, Ban Ki-Moon, carbon tax, Climate change, fossil fuels, green, India, natural disasters, pricing, rainfall, Rio+20, sustainable, The Future We Want, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development | 6 Comments »
Posted on January 9, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Ian Parry
(Versions in عربي, 中文, Español and Français)
As we slide into another year of tough economic times, it’s easy to understand why policymakers are preoccupied with the next few weeks. But they also need to be thinking about the longer term issue of leaving the planet in reasonable shape for future generations.
Without serious efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, scientists predict that by the end of this century global temperatures could be 2.5 to 6.0OC higher than a couple of hundred years ago. That could mean more heatwaves, more droughts, higher sea levels, more violent storms—and so on. When you start to think about the potential impact of, say, droughts on the livelihood of farmers, especially in poorer countries… well, you get the point.
While some progress was made in the latest round of United Nations’ climate change negotiations in Durban, South Africa, we saw two major omissions. There was little progress on either carbon pricing or, related, financing for action against climate change. And there was not enough recognition of what economics has to offer to help tackle the problems.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Emerging Markets, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Multilateral Cooperation | Tagged: border tax adjustments, carbon pricing, Climate change, CO2 emissions, domestic tax revenues, Durban, energy taxes, financing for climate change, greenhouse gases, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund | 4 Comments »
Posted on November 23, 2009 by iMFdirect
By Carlo Cottarelli
As world leaders gather in Copenhagen, climate change is again in the headlines. The science of the issue can get pretty incomprehensible pretty quickly. And the politics are clearly very ugly. Let’s not forget, however, that much of the economics is simple.
It’s an externality, stupid—so price it
Climate change is an “externality” problem. Individuals, firms, and, yes, governments, do not take full account of the harm that others suffer when they emit greenhouse gases. So they emit too much. And the best way to stop them doing this is to charge them a price for the carbon content of what they emit: a “carbon price.”
Admittedly, climate change is a particularly complicated externality. Since the damage will fall largely on future generations, the proper price depends very much on how we value their well-being relative to ours. The importance of such long-lived investments as power-stations, and the heavy sunk costs of investing in new technologies, mean that the carbon prices people expect in the future are even more important than the price now. And the fact that the world’s supply of fossil fuels is ultimately fixed means that the effect of carbon prices on total emissions is not as clear cut as it may seem.
Emission reductions solely by those countries historically responsible for the accumulated stock of emissions will not come close to solving the climate problem (photo: Newscom)
Filed under: Economic Crisis | Tagged: cap and trade, carbon, carbon price, Climate change, Copenhagen, greenhouse gases, oil | 6 Comments »