Posted on August 31, 2016 by iMFdirect
by Jeff Hayden
My mother eases her car into the drive-through lane at our local bank, signs the back of her check, and places it in a metal canister. WHOOSH—the cylinder flies through a pneumatic tube to the teller inside the building.
In a few minutes, the teller squawks her thanks from the intercom speaker nearby. Another WHOOSH, and the canister returns. Inside we find a deposit receipt and a lollipop. Welcome to high-efficiency consumer banking, circa 1973.
Summer 2016. In our kitchen, I watch my oldest son rip open his paycheck and whip out his iPhone. TAP. SWIPE. CLICK. The deposit is made in an instant, thanks to an app that plugs him into an electronic banking network.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, banking, China, developing countries, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, euro zone, Europe, Finance, Globalization, IMF, International Monetary Fund, technology | Tagged: Aditya Narain, Andrew Berg, Chris Wellisz, cybercrime, cybertheft, de dollarization, Edward Buffie, Felipe Zanna, Hal Varian, monetary policy, Nancy Birdsall, Peru, public-private partnerships, remittances, robots, Sanjiv Ranjan Das, Sharmini Coorey, smart machines, technology | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 13, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf
Version in Français (French), Português (Portuguese)
There are many reasons why deeper financial development—the increase in deposits and loans but also their accessibility and improved financial sector efficiency—is good for sustainable growth in sub-Saharan Africa. For one, it helps mobilize savings and to direct funds into productive uses, for example by providing the start-up capital for the next innovative enterprise. This in turn facilitates a more efficient allocation of resources and increases overall productivity.
Filed under: Africa, Economic outlook, Financial regulation, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment | Tagged: financial inclusion, Financial regulation, financial sector, growth, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, investment, Pan-African banks, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, stability, Sub-Saharan Africa | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 31, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Jeff Hayden
Strong performance by many African economies over the past two decades led some commentators to coin the term “Africa Rising” to describe the region’s surging economic power.
The term graced the cover of TIME magazine in December 2012, in an issue that chronicled the region’s decades-long journey from economic anemia to impressive vigor. Beginning in the mid-1990s, many—but certainly not all—countries in sub-Saharan Africa energized their economies, achieving in recent years some of the world’s highest growth. Living standards improved as a result, as did health care and other key services, inspiring hope for a bright future.
Filed under: Africa, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment | Tagged: Africa, health care, IMF, infrastructure, International Monetary Fund, Nigeria, technology, United States, Women in the Workforce | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 19, 2016 by iMFdirect
Public capital—road, bridges, electricity—can make countries richer by attracting more investment and building economic growth at a time when many are struggling with low growth. Many economists would argue public investment projects in highly efficient countries tend to have a greater impact on growth. New research by IMF economists shows that’s not necessarily the case. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Caribbean, China, Economic research, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, LICs, Low-income countries | Tagged: Andy Berg, infrastructure, public spending | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 7, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Carla Grasso
Versions in: عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French), 日本語 (Japanese), Português (Portuguese), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)
If there’s one thing all economists can agree on, it’s the importance of numbers. Without good data, it is difficult to assess how an economy is performing and formulate smart policies that help improve lives. Continue reading
Filed under: Africa, IMF, International Monetary Fund, technology | Tagged: Africa, capacity building, Cape Verde, East Africa, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, Mauritius, Mozambique, senegal, Seychelles, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania, technical assistance | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 22, 2016 by iMFdirect
By David Lipton
Versions in عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French), 日本語 (Japanese), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)
One of the first things most students of economics learn is the diamond and water paradox. How can it be that water is free even though life cannot exist without it, while diamonds are expensive although no one dies for lack of diamonds?
The answer is that water can be free if its supply is abundant relative to demand. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that worldwide, the demand for water outpaces supply. This imbalance is the clearest sign that water is underpriced. Yet, many governments are reluctant to price water like other goods.
Filed under: Africa, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: Burkina Faso, David Lipton, fiscal policy, IMF, iMFdirect, low-income countries, public investment, subsidies, water, World Water Day | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 25, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Jeff Hayden
(Versions in عربي and Español)
Say “population growth” and many people immediately think of resources under stress. The mind jumps to 19th century scholar Thomas Malthus, who saw population outstripping the food supply, or to Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book The Population Bomb warned of global catastrophe from overpopulation.
Filed under: Africa, China, Employment, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: demographics, El Nino, employment, Finance & Development magazine, fiscal policy, inflation, oil prices, population aging, Sub-Saharan Africa, wages, women | Leave a comment »