Posted on February 22, 2017 by iMFdirect
By Prakash Loungani and Jonathan D. Ostry
Versions 中文 (Chinese), and Español (Spanish)
Over the past three decades, income inequality has gone up in most advanced economies and in many developing ones as well. Why? Much of the research on inequality has focused on advances in technology and liberalization of trade as the main drivers. While technology and trade are global trends that are difficult to resist, IMF studies have shown that the design of government policies matters and can help limit increases in inequality. Continue reading
Filed under: capital markets, developing countries, Economic research, growth, IMF, inclusive growth, income, Inequality | Tagged: capital markets, developing economies, Ethiopia, growth, IMF, iMFdirect blog, income distribution, income inequality, inequality, Jonathan Ostry, labor markets, Myanmar, Prakash Loungani, predistribution, redistribution, sustainable growth | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 22, 2015 by iMFdirect
Inequality is one of the defining issues of our time, so you may want to tune in to this interview with the authors of a new study that shows that higher inequality leads to lower growth. You can also read their blog here.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Civil Society, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Europe, Globalization, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, LICs, Low-income countries, Middle East, Politics, Reform | Tagged: economic growth, emerging markets, income distribution, middle class, poor, trickle down economics | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 9, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Sanjeev Gupta and Enrique Flores
(Versions in Español)
The Finance Minister answers her mobile. On the line is the Minister of Energy, who informs her that the country has struck oil and that he expects revenues from its sale to start flowing into the budget in the coming four years. While excited by the prospects of higher revenues—indeed the average resource-rich country gets more than 15 percent of GDP in resource revenues—she starts to ponder how to use these revenues for her country’s development. She is aware that only in rare cases have natural resources served as a catalyst for development; too often they have led to economic instability, corruption, and conflict or what has been termed as “the resource curse.”
Filed under: Economic research, Finance, Financial regulation, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Reform | Tagged: Alaska, budget, energy, income, income distribution, macroeconomics, natural resources, Nigeria, oil, resource wealth, subsidies, wealth | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 19, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Sanjeev Gupta and Michael Keen
(Version in Español, Français, Русский, 中文 and 日本語)
These are difficult times for ministers of finance. Fiscal constraints are tight and raising economic growth a priority. At the same time, income inequality is on the rise, and so is public pressure for governments to do something about it through their tax and spending policies. What’s a minister to do? How can he or she meet these seemingly incompatible demands?
A new IMF paper provides some guidance. Governments, of course, will have their own equity objectives. What the paper aims to do is look at precisely how countries can achieve their distributional goals—whatever they are—at the least possible cost to (and maybe even increasing) economic efficiency. This can help achieve sustainable growth and, in many cases, lead to fiscal savings. An earlier study by IMF researchers found that on average, fiscal redistribution has been associated with higher growth, because it helps reduce inequality.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic research, Employment, Fiscal policy, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: developing economies, education, government spending, health, income distribution, income inequality, inequality, pension, property taxes, retirement, taxes | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 8, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Andrew G. Berg and Jonathan D. Ostry
Many of us have been struck by the huge increase in income inequality in the United States in the past thirty years. The rich have gotten much richer, while just about everyone else has had very modest income growth.
Some dismiss inequality and focus instead on overall growth—arguing, in effect, that a rising tide lifts all boats. But assume we have a thousand boats representing all the households in the United States, with boat length proportional to family income. In the late 1970s, the average boat was a 12 foot canoe and the biggest yacht was 250 feet long. Thirty years later, the average boat is a slightly roomier 15 footer, while the biggest yacht, at over 1100 feet, would dwarf the Titanic! When a handful of yachts become ocean liners while the rest remain lowly canoes, something is seriously amiss.
In fact, inequality matters. And it matters in all corners of the globe. Continue reading
Filed under: growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: debt, economic growth, growth, income distribution, income inequality, inequality, macroeconomic stability, sustainable growth, trade openness | 42 Comments »