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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
"All for One" examines inequality and the many ways it matters. In our overview article, the World bank's Branko Milanovic explains how income inequality is measured and tells us that it's increased in most countries. The good news, he says, is that global inequality--between countries--could be on the downturn. IMF economists Andrew Berg and Jonathan Ostry find that a more equal society has a greater likelihood of sustaining longer-term growth. Other IMF research on inequality finds that financial sector development not only 'enlarges the pie' by supporting economic growth but divides it more evenly; that higher income inequality in developed countries is associated with higher indebtedness--at home and abroad; and that while fiscal consolidation is necessary in the medium term, slamming on the brakes too quickly can harm jobs and cut wages, exacerbating inequality. Also in this issue, we profile Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize for economics. In a tour of the globe, we look at how the African diaspora can help their home countries from afar, try to draw some early lessons from the euro area's debt crisis, investigate how the United States and its neighbor Canada handled public debt--with different results, and find out about the rise of emerging markets as systemically important trading centers. Back to Basics explains the difference between micro- and macroeconomics, and Data Spotlight tells us about a new worldwide survey of foreign direct investment.
Wei Liao and Mr. Sampawende J Tapsoba
China has been moving to a more market oriented financial system, which has implications for the monetary policy environment. The paper investigates the stability of the money demand function (MDF) in light of progress in financial sector reforms that, for example, have resulted in significant financial innovation (so-called shadow banking) and more liberalized interest rates. The analysis of international experience suggests that rapid development of the financial system often leads to structural shifts in the MDF. For example, financial innovation and liberalization alter the sensitivity of money balances to income and the interest rate. For China, we find that the stable long-run relationship between money demand, output, and interest rates that existed between 2002 and 2008 disappears after 2008. This coincides with the period of rapid financial innovation, especially the growth in off-balance sheet and nonbank financial intermediation. The results suggest that usefulness of M2 as an intermediate monetary target has declined with financial innovation and reform. A result that underscores the importance of moving toward increased reliance on more price-based targets such as interest rates.
Mr. Olivier J Blanchard, Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, and Mr. Paolo Mauro
This is a Chinese translation of "Rethinking Macro Policy II" (SDN/13/03). This note explores how the economic thinking about macroeconomic management has evolved since the crisis began. It discusses developments in monetary policy, including unconventional measures; the challenges associated with increased public debt; and the policy potential, risks, and institutional challenges associated with new macroprudential measures. Rationale: The note contributes to the ongoing debate on several aspects of macroeconomic policy. It follows up on the earlier “Rethinking” paper, refining the analysis in light of the events of the past two years. Given the relatively fluid state of the debate (e.g., recent challenges to central bank independence), it is useful to highlight that while many of the tenets of the pre-crisis consensus have been challenged, others (such as the desirability of central bank independence) remain valid.
Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Martin Cihak, Mr. Papa M N'Diaye, Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Ms. Diana B Ayala Pena, Ran Bi, Miss Yuan Gao, Ms. Annette J Kyobe, Lam Nguyen, Christian Saborowski, Katsiaryna Svirydzenka, and Mr. Seyed Reza Yousefi
The global financial crisis experience shone a spotlight on the dangers of financial systems that have grown too big too fast. This note reexamines financial deepening, focusing on what emerging markets can learn from the advanced economy experience. It finds that gains for growth and stability from financial deepening remain large for most emerging markets, but there are limits on size and speed. When financial deepening outpaces the strength of the supervisory framework, it leads to excessive risk taking and instability. Encouragingly, the set of regulatory reforms that promote financial depth is essentially the same as those that contribute to greater stability. Better regulation—not necessarily more regulation—thus leads to greater possibilities both for development and stability.