International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This paper presents traction as a multidimensional concept and discusses a comprehensive and complementary set of approaches to attempt to measure it based on the Fund’s value added to policy dialogue and formulation and public debate in member countries.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This issue of Finance & Development discusses need of empowering women, which is critical for the world’s economy and people. Unequal or unfair treatment can marginalize women and hinder their participation as productive individuals contributing to society and the economy in invaluable ways. The rich tapestry of organizations and individuals who can make a difference to ensure women have equal opportunities; there is a crucial role for policymakers. They can use their positions to design policies that help women and girls’ access what they need for a fulfilling life—including education, health services, safe transportation, legal protection against harassment, finance, and flexible working arrangements. The IMF recommends these kinds of policy measures to its member countries—and works with many governments to examine how policies affect women. The IMF’s 189 member countries face many different challenges, but empowering women remains a common denominator and a global imperative for all those who care about fairness and diversity, but also productivity and growth of societies and economies that are more inclusive.
Liberalization of capital flows can benefit both source and recipient countries by improving resource allocation, reducing financing costs, increasing competition and accelerating the development of domestic financial systems. The empirical evidence, however, is mixed on the benefits, and it suggests that countries benefit most when they meet certain thresholds related to institutional and financial development. The principal cost of capital flow liberalization stems from the economic instability brought on by volatile capital flows. In extreme cases, sudden stops or reversals in capital inflows can trigger financial crises followed by prolonged periods of weak growth.
This is the fourth in a series of Board papers developing a comprehensive Fund view on capital flows and the policies that affect them. A first paper in December 2010 dealt with the Fund’s overall role in this area, both historically and prospectively. The second paper in March 2011 developed a framework for policy advice on managing capital inflows broadly endorsed by the Board, which constitutes a first round articulation of the Fund’s institutional views on managing capital inflows. The third paper in November 2011 examined the multilateral aspects of policies affecting capital flows, and focused mainly on source country policies. This paper covers liberalizing capital flows and the management of outflows.