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Valentin F. Lang and Ms. Marina Mendes Tavares
We study economic globalization as a multidimensional process and investigate its effect on incomes. In a panel of 147 countries during 1970-2014, we apply a new instrumental variable, exploiting globalization’s geographically diffusive character, and find differential gains from globalization both across and within countries: Income gains are substantial for countries at early and medium stages of the globalization process, but the marginal returns diminish as globalization rises, eventually becoming insignificant. Within countries, these gains are concentrated at the top of national income distributions, resulting in rising inequality. We find that domestic policies can mitigate the adverse distributional effects of globalization.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper focuses on concerns over wages, jobs, and future prospects are real and pressing for those who are not well equipped to thrive in this new world. History clearly tells us that closing borders or increasing protectionism is not the way to go. Many countries have tried this route, and just as many have failed. Instead, we need to pursue policies that extend the benefits of openness and integration while alleviating their side effects. Emerging and developing economies have been the prime beneficiaries of economic openness. According to the World Bank, trade has helped reduce by half the pro¬portion of the global population living in extreme poverty. China, for instance, saw a phenomenal drop in its extreme poverty rate—from 36 percent at the end of the 1990s to 6 percent in 2011. Another example is Vietnam, which—in a single generation—moved from being one of the world’s poorest nations to middle-in¬come status—which has allowed for increased investments in health and education.

Mr. Gee Hee Hong, Mr. Jaewoo Lee, Wei Liao, and Miss Dulani Seneviratne
Asia and China made disproportionate contributions to the slowdown of global trade growth in 2015. China’s import growth slowed starkly, driven by both external and domestic factors, including a rebalancing of demand. Econometric results point to weak investment and rebalancing as the main causes of the import slowdown. Spillover effects from China’s rebalancing are estimated for some 60 countries using value-added trade data, and are found to be more negative on Asia and commodity exporters than others.
Mr. Hideaki Hirata, Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Christopher Otrok, and Mr. Marco Terrones
We examine the properties of house price fluctuations across 18 advanced economies over the past 40 years. We ask two specific questions: First, how synchronized are housing cycles across these countries? Second, what are the main shocks driving movements in global house prices? To address these questions, we first estimate the global components in house prices and various macroeconomic and financial variables. We then evaluate the roles played by a variety of global shocks, including shocks to interest rates, monetary policy, productivity, credit, and uncertainty, in explaining house price fluctuations using a wide range of FAVAR models. We find that house prices are synchronized across countries, and the degree of synchronization has increased over time. Global interest rate shocks tend to have a significant negative effect on global house prices whereas global monetary policy shocks per se do not appear to have a sizeable impact. Interestingly, uncertainty shocks seem to be important in explaining fluctuations in global house prices.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about policy options for emerging market countries (by Marcos Chamon, Chris Crowe, and Jun Il Kim); research summaries on “Does Trade and Financial Globalization Cause Income Inequality?” (by Chris Papageorgiou) and “The Current Account of Oil-Exporting Countries (by Irineu E. de Carvalho Filho); an article on the launch of the IMF’s new research journal, IMF Economic Review, and the contents of the upcoming IMF Staff Papers, which the new the new journal will succeed in 2010; an article on the upcoming Tenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference; a listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July–September 2009; and listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Position Notes.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Calls for stronger IMF, World Growth Outlook, Strauss-Kahn Takes Over as New IMF Head, IMFC Communique, Globalization, Global Business Cycle, Capital Flows, Annual Meetings Seminars, Asian Economic Outlook, African Economic Outlook, News Briefs.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Assiduously tracking the trends and consequences of globalization, the IMF's quarterly magazine Finance & Development has been a major forum for discussing-and dissecting-the policy options and challenges faced by governments in an era when many national decisions transcend borders. This valuable compilation of articles published over the past eight years focuses on financial globalization, including the policy implications of the huge growth in cross-border capital flows. Articles also look at the expansion of world trade, explore the impact of globalization on jobs, taxation, and the poor, and examine the digital divide between developed and some developing countries. An extraordinary summary that distills nearly a decade of accelerated change.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The global economy grew strongly in the first half of 2007, although turbulence in financial markets has clouded prospects. While the 2007 forecast has been little affected, the baseline projection for 2008 global growth has been reduced by almost ½ percentage point relative to the July 2007 World Economic Outlook Update. This would still leave global growth at a solid 4¾ percent, supported by generally sound fundamentals and strong momentum in emerging market economies. Risks to the outlook, however, are firmly on the downside, centered around the concern that financial market strains could deepen and trigger a more pronounced global slowdown. Thus, the immediate focus of policymakers is to restore more normal financial market conditions and safeguard the expansion. Additional risks to the outlook include potential inflation pressures, volatile oil markets, and the impact on emerging markets of strong foreign exchange inflows. At the same time, longer-term issues such as population aging, increasing resistance to globalization, and global warming are a source of concern.