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Flavien Moreau and Adriana Lleras-Muney
We propose a dynamic production function of population health and mortality from birth onwards. Our parsimonious model provides an excellent fit for the mortality and survival curves for both primate and human populations since 1816. The model sheds light on the dynamics behind many phenomena documented in the literature, including (i) the existence and evolution of mortality gradients across socio-economic statuses, (ii) non-monotonic dynamic effects of in-utero shocks, (iii) persistent or “scarring” effects of wars and (iv) mortality displacement after large temporary shocks such as extreme weather.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

Abstract

Address at the Bank of England Twentieth Anniversary Conference London, U.K. September 29, 2017 International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde delivered this address at the Bank of England conference, “Independence—20 Years On” in London, U.K., on September 29, 2017.

Sophia Chen and Mr. Romain Ranciere
We study the forecasting power of financial variables for macroeconomic variables for 62 countries between 1980 and 2013. We find that financial variables such as credit growth, stock prices and house prices have considerable predictive power for macroeconomic variables at one to four quarters horizons. A forecasting model with financial variables outperforms the World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecasts in up to 85 percent of our sample countries at the four quarters horizon. We also find that cross-country panel models produce more accurate out-of-sample forecasts than individual country models.
Mr. Sandeep Saxena and Sami Ylaoutinen
Virements are useful instruments of budget flexibility. If carried out transparently and within accepted limits, virements can promote expenditure efficiency. Large, unregulated virements can undermine budget credibility and the budget’s relevance as principal policy and financial planning instrument. This note defines virements, clarifies their purpose, and specifies what general and country-specific considerations should guide the design of a virement framework. The note argues that countries should design virement policies maintaining balance between their budget flexibility and accountability needs, and keeping in view the legal-cultural environment and the state of development of their public financial management.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses prospects for potential growth, house prices, household debt, and financial stability risks, and tax policy reforms in New Zealand. Despite having world-class institutions and strong policy framework, income levels remain low relative to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. During 1980–2014, per capita income levels have remained about 20 percent below the OECD's average income. Longstanding structural issues need to be addressed to boost potential growth. House prices and household debt have increased rapidly in New Zealand over the past two decades. New Zealand's low national saving rate is a source of vulnerability and likely contributes to the relatively high interest rates needed to attract foreign capital.