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Mr. Anil Ari, David Bartolini, Vizhdan Boranova, Gabriel Di Bella, Mr. Kamil Dybczak, Ms. Keiko Honjo, Raju Huidrom, Andreas Jobst, Nemanja Jovanovic, Ezgi O. Ozturk, Ms. Laura Papi, Mr. Sergio Sola, Michelle Stone, and Petia Topalova
CESEE countries lag in terms of infrastructure compared to the EU15, and deficient infrastructure is often cited as a constraint to growth and convergence. Investing in infrastructure is therefore an important long-standing policy issue for the region. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, infrastructure investment has also gained some ground as economies look to support activity in the recovery phase once the virus has been contained. Against this backdrop, this project seeks to benchmark infrastructure in CESEE, assess the macro impact of higher infrastructure investment, and discuss policies issues to maximize such impact. First, we benchmark infrastructure in the region versus the EU15, across various infrastructure sectors and using different methodologies. Second, deploying empirical estimates and model-based simulations, we analyze the macroeconomic impact of boosting infrastructure investment. Third, we present an in-depth analysis of policy issues: enhancing public investment management, managing fiscal risks, and mobilizing private sector participation.
Mr. Marco Arena, Tingyun Chen, Mr. Seung M Choi, Ms. Nan Geng, Cheikh A. Gueye, Mr. Tonny Lybek, Mr. Evan Papageorgiou, and Yuanyan Sophia Zhang
Macroprudential policy in Europe aligns with the objective of limiting systemic risk, namely the risk of widespread disruption to the provision of financial services that is caused by an impairment of all or parts of the financial system and that can cause serious negative consequences for the real economy.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper quantifies the short- and medium-term growth effects of major ongoing highway and railway projects in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A standard neoclassical growth model is augmented with public capital to capture both demand and supply-side effects of public infrastructure investments. The calibrated model suggests that the four ongoing highway and railway investments of 2–3 percent of GDP annually for 2014–18 are likely to raise the growth rate of real GDP by 0.5 percentage points on average for each year in 2014–20. Enhancing public investment efficiency can increase growth effects up to 0.8 percentage points.
Ms. Yan M Sun, Ms. Pritha Mitra, and Mr. Alejandro Simone
This paper studies the factors behind pro-cyclical but widely varying construction shares (as a percent of GDP) across countries, with a strong focus on European countries. Using a dataset covering 48 countries (including advanced and emerging economies within and outside Europe) for 1990-2011, we find that country’s geography, demographics, and economic conditions are the key determinants of a norm around which actual construction shares revolve in a simple AR(1) and error-correction process. The empirical results show that in many European countries, construction shares overshoot relative to their norms before the recent global crisis, but they have fallen significantly since the crisis. Nevertheless, there is still room for further adjustment in construction shares in some countries which may weigh on economic recovery.
International Monetary Fund
The progress made by Moldova toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has not been uniform since 2007. Domestic economic and political crises are likely to undermine the achievement of several MDG targets set for 2010 and 2015. The goals were to reduce extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal access to general secondary education, promote gender equality and empower woman, and so on. After growing dramatically in 1998–1999, poverty in Moldova began to decline in 2000. Addressing the environmental challenges and risks is imperative for Moldova.
Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, Miss Taline Koranchelian, and Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados
Subsidy reform has been a key component of the pre-accession reform agenda of the 10 new member states that joined the EU in 2004 (EU-10). During the pre-accession period, these countries had to undertake a number of important structural reforms in their economies. One of the most critical reforms was to reduce, and in some cases, eliminate their subsidy programs. This paper analyzes how key subsidy reforms (in state aid to enterprises, agriculture, energy, and transportation) were carried out in the EU-10 during 1995–2005, and explains observed variations across types of subsidies and across countries. Based on an extensive qualitative analysis, the paper draws lessons for future successful reforms of government subsidies. 32B
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For policymakers around the world, finding ways to promote faster growth is a top priority. But what exactly do economists know and not know about growth? What direction should future research and policymaking take? This issue explores this topic, starting with a major World Bank study and research coming out of Harvard University that urges less reliance on simple formulas and the elusive search for best practices, and greater reliance on deeper economic analysis to identify each country's binding constraint(s) on growth. Other articles highlight IMF research on pinpointing effective levers for growth in developing countries and Africa's experience with growth accelerations. Also in the issue are pieces examining global economic imbalances, rapid credit growth in Eastern and Central Europe, and ways to boost productivity growth in Europe and Japan. In Straight Talk, Raghuram Rajan argues that if we want microfinance to become more than a fad, it has to follow the clear and unsentimental path of adding value and making money. Asian Development bank's Haruhiko Kuroda sets out his vision for a new financial architecture in Asia. Finally, Picture This takes an in-depth look at global employment trends.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For policymakers around the world, finding ways to promote faster growth is a top priority. But what exactly do economists know and not know about growth? What direction should future research and policymaking take? This issue explores this topic, starting with a major World Bank study and research coming out of Harvard University that urges less reliance on simple formulas and the elusive search for best practices, and greater reliance on deeper economic analysis to identify each country's binding constraint(s) on growth. Other articles highlight IMF research on pinpointing effective levers for growth in developing countries and Africa's experience with growth accelerations. Also in the issue are pieces examining global economic imbalances, rapid credit growth in Eastern and Central Europe, and ways to boost productivity growth in Europe and Japan. In Straight Talk, Raghuram Rajan argues that if we want microfinance to become more than a fad, it has to follow the clear and unsentimental path of adding value and making money. Asian Development bank's Haruhiko Kuroda sets out his vision for a new financial architecture in Asia. Finally, Picture This takes an in-depth look at global employment trends.