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Mr. Bjoern Rother, Ms. Gaelle Pierre, Davide Lombardo, Risto Herrala, Ms. Priscilla Toffano, Mr. Erik Roos, Mr. Allan G Auclair, and Ms. Karina Manasseh
In recent decades, the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has experienced more frequent and severe conflicts than in any other region of the world, exacting a devastating human toll. The region now faces unprecedented challenges, including the emergence of violent non-state actors, significant destruction, and a refugee crisis bigger than any since World War II. This paper raises awareness of the economic costs of conflicts on the countries directly involved and on their neighbors. It argues that appropriate macroeconomic policies can help mitigate the impact of conflicts in the short term, and that fostering higher and more inclusive growth can help address some of the root causes of conflicts over the long term. The paper also highlights the crucial role of external partners, including the IMF, in helping MENA countries tackle these challenges.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
'Wising Up to the Costs of Aging' looks at how falling fertility and rising life expectancy have combined to threaten the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. In our lead article, Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason say that while population aging in rich industrial countries as well as in some middle- and lower-income countries will challenge public and private budgets in many ways, a combination of reduced consumption, postponed retirement, increased asset holdings, and greater investment in human capital should make it possible to meet this challenge without catastrophic consequences. Neil Howe and Richard Jackson publish a fascinating ranking of which countries are best and worst prepared to meet the needs of the growing wave of retirees. We also have articles on a broad range of current topics, including Middle East unemployment, the economic repercussions of the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, and banking in offshore financial centers such as the Cayman Islands. Carmen Reinhart and Jacob Kirkegaard look at how governments are finding ways to manipulate markets to hold down the cost of financing huge public debts, and, in Straight Talk, the IMF’s Min Zhu talks about the long-term challenges now facing emerging markets. Prakash Loungani speaks to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, and we discuss with three other laureates-Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow-what the global economic crisis has taught us. Back to Basics explains economic models, and Picture This highlights the great variations in the cost of sending money back home.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
'Wising Up to the Costs of Aging' looks at how falling fertility and rising life expectancy have combined to threaten the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. In our lead article, Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason say that while population aging in rich industrial countries as well as in some middle- and lower-income countries will challenge public and private budgets in many ways, a combination of reduced consumption, postponed retirement, increased asset holdings, and greater investment in human capital should make it possible to meet this challenge without catastrophic consequences. Neil Howe and Richard Jackson publish a fascinating ranking of which countries are best and worst prepared to meet the needs of the growing wave of retirees. We also have articles on a broad range of current topics, including Middle East unemployment, the economic repercussions of the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, and banking in offshore financial centers such as the Cayman Islands. Carmen Reinhart and Jacob Kirkegaard look at how governments are finding ways to manipulate markets to hold down the cost of financing huge public debts, and, in Straight Talk, the IMF’s Min Zhu talks about the long-term challenges now facing emerging markets. Prakash Loungani speaks to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, and we discuss with three other laureates-Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow-what the global economic crisis has taught us. Back to Basics explains economic models, and Picture This highlights the great variations in the cost of sending money back home.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
'Wising Up to the Costs of Aging' looks at how falling fertility and rising life expectancy have combined to threaten the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. In our lead article, Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason say that while population aging in rich industrial countries as well as in some middle- and lower-income countries will challenge public and private budgets in many ways, a combination of reduced consumption, postponed retirement, increased asset holdings, and greater investment in human capital should make it possible to meet this challenge without catastrophic consequences. Neil Howe and Richard Jackson publish a fascinating ranking of which countries are best and worst prepared to meet the needs of the growing wave of retirees. We also have articles on a broad range of current topics, including Middle East unemployment, the economic repercussions of the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, and banking in offshore financial centers such as the Cayman Islands. Carmen Reinhart and Jacob Kirkegaard look at how governments are finding ways to manipulate markets to hold down the cost of financing huge public debts, and, in Straight Talk, the IMF’s Min Zhu talks about the long-term challenges now facing emerging markets. Prakash Loungani speaks to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, and we discuss with three other laureates-Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow-what the global economic crisis has taught us. Back to Basics explains economic models, and Picture This highlights the great variations in the cost of sending money back home.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Au sommaire de ce numéro, intitulé « Comment assumer le poids des ans » : la baisse des taux de fécondité et l'augmentation de l'espérance de vie mettent à mal la capacité de nombreux pays d’assurer un niveau de vie décent pour leurs seniors sans imposer une charge écrasante aux jeunes. Dans l'article de fond, Ronald Lee et Andrew Mason expliques qu'il est certain que le vieillissement de la population dans les pays industrialisés riches et dans certains pays à revenu intermédiaire ou à faible revenu va mettre les budgets publics et privés à rude épreuve, mais qu'en agissant sur plusieurs fronts (réduction de la consommation, relèvement de l’âge de la retraite, accumulation d’actifs et investissements plus importants dans le capital humain), il devrait être possible de relever le défi sans entraîner de conséquences catastrophiques. Neil Howe et Richard Jackson nous donnent un classement étonnant des pays les mieux et les moins bien préparés à absorber une vague de retraités qui s'amplifie. Plusieurs articles sont consacrés à diverses questions d'actualité, dont le chômage au Moyen-Orient, les répercussions économiques du séisme et du tsunami dévastateurs au Japon et les activités bancaires des places financières offshore telles que les Îles Caïmans. Carmen Reinhart et Jacob Kirkegaard examinent comment les gouvernements s'arrangent pour manipuler les marchés afin de contenir le coût du financement d'énormes dettes publiques et, dans la rubrique Entre nous, Min Zhu, du FMI, explique que les pays émergents doivent s'adapter à la nouvelle réalité mondiale en mettant à profit leur réussite économique et en s'attaquant à certains de leurs problèmes à long terme. Dans Paroles d'économistes, Prakash Loungani s'entretient avec le lauréat du prix Nobel George Akerlof et trois autres lauréats, Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz et Robert Solow, débattent des conséquences de la crise mondiale et de ce qu'elle nous a enseigné. La rubrique « L’ABC de l’économie » explique les modèles économiques, tandis que « Pleins feux » illustrent les importants écarts du coût des envois de fonds.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
“Enfrentar con sabiduría los costos de envejecer” analiza cómo la conjunción de menores tasas de fecundidad y una mayor la esperanza de vida compromete la capacidad de los países para ofrecer condiciones de vida decentes para los ancianos sin imponer una carga abrumadora sobre los jóvenes. En nuestro artículo central, Ronald Lee y Andrew Mason argumentan que el envejecimiento demográfico en los países industriales ricos, así como en los países de mediano y bajo ingreso, pondrá a prueba de múltiples maneras a los presupuestos estatales y privados; combinando una reducción del consumo, el retraso de la jubilación, un aumento de las inversiones en activos y una mayor inversión en capital humano sería posible hacer frente a este desafío sin que tenga consecuencias catastróficas. Neil Howe y Richard Jackson publican una clasificación fascinante sobre el grado de preparación de los países para hacer frente a la creciente oleada de jubilados. También se incluyen artículos sobre diversos temas de actualidad, como el desempleo en Oriente Medio, las repercusiones económicas del terremoto y el devastador tsunami en Japón, y sobre la actividad bancaria en centros financieros offshore como las islas Caimán. Carmen Reinhart y Jacob Kirkegaard analizan cómo los gobiernos están encontrando maneras de manipular los mercados para contener el costo de financiamiento del enorme volumen de deuda y en “Hablando claro”, Min Zhu, del FMI, se refiere a los desafíos de largo plazo que deben abordar los mercados emergentes. Prakash Loungani conversa con el Premio Nóbel George Akerlof. También analizamos las enseñanzas de la crisis económica mundial con otros tres galardonados: Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz y Robert Solow. En “Vuelta a lo esencial” se explican los modelos económicos y en “Bajo la lupa” se destacan las grandes variaciones del costo de los giros de dinero al país de origen.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
'Wising Up to the Costs of Aging' looks at how falling fertility and rising life expectancy have combined to threaten the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. In our lead article, Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason say that while population aging in rich industrial countries as well as in some middle- and lower-income countries will challenge public and private budgets in many ways, a combination of reduced consumption, postponed retirement, increased asset holdings, and greater investment in human capital should make it possible to meet this challenge without catastrophic consequences. Neil Howe and Richard Jackson publish a fascinating ranking of which countries are best and worst prepared to meet the needs of the growing wave of retirees. We also have articles on a broad range of current topics, including Middle East unemployment, the economic repercussions of the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, and banking in offshore financial centers such as the Cayman Islands. Carmen Reinhart and Jacob Kirkegaard look at how governments are finding ways to manipulate markets to hold down the cost of financing huge public debts, and, in Straight Talk, the IMF's Min Zhu talks about the long-term challenges now facing emerging markets. Prakash Loungani speaks to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, and we discuss with three other laureates-Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow-what the global economic crisis has taught us. Back to Basics explains economic models, and Picture This highlights the great variations in the cost of sending money back home.
Mr. Andreas Billmeier and Tommaso Nannicini
Studies of the impact of trade openness on growth are based either on cross-country analysis-which lacks transparency-or case studies-which lack statistical rigor. We apply transparent econometric methods drawn from the treatment evaluation literature to make the comparison between treated (i.e., open) and control (i.e., closed) countries explicit while remaining within a unified statistical framework. First, matching estimators highlight the rather far-fetched country comparisons underlying common cross-country results. When appropriately restricting the sample, we confirm a positive and significant effect of openness on growth. Second, we apply synthetic control methods-which account for endogeneity due to unobservable heterogeneity-to countries that liberalized their trade regime and we show that trade liberalization has often had a positive effect on growth.
Mr. George T. Abed and Mr. Hamid R Davoodi

Abstract

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is an economically diverse region. Despite undertaking economic reforms in many countries, and having considerable success in avoiding crises and achieving macroeconomic stability, the region’s economic performance in the past 30 years has been below potential. This paper takes stock of the region’s relatively weak performance, explores the reasons for this out come, and proposes an agenda for urgent reforms.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This is the latest in a series of economic reports by staff economists in the IMF’s Middle Eastern Department. This book discusses the latest economic data coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with a particular emphasis on growing demographic concerns. The work is enhanced by the addition of numerous data tables and graphs, which extensively analyze economic trends in the region.