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Eric Monnet and Mr. Damien Puy
This paper assesses the strength of business cycle synchronization between 1950 and 2014 in a sample of 21 countries using a new quarterly dataset based on IMF archival data. Contrary to the common wisdom, we find that the globalization period is not associated with more output synchronization at the global level. The world business cycle was as strong during Bretton Woods (1950-1971) than during the Globalization period (1984-2006). Although globalization did not affect the average level of co-movement, trade and financial integration strongly affect the way countries co-move with the rest of the world. We find that financial integration de-synchronizes national outputs from the world cycle, although the magnitude of this effect depends crucially on the type of shocks hitting the world economy. This de-synchronizing effect has offset the synchronizing impact of other forces, such as increased trade integration.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Korea’s economic strength testifies to its success in adapting to the changing global economic landscape by pursuing forward-looking and prudent policies. While near-term economic prospects are generally favorable, risks are mainly to the downside.

Mr. Jeremy Clift

The paper highlights that over the past century, access to education has increased enormously, illiteracy has fallen dramatically, and a higher proportion of people are completing primary, secondary, or tertiary education than ever before. But huge problems remain. About 115 million children of primary school age are not currently enrolled in school. Most are illiterate and live in absolute poverty—the majority female. Some 264 million children of secondary school age are not currently enrolled, and the quality of schooling is often low.

Vernon Smith, Riccardo Faini, Rémy Prud’homme, and Ms. Jacqueline T Irving

Globalization, trade, and infrastructure policymaking were among the wide range of development-related topics discussed at the 16th Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE), held at the World Bank on May 3–4, 2004. This article highlights presentations delivered by Vernon Smith, 2002 Nobel Prize Laureate in economics and professor of economics and law at George Mason University; Riccardo Faini, professor of economics at the University of Rome and former IMF Executive Director for Italy; and Rémy Prud’homme, professor emeritus at the University of Paris.

Shang-Jin Wei and Ms. Irina Tytell
Monetary and fiscal policies around the world are in better shape today than two decades ago. This paper studies whether financial globalization has helped induce governments to pursue better macroeconomic policies (the "discipline effect"). The empirical tests have two innovations. First, we recognize potential endogeneity of the observed capital flows in a given country and employ an instrumental variable approach that relies on the autonomous (global) component of the capital flows. Second, we recognize inherent discreteness in defining good versus bad macroeconomic policies and use a transition matrix technique to determine whether capital flows are effective in inducing substantial qualitative policy shifts. Our results suggest that, in spite of the plausibility of the "discipline effect" in theory, it is not easy to find strong and robust causal evidence. There is some evidence that financial globalization may have induced countries to pursue low-inflation monetary policies. However, there is no evidence that it has encouraged low budget deficits.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

Alexandre Lamfalussy, Peter Bauer, Bob Woodward, Justin Martin, and Schlitzer Giuseppe

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.