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Ms. Nan Geng
House prices in many advanced economies have risen substantially in recent decades. But experience indicates that housing prices can diverge from their long-run equilibrium or sustainable levels, potentially followed by adjustments that impact macroeconomic and financial stability. Therefore there is a need to monitor house prices and assess whether they are sustainable. This paper focuses on fundamentals expected to drive long run trends in house prices, including institutional and structural factors. The scale of potential valuation gaps is gauged on the basis of a cross-country panel analysis of house prices in 20 OECD countries.
Mr. Chad Steinberg and Mr. Masato Nakane
Japan's potential growth rate is steadily falling with the aging of its population. This paper explores the extent to which raising female labor participation can help slow this trend. Using a cross-country database we find that smaller families, higher female education, and lower marriage rates are associated with much of the rise in women's aggregate participation rates within countries over time, but that policies are likely increasingly important for explaining differences across countries. Raising female participation could provide an important boost to growth, but women face two hurdles in participating in the workforce in Japan. First, few working women start out in career-track positions, and second, many women drop out of the workforce following childbirth. To increase women’s attachment to work Japan should consider policies to reduce the gender gap in career positions and to provide better support for working mothers.
Rima Turk-Ariss
Concerns about excessive variability in bank risk weights have prompted their review by regulators. This paper provides prima facie evidence on the extent of risk weight heterogeneity across broad asset classes and by country of counterparty for major banks in the European Union using internal models. It also finds that corporate risk weights are sensitive to the riskiness of an average representative firm, but not to a market indicator of a firm’s probablity of default. Under plausible yet severe hypothetical scenarios for harmonized risk weights, counterfactual capital ratios would decline significantly for some banks, but they would not experience a shortfall relative to Basel III’s minimum requirements. This, however, does not preclude falling short of meeting additional national supervisory capital requirements.
Mr. Salim M. Darbar and Mr. Xiaoyong Wu
This paper presents case studies of macroprudential policy in five jurisdictions (Hong Kong SAR, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and Sweden). The case studies describe the institutional framework, its evolution, the use of macroprudential tools, and the circumstances under which the tools have been used. The paper shows how macroprudential policy is conducted under a heterogeneous set of institutional frameworks. In all cases macroprudential tools have been used to address risks in the housing market. In addition, some of them have moved to enhance the resilience of their banks to more general cyclical and structural risks.
Mr. Salvatore Dell'Erba, Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, and Ksenia Koloskova
The paper examines the consequences of fiscal consolidation in times of persistently low growth and high unemployment by estimating medium-term fiscal multipliers during protracted recessions (PR) in a sample of 17 OECD countries. Based on Jorda’s (2005) local projection methodology, we find that cumulative fiscal multipliers related to output, employment and unemployment at five-year horizons are significantly above one during PR episodes. These results suggest that medium-term fiscal consolidation plans to reduce public debt burdens should proceed gradually if economic activity remains below trend for a prolonged period.
Mr. Chad Steinberg and Mr. Masato Nakane
Japan's potential growth rate is steadily falling with the aging of its population. This paper explores the extent to which raising female labor participation can help slow this trend. Using a cross-country database we find that smaller families, higher female education, and lower marriage rates are associated with much of the rise in women's aggregate participation rates within countries over time, but that policies are likely increasingly important for explaining differences across countries. Raising female participation could provide an important boost to growth, but women face two hurdles in participating in the workforce in Japan. First, few working women start out in career-track positions, and second, many women drop out of the workforce following childbirth. To increase women’s attachment to work Japan should consider policies to reduce the gender gap in career positions and to provide better support for working mothers.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues and Analytical Note on Finland discusses the potential spillovers to Finland from various shocks associated with cross-country interlinkages. The note provides an overview of the trade and financial linkages, assesses the impact of global fiscal consolidation on Finland via trade links, quantifies dynamic contributions from external sources to growth, and uses these contributions to forecast the potential loss to Finnish GDP from a growth slowdown in other European countries; and analyzes the potential impact from the banking sector or sovereign stress.
International Monetary Fund
Japan has a universal public pension system. Social security spending is a key fiscal policy challenge in Japan. The 2004 pension reforms have increased the ratio of the government subsidy to the basic pension benefit. Three reform measures are necessary to improve pension finances: an increase in pension eligibility age, a reduction in the pension benefit, and an increase in contributions. Eliminating the preferential tax treatments of pension income and collecting pension contributions from dependent spouses could contribute to fiscal savings.
Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, Jesmin Rahman, and Mr. Rodrigo O. Valdes
Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff and are published to elicit comment and to further debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues. This Web-only series replaced Staff Position Notes in January 2011.