We present estimates of welfare by country for 2007 and 2014 using the methodology of
Jones and Klenow (2016) which incorporates consumption, leisure, mortality and
inequality, and we extend the methodology to include environmental externalities. During
the period of the global financial crisis welfare grew slightly more rapidly than income per
capita, mainly due to improvements in life expectancy. This led to welfare convergence in
most regions towards advanced country levels. Introducing environmental effects changes
the welfare ranking for countries that rely heavily on natural resources, highlighting the
importance of the natural resource base in welfare. This methodology could provide a
theoretically consistent and tractable way of monitoring progress in several Sustainable
Development Goal (SDG) indicators.
This issue of the IMF Research Bulletin features recommended readings from IMF Publications and an update on recent IMF Working Papers and IMF Staff Discussion Notes. It also includes a special announcement welcoming Linda Tesar (University of Michigan) as the new editor of “IMF Economic Review.” The Q&A section explores “Seven Questions on China-Africa Relations” (Luiz Almeida, Wenjie Chen, and Oral Williams). The Research Summaries surveys “Income Polarization in the United States” (Ali Alichi, Kory Kantenga, and Juan Sole); and “The Future Wealth of Nations: World Trade in Services” (Prakash Loungani, Saurabh Mishra, Chris Papageorgiou, and Ke Wang).
We study Japanese household consumption at a disaggregated level focusing on the role
of income and asset dynamics. Stagnation of real per capita consumption is widespread
acrosslabor market groups, age groups and regions. Consumption-to-income ratios have
been mildly increasing due to the rising share of pensioners with significant assets.
Evidence therefore suggests that assets have become more important in financing
consumption. However, the short-term consumption dynamics remain quite sensitive to
income growth but not to asset market movements.
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. Jong-Won Yoon, Mr. Jinill Kim, and Jungjin Lee
The ongoing demographic changes will bring about a substantial shift in the size and the age composition of the population, which will have significant impact on the global economy. Despite potentially grave consequences, demographic changes usually do not take center stage in many macroeconomic policy discussions or debates. This paper illustrates how demographic variables move over time and analyzes how they influence macroeconomic variables such as economic growth, inflation, savings and investment, and fiscal balances, from an empirical perspective. Based on empirical findings—particularly regarding inflation—we discuss their implications on macroeconomic policies, including monetary policy. We also highlight the need to consider the interactions between population dynamics and macroeconomic variables in macroeconomic policy decisions.
Mr. Tim Callen, Warwick J. McKibbin, and Nicoletta Batini
The world is in the midst of a major demographic transition. This paper examines the implications of such transition over the next 80 years for Japan, the United States, other industrial countries, and the developing regions of the world using a dynamic intertemporal general equilibrium four-country model containing demographics calibrated to the "medium variant" of the United Nations population projections. We find that population aging in industrial countries will reduce aggregate growth in these regions over time, but should boost growth in developing countries over the next 20-30 years, as the relative size of their workingage populations increases. Demographic change will also affect saving, investment, and capital flows, implying changes in global trade balances and asset prices. We also explore the sensitivity of the results to assumptions about future productivity growth and country external risk for the developing country region.
This paper develops a model to examine the macroeconomic implications of population aging. Using a general equilibrium framework, the analysis examines the various channels through which changes in demographics affect the economy. Age-earnings profiles are taken to summarize differences in effective labor supply across age groups and to help determine changes in consumption and saving behavior that occur over an agent's lifetime. Aggregating these supply- and demand-side effects, the implications of aging on economic activity and fiscal policy are then examined.
This paper provides a quantitative assessment of the impact of economic growth in the United States on growth in other countries. Using panel data estimation, the paper finds a significant positive impact of U.S. growth on growth in the rest of the world, especially developing countries, during the past few decades. The evidence suggests that the impact of U.S. growth on other countries can be explained by the significance of the United States as a global trading partner. The paper provides estimates of the direct impact of trade with the United States on growth in several individual countries.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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