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Abdullah Al-Hassan, Mary E. Burfisher, Mr. Julian T Chow, Ding Ding, Fabio Di Vittorio, Dmitriy Kovtun, Arnold McIntyre, Ms. Inci Ötker, Marika Santoro, Lulu Shui, and Karim Youssef
Deeper economic integration within the Caribbean has been a regional policy priority since the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the decision to create the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Implementation of integration initiatives has, however, been slow, despite the stated commitment of political leaders. The “implementation deficit” has led to skepticism about completing the CSME and controversy regarding its benefits. This paper analyzes how Caribbean integration has evolved, discusses the obstacles to progress, and explores the potential benefits from greater integration. It argues that further economic integration through liberalization of trade and labor mobility can generate significant macroeconomic benefits, but slow progress in completing the institutional arrangements has hindered implementation of the essential components of the CSME and progress in economic integration. Advancing institutional integration through harmonization and rationalization of key institutions and processes can reduce the fixed costs of institutions, providing the needed scale and boost to regional integration. Greater cooperation in several functional policy areas where the region is facing common challenges can also provide low-hanging fruit, creating momentum toward full integration as the Community continues to address the obstacles to full economic integration.
Dong Frank Wu and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
This paper is the first attempt to directly explore the long-run nonlinear relationship between the shadow economy and level of development. Using a dataset of 158 countries over the period from 1996 to 2015, our results reveal a robust U-shaped relationship between the shadow economy size and GDP per capita. Our results imply that the shadow economy tends to increase when economic development surpasses a given threshold or at least does not disappear. Our findings suggest that special attention should be given to the country’s level of development when designing policies to tackle issues related to the shadow economy.
International Monetary Fund
The framework guiding the IMF’s communications—established by the Executive Board in 2007—has enabled the institution to respond flexibly to the changing global context. The framework is based on four guiding principles: (i) deepening understanding and support for the Fund’s role and policies; (ii) better integrating communications into the IMF’s daily operations; (iii) raising the impact of new communications materials and technologies; and (iv) rebalancing outreach efforts to take account of different audiences. In addition, greater emphasis has been placed on strengthening internal communications to help ensure institutional coherence in the Fund’s outreach activities. Continued efforts are needed to strengthen communications going forward. Several issues deserve particular attention. First, taking further steps to ensure clarity and consistency in communication in a world where demand for Fund services continues to rise. Second, doing more to assess the impact of IMF communications and thus better inform efforts going forward. Third, engaging strategically and prudently with new media—including social media.
Bertrand Gruss and Mr. Jose L. Torres
In this paper we use a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents to assess the macroeconomic and welfare consequences in the United States of alternative fiscal policies over the medium-term. We find that failing to address the fiscal imbalances associated with current federal fiscal policies for a prolonged period would result in a significant crowding-out of private investment and a severe drag on growth. Compared to adopting a reform that gradually reduces federal debt to its pre-crisis level, postponing debt stabilization for two decades would entail a permanent output loss of about 17 percent and a welfare loss of almost 7 percent of lifetime consumption. Moreover, the long-run welfare gains from the adjustment would more than compensate the initial losses associated with the consolidation period.
Mr. Douglas Laxton, Susanna Mursula, Mr. Michael Kumhof, and Mr. Dirk V Muir
This working paper presents a comprehensive overview of the theoretical structure of the Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal Model (GIMF), a multi-region dynamic general equilibrium model that is used by the IMF for a variety of tasks including policy analysis, risk analysis, and surveillance.
International Monetary Fund
This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that after 15 years of impressive growth led by a housing boom, the Spanish economy has entered a sharp downturn in the wake of the global liquidity squeeze since mid-2007. Executive Directors have commended the authorities for their timely and substantial fiscal and financial sector responses to help cushion the downturn. They have emphasized that these efforts need to be complemented by reforms to bolster competitiveness and to avoid a prolonged period of slow growth and high unemployment.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews implementation of the Fund’s external communications strategy and suggests issues that the Board may wish to discuss at its third meeting since 1998 on the subject. The strategy has been shaped by the previous Board discussions and more recent decisions and discussions on transparency, conditionality, PRSP/PRGF, the Independent Evaluation Office, and other issues. This paper represents more of a stocktaking than a fundamental reconsideration of the Fund’s approach to external communications. It examines the progress made in recent years and steps that might be taken with current resources to increase the effectiveness of the strategy.