International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This paper focuses on smart policies that can alleviate the short-term pain of technological disruption and pave the way for long-term gain. As computing power improves dramatically and more and more people around the world participate in the digital economy, care should be taken about how to devise policies that will allow us to fully exploit the digital revolution’s benefits while minimizing job dislocation. Digital technology will spread further, and efforts to ignore it or legislate against it will likely fail. Even with short-term dislocations, reorganizing the economy around revolutionary technologies generates huge long-term benefits. The digital revolution should be accepted and improved rather than ignored and repressed. Given the global reach of digital technology, and the risk of a race to the bottom, there is a need for policy cooperation like that of global financial markets and sea and air traffic. The history of earlier general-purpose technologies demonstrates that even with short-term dislocations, reorganizing the economy around revolutionary technologies generates huge long-term benefits.
Ruud A. de Mooij, Mr. Michael Keen, and Ian W.H. Parry
Efforts to control atmospheric accumulations of greenhouse gases that threaten to heat up the planet are in their infancy. Although the IMF is not an environmental organization, environmental issues matter for its mission when they have major implications for macroeconomic performance and fiscal policy. Climate change clearly passes both these tests.
In this paper I study the effect of imperfect central bank commitment on inflationary outcomes. I present a model in which the monetary authority is a committee that consists of members who serve overlapping, finite terms. Older and younger generations of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members decide on policy by engaging in a bargaining process. I show that this setup gives rise to a continuous measure of the degree of monetary authority's commitment. The model suggests that the lower the churning rate or the longer the tenure time, the closer social welfare will be to that under optimal commitment policy.
This paper compares two alternative measures of technology differences across industrial countries during 1970-92: one measures differences in labor productivity (the Ricardian measure), and the other differences in total factor productivity (the Hicksian measure). The distinction between the two measures is important to the extent that trade patterns are inconsistent with comparative advantage revealed by the Hicksian measure, but not necessarily with that by the Ricardian measure. The distinction becomes more important in the period with high capital mobility across countries.