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Gareth Anderson, Paolo Galang, Mr. Andrea Gamba, Leandro Medina, and Tianxiao Zheng
This paper assess how priorities of the IMF’s membership have evolved over the past two decades, by using text mining techniques on a unique dataset combining IMFC communiqués and constituency statements. Our results reveal significant variation in priorities across time and constituencies. Statements can be characterized by the weight which they place on three key priorities: (i) growth; (ii) debt and development; and (iii) crisis management and quota reform. Sentiment analysis techniques also show that addressing climate change is a topic which is viewed positively by an increasing number of constituencies.
Mr. Tito Boeri, Ms. Prachi Mishra, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo
Populists claim to be the only legitimate representative of the people. Does it mean that there is no space for civil society? The issue is important because since Tocqueville (1835), associations and civil society have been recognized as a key factor in a healthy liberal democracy. We ask two questions: 1) do individuals who are members of civil associations vote less for populist parties? 2)does membership in associations decrease when populist parties are in power? We answer thesequestions looking at the experiences of Europe, which has a rich civil society tradition, as well as of Latin America, which already has a long history of populists in power. The main findings are that individuals belonging to associations are less likely by 2.4 to 4.2 percent to vote for populist parties, which is large considering that the average vote share for populist parties is from 10 to 15 percent. The effect is strong particularly after the global financial crisis, with the important caveat that membership in trade unions has unclear effects.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

In 2008, the IEO undertook an evaluation on the IMF governance and concluded that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of IMF governance, while accountability and voice had been the weakest. Since then, IMF governance has been strengthened aided by quota and voice reforms to address misalignments in shares and chairs as well as numerous improvements in governance procedures and practices. The update finds that IMF governance has proven its effectiveness in supporting the Fund to fulfill its mandates, but concerns remain on voice and accountability. Challenges remain related to representation and voice, interaction between governance bodies, the selection process for management, and the role of the G20 in IMF governance. Addressing these challenges will take time and may be subject to difficult tradeoffs between governance objectives such as preserving effectiveness while ensuring appropriate representation.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that after three years of robust expansion, the economy of the Dominican Republic moderated to close to its potential level. Economic activity is estimated to have expanded by 4.6 percent in 2017, following above-potential growth of 7.1 percent on average during 2014–16. The growth moderation was concentrated in the first three quarters of 2017. The economic outlook remains positive. The monetary easing in mid-2017 is expected to support a continued recovery in economic activity in 2018. Lower lending rates and stronger credit growth following the easing, combined with higher real wages and employment, are expected to continue to support domestic demand.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper describes wages and competitiveness in Norway. Norway may have to downwardly revise its expectations for wage growth if it is to avoid a significant loss of competitiveness and manage the transition to a less oil-dependent economy. Norway was able to afford very high wage growth in the past (notwithstanding the noted challenges in several sectors) thanks to good fortune in its terms of trade. Going forward, it would be prudent not to count on being fortunate twice: wage moderation would help build resilience in case of less favorable trends in international prices. It would also help facilitate the needed transition out of oil by supporting sectors that did not benefit from past terms of trade gains. Communication from the government can continue to help in managing public expectations. Fiscal policy plays a key role in promoting competitiveness and containing the spending effect of Dutch Disease. After a prolonged expansion of fiscal policy—partly enabled by large valuation gains of the sovereign wealth fund—it is now appropriate to gradually start tightening fiscal policy. The ongoing up-cycle provides an ideal setting to get started on structural consolidation, which will ultimately be needed to face to address aging pressures.