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International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

Abstract

This paper discusses the role of fiscal policy and demographics. By the end of this century, about two-thirds of all countries are expected to have declining populations. This will have profound implications for economics, financial markets, social stability, and geopolitics. Fiscal policy responses and technological innovation are especially important parts of the solution. Without action, public pension and health systems will not be sustainable over the long term. The increase in life expectancy and economic welfare that came with the industrial revolution brought with it the seeds of demographic change. This is a demographic double whammy that will have major implications for economic growth, financial stability, and the public purse. With declining fertility rates, populations in some advanced economies did not just grow more slowly; they stagnated or began to shrink. IMF analysis suggests that, if everyone lived three years longer than expected, pension related costs could increase by 50 percent in both advanced and emerging economies. This would heavily affect private and public sector balance sheets and could also undermine financial stability.

International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

Abstract

President Reif, thank you for the kind introduction, and thank you to the students and faculty for your warm welcome.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Research summaries on (1) public investment, and (2) bank transaction taxes; announcement of forthcoming (November 2006) Jacques Polak Seventh Annual Research Conference; country study on Italy; listing of contents of Vol. 53, No. 2 of IMF Staff Papers, summary of recently published book entitled "Divergent Paths in Post-Communist Transformation: Capitalism for All or Capitalism for the Few?"; summary of (January 2006) Warsaw Conference on European Union (EU) enlargement and related flows of labor and capital; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; and listing of visiting scholars at IMF, January-April 2006.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Advances in information and commmunication technologies are reshaping the global economy. While observers have focused on the effects these technologies are having on industrial countries and a few middle-income countries, Markus Haacker, an Economist in the IMF’s African Depart-ment, argues that they are playing a key role in developing and emerging market economies, too. In low-income countries, he notes, information technology (IT) hardware sales, as a percentage of GDP, are frequently higher than in the most technologically advanced nations, and a boom in cellular phone use is dramatically transforming communications.

Lauren Cooper

For certain needs, pairing similar organizations may be the most effective means of providing technical assistance