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Charles Karelis, Mr. Daniel C Hardy, Mohan Munasinghe, Anand Seth, Alan Greenspan, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Todd J. Moss, Mr. Calvin A McDonald, and Mr. Brian J. Aitken

'Global Governance: Who's in Charge?' examines the challenges—financial, health, environmental, and trade—facing the international community in the 21st century and asks whether today';s system of global governance is equipped to cope with them. The lead article asserts that the system that served as a model for much of the 20th century is out of date, and it explores what needs to be done to strengthen it. Other articles on this theme look at the recent U.S. subprime market crisis, the differences between financial crises of the 19th and 20th centuries and what future crises will look like, the need for a stronger system of multilateral trade, and how global health threats can be handled. 'People in Economics' profiles Michael Kremer; 'Picture This' describes the changing aid landscape; 'Country Focus' spotlights the United Arab Emirates; and 'Straight Talk' examines the impact of high food prices. Also in this issue, articles examine development in Africa, and 'backcasting' data in Latin America.

Mr. Rabah Arezki, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Mr. Marc G Quintyn, and Min Zhu

Abstract

In the years following the global financial crisis, many low-income countries experienced rapid recovery and strong economic growth. However, many are now facing enormous difficulties because of rapidly rising food and fuel prices, with the threat of millions of people being pushed into poverty around the globe. The risk of continued food price volatility is a systemic challenge, and a failure in one country has been shown to have a profound impact on entire regions. This volume addresses the challenges of commodity price volatility for low-income countries and explores some macroeconomic policy options for responding to commodity price shocks. The book then looks at inclusive growth policies to address inequality in commodity-exporting countries, particularly natural resource rich countries. Perspectives from the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, emerging Asia, and Mexico are presented and, finally, the role of the international donor community is examined. This volume is a must read for policymakers everywhere, from those in advanced, donor countries to those in countries with the poorest and most vulnerable populations.

Bension Varon

Concern over the availability and longevity of natural resources has escalated to the point where it finds expression in a question that is so absolute as to have parallels not in the social sciences but in philosophy. Having posed the question, the author examines the conceptual boundaries and practical dimensions of the problem of scarcity of raw materials.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper on Gabon reviews management of oil revenues, competitiveness, and growth. The nature of Gabon’s problems has not changed during the past 15 years. The need to diversify the economy and the export base; control fiscal expenditure and the wage bill; carefully assess capital expenditure; and reform public sector enterprises are the challenges that the Gabonese need to be prepared to implement adequately. Gabon faces huge medium-term fiscal constraints imposed by the expected steady decline in oil production and its depletion.

International Monetary Fund
This paper investigates the impact of long-run terms-of-trade shocks. Analytically, we show that, if capital goods are largely importable or the labor supply is sufficiently elastic, then natural-resource booms increase aggregate investment and worsen the current account, but Dutch ‘Disease’ effects are weak. We then examine 18 oil-exporting developing countries during 1965-89. Favorable terms-of-trade shocks increase investment and (especially government) consumption, but reduce medium-term savings; hence, the current account deteriorates. Nontradable output increases, in response to real appreciations, but Dutch Disease effects are strikingly absent. Investment, consumption, and nontradable output respond more to a terms-of-trade decline than to an increase.
Mr. Suman S Basu, Jan Gottschalk, Mr. Werner Schule, Mr. Nikhil Vellodi, and Ms. Susan S. Yang
To investigate the effects on Papua New Guinea’s economy of substantial liquified natural gas revenues arriving in 2015, we employ a model to examine the macroeconomic effects of a scalingup of natural resource windfall revenues and the implications for a variety of policy responses. The model is a multi-sector dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model, and features components that allow for a detailed study of the effects of both fiscal and monetary policy in response to a positive shock to the mineral resource value of a country. The model contains tradable, non-tradable, and mining sectors, as well as an independent central bank and fiscal authority. We calibrate the model to the current economy of Papua New Guinea and run a suite of policy simulations. We find that macroeconomic effects from a resource boom typically associated with Dutch Disease effects such as a real appreciation and a fall in tradable sector production stem largely from the non-tradable component of government spending. The central bank can offset the real appreciation, but not without crowding out the private sector. A sovereign wealth fund (SWF), combined with a smooth capital spending path, entails the best means of dealing with macroeconomic volatility and maintaining a stable fiscal regime.
Ms. Corinne C Delechat, Mr. John W Clark JR, Pranav Gupta, Ms. Malangu Kabedi-Mbuyi, Mr. Mesmin Koulet-Vickot, Ms. Carla Macario, Mr. Toomas Orav, Mr. Manuel Rosales Torres, Rene Tapsoba, Dmitry Zhdankin, and Ms. Susan S. Yang
Like other fragile sub-Saharan African countries, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are seeking to harness their natural resource potential in the context of ambitious development strategies. This study investigates options for scaling up public investment and expanding social safety nets in a general equilibrium setting. First, it assesses the macro-fiscal implications of alternative fiscal rules for public investment, and, second, it explicitly accounts for redistribution through direct cash transfers. Results show that a sustainable non-resource deficit target is robust to the high uncertainty of resources output and prices, while delivering growth benefits through higher public investment. The scaling-up magnitudes, however, depend on the size of projected resource revenue and absorptive capacity. Adding a social transfer raises private consumption, suggesting that a fraction of the resource revenue could be used to expand safety nets.

Abstract

Microeconomic policies, dealing with individual industries and economic sectors, have traditionally addressed environmental concerns, but increasingly the environment is being viewed in terms of the macro economy. To improve its understanding of the interrelationship between macroeconomics and the environment, the IMF held a seminar in May 1995 at which recognized experts from academic and research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and staff from the World Bank and the IMF shared their views on how macroeconomic policies affect the environment and how environmental policies affect the macro economy. The present volume, edited by Ved P. Gandhi, contains the papers and proceedings of this seminar.

Mr. Glenn Gottselig and Mr. Paul Collier

'Crisis Shakes Europe: Stark Choices Ahead' looks at the harsh toll of the crisis on both Europe's advanced and emerging economies because of the global nature of the shocks that have hit both the financial sector and the real economy, and because of Europe's strong regional and global trade links. Marek Belka, Director of the IMF's European Department, writes in our lead article that beyond the immediate need for crisis management, Europe must revisit the frameworks on which the European Union is based because many have been revealed to be flawed or missing. But in many respects, one key European institution has proved its mettle—the euro. Both Charles Wyplosz and Barry Eichengreen discuss the future of the common currency. Also in this issue, IMF economists rank the current recession as the most severe in the postwar period; John Lipsky, the Fund's First Deputy Managing Director, examines the IMF's role in a postcrisis world; and Giovanni Dell'Ariccia assesses what we have learned about how to manage asset price booms to prevent the bust that has caused such havoc. In addition, we talk to Oxford economist Paul Collier about how to help low-income countries during the current crisis, while Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, writes about how African policymakers can prepare to take advantage of a global economic recovery. 'Picture This' looks at what happens when aggressive monetary policy combats a crisis; 'Back to Basics' gives a primer on fiscal policy; and 'Data Spotlight' takes a look at the recent large swings in commodity prices.