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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper analyzes reasons behind low levels of private investment in Japan. Private investment in Japan not only appears low, but also seems to have underperformed relative to other advanced economies. Findings support the hypothesis that sectoral concentration (reduced competition) has had a significant negative impact on firm- and sector-level investment. Results point to potential benefits from decreasing barriers to entry, protection of incumbents, and market concentration in some sectors. Results also indicate that there is room for further reform in the gas and telecom sectors, and deregulation of professional services.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Sweden reports that the gradual introduction of a detailed fiscal framework accompanied the successful consolidation effort over the last decade in Sweden. The framework includes a surplus target of 2 percent of GDP for the general government, multiyear expenditure ceilings for central government, and a balanced budget requirement for local governments. Reliance on the expertise of an independent agency for the implementation of the fiscal framework could further enhance transparency and strengthen enforcement.
Mr. Bernardin Akitoby, Mr. Jiro Honda, and Hiroaki Miyamoto
Would countercyclical fiscal policy during recessions improve or worsen the gender employment gap? We give an answer to this question by exploring the state-dependent impact of fiscal spending shocks on employment by gender in the G-7 countries. Using the local projection method, we find that, during recessions, a positive spending shock of 1 percent of GDP would, on average, lift female employment by 1 percent, while increasing male employment by 0.6 percent. Consequently such a shock would improve the female share of employment by 0.28 percentage point during recessions. Our findings are driven by disproportionate employment changes in female-friendly industries, occupations, and part-time jobs in response to fiscal spending shocks. The analysis suggests that fiscal stimulus, particularly during recessions, could achieve the twin objectives of supporting aggregate demand and improving gender gaps.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
Executive Directors underscore the importance of promoting gender diversity at the IMF’s Executive Board and the Offices of Executive Directors (OEDs). The Executive Board recognizes that a diversity of views contributes to stronger decisionmaking, and is committed to ongoing efforts to improve the gender profile of the Board and Offices of the Executive Directors. The Fund’s membership has also indicated that it places importance on this issue; the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) has consistently drawn attention in its communiqués to the importance of enhancing the gender diversity of the Executive Board.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
Executive Directors underscore the importance of promoting gender diversity at the IMF’s Executive Board and the Offices of Executive Directors (OEDs). The Executive Board recognizes that a diversity of views contributes to stronger decision making and is committed to ongoing efforts to improve the gender profile of the Board and Offices of the Executive Directors. The Fund’s membership has also indicated that it places importance on this issue; the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) has consistently drawn attention in its communiqués to the importance of enhancing the gender diversity of the Executive Board.
Ms. Laura Wallace

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Ms. Christine Lagarde

This paper highlights that one of the most dramatic developments in the 20th century was the entry of women into economic and political spheres previously occupied almost exclusively by men. Although women are making progress in eliminating gender disparities, they still lag men in the workplace and in the halls of government. These gaps are found throughout the world, but are particularly pronounced in developing economies. So far, the greatest success has been in reducing education and health disparities and the least in increasing women’s economic and political influence.