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Mr. Robert P Flood

In this paper we examine compensation schemes that prevent a threat of secession by any of a country’s regions. We prove that, under quite general assumptions on the distribution of citizens’ preferences, there exist transfer schemes that are secession-proof. Moreover, we show that these compensation schemes entail a degree of partial equalization among regions: the gap between advantaged regions and disadvantaged regions has to be reduced but it should never be completely eliminated. We demonstrate that in the case of a uniform distribution of the nation’s citizens, the secession-proof conditions generate the 50 percent compensation rule for disadvantaged regions. [JEL D70, H20, H73]

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This paper assesses the impact of high household debt on economic volatility in Canada. The debt per se may not necessarily be a risk for economic activity; it can amplify other shocks as well. A few studies have emphasized the link between the growth of household debt before 2007 and the severity of the Great Recession. Economies with debt tend to experience more severe housing busts and recessions. If household debt ratios are not stabilized, the vulnerability of the Canadian economy is likely to be high.

International Monetary Fund

Canada has experienced drastic changes in its economy during the global financial crisis. This Selected Issues paper discusses the evolution of equilibrium real home prices in key Canadian provinces in the post-crisis period, Canadian dollar movement during and after the global financial turmoil in line with other world currencies, assessment of impacts on Canada’s potential growth, development of Canadian automotive sector—namely, NAFTA partners during the crisis, and the role of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in Canada’s housing market.