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Mr. Jon Strand
This paper discusses structure, impact, costs, and efficiency of renewable energy supply in the eight largest advanced economies (the G-7 plus Spain), with focus on Germany. Renewables production costs are compared to benefits, defined as reductions in net carbon emissions; technological innovation, and increased energy security. The latter part of the paper centers on Germany, the main European producer of non-traditional renewables. We question whether the level of subsidies can be justified, relative to other means to increase energy security and reduce carbon emissions. We also find an excessive emphasis on current productive activity, relative to development of new technologies.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the current round of trade talks under the auspices of the World Trade Organization aims at better integrating developing countries—especially the small and poor ones—into the global trading system. For that reason, it was named the Doha Development Agenda when it was launched in late 2001. However, more than three years on, little progress has been made. It took a late July 2004 accord outlining “negotiating frameworks” in agriculture and industrial products just to keep the talks afloat.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper discusses ways in which countries can invest most profitably in an industry that is capable of providing massive help to their economies. The paper highlights that tourism, like other economic activities, flourishes best when it fits into a context of general economic policies and programs designed to lead to the optimum growth of the economy as a whole. For this, some sort of national planning—at least in setting priorities and seeing that they are emphasized—is required to create a climate for productive investment in all suitable fields.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper analyzes the effect of rapid inflation on a country’s international position. The paper highlights that when prices and costs in any country rise rapidly, goods produced in the country soon become more expensive than similar goods produced abroad. Unless the exchange rate changes, this encourages imports and discourages exports. As prices in a country rise more rapidly than in the rest of the world, individuals in that country tend to turn from buying these increasingly expensive products of their own industries to the relatively cheaper foreign goods.