International expenditure norms could be used widely both for national budgeting and planning and for international comparisons of government outlays. The authors report on an exercise which derived workable norms based on the functional and economic expenditure patterns of over 90 countries and present some of the results of using these norms.
The cool, logical thinking of economics would at first glance seem as far removed from the hot emotions of hatred and racism as it can get. But think again. According to Professor Edward Glaeser of Harvard University, politicians often decide to spread hate-creating stories about a group they wish to exclude from state spending in order to discredit opponents whose policies would benefit that group. According to this logic, egalitarians may foment hatred against rich minorities, whereas redistribution opponents may seek to build hatred against poor minorities. Glaeser, who presented his thoughts at a recent IMF seminar, even thinks that economics can help explain hatred of blacks in the U.S. South, the genocide of Jews, and the recent surge of anti-Americanism in the Arab world. “An economic model of hatred can use the economic focus on incentives and equilibrium to create predictions about where we should expect to see outbreaks of hatred,” he writes.
The IMF's work on data dissemination standards consists of two tiers: the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), which applies to all IMF member countries, and the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), for those members having or seeking access to international capital markets. The GDDS framework provide governments with guidance on the overall development of the macroeconomic, financial, and sociodemographic data that are essential for policymaking and analysis in an environment that increasingly requires relevant, comprehensive, and accurate statistical data. This Guide explains the nature, objectives, and operation of the GDDS; the data dimensions it covers; and how countries participate. It provides national statistical authorities with a management tool and a framework to foster sound statistical methodology, professional data compilation, and data dissemination. The Guide supersedes the version updated in March 2002 and incorporates the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as specific elements of the GDDS sociodemographic component, which was articulated with the collaboration of the World Bank.
The technical note on Mexico’s Financial Sector Assessment Program update analyzes that the private pension system’s regulator in Mexico has introduced innovate rules. Mexico, as with many other countries in Latin America, has adopted an individual capitalization pension system. The design of these pension reforms confers the administration of pension funds to private companies. Under these schemes, competition plays a key role, keeping prices low, a good quality of service, and an efficient investment allocation.