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Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Baoping Shang

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.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Economics of Demographics provides a detailed look at how the biggest demographic upheaval in history is affecting global development. The issue explores demographic change and the effects of population aging from a variety of angles, including pensions, health care, financial markets, and migration, and looks specifically at the impact in Europe and Asia. Picture This looks at global demographic trends, while Back to Basics explains the concept of the demographic dividend. Country Focus spotlights Kazakhstan, while People in Economics profiles Nobel prize winner Robert Mundell. IMF Economic Counsellor Raghuram Rajan argues for further change in India's style of government in his column, Straight Talk.
International Monetary Fund
The Research Summaries in the March 2014 Research Bulletin focus on efficiency of health expenditure (Francesco Grigoli and Javier Kapsoli) and employment growth in European Union countries (Bas B. Bakker and Li Zeng). The Q&A article looks at “Seven Questions on Financial Interconnectedness” (Co-Pierre Georg and Camelia Minoiu). The Research Bulletin also includes a listing of IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from the IMF Bookstore. Information on the IMF Economic Review—the research journal of the IMF—is also provided.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper reviews public expenditure efficiency in Ireland. Evidence suggests that while Ireland is a low spending country, it achieves a generally efficient use of public funds, with some key differences across sectors. Although the overall space for budgetary savings appears limited, further spending efficiency could help contain cost pressures coming from the demographic challenge of an aging population and improve the quality of public services. It could also help rechannel spending toward more productive uses, for instance by increasing public investment relative to current expenditure, and support the competitive position of the Irish economy and its growth potential.
Samya Beidas-Strom
This paper estimates public sector service efficiency in England at the sub-regional level, studying changes post crisis during the large fiscal consolidation effort. It finds that despite the overall spending cut (and some caveats owing to data availability), efficiency broadly improved across sectors, particularly in education. However, quality adjustments and other factors could have contributed (e.g., sector and technology-induced reforms). It also finds that sub-regions with the weakest initial levels of efficiency converged the most post crisis. These sub-regional changes in public sector efficiency are associated with changes in labor productivity. Finally, the paper finds that regional disparities in the productivity of public services have narrowed, especially in the education and health sectors, with education attainment, population density, private spending on high school education and class size being to be the most important factors explaining sub-regional variation since 2003.
Nicoletta Batini, Ian Parry, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Denmark has a highly ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 70 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. While there is general agreement that carbon pricing should be the centerpiece of Denmark’s mitigation strategy, pricing needs to be effective, address equity and leakage concerns, and be reinforced by additional measures at the sectoral level. The strategy Denmark develops can be a good prototype for others to follow. This paper discusses mechanisms to scale up domestic carbon pricing, compensate households, and possibly combine pricing with a border carbon adjustment. It also recommends the use of revenue-neutral feebate schemes to strengthen mitigation incentives, particularly for transportation and agriculture, fisheries and forestry, though these schemes could also be applied more widely.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx