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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) was established by the IMF’s Executive Board in 2001. It provides objective and independent evaluation of issues related to the IMF. The IEO operates independently of IMF management and at arm’s length from the IMF Executive Board. For more information on the IEO’s activities, visit the IEO website: www.ieo-imf.org.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper looks at the appropriate scope and pace of fiscal adjustment in Saudi Arabia. The economy of Saudi Arabia has started to feel the impact of the fiscal adjustment. The fiscal space analysis suggests that the authorities have some space in the next few years to undertake a more gradual fiscal adjustment than set out in the IMF staff’s baseline. Although faster fiscal adjustment may have advantages in terms of limiting the rundown in net assets and taking full advantage of the current pro-reform climate, it has disadvantages when it comes to the larger impact on growth and employment in the near term, which may ultimately undermine the sustainability of the reforms.
Mr. Troy D Matheson
The global financial crisis was a stark reminder of the importance of cross-country linkages in the global economy. We document growth synchronization across a diverse group of 185 countries covering 7 regions, and pay particular attention to the period around the global financial crisis. A dynamic factor model is used to decompose each country’s growth into contributions from global, regional, and idiosyncratic shocks. We find a high degree of global synchronization over 1990 to 2011, particularly across advanced economies. Examining the period around the global financial crisis, we find global shocks had large and widespread effects on growth, with more diversity in growth experiences in the early part of the recovery. In a recursive experiment, we find rising global growth synchronization just prior to the crisis, largely resulting from a shift in the importance of global shocks between countries. In contrast, the crisis period caused a much more widespread increase in growth synchronization, and was followed by a similarly pervasive decrease in synchronization in the early recovery.
Mr. Francis Vitek
This paper develops a panel unobserved components model of the monetary transmission mechanism in the world economy, disaggregated into twenty national economies along the lines of the Group of Twenty. This structural macroeconometric model features extensive linkages between the real and financial sectors, both within and across economies. A variety of monetary policy analysis and forecasting applications of the estimated model are demonstrated, based on a Bayesian framework for conditioning on judgment.
Maria Elkhdari, Moez Souissi, and Mr. Andrew Jewell
At a time when Algeria must undertake considerable fiscal consolidation to restore sustainability, the issue of fiscal multipliers has come to the fore. This paper estimates short-term and long-term fiscal multipliers for Algeria applying several econometric methodologies, including Local Projection Methodology and Vector Autoregressive Models, and using both Algeria-specific and panel data. The paper also explores asymmetries related to the sign of the output gap as well as the direction of spending. The results suggest that (i) average fiscal multipliers for Algeria are generally moderate and below unity; (ii) the impact of public spending shocks is more important when the output gap is negative; (iii) fiscal spending multipliers are significantly larger during spending contraction than expansion; (iv) procyclicality in public spending does not appear to affect output, except for capital spending cuts when the output gap is negative; and (v) while multipliers associated with countercyclical public spending can be sizeable, a contraction in current spending does not materially affect non-oil GDP.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This Selected Issues paper on Saudi Arabia assesses Saudi Arabia’s role in the oil market and global economy. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest producer and exporter of oil, has long played a systemically important role in the global oil market. Short-term fluctuations in Saudi Arabia’s oil production have partially reflected attempts to stabilize the global oil market. Saudi Arabia has on several occasions used its systemic role to raise production to fill global demand gaps created by large supply disturbances. The authorities have made significant investments in higher education to enable productive private-sector employment for new Saudi labor force entrants.