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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

When the last World Economic Outlook was published in September 2002, the global recovery was expected to continue at a moderate pace, but the risks to the outlook were seen primarily on the downside. In the event, activity in the second and third quarters of 2002—except in western Europe—proved stronger than expected; correspondingly, global GDP growth for the year as a whole is now estimated at 3 percent, 0.2 percentage point higher than earlier projected (Figure 1.1 and Table 1.1). But since then the pace of the recovery has slowed, particularly in industrial countries, amid rising uncertainties in the run-up to war in Iraq and the continued adverse effects of the fallout from the bursting of the equity market bubble. Industrial production has stagnated in the major advanced countries, accompanied by a slowdown in global trade growth; labor market conditions remain soft; and forward-looking indicators—with a few exceptions—have generally weakened (Figure 1.2). And while global fixed investment has begun to turn up, it does not yet appear strong enough to sustain the recovery if consumption growth—a key support to demand so far in the upturn together with the turn in the inventory cycle—slows.

United Nations, European Commission, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and World Bank

Abstract

1.1 The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012—Central Framework (SEEA Central Framework) is a multipurpose conceptual framework that describes the interactions between the economy and the environment, and the stocks and changes in stocks of environmental assets.

United Nations, European Commission, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and World Bank

Abstract

2.1 The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Central Framework is a multipurpose conceptual framework for describing the interaction between the economy and the environment, and the stocks and changes in stocks of environmental assets. Utilizing a systems approach to organizing environmental and economic information, it covers, as completely as possible, the stocks and flows that are relevant to the analysis of environmental and economic issues.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

This chapter contains two essays on the macroeconomic and financial after effects of the bursting of an asset price bubble. This issue is topical given the large and persistent decline in equity prices since 2000 and concerns that the fallout will continue to be a drag on the recovery.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The importance of institutions for economic development and growth has long been understood—emphasized, for example, in the writings of Adam Smith and, more recently, David Landes (1998), and recognized in the 1993 Nobel Prize awarded to Douglass North. In the past few years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in this subject, including research into the sources of institutional differences across countries, the channels through which institutions may affect economic performance, and the quantitative importance of these links.

United Nations, European Commission, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and World Bank

Abstract

3.1 An economy cannot function without using natural resources and other inputs from the environment and using the environment to absorb the unwanted by-products of economic production. Measuring the flows of natural inputs into and releases of residuals from the economy can therefore provide instructive information. This measurement is generally carried out using physical units of measure.

United Nations, European Commission, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and World Bank

Abstract

4.1 An important component of environmental-economic accounting is the recording of transactions in monetary terms between economic units that may be considered environmental. Generally, these transactions concern activity undertaken to preserve and protect the environment. Further, there are a range of transactions, such as taxes and subsidies, that reflect efforts by governments, on behalf of society, to influence the behaviour of producers and consumers with respect to the environment.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The persistence of high unemployment in a number of industrial countries—notably in continental Europe—is arguably one of the most striking economic policy failures of the last two decades. A wide range of analysts and international organizations—including the European Commission, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—have argued that the causes of high unemployment can be found in labor market institutions. Accordingly, countries with high unemployment have been repeatedly urged to undertake comprehensive structural reforms to reduce “labor market rigidities” such as generous unemployment insurance schemes; high employment protection, such as high firing costs; high minimum wages; noncompetitive wage-setting mechanisms; and severe tax distortions. While there are solid theoretical arguments underpinning the call for such reforms, the empirical evidence is somewhat less developed and, in some cases, unsupportive (see, for instance, Cohen, Lefranc, and Saint-Paul, 1997). This is partly because until recently the data on labor market institutions was not well enough developed to allow a full analysis of the multiple and complex linkages between labor institutions and unemployment.

United Nations, European Commission, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and World Bank

Abstract

5.1 Assets are considered items of value to society. In economics, assets have long been defined as stores of value that, in many situations, also provide inputs to production processes. More recently, there has been consideration of the value inherent in the components of the environment and the inputs the environment provides to society in general and the economy in particular. The term “environmental asset” is used to denote the source of these inputs which may be measured in both physical and monetary terms.

United Nations, European Commission, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and World Bank

Abstract

6.1 Environmental and economic information is important in the assessment of a range of contemporary environmental and economic policy and research questions. Beyond the provision of relevant information, a primary motivation of the SEEA is the effective integration of the vast amount of environmental and economic data, and assistance with the integration of social data, such as demographic and labour statistics.