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Ms. Dora Benedek, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Mr. Abdelhak S Senhadji, and Alexander F. Tieman
The COVID-19 pandemic hit countries’ development agendas hard. The ensuing recession has pushed millions into extreme poverty and has shrunk government resources available for spending on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Staff Discussion Note assesses the current state of play on funding SDGs in five key development areas: education, health, roads, electricity, and water and sanitation, using a newly developed dynamic macroeconomic framework.
Vitor Gaspar, Mr. Maurice Obstfeld, Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Mr. Dennis P Botman, Kevin Clinton, Mr. Romain A Duval, Kotaro Ishi, Zoltan Jakab, Laura Jaramillo, Mr. Constant A Lonkeng Ngouana, Mr. Tommaso Mancini Griffoli, Mr. Joannes Mongardini, Susanna Mursula, Erlend Nier, Ms. Yulia Ustyugova, Hou Wang, and Mr. Oliver Wuensch
The recovery in GDP growth since the global financial crisis has been halting and weak. Concern is widespread that countercyclical policies have run out of space or lack the power to raise growth or deal with the next negative shock. This note argues that room exists for effective policies and that it should be used if appropriate. The most promising route involves a comprehensive, consistent, and coordinated approach to policy making. Comprehensive policy actions within a country exploit synergies, making the whole greater than the sum of parts. Consistent policy frameworks anchor long-term expectations while allowing decisive short- to medium-term accommodation whenever necessary. Coordinated policies across major economies amplify the helpful effects of individual policy actions through positive cross-border spillovers. The findings of this paper indicate that policy coordination adds particular value if the current approach falls short of reviving growth, or in the event of a further downward shock.
Mr. Thomas F Alexander, Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, Mr. Marco Marini, Eric Metreau, and Mr. Michael Stanger
To derive real GDP, the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) recommends a technique called double deflation. Some countries use single deflation techniques, which fail to capture important relative price changes and introduce estimation errors in official GDP growth. We simulate the effects of single deflation to the GDP data of eight countries that use double deflation. We find that errors due to single deflation can be significant, but their magnitude and direction are not systematic over time and across countries. We conclude that countries still using single deflation should move to double deflation.
Mr. Tommaso Mancini Griffoli, Mr. Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, Mr. Itai Agur, Mr. Anil Ari, Mr. John Kiff, Ms. Adina Popescu, and Ms. Celine Rochon
Digitalization is reshaping economic activity, shrinking the role of cash, and spurring new digital forms of money. Central banks have been pondering wheter and how to adapt. One possibility is central bank digital currency (CBDC)-- a widely accessible digital form of fiat money that could be legal tender. This discussion note proposes a conceptual framework to assess the case for CBDC adoption from the perspective of users and central banks. It discusses possible CBDC designs, and explores potential benefits and costs, with a focus on the impact on monetary policy, financial stability, and integrity. This note also surveys research and pilot studies on CBDC by central banks around the world.
Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. Kamil Dybczak, Vitor Gaspar, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Mauricio Soto
This Staff Discussion Note looks at the stark fiscal challenges posed by the decline and aging of populations between now and 2100. It finds that without reforms, pensions and health spending would rise to 25 percent of GDP by end-century in more developed countries (and 16 percent of GDP in less developed countries), with potentially dire fiscal consequences. Given the uncertainty underlying the population projections and associated large fiscal risks, a multi-pronged approach will be required. This could include entitlement reform—starting now but at a gradual pace; policies that affect demographics and labor markets; and better tax systems and more efficient public expenditure.
Mr. Dong He, Mr. Karl F Habermeier, Mr. Ross B Leckow, Mr. Vikram Haksar, Ms. Yasmin Almeida, Ms. Mikari Kashima, Mr. Nadim Kyriakos-Saad, Ms. Hiroko Oura, Tahsin Saadi Sedik, Natalia Stetsenko, and Ms. Concha Verdugo Yepes
New technologies are driving transformational changes in the global financial system. Virtual currencies (VCs) and the underlying distributed ledger systems are among these. VCs offer many potential benefits, but also considerable risks. VCs could raise efficiency and in the long run strengthen financial inclusion. At the same time, VCs could be potential vehicles for money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and fraud. While risks to the conduct of monetary policy seem less likely to arise at this stage given the very small scale of VCs, risks to financial stability may eventually emerge as the new technologies become more widely used. National authorities have begun to address these challenges and will need to calibrate regulation in a manner that appropriately addresses the risks without stifling innovation. As experience is gained, international standards and best practices could be considered to provide guidance on the most appropriate regulatory responses in different fields, thereby promoting harmonization and cooperation across jurisdictions.