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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.

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.

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.

Mr. Ben J. Heijdra and Ms. Jenny E Ligthart
The paper studies the dynamic allocation effects of tax policy in the context of an overlapping generations model of the Blanchard-Yaari type. The model is extended to allow for endogenous labor supply and three tax instruments: a capital income tax, labor income tax, and consumption tax. Analytical expressions and simple diagrams are used to discuss the impact, transition, and long-run effects of tax policy changes. It is shown that a part of the long-run incidence of capital and consumption taxes falls on capital when households’ horizons are finite, whereas labor would fully bear the burden of these taxes in an infinite horizon model.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

El informe sobre las Perspectivas de la economía mundial, publicado dos veces al año en inglés, francés, español y árabe, presenta análisis realizados por economistas del cuerpo técnico del FMI sobre la evolución económica mundial a corto y mediano plazo. En los capítulos se presenta un panorama de la economía mundial; se consideran cuestiones que afectan a los países industriales y las economías en transición hacia un régimen de mercado y se abordan temas de actualidad. Anexos, recuadros, gráficos y un extenso apéndice estadístico complementan el texto.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Les Perspectives de l'économie mondiale (PEM), publiées deux fois l'an en anglais, français, espagnol et arabe, présentent des analyses de l'évolution économique mondiale à court et moyen termes, préparées par les principaux économistes du FMI. Les divers chapitres donnent un tour d'horizon de l'économie mondiale, évoquent des questions qui touchent les pays industrialisés et ceux en transition vers une économie de marché, et abordent des thèmes d'actualité. Des annexes, des encadrés, des graphiques et un appendice statistique détaillé complètent le texte.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The World Economic Outlook, published twice a year in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic, presents IMF staff economists' analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term. Chapters give an overview of the world economy; consider issues affecting industrial countries, and economics in transition to market; and address topics of pressing current interest. Annexes, boxes, charts, and an extensive statistical appendix augment the text.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The World Economic Outlook, published twice a year in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic, presents IMF staff economists' analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term. Chapters give an overview of the world economy; consider issues affecting industrial countries, and economics in transition to market; and address topics of pressing current interest. Annexes, boxes, charts, and an extensive statistical appendix augment the text.