With their astonishing range of macroeconomic and microeconomic topics, the annual meetings of the American Economic Association (AEA) provide a virtual smorgasbord of contemporary research. This year’s gathering, in an unseasonably frosty Atlanta on January 4–6, resists summary, but Jeromin Zettelmeyer, a Senior Economist in the IMF’s Research Department, with the help of colleague Eswar Prasad, highlights several notable sessions.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This chapter presents the point of view and ideas of Sabina Alkire, an economist. Alkire wants the Multidimensional Poverty Index to be part of a data revolution to guide the fight against poverty. According to Alkire, learning to meditate soothed away what she describes as the temper tantrums of her childhood. The chapter also highlights the fact that an index is only as good as its underlying data, and in emerging market economies that quality is often inadequate. The quest for better poverty metrics coincides with growing doubts about the ability of conventional statistics, especially GDP, to gauge economic growth in the digital economy, let alone well-being, welfare, and environmental sustainability.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Financial Systems Dept.
The October 2017 Global Financial Stability Report finds that the global financial system continues to strengthen in response to extraordinary policy support, regulatory enhancements, and the cyclical upturn in growth. It also includes a chapter that examines the short- and medium-term implications for economic growth and financial stability of the past decades’ rise in household debt. It documents large differences in household debt-to-GDP ratios across countries but a common increasing trajectory that was moderated but not reversed by the global financial crisis. Another chapter develops a new macroeconomic measure of financial stability by linking financial conditions to the probability distribution of future GDP growth and applies it to a set of 20 major advanced and emerging market economies. The chapter shows that changes in financial conditions shift the whole distribution of future GDP growth.
Staff Report for the 2020 Article IV Consultation and Sixth Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility Arrangements-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Republic of Moldova