Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff members and are published to elicit comment and to encourage debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues. This Web-only series replaced Staff Position Notes in January 2011
Vitor Gaspar, Maurice Obstfeld, Ratna Sahay, Douglas Laxton, Dennis Botman, Kevin Clinton, Romain Duval, Kotaro Ishi, Zoltan Jakab, Laura Jaramillo, Constant Lonkeng Ngouana, Tommaso Mancini Griffoli, Joannes Mongardini, Susanna Mursula, Erlend Nier, Yulia Ustyugova, Hou Wang, and Oliver Wuensch
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
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.