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Tag Archives: Finance and Development

A Turning Point for Political Economy

By Gita Bhatt Five months ago we set out to write in this issue of Finance & Development about political economy—how politics affects the economy and the economy affects politics. Few suspected then that, instead of exploring an academic question, we would be witnessing real-world political economy dynamics unfolding, tragically, in real time. The pandemic, with its appalling loss of life, has brought the Great Lockdown and frozen the wheels of commerce. People’s lives have been turned...

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Demographics and Destiny

By Gita Bhatt When I visit my home country, India, I am always struck by how young it looks. From the big cities to the tiny villages, one can see the hopes and aspirations of twenty-somethings, many in search of work. In Japan, demographic trends have been moving in the opposite direction. Homes sit vacant, and villages are vanishing, as people have fewer children. In response, the Japanese are embracing technology to fill the gaps through innovations like robot chefs and automated...

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A New Climate Economy

By Gita Bhatt “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” The quip, attributed to 19th-century American humorist Mark Twain, might describe the current state of play on climate change. In Twain’s day, it was absurd to suppose humans could do anything about the weather. Today, we understand that we can and we must. The changing climate, largely wrought by humans, is bringing rising sea levels, temperature extremes, and more frequent and harsher storms. These...

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Illuminating Dark Corners of the Global Economy

Gita Bhatt This issue of Finance & Development reminds me of a Sufi parable. A woman sees a mystic searching for something outside his door. “What have you lost?” she asks. “My key,” he responds. So they both kneel down to look for it. “Where exactly did you drop it?” she asks after a few minutes. “In my house,” he replies. “Then why are you looking here?” “Because there is more light.” The lesson: we all search for answers where it is easiest to look. That is why we decided to shine a...

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chart of the weekUS$100 Bill on the Rise

By IMFBlog A curious thing has happened in US currency: the $100 bill recently overtook the ubiquitous $1 bill in circulation volume, for the first time in history. In other words, the most valuable banknote in the United States became the most widely circulated. As we show in our chart of the week, based on an article in the IMF’s Finance & Development magazine, there are more $100 bills circulating now than ever before, roughly doubling in volume since the global financial crisis....

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A New Social Contract

By Camilla Lund Andersen November 30, 2018 (photo: Michael Waraksa) As the world seeks to address the rise of populism and nationalism, it is becoming clear that economic insecurity lies at the heart of much of the discontent. In the wake of the global financial crisis, voters in wealthy countries began to lose faith in the state’s ability to protect them. The profound changes sweeping labor markets, caused by the rise of technology and continued globalization, have only deepened this...

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Our Digital Future

By Camilla Lund Andersen May 30, 2018 “Money makes the world go around,” Liza Minnelli famously sang in the movie Cabaret. Money has for centuries been central to human relationships. Loss of faith in its value can result in economic and political instability, even war. In the past few years, financial technology—fintech for short—has caught the world’s imagination by offering alternatives to traditional means of payment. Will digitalization redefine money? In this issue, we explore the...

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