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Tag Archives: Government

The Slope of the US Yield Curve and Risks to Growth

By Tobias Adrian, Rohit Goel and Fabio Natalucci The slope of the yield curve in the US has inverted in recent months, making long-term debt significantly cheaper than short-term debt. This inversion is a gauge of investors’ confidence in the economy and signals doubts about future growth. The slope of the Treasury yield curve is the difference between the interest rate on long-term and short-term debt; and each time the curve inverts, there are questions about the reliability of the...

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Chart of the WeekGrowing Through Education in Nigeria

By Vivian Malta and Monique Newiak Our chart of the week, drawn from the IMF’s 2019 economic health check for Nigeria, highlights substantial inequality in access to education between girls and boys, and between rich and poor. It is widely accepted that addressing educational gaps results in rapid and large benefits for children, their families, communities, and the country more broadly.   Limited schooling for girls According to a survey conducted by the Nigeria Bureau of...

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A Global Picture of Public Wealth

By Jason Harris, Abdelhak Senhadji, and Alexander F. Tieman Español, Português Our new data on government assets shows that when governments know what they own, they can make better use of the assets for the well-being of all their citizens.  We make these data free and publicly available for all to use because we believe transparency can help create better public policy.  The chart shows that advanced economies have larger balance sheets compared to emerging markets and low-income...

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State Ownership in Europe’s Former Socialist States: The Unfinished Reform Agenda

By Poul Thomsen As we approach the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former socialist countries of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) have made tremendous progress in becoming full-fledged market economies and raising income levels. Large-scale privatization in the 1990s was a key element of this transition but produced mixed results. In some cases, privatization generated broad-based ownership and healthy competition, while in some other countries,...

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Chart of the WeekKeeping the Wheels of Commerce Turning

By IMFBlog The tariff disputes roiling markets are a reminder that the global system of free trade, which has delivered so much prosperity, is a fragile one. We all know what happened in the 1930s, when trade wars only served to deepen the misery inflicted by the Great Depression. That is why, after World War II, countries agreed to gradually reduce tariffs. But many continued to restrict flows of goods across borders in other ways as they sought to give their domestic industries an edge...

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How to Help, Not Hinder Global Growth

By Christine Lagarde As the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors gather this week in Fukuoka, they can take inspiration from their host city. Known as Japan’s “startup city,” Fukuoka has flourished in recent decades by embracing trade, innovation, and openness. That spirit is needed more than ever to help reduce trade tensions and clear other stumbling blocks on the way back to higher and more sustainable growth. The goal must be to help, not stand in the way of global growth....

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Keynes, the IMF, and the Future

By Gita Bhatt If Lord Keynes, who helped usher in the post–World War II economic order at the Bretton Woods conference, visited the IMF today, he would be astonished at the institution’s evolution. He would find a modern IMF able to help countries with new tools for analyzing financial risks and external imbalances and take on income inequality, corruption, and climate change. He would marvel at our universal membership, diverse staff, and female head. He would also find a world transformed...

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Chart of the WeekCorruption and Your Money

By IMFBlog The costs of corruption run deep. Your taxpayer dollars are lost in different ways, siphoned off from schools, roads, and hospitals to line the pockets of people up to no good. Equally damaging is the way it corrodes the government’s ability to help grow the economy in a way that benefits all citizens. And no country is immune to corruption. Our Chart of the Week from the Fiscal Monitor analyzes more than 180 countries and finds that more corrupt countries collect fewer taxes,...

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Designing Labor Policies to Foster Inclusive Growth in Emerging Markets

By Romain Duval and Prakash Loungani Emerging market economies have enjoyed good growth in recent decades but are still far from closing gaps in living standards with advanced economies. Emerging markets also need growth to be shared by everyone, particularly by providing their growing populations with good jobs and social protection. In a new IMF staff paper, we look at how the design of labor markets—institutions and policies—could foster inclusive growth in these countries.    ...

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A Review of IMF-Supported Lending Programs

By Petya Koeva Brooks, Martin Mühleisen, and Chad Steinberg The IMF’s Review of Program Design and Conditionality provides a deep look into the design of 133 IMF-supported lending programs in operation between September 2011 and December 2017. This review is the first major stocktaking of IMF programs since the Global Financial Crisis, a period of unexpectedly slow economic growth. Programs as shock absorbers Countries often come to the IMF when they already face major threats to economic...

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