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Tag Archives: productivity

How Domestic Violence is a Threat to Economic Development

By Rasmane Ouedraogo and David Stenzel Español, Português Stopping violence against women is not only a moral imperative, new evidence shows that it can help the economy. It’s being called the “shadow pandemic”—an increase in physical, sexual and emotional abuse of women is taking place amid the lockdowns and societal turmoil caused by the global health crisis. The evidence is only growing. In Nigeria, the number of reported cases of gender-violence linked to lockdowns increased by more than...

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Sharing the Gains of Automation: The Role of Fiscal Policy

By Nikolay Gueorguiev and Ryota Nakatani Careful calibration of spending and tax policies can reduce inequality caused by automation. For many observers, automation has been responsible for both strong economic growth and rising inequality in many countries in recent decades. Automation raises productivity, but it can exacerbate inequality. This is because it replaces low-skilled workers and helps owners of capital earn bigger monopoly rents. And with the advent of next-level automation in...

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Chart of the WeekWhen it Comes to Services vs. Manufacturing, Words Matter

By Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov Efforts to revive national manufacturing sectors get a lot of airtime. After all, the sector propelled many East and South East Asian economies—the so-called “East Asia Miracle”—and was a gateway to the middle class for millions of workers. However, for all the obsession with manufacturing, economists for their part seem to be more preoccupied with services. To confirm this, we combed through thousands of IMF reports on countries’ economies from 1978 to 2019....

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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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Widening Gaps: Regional Inequality within Advanced Economies

By John Bluedorn, Weicheng Lian, Natalija Novta, and Yannick Timmer عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский Differences in economic performance between regions within countries can be large and sometimes even larger than between countries. For example, average real GDP per person in the United States is about 90 percent higher than in Slovakia. At the same time, within the United States, per capita GDP in the state of New York is 100 percent higher than in Mississippi. Many...

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Chart of the WeekThe Rise of Powerful Companies

By IMFBlog People are concerned that the rising power of big successful companies could lower capital investment, weaken productivity, and reduce people’s take-home pay. While rising corporate market power has had a fairly limited negative economic impact so far, if left unchecked, it could take a bigger toll on growth and people’s income. Our Chart of the Week from the April World Economic Outlook analyzes nearly 1 million companies from 27 advanced and emerging market economies since the...

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How to Keep Corporate Power in Check

By Federico Díez and Romain Duval عربي, 中文, Español,  Français, 日本語, Português, Русский People are becoming concerned that the rising power of big successful companies may be behind some of the recent sluggish economic growth and rising income inequality. Are these concerns justified? Our research in Chapter 2 of the April World Economic Outlook looks at this question using data for nearly 1 million companies from 27 advanced and emerging market economies since the early 2000s. We find...

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Why Investment May Come Under Threat

By Weicheng Lian, Natalija Novta, and Petia Topalova عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский It might be hard to imagine a time when a 512 kilobyte computer cost more than $28,000. That was in 1984. Today, you can buy a much more powerful computer for under $300. Prices of machinery and equipment have been falling relative to overall prices for decades, thanks to rising trade and sweeping technological improvements that led to more efficient production of capital goods. This...

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Economic Forces, Not Tariffs, Drive Changes in Trade Balances

By Johannes Eugster, Florence Jaumotte, Margaux MacDonald, and Roberto Piazza عربي, 中文, Español, 日本語, Português New IMF research finds that macroeconomic factors, not tariffs, explain most of the changes in trade balances between two countries. Bilateral trade balances (the difference in the value of exports and imports between two countries) have come under scrutiny recently. Some policymakers are concerned that their large and rising size are the result of uneven measures that distort...

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Top 10 Charts of the Week for 2018

By IMFBlog January 7, 2019 Looking ahead (photo: Newsis/Reuters/Newscom) A picture is worth a thousand words.  The portraits of the global economy in our Chart of the Week series have proven a hit, and to help you start the year with just the right facts and figures, we have pulled together your top reads of 2018.  Here are the top ten charts of the week for 2018, based on your readership. 5 Charts That Explain the Global Economy in 2018 Chart of the Week: Government Debt Is Not...

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