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Tag Archives: public finances

High Debt Hampers Countries’ Response to a Fast-Changing Global Economy

By Vitor Gaspar, John Ralyea, and Elif Ture عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский Economic growth is slowing and public debt remains high across the world. Meanwhile, demographic changes and technological advances are reshaping the global economy. Everyone’s opportunities for a good education, along with their job prospects, healthcare, and retirement income depend on the tax and spending choices governments make as they respond to these challenges. What should policymakers...

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The Wealth of Nations: Governments Can Better Manage What They Own and Owe

By Vitor Gaspar, Jason Harris, and Alexander Tieman October 10, 2018 A firefighter in Auckland, New Zealand: when governments know what they own they can put their assets to better use and can earn about 3 percent of GDP more in revenues to spend on citizens’ well being (Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Newscom) What is the state of your personal finances? You probably think first about your debts: your mortgage, your credit card balance, and your student loans. But you probably also think about...

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Economic Growth and Fairness in the Middle East and North Africa

By Jihad Azour January 18, 2018 The people of the region are rightly demanding economic growth and fairness.  The IMF aims to help them in this effort (photo: Tunis, Tunisia, ZOUBEIR SOUISSI/REUTERS/Newscom). Rising social tensions and protests in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa are a clear indication that the aspirations of the people of the region—for opportunity, prosperity and equity—remain unfulfilled. Their frustration is understandable, and precisely...

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Act Now, Act Together

By Vitor Gaspar and Luc Eyraud Public finances have had a rough year. A new reality is emerging. Against this backdrop, countries need to act now to boost growth and build resilience. They must also be prepared to act together to fend off global risks. Worsening public finances The April 2016 Fiscal Monitor shows that public debt continues to rise in every corner of the world. Fiscal deficits have also gone up in many countries. In advanced economies, once again, we will have to wait another...

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Shrinking Populations, Rising Fiscal Challenges

By Benedict Clements, Kamil Dybczak, and Mauricio Soto (Versions in 中文 and 日本語) Populations are getting older around the world—that’s no surprise in light of declining fertility and improvements in health care. But in many countries, something more dramatic is going on—the population is actually shrinking. These demographic developments portend stark fiscal challenges. What should countries—whatever their degree of economic development—do to respond to these challenges? Large increases in...

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