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Tag Archives: technology

Central Bank Digital Currencies: 4 Questions and Answers

By Tobias Adrian and Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) is a complex and multidisciplinary topic requiring active analysis and debate. It raises questions related to monetary policy, central banking operations, and payment systems—as well as financial stability and legal foundations and regulation. Below are some of the most pressing questions and answers on the topic. What is the IMF’s role around CBDCs now and in the future? The IMF can help in three ways:...

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All the Way to the Top: Industrial Policy, Innovation, and Sustained Growth

By Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov The odds of poor or middle-income countries achieving the stardom of the “Asian Miracles” within a generation or two, or even three, are small. Between 1960 and 2014, only 16 developing economies worldwide were able to vault into high-income status, and many of those were fortunate enough to have discovered oil or join the European Union. The “miracles”—such as Hong Kong SAR, Korea, and Singapore—as well as Japan, Germany, and the United States before them,...

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A Map of Inequality in Countries

By William Gbohoui, Raphael Lam, and Victor Lledo Social and economic inequality between and within regions in countries is rising in many advanced economies and is now at the forefront of the policy debate because of perceptions that some people and places have been left behind. Changes in global trade and technology have shifted jobs and industries on the map, but the economic gains within countries are not well shared. One might think the solution is for people to move in search of...

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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 weekMobile Money Spreads to Asia

By Esha Chhabra and Bidisha Das Thanks to mobile money, any person with a basic phone can now make cash transfers, pay bills, and send money to family members abroad without having a bank account. This is a game-changing innovation, particularly for the world’s poor as it is easy and cheap. Our chart of the week from the IMF’s Financial Access Survey shows the growth in mobile money accounts across regions. While mobile money continues to grow in its epicenter in Africa, it’s also taking...

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From Stablecoins to Central Bank Digital Currencies

By Tobias Adrian and Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli (Español, Português) As privately issued stablecoins continue to encroach on more traditional forms of money—like cash and bank deposits—policymakers will not simply look on from the sidelines. They will arbitrate. Their rules and actions will determine how we will eventually pay for everyday items like a cup of coffee, and, more importantly, will affect the structure and risks of our financial sector. Our last blog introduced...

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Chart of the WeekWhen the Night Lights Go On in Asia

By Jiaxiong Yao It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The value of a picture taken from space is a new metric we can use to measure economic growth and activity. The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in economists’ use of satellite images of the earth at night.  These “night lights”, as they are called, help study a wide variety of topics, ranging from growth and development to poverty and inequality, particularly in places where economic data are scarce and...

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The Economics of Data

By Yan Carrière-Swallow and Vikram Haksar Español, Português Look around the global economy and you’ll see an American company developing the next generation of driverless cars, a Chinese financier extending loans to “mom-and-pop” stores that used to lack access to credit, and researchers at a Swiss pharmaceutical company developing a treatment for a chronic health condition. What do all these valuable economic activities have in common, despite taking place on different continents and in...

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Digital Currencies: The Rise of Stablecoins

By Tobias Adrian and Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli Español, Português A battle is raging for your wallet. New entrants want to occupy the space once used by paper bills or your debit card. The adoption of new, digital payment methods could bring significant benefits to customers and society: improved efficiency, greater competition, broader financial inclusion, and more innovation. But it could invite risks to financial stability and integrity, monetary policy effectiveness, and competition...

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Chart of the WeekFintech, Fiber-optics, and Financial Inclusion

By IMFBlog Peoples’ connection to new technology is built on the backbone of electrical and fiber-optic cables running beneath our feet—and under oceans. In 2010, most economies that were not connected to the modern, cabled internet could be found in the Pacific. However, this is no longer the case, and by 2020 the region will be almost completely connected. Governments could harness technology to improve tax collection, government transfers, trade financing, and land registries. Our...

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