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Macroeconomic Management

The Day After Tomorrow: Macro-Financial Policy Catches Up With Reality

Otaviano Canuto's picture

The 2008–09 crisis opened the door to a different kind of thinking in international macroeconomics—and closed it on some of the previous orthodoxy. Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious cases.

First, some now see a bit of inflation (perhaps as high as 5 percent per year) as desirable for countries that pursue inflation targets, because it would allow more space to reduce nominal interest rates when an economy falls in recession. In fact, what to target (e.g., consumer, producer, asset, housing, or other prices) is the question.

Second, regulatory parameters and practices in the financial sector have proved to be

The Day After Tomorrow: Will We Ever Trust the State?

Otaviano Canuto's picture

This is the fourth in a series of blogs where we take a look at the issues and the countries that will be at the forefront of the development agenda, not now, not next year, but over the next 2 to 5 years—thus, “after tomorrow”.1

There is no evidence that the 2008-09 crisis changed citizens’ trust in the state, in either direction. Well before the crisis, that trust was already in long-term decline among advanced countries, and was stuck at a very low level among developing ones. And, while markets may have lost their shine, governments did not pick up the credit.

The Day After Tomorrow: Growth Switchover

Otaviano Canuto's picture

It is becoming common wisdom that developing countries are doing well while the rich world is stuck in long-overdue austerity. Barring another subprime crisis (this time, in public debt), the locomotives of global growth are about to “switch over.” How come? Will this hold?

Factors in Structural Unemployment

Raj Nallari's picture

The labor market has the unenviable task of not only absorbing the additional workers entering the labor force each year (as a result of population growth) but also dealing with the unemployed workers as economies. The Keynesian view of unemployment is due to lack of aggregate demand while the neoclassical view is that when prices and wages adjust unemployment will come down significantly. In more and more developing countries, long-term unemployment (workers unemployed for over six months) is spilling over into structural unemployment, which the ILO in its several publications underscores as the mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and the demand for skills in the labor markets.

This structural unemployment may arise due to automation in the work place (e.g. need for higher and higher computer skills), rigidities in the labor market, such as high costs of training or in the case of US de-industrialization as manufacturing jobs are continuously lost to

More and Better Jobs: Are Fiscal Stimulus Packages Helping?

Raj Nallari's picture

 

Global GDP growth and as well as GDP growth in each of the regions were lower in 2009 compared to 2007. More specifically, specifically, negative growth rates were observed during 2009 in developed countries & European Union, Central and SE Europe & CIS countries and to a lesser extent in LAC, while the growth rates for East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa were positive in 2009 but lower than in 2007.

 

Reflecting this, all regions experienced higher unemployment rates, with the highest being in the developed economies & EU, Central and SE Europe & CIS and LAC economies, which again all had negative GDP growth rates in 2009. The ILO estimates that the global crisis has led to 34 million more unemployed and the World Bank estimates that about 60 million people may have been pushed into poverty.

From Bubble to Bubble: Government Policy Blunders

Raj Nallari's picture

Greedy speculators in housing and private bankers, financial innovation and failure of risk models, regulators and credit rating agencies were all deservedly blamed for the recent financial crisis. Behind this all is public policy that worsened the problems.

Policies for Growth E-learning Course - Apply by September 17, 2010

Ihssane Loudiyi's picture

What? E-learning course on
Policies for Growth
When? October 1-31, 2010
How to Apply? Please follow this link
 

Tentative Agenda
 

The story of growth and poverty reduction is much debated in an ever-changing world. The challenge in the 1960s was how to lift low-income countries from a low-growth trap to a reasonably high-growth path. Fifty years later we have many fast-growing emerging economies but also over a hundred countries unable to move away from low-growth and high-poverty traps.

Between 1960 and 2010, 3 major shifts impacted how we think about growth and poverty. These big shifts were from state-directed ‘commanding heights’ to market-driven approach, from structural issues of deregulation, liberalization and privatization to sectoral sources of growth, particularly agriculture and financial services, and from macroeconomic to microeconomic (and now macro-micro) approaches to growth. Somewhere along these shifts, there was a recognition that poverty reduction is a goal in itself and does not have to depend on how fast or slow a country is growing. The new wave of globalization that has swept the world during the past two decades has aided growth and poverty reduction in the developing world but the ongoing global economic crisis threatens to undo all those gains and much more.

For policy makers, practitioners and students who want to learn more about growth and poverty reduction in development economics today, the World Bank Institute is offering an e-learning course on Policies for Growth

The application deadline is September 17, 2010. Please note that a nominal fee of $250 will be assessed for accepted participants.

Fiscal Stimulus: Too Little or Ineffective? What Next?

Raj Nallari's picture

All over the world, countries have put in place fiscal stimulus packages as a response to the global crisis. In the US and UK, despite the large fiscal stimuli, the economies are stalling and unemployment rates are still high. Now, Paul Krugman is advocating a second $800+ billion stimulus as he is worried of a Third Depression (i.e. 1873-4, 1929-30 and now) or at best a low job creation and low GDP growth for the short to medium term.

The Role of Cultural Heritage in Poverty Reduction

Otaviano Canuto's picture

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France

We economists tend to see well-being, and poverty in particular, as a matter of finances and income. But fortunately, at least in the Bank, we have come a long way from that simplistic view. Reducing poverty is not only about increasing productivity and income. It is about enabling people to have a broad sense of well-being and opportunities to express and make choices about their lives.

As the famous Bank series “Voices of the Poor” and the follow up “Moving Out of Poverty” have shown us, poverty is much more than lacking a steady or sufficient source of income. Being poor is being vulnerable: to crime and violence, to the lack of justice and access to services. Being poor means inability to negotiate, bargain, and get paid. Poverty, in a nutshell, is a kind of decline in social connectedness. So that’s why social solidarity and cultural identity are so relevant to poverty reduction.

One aspect of cultural identity is cultural heritage, an issue that was widely discussed at the 13th Annual International Symposium: Economic Benefits, Social Opportunities, and Challenges of Supporting Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development, held May 20 – 22 at Word Bank headquarters in Washington DC. The conference, organized jointly with the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, explored fascinating topics –from the contribution of cultural heritage to the development of sustainable communities, to the looting and illicit traffic of cultural treasures.

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