Chart of the WeekUS Dollar Share of Global Foreign Exchange Reserves Drops to 25-Year Low

2021-05-13T11:55:09-04:00May 5, 2021|

By Serkan Arslanalp and Chima Simpson-Bell

عربي中文, EspañolFrançais, 日本語 Português, Русский

The share of US dollar reserves held by central banks fell to 59 percent—its lowest level in 25 years—during the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the IMF’s Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER) survey. […]

The Economic Scars of Crises and Recessions

2019-03-14T13:32:16-04:00March 21, 2018|

By Valerie Cerra and Sweta C. Saxena

March 21, 2018

Version in  日本語 (Japanese), Português  (Portuguese)

New study finds that all types of recessions lead to permanent losses in output and welfare (photo: Peshkov/iStock by GettyImages).

Economic recessions are typically described as short-term periods of negative economic growth. According to the traditional business cycle view, output moves up and down around its long-term upward trend and after a recession, it […]

A Common Cause for Sustainable Growth and Stability in Central Africa

2019-03-25T11:03:24-04:00August 1, 2017|

By Abebe Aemro Selassie

August 1, 2017

Version in Français (French),  Português (Portuguese), and Español (Spanish);

Woman with a machete in Bafut, Cameroon: Six countries in Central Africa have a strategy to turn their economies around, with help from the IMF (photo: Heiner Heine/imageBroker/Newscom)

Six countries in central Africa have been hit hard by the collapse in commodity prices. Oil prices dropped, economic growth stalled, public debt rose, […]

Revisiting the Paradox of Capital: The Reversal of Uphill Flows

2019-03-26T11:33:24-04:00March 7, 2017|

By Emine Boz, Luis Cubeddu, and Maurice Obstfeld

Versions in عربي (Arabic),  中文 (Chinese), Français (French),  Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)

Basic economic theory tells us that capital should flow from slow-growing rich countries to faster-growing poor ones in search of higher returns. A decade ago, our former Research Department colleagues Eswar Prasad, Raghuram Rajan, and Arvind Subramanian examined why the reverse had been true—capital generally flowed “uphill” from poorer to richer countries. Building on the seminal work of Robert Lucas, they argued that certain characteristics of poorer countries, such as weaker institutions and lower levels […]

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