By David Lipton
Across sub-Saharan Africa, a visit to a school offers both a vision of hope for the future, and a reminder of the difficulties in attaining that vision. My recent visit to Sierra Leone and Niger brought this duality into sharp focus. […]
August 13, 2018
Electric car charging station in Berlin, Germany: prices for lithium and cobalt—key ingredients in rechargeable batteries—are rising due limited supply and growing demand for electric cars (photo: Jens Kalaene/Newscom)
The surge in demand for electric cars has been fueled in part by the falling costs of lithium-ion batteries—driven by technological progress—which power everything from electric cars to smartphones. […]
July 30, 2018
Globalization has accelerated the spread of knowledge and technology across borders. This has helped to increase productivity and potential growth in many countries and at the global level. […]
Housing is on everyone’s mind. The collapse of housing bubbles can be very costly.
- In Japan, house prices rose by about 40 percent during the mid-1980s; the collapse was followed by a ‘lost decade’ in which incomes did not grow and house prices fell by over 40 percent.
- In the United States, house prices increased by about 30 percent between 2001 and 2006; their collapse was followed by the global financial crisis.
Rising income inequality looms high on the global policy agenda, reflecting not only fears of its pernicious social and political effects, (including questions about the consistency of extreme inequality with democratic governance), but also the economic implications. While positive incentives are surely needed to reward work and innovation, excessive inequality is likely to undercut growth, for example by undermining access to health and education, causing investment-reducing political and economic instability, and thwarting the social consensus required to adjust in the face of major shocks.
Understandably, economists have been trying to understand better the links between rising inequality and the fragility of economic growth. Recent narratives include how inequality intensified the leverage and financial cycle, sowing the seeds of crisis; or how political-economy factors, especially the influence of the rich, allowed financial excess to balloon ahead of the crisis.
Hot off the press: a new study out today from our economists pointing to the striking economic benefits that could come from increased female participation in the work force.
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde, calling attention to the findings of the paper, “Women, Work, and the Economy,” made the case for policymakers to shift into high gear and give women equal opportunities to participate in the work force.
Many countries seek to protect poorer households by subsidizing the consumption of fuel products. However, recent IMF research shows that fuel subsidies are both inefficient and inequitable, including in India.
But what about India? Are fuel subsidies also anti-poor? Sadly, yes. A new IMF working paper shows that India’s fuel subsidies are both fiscally costly and socially regressive.