Monday, August 21, 2017

SDGs and income inequality

The new global targets for development, the Sustainabe Development Goals, do not consider income inequality although the SDGs pay some lip service. This new and exciting edited volume published by Edward Elgar provides an overview of the state of the art, including the often forgotten issue of how to measure progress regarding a more inclusive development of Earth

Friday, August 4, 2017

earnings inequality 1970-2015

OLLE HAMMAR, Uppsala University - Department of Economics, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
Uppsala University - Department of Economics, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

We estimate trends in global earnings dispersion across occupational groups using a new database covering 66 developed and developing countries between 1970 and 2015. Our main finding is that global earnings inequality has declined, primarily during the 2000s, when the global Gini coefficient dropped nearly 10 points and the earnings share of the world's poorest half doubled. Decomposition analyses emphasize the role of income convergence between poor and rich countries and that earnings have become more similar within occupations in traded industries. Sensitivity checks show that the results are robust to varying real exchange rates, inequality measures and population definitions.

Book pp. 67-71

Global factors and inflation

"Global Inflation: The Role of Food, Housing and Energy Prices"

     ECB Working Paper No. 2024


  Contact:  MILES PARKER

              Reserve Bank of New Zealand



ABSTRACT: This paper studies the role of global factors in causing common movements in consumer price inflation, with particular focus on the food, housing and energy sub-indices. It uses a comprehensive dataset of 223 countries and territories collected from national and international sources. Global factors explain a large share of the variance of national inflation rates for advanced countries ─ and more generally those with greater GDP per capita, financial development and central bank transparency ─ but not for middle and low income countries.

Common factors explain a large share of the variance in food and energy prices.

Book, pp. 29-32

Global data shadow economy 1991-2015

LEANDRO MEDINA, George Washington University - Department of Economics, International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Western Hemisphere Department
Johannes Kepler University Linz - Department of Economics, CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research), Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Using the MIMIC method, this paper is a first attempt to estimate the size of the shadow economy of 158 countries over the period 1991 up to 2015. In addition to performing a variety of robustness tests, this paper explicitly addresses endogeneity concerns to the use of GDP as cause and indicator, by using the light intensity approach as an indicator variable as proxy for the size of the economy. Results suggest that the average size of the shadow economy of these 158 countries over 1991-2015 is 32.5% of official GDP, which was 34.82% in 1991 and decreased to 30.66% in 2015.

Book p. 21

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What is the World Bank Good for? Global Public Goods and Global Institutions

RAVI KANBUR, Cornell University, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), IZA Institute of Labor Economics

The World Bank is in the doldrums, or worse. The Global Public Goods (GPGs) argument is often put forward as a way of reviving and even rescuing an institution whose financial base to support conventional sovereign loans is receding sharply relative to needs and competition from other sources. The World Bank does have certain advantages as an institution, which the global community could use to address GPG issues. It has technical excellence and convening power to help build consensus on a range of GPG issues, although this cannot be fully realized without radical reform of its governance structures. It has experience with managing concessional and grant resources, which will be central to financing GPG mechanisms. And it also has experience with country operations to implement the country specific dimensions of GPG mechanisms. That is what the World Bank is good for now, three quarters of a century after its founding 

Book: Chapter 13

Friday, January 6, 2017

Global Financial Safity Net 1960-2015

BEATRICE D. SCHEUBEL, European Central Bank (ECB), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Center for Economic Studies (CES)
European Central Bank (ECB)

This paper critically reviews the theoretical basis for the provision of the global financial safety net (GFSN) and provide a comprehensive database covering four elements of the GFSN (foreign exchange reserves, IMF financing, central bank swap lines and regional financing arrangements) for over 150 countries in the sample period 1960-2015. This paper also presents some key stylised facts regarding the provision of GFSN financing and compares macroeconomic outcomes in capital flow reversal episodes depending on how much GFSN financing was available to countries. Finally, this paper concludes with some avenues for further research on the possible evolution of the GFSN.