The Power of Two: Inclusive Growth and the IMF

From Intereconomics:

“For decades, mainstream economics has focused on increasing economic growth and accelerating cross-country convergence, while ignoring distributional concerns. However, the consensus has begun to shift, and recent IMF research has paid increased attention to inclusive growth and the detrimental macroeconomic effects of inequality. The IMF also recognises the threat posed by climate change and has begun to dedicate research to exploring ways to decouple carbon emissions from economic growth.

It is common in macroeconomic models to assume the existence of a “representative agent”, one person who represents the preferences of the entire economy. By construction, such models focus on growth rather than on distribution. However, the use of models with “heterogeneous agents” is increasing, which permit a joint analysis of growth and distribution. This trend has been mirrored in the IMF’s research and operations in recent years. While growth remains critical, the institution increasingly recognises that:

  • jobs are the basis for people to feel included in society and have a sense of dignity – hence the IMF’s increased focus on unemployment and the functioning of labour markets;
  • major segments of the population should have the opportunity to share in the prosperity of a country – hence the research into inequality;
  • growth should be shared not just among this generation but with future generations – hence the scaling up of work on addressing climate change.

A common thread through many of the IMF’s recent initiatives is that they seek to promote inclusion. Over time, these issues have become important to the institution’s mission, as they directly affect economic performance and stability in many countries. This article describes the key findings of some of the IMF’s work in these three areas.”

Continue reading here.

Posted by at 4:05 PM

Labels: Inclusive Growth


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