Olivier Blanchard, 25 May 2015

On 15-16 April 2015, the IMF organised the third conference on ‘Rethinking Macro Policy’. In this column, IMF’s Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard presents his personal takeaways from the conference. Though progress in macro policy is undeniable, confusion is unavoidable given the complex issues that remain to be settled. 

Biagio Bossone, Marco Cattaneo, 25 May 2015

To prevent it from defaulting on its debt, the Greek government might need to introduce a new domestic currency, in parallel to the euro. This column, the first in a two-part series, compares the current proposals for a parallel currency and discusses how such a policy instrument could promote economic recovery.

Eric Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann, 24 May 2015

Later this year, the UN will set the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. This column argues that lots targets will make it hard for policymakers to enact real change. Instead, the primary post-2015 goals should focus on young people achieving basic skills. Basic skills, in turn, will help address issues of poverty and limited healthcare as well as help foster the new technologies needed to improve sustainable growth.

Marco Francesconi, Robert A. Pollak, Domenico Tabasso, 23 May 2015

Bequests have important economic and social consequences. Using a large sample drawn from the Health and Retirement Study, this column documents two results. First, about a third of US parents with wills plan to distribute their estates unequally among their children. This is especially common among families with stepchildren and children with whom the parent has little contact. Second, about 40% of parents die without wills.

Davide Consoli, Giovanni Marin, David Popp, Francesco Vona, 22 May 2015

The greening of the economy brings with it changes in the demand for certain skills in the labour market. Understanding these changes has important implications for policy aiming to support sustainable industry. This column uses US data to identify key green jobs and the skills of import for them. Environmental sustainability regulations are shown to affect the demand for green skills in the labour market. Labour market policies should target labour supply, for instance through education, to avoid potential skill gaps down the line.

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