My Activities at the IMF
I. Major Analytical and Research Projects
A. Public Debt and Economic Growth (with M. Kumar): various results from this research project have been published in IMF WP (July 2010); a book chapter of The Post-Crisis Fiscal Policy, edited by Cottarelli, P. Gerson, and A. Senhadji, The MIT Press, 2014; and Economica (2015, forthcoming). Attracted significant attention from the policy circle and media (e.g., quoted by FDMD, ECB President Trichet at the Fed's annual meeting in Jackson Hole, etc). Presented at numerous places including the European Commission, World Bank-KDI conference, Banca d'Italia Workshop, Beijing Forum in China, and Bank of Korea.
B. Household Savings and Social Expenditures in China (with E. Baldacci, G. Callegari, D. Coady, D. Ding, M. Kumar, P. Tommasino): published as IMF WP (March 2010); and a book chapter of Effects of Social Policy on Domestic Demand, published by Asian Development Bank Institute, 2010. Input for Fiscal Monitor. Presented at the weekly surveillance meeting at the IMF in January 2010.
C. Determinants and Implications of the Interest rate-Growth Differentials (with J. Escolano, and A. Shabunina): Published as an IMF WP (November 2011); Input for Fiscal Monitor. Presented at the World Bank-KDI conference in November 2011; weekly surveillance meeting at the IMF in March 2011.
D. Distributional Consequences of Fiscal Consolidations and the Role of Fiscal Policy (with Bova, Kinda, and Zhang): I have led a small group of junior economists on this project and done the lion’s share of the work. Input for Fiscal Monitor; IMF WP (2013). Presented at the FAD seminar and the OECD conference, Seoul, Korea.
E. Reassessing the Role and Modalities of Fiscal Policy in Advanced Economies – Board Paper jointly prepared by FAD and RES. Published as the IMF Policy Paper in September 2013.
F. Economic Recovery from Recessions: the Role of Fiscal Policy and Structural Reforms (with T. Kinda, and M. Poplawski). I have led this project and done the lion’s share of the work. Input for Fiscal Monitor and VEA (vulnerability exercises); IMF WP (2015, forthcoming). Presented at the FAD seminar.
G. Debt, Debt Overhang, and Growth (with A. Bernadin, G. Palomba, L. Forni, and C. Richmond) – in progress.
II. Work on the Fiscal Monitor (IMF Flagship Publication, along with WEO and GFSR)
I was part of the team for the Fiscal Monitor 2013 October issue: besides co-authoring Chapter 2. Taxing Our Way Out of – or into? – Trouble, my other responsibilities included preparing country briefs for Asian and Pacific countries, maintaining a liaison with the country desks, and reviewing/editing the FM document. In addition, I also contributed to the various issues of Fiscal Monitor in 2010-12.
III. Fiscal Economist Assignment
Fiscal economist for Nigeria (May 2010-February 2013): contributed to the Staff Reports for the 2010-12 Article IV Consultations. Besides the regular duties as a fiscal economist (i.e., work on fiscal files, projections, and fiscal accounts), I have undertaken a significant amount of analytical work on Nigeria’s fiscal issues as follows:
(a) Prepared a paper, “An Analysis of Long-Run Fiscal Sustainability for Nigeria”, which provided a key benchmark for Staff’s assessment of the fiscal sustainability in Nigeria.
(b) Presented to the authorities on “Anchoring Fiscal Policy in Resource Rich Countries: Challenges and Options for Nigeria”.
(c) At the request of the Minister of Finance, prepared two notes, “Oil-Price Based Fiscal Rules and Determination of the Budget Oil Price”; and “The Optimal Size of Stabilization Buffer in Nigeria”, which was included in the 2012 Staff Report.
(d) Prepared a guidance note on the IMF Staff fiscal accounts for Nigeria, and the IMF Managing Director brief on fiscal policy issues for her visit to Nigeria, December 18-20, 2011.
IV. Review Work
While at FAD, I was the reviewer of Japan, India, and the United States (including preparation of comments, participation in policy consultation meetings, and other ad hoc assignments); A key reviewer of WEO (World Economic Outlook) and REO APD (Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific).
V. Other Activities
A. Contributions to the G20 Surveillance Notes, and the G20 MAP (Mutual Assessment Process).
B. Participated in the inter-departmental working group on Japan earthquake, May 2011
(a) Prepared a paper on fiscal cost and financing options for Japan after the Great Earthquake – titled as “Recent Experiences with Large-Scale Natural Disasters (Shocks) and Reconstruction Financing among the OECD Countries”;
(b) Coordinated with FAD colleagues to arrange another note, “PPPs as an alternative option for Japan”;
At At a request from the Russian authorities, these papers were also provided as background materials for the APEC Forum in January 2012.
C. Prepared two notes on special topics for VEA (vulnerability exercises for advanced economies) in October 2012: (i) One is titled, “Revisiting the Link between Public Debt and Economic Growth in View of External Liabilities”, and (ii) the other, “Smaller Fiscal Buffers Impinge on the Speed of Economic Recovery.”
D. Contributed to a note (jointly with EUR, RES) for the Management on the implications of the debt overhang for Greece in December 2012.
E. Conference organization (led by A. Schaechter and H. Berger on the IMF side) for the IMF-ECB conference on “Reforming EU Fiscal Governance”, December 13-14, 2012. My activities included planning, selecting the papers for presentation, and contacting/selecting speakers and discussants.