Economic volatility has come into its own after being treated for decades as a secondary phenomenon in the business cycle literature. This evolution has been driven by the recognition that non-linearities, long buried by the economist's penchant for linearity, magnify the negative effects of volatility on long-run growth and inequality, especially in poor countries. This collection organizes empirical and policy results for economists and development policy practitioners into four parts: basic features, including the impact of volatility on growth and poverty; commodity price volatility; the financial sector's dual role as an absorber and amplifier of shocks; and the management and prevention of macroeconomic crises. The latter section includes a cross-country study, case studies on Argentina and Russia, and lessons from the debt default episodes of the 1980s and 1990s.
• Combines practitioner standpoints with leading academic economist perspectives • Includes numerous internationally known scholars from North America and Europe, the IMF, and the World Bank • Accessible for MBAs, masters-level students in international economics and finance
Contributors; Acknowledgements; Foreword; Overview Joshua Aizenman and Brian Pinto; Part I. What Is Volatility and Why Does It Matter?: 1. Volatility: definitions and consequences Holger Wolf; 2. Volatility and growth Viktoria Hnatkovska and Norman Loayza; 3. Volatility, income distribution, and poverty Thomas Laursen and Sandeep Mahajan; Part II. Commodity Prices and Volatility: 4. Agricultural commodity price volatility Jan Dehn, Christopher Gilbert, and Panos Varangis; 5. Managing oil booms and busts in developing countries Julia Devlin and Michael Lewin; Part III. Finance and Volatility: 6. Finance and volatility Stijn Claessens; 7. Evaluating pricing signals from the bond markets John J. Merrick, Jr; Part IV. Managing Crises: 8. Managing macroeconomic crises: policy lessons Jeffrey Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei; 9. Lessons from the Russian crisis of 1998 and recovery Brian Pinto, Evsey Gurvich, and Sergei Ulatov; 10. Argentina's macroeconomic collapse: causes and lessons Luis Servén and Guillermo Perry; 11. Default episodes in the 1980s and 1990s: what have we learned? Punam Chuhan and Federico Sturzenegger; Technical appendix Viktoria Hnatkovska; Index.