Modeling the World Economic Outlook At the IMF: A Historical Review


James M. Boughton

Publication Date:

April 1, 1997

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


The World Economic Outlook (WEO) exercise at the IMF evolved during the 1980s, partly in response to demands by policymakers in national finance ministries for objective and internationally comparable projections and policy scenarios. The exercise had begun as a staff initiative, encouraged by the Managing Director (Johannes Witteveen). Gradually, the Executive Board, the Interim Committee, the Group of Seven, and others came to view the discussion of the WEO documents as an important element in their efforts to keep abreast of world economic developments and prospects. Direct and indirect feedback from those discussions informed the staff as to how the exercise should be improved. Driven by this policy relevance, the WEO evolved from a decentralized project that was only haphazardly model-based into a more rigorous and coordinated exercise.


Working Paper No. 1997/048



Publication Date:

April 1, 1997



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