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Journal Cover   IMF Working Papers
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   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 1018-5941
   Published by International Monetary Fund Homepage  [11 journals]
  • Capital Inflows, Credit Growth, and Financial Systems
    • Abstract: Exploiting a granular panel dataset that breaks down capital inflows into FDI, portfolio and other categories, and distinguishes between credit to the household sector and to the corporate sector, we investigate the association between capital inflows and credit growth. We find that non-FDI capital inflows boost credit growth and increase the likelihood of credit booms in both household and corporate sectors. For household credit growth, the composition of capital inflows appears to be more important than financial system characteristics. In contrast, for corporate credit growth, both the composition and the financial system matter. Regardless of sectors and financial systems, net other inflows are always linked to rapid credit growth. Firm-level data corroborate these findings and hint at a causal link: net other inflows are related to more rapid credit growth for firms that rely more heavily on external financing. Further explorations on how capital flows translate into more credit indicate that both demand and supply side factors play a role.
      PubDate: 18 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Innovation, Deregulation, and the Life Cycle of a Financial Service
    • Abstract: This paper examines innovation, deregulation, and firm dynamics over the life cycle of the U.S. ATM and debit card industry. In doing so, we construct a dynamic equilibrium model to study how a major product innovation (introducing the new debit card function) interacted with banking deregulation drove the industry shakeout. Calibrating the model to a novel dataset on ATM network entry, exit, size, and product offerings shows that our theory fits the quantitative pattern of the industry well. The model also allows us to conduct counterfactual analyses to evaluate the respective roles that innovation and deregulation played in the industry evolution.
      PubDate: 18 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Comparing the Employment-Output Elasticities of Expatriates and Nationals
           in the Gulf Cooperation Council
    • Abstract: We estimate the elasticity of private-sector employment to non-oil GDP in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for GCC nationals and expatriates using a Seemingly Unrelated Error Correction (SUREC) model. Our results indicate that the employment response is lower for nationals, who have an estimated short-run elasticity of only 0.15 and a long-run response of 0.7 or less. The elasticity is almost unity for expatriates in the long run and 0.35 in the short run. We interpret low elasticities as indirect evidence of labor market adjustment costs, which could include hiring and firing rigidities, skills mismatches, and reluctance to accept private sector jobs. Forecasts suggest that, absent measures to reduce adjustment costs, the private sector will only be able to absorb a small portion of nationals entering the labor force.
      PubDate: 18 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Systemic Risk Assessment in Low Income Countries : Balancing Financial
           Stability and Development
    • Abstract: We propose a toolkit for the assessment of systemic risk buildup in low income countries. We show that, due to non-linearity in the relationship between credit and financial stability, the assessment should be conducted with different tools at different stages of financial development. In particular, when the level of financial depth is low, traditional leading indicators of banking crises have poor predictive performance and the analysis should be based on indicators that account for financial deepening while taking into consideration countries’ structural limits. By using this framework, we provide a preliminary assessment of systemic risk buildup in individual SSA countries.
      PubDate: 12 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • On the Drivers of Inflation in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Abstract: The perception that inflation dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are driven by supply shocks implies a limited role for monetary policy in influencing inflation in the short run. SSA’s rapid growth, its integration with the global economy, changes in the policy frameworks, among others, in the last decade suggest that the drivers of inflation may have changed. We quantitatively analyze inflation dynamics in SSA using a Global VAR model, which incorporates trade and financial linkages among economies, as well as the role of regional and global demand and inflationary spillovers. We find that in the past 25 years, the main drivers of inflation have been domestic supply shocks and shocks to exchange rate and monetary variables; but that, in recent years, the contribution of these shocks to inflation has fallen. Domestic demand pressures as well as global shocks, and particularly shocks to output, however, have played a larger role in driving inflation over the last decade. We also show that country characteristics matter—the extent of oil and food imports, vulnerability to weather shocks, economic importance of agriculture, trade openness and policy regime, among others, help in explaining the role of shocks.
      PubDate: 05 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Trends in Fiscal Transparency : Evidence from a New Database of the
           Coverage of Fiscal Reporting
    • Abstract: Although there are several measures of fiscal transparency, none provides satisfactory information on certain issues of macroeconomic relevance, including whether fiscal data are available for all of general government, whether the government reports a balance sheet, and whether spending and revenue are reported on a cash or accrual basis. Drawing on government finance statistics reported to the IMF, this paper presents a new database of fiscal transparency for 186 countries in 2003–13 and derives from it indices of the overall comprehensiveness of fiscal statistics as well as specific indices of the coverage of public institutions, fiscal flows, and fiscal stocks, respectively. It finds evidence of gradual improvement, most notably in the coverage of institutions, but most countries’ reporting remains far from comprehensive
      PubDate: 05 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Sub-Saharan Employment Developments : The Important Role of Household
           Enterprises with an Application to Rwanda
    • Abstract: This paper documents the structural transformation in employment that has taken place in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the past 15 years. In contrast to Asian economies, where at least half of the labor flows out of agriculture have gone into industry, in SSA, most of the workers have ended up in the service sector, especially household enterprises. Rwanda has been one of the stellar performers in SSA in terms of structural transformation with the strongest movement of workers out of agriculture. Contrary to conventional wisdom, except for the very top of the distribution of consumption in Rwanda, families in household enterprises now consume as much as non-agricultural wage earners.
      PubDate: 03 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Integrated Ownership and Control in the GCC Corporate Sector
    • Abstract: The objective of the paper is to assess ownership and control links in the GCC corporate sector. The analysis focuses on the integrated ownership and network arising from ownership data available in Bloomberg and GCC stock exchanges. The paper finds that ownership is concentrated in GCC public sector institutions, holding companies, financial institutions, and family groups. The paper then considers the effect of different definitions of control on the distribution of consolidated debt. Debt concentration is maximized when the wedge between ownership and control is the largest. This is the case when the largest shareholder has at least 5 percent of total shares as defined in Zingales (1994).
      PubDate: 03 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Exports in a Tariff-Free Environment : What Structural Reforms Matter?
           Evidence from the European Union Single Market
    • Abstract: How do countries enhance their exports of goods in a largely tariff-free environment? Our investigation of export performance of new member states in the European Union single market, which provides a natural control for barrier-free environment, points to the importance of structural reforms, particularly in the areas of higher education, skills upgrade, wage structure’s ability to provide incentives to work and foreign investment environment. In addition, establishing links with supply chains, which in addition to the above-mentioned reforms also depend on better institutions and infrastructure, are important. The analysis in the paper shows that new member states are at varying levels of quality and integration, which highlights the need for country-specific policy priorities. Services trade, which is subject to significant non-tariff barriers in the EU market even after the implementation of the Services Directive, shows considerable room for growth given the comparative advantage of some of the new member states.
      PubDate: 03 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Portfolio Rebalancing in Japan : Constraints and Implications for
           Quantitative Easing
    • Abstract: Portfolio rebalancing is a key transmission channel of quantitative easing in Japan. We construct a realistic rebalancing scenario, which suggests that the BoJ may need to taper its JGB purchases in 2017 or 2018, given collateral needs of banks, asset-liability management constraints of insurers, and announced asset allocation targets of major pension funds. Nonetheless, the BoJ could deliver continued monetary stimulus by extending the maturity of its JGB purchases or by scaling up private asset purchases. We quantify the impact of rebalancing on capital outflows and discuss JGB market signals that can be indicative of limits being within reach.
      PubDate: 03 Aug 2015 09:00:00 EST
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