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IMF Working Papers
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
     ISSN (Print) 1018-5941
     Published by International Monetary Fund Homepage  [11 journals]
  • Demand Composition and Income Distribution
    • Abstract: This paper highlights how changes in the composition of demand affect income dispersion in the short run. We first document how the share of aggregate spending dedicated to labour-intensive goods and services shrinks (expands) during downturns (booms), and argue that this contributes to the observed pro-cyclicality of employment and output in labour-intensive industries. Using a two-sector general equilibrium model, we then assess how this demand composition channel influences the cyclical properties of the income distribution. Consistent with empirical evidence, we find income inequality to be countercyclical due to changes in the level of employment and (to a lesser extent) relative factor prices. The model also shows that wealth redistribution policies can potentially involve a trade-off between equality and output, depending on how they affect the composition of aggregate demand.
      PubDate: 15 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Private Saving Accelerations
    • Abstract: Domestic private saving rates have been on a declining trend in many Emerging Markets (EMs), raising questions about countries’ ability to generate sufficient domestic resources to finance investment. This paper examines how countries have managed to achieve protracted increases in the private saving rate. The results show that episodes of sustained accelerations of private savings are mostly the result of very strong macroeconomic performance. Econometric investigations using matching estimators do not reject the result that stronger economic growth mostly precedes episodes of saving accelerations.
      PubDate: 15 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Does Inflation Slow Long-Run Growth in India?
    • Abstract: This paper examines the long-run relationship between consumer price index industrial workers (CPI-IW) inflation and GDP growth in India. We collect data on a sample of 14 Indian states over the period 1989–2013, and use the cross-sectionally augmented distributed lag (CSDL) approach of Chudik et al. (2013) as well as the standard panel ARDL method for estimation—to account for cross-state heterogeneity and dependence, dynamics and feedback effects. Our findings suggest that, on average, there is a negative long-run relationship between inflation and economic growth in India. We also find statistically-significant inflation-growth threshold effects in the case of states with persistently-elevated inflation rates of above 5.5 percent. This suggest the need for the Reserve Bank of India to balance the short-term growthinflation trade-off, in light of the long-term negative effects on growth of persistently-high inflation.
      PubDate: 15 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Cashing in for Growth: Corporate Cash Holdings as an Opportunity for
           Investment in Japan
    • Abstract: Over the last two decades, cash holdings in nonfinancial firms around the world have increased. This phenomenon is particularly concerning in Japan, where the success of Abenomics depends on a transition from stimulus-driven to self-sustaining growth based on private consumption and investment. This paper finds that Japanese nonfinancial firms have accumulated cash at the expense of investment and dividends, hampering this transition. The evidence suggests that cash accumulation is due to financial imperfections combined with rising corporate profitability and uncertainty, while corporate governance plays only a limited role. These firms have cash holdings available for investment of about 5 percent of GDP. Policy options for encouraging the use of these cash holdings include improving firms’ access to market-based financing and discouraging CEO duality.
      PubDate: 15 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • A Fiscal Job? An Analysis of Fiscal Policy and the Labor Market
    • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of fiscal policy on employment through the lenses of Okun’s Law. Looking at the panel of OECD countries over the past three decades, we find that fiscal policy can affect employment beyond the impact it is traditionally assumed to exert through the output multiplier. In particular, this impact is found to be effective for most items of current discretionary expenditure and for corporate income taxes and social security contributions. Okun’s Law is found to be stable under almost all model specifications, but higher spending on subsidies and lower social security contributions can amplify the impact of the output gap on employment gaps.
      PubDate: 12 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Global Monetary Tightening: Emerging Markets Debt Dynamics and Fiscal
    • Abstract: This paper finds that tightening global financial conditions can worsen emerging economies’ public debt dynamics through an increasing interest rate-growth differential, particularly if coupled with high global risk aversion. Latin America and emerging Europe are the regions most likely to be adversely affected. In addition, historical evidence—analyzed by means of a Poisson count model—suggests that the frequency of sovereign debt crises increases in emerging economies at the early stage of U.S. monetary tightening cycles, at times in which the term spread also rises. The timing may be related to abrupt switches of expectations about the future course of policy in the early stages of tightening cycles.
      PubDate: 12 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Islamic Banking Regulation and Supervision: Survey Results and Challenges
    • Abstract: The growing presence of Islamic banking needs to be accompanied by the development of effective regulation and supervision. This paper examines the results of the survey conducted by the International Monetary Fund to document international experiences and country practices related to legal and prudential frameworks governing Islamic banking activities. Although a number of countries have made considerable progress in creating legal, regulatory, and supervisory frameworks that accommodate Islamic banking, there are substantial differences. This paper also identifies a number of challenges faced by regulatory and supervisory agencies regarding Islamic banking.
      PubDate: 12 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Regulation and Supervision of Islamic Banks
    • Abstract: This paper aims at developing a better understanding of Islamic banking (IB) and providing policy recommendations to enhance the supervision of Islamic banks (IBs). It points out and discusses similarities and differences of IBs with conventional banks (CBs) and reviews whether the IBs are more stable than CBs. Given the risks faced by IBs, the paper concludes that they need a legal, corporate and regulatory framework as much as CB does. The paper also argues that it is important to ensure operational independence of the supervisory agency, which has to be supported by adequate resources, a sound legal framework, a well designed governance structure, and robust accountability practices.
      PubDate: 12 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Oil Price Volatility and the Role of Speculation
    • Abstract: How much does speculation contribute to oil price volatility? We revisit this contentious question by estimating a sign-restricted structural vector autoregression (SVAR). First, using a simple storage model, we show that revisions to expectations regarding oil market fundamentals and the effect of mispricing in oil derivative markets can be observationally equivalent in a SVAR model of the world oil market à la Kilian and Murphy (2013), since both imply a positive co-movement of oil prices and inventories. Second, we impose additional restrictions on the set of admissible models embodying the assumption that the impact from noise trading shocks in oil derivative markets is temporary. Our additional restrictions effectively put a bound on the contribution of speculation to short-term oil price volatility (lying between 3 and 22 percent). This estimated short-run impact is smaller than that of flow demand shocks but possibly larger than that of flow supply shocks.
      PubDate: 12 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Motives and Effectiveness of Forex Interventions: Evidence from Peru
    • Abstract: This paper assesses empirically the motives and effectiveness of forex interventions in Peru. While the central bank of Peru states that its forex interventions aim only at containing excessive exchange rate volatility, the results of this paper show that, in practice, the interventions seem to have aimed at “leaning against the wind” as well. The results also show that forex sales, but not forex purchases, react to volatility, indicating asymmetry in the central bank’s reactions to episodes of appreciation and depreciation pressures. Similarly, the paper documents evidence of asymmetry in the effectiveness of forex interventions.
      PubDate: 12 Dec 2014 09:00:00 EST
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