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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]
  • Fiscal Devaluation in a Monetary Union
    • Abstract: Using a DSGE model calibrated to the euro area, we analyze the international effects of a fiscal devaluation (FD) implemented as a revenue-neutral shift from employer's social contributions to the Value Added Tax. We find that a FD in ‘Southern European countries’ has a strong positive effect on output, but mild effects on the trade balance and the real exchange rate. Since the benefits of a FD are small relative to the divergence in competitiveness, it is best addressed through structural reforms.
      PubDate: 30 Oct 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Impact of Demographic Changes on Inflation and the Macroeconomy
    • Abstract: The ongoing demographic changes will bring about a substantial shift in the size and the age composition of the population, which will have significant impact on the global economy. Despite potentially grave consequences, demographic changes usually do not take center stage in many macroeconomic policy discussions or debates. This paper illustrates how demographic variables move over time and analyzes how they influence macroeconomic variables such as economic growth, inflation, savings and investment, and fiscal balances, from an empirical perspective. Based on empirical findings—particularly regarding inflation—we discuss their implications on macroeconomic policies, including monetary policy. We also highlight the need to consider the interactions between population dynamics and macroeconomic variables in macroeconomic policy decisions.
      PubDate: 24 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Vertical Fiscal Imbalances and the Accumulation of Government Debt
    • Abstract: Delegating fiscal decision making power to sub-national governments has been an area of interest for both academics and policymakers given the expectation that it may lead to better and more efficient provision of public goods and services. Decentralization has, however, often occurred on the expenditure and less on the revenue side, creating “vertical fiscal imbalances” where sub-national governments’ expenditures are not financed through their own revenues. The mismatch between own revenues and expenditures may have consequences for public finance performance. This study constructs a large sample of general and subnational level fiscal data beginning in 1980 from the IMF’s Government Finance Statistics Yearbook. Extending the literature to the balance sheet approach, this paper examines the effects of vertical fiscal imbalances on government debt. The results indicate that vertical fiscal imbalances are relevant in explaining government debt accumulation suggesting a degree of caution when promoting fiscal decentralization. This paper also underlines the role of data covering the general government and its subectors for comprehensive analysis of fiscal performance.
      PubDate: 20 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Identifying Speculative Bubbles: A Two-Pillar Surveillance Framework
    • Abstract: In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the issue of how best to identify speculative asset bubbles (in real-time) remains in flux. This owes to the difficulty of disentangling irrational investor exuberance from the rational response to lower risk based on price behavior alone. In response, I introduce a two-pillar (price and quantity) approach for financial market surveillance. The intuition is straightforward: while asset pricing models comprise a valuable component of the surveillance toolkit, risk taking behavior, and financial vulnerabilities more generally, can also be reflected in subtler, non-price terms. The framework appears to capture stylized facts of asset booms and busts—some of the largest in history have been associated with below average risk premia (captured by the ‘pricing pillar’) and unusually elevated patterns of issuance, trading volumes, fund flows, and survey-based return projections (reflected in the ‘quantities pillar’). Based on a comparison to past boom-bust episodes, the approach is signaling mounting vulnerabilities in risky U.S. credit markets. Policy makers and regulators should be attune to any further deterioration in issuance quality, and where possible, take steps to ensure the post-crisis financial infrastructure is braced to accommodate a re-pricing in credit risk.
      PubDate: 19 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • The Transmission of Liquidity Shocks: The Role of Internal Capital Markets
           and Bank Funding Strategies
    • Abstract: We analyze the transmission of bank-specific liquidity shocks triggered by a credit rating downgrade through the lending channel. Using bank-level data for US Bank Holding Companies, we find that a credit rating downgrade is associated with an immediate and persistent decline in access to non-core deposits and wholesale funding, especially during the global financial crisis. This translates into a reduction in lending to households and non-financial corporates at home and abroad. The effect on domestic lending, however, is mitigated when banks (i) hold a larger buffer of liquid assets, (ii) diversify away from rating-sensitive sources of funding, and (iii) activate internal liquidity support measures. Foreign lending is significantly reduced during a crisis at home only for subsidiaries with weak funding self-sufficiency.
      PubDate: 19 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Does conditionality in IMF-supported programs promote revenue reform?
    • Abstract: This paper studies whether revenue conditionality in Fund-supported programs had any impact on the revenue performance of 126 low- and middle-income countries during 1993-2013. The results indicate that such conditionality had a positive impact on tax revenue, with strongest improvement felt on taxes on goods and services, including the VAT. Revenue conditionality matters more for low-income countries, particularly those where revenue ratios are below the group average. Moreover, revenue conditionality appears to be more effective when targeted to a specific tax. These results hold after controlling for potential endogeneity, sample selection bias, and when revenues are adjusted for economic cycle.
      PubDate: 19 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Slowdown in Emerging Markets: Sign of a Bumpy Road Ahead?
    • Abstract: Following very strong growth during the period 2000–12, emerging market economies (EMEs) experienced a slowdown in the last couple of years. This paper examines the supply-side drivers of the strong growth performance of 63 EMEs and investigates if the recent slowdown in growth is transitory or a more permanent phenomenon. We find that on average the recent slowdown is explained equally by structural and cyclical factors, although there are large variations across countries and regions. While the cyclical component of the slowdown can be corrected by countercyclical policies (provided that there is sufficient policy space), structural bottlenecks are harder to address. Given the expected moderation of capital accumulation and some natural constraints on labor, the strong growth momentum of 2000–12 is unlikely to be repeated going forward, unless TFP performance improves significantly via structural reforms.
      PubDate: 14 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • World Saving
    • Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on the behavior of saving in the world, by extending previous empirical research in five dimensions. First, it is based on a very large and recent database, covering 165 countries from 1981 to 2012. Second, it conducts a robustness analysis across different estimation techniques. Third, the empirical search is expanded by including potential saving determinants identified by theory but not previously considered in the empirical literature. Fourth, the paper explores differences in saving behavior nesting the 2008-10 crisis period and four different country groups. Finally, it also searches for commonalities and differences in behavior across national, private, household, and corporate saving rates. The results confirm in part existing research, shed light on some ambiguous or contradictory findings, and highlight the role of neglected determinants. Compared to the literature, we find a larger number of significant determinants of saving rates, using different estimators, for different periods and country groups, and for different saving aggregates.
      PubDate: 13 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Limiting Taxpayer “Puts”—An Example from Central
    • Abstract: Nonbanks such as central counterparties (CCPs) are a useful lens to see how regulators view the role of the lender-of-last-resort (LOLR). This paper explores the avenues available when a nonbank failure is likely, specifically by considering the options of keeping CCPs afloat. It is argued that CCPs have, by regulatory fiat, become “too important to fail,” and thus the imperative should be greater loss-sharing by all participants that better align the distribution of risks and rewards of CCPs, the clearing members and derivative end-users. In the context of LOLR, the proposed variation margin gains haircut (VMGH) is discussed as a way of limiting the taxpayer put.
      PubDate: 12 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
  • Do IMF-Supported Programs Catalyze Donor Assistance to Low-Income
    • Abstract: This study explores whether IMF-supported programs in low-income countries (LICs) catalyze Official Development Assistance (ODA). Based on a comprehensive set of ODA measures and using Propensity Score Matching approach to address selection bias, we show that programs addressing policy or exogenous shocks have a significant catalytic impact on both the size and the modality of ODA. Moreover, the impact is greatest when LICs are faced with substantial macroeconomic imbalances or large shocks. Nevertheless, when countries attracting similar donor assistance before shocks are matched results for bilateral ODA turn insignificant, suggesting that the catalytic impact is attributed primarily to multilateral ODA.
      PubDate: 12 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
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