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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]
  • Minimum Wage as a Wage Policy Tool in Japan
    • Abstract: Using prefectural data, we study the potential impact on wage dynamics of the planned minimum wage increase policy in Japan. Our main result is that stepping up minimum wage growth from 2 to the planned 3 percent per year could raise wage growth by 0.5 percent annually. Given Japan’s need for income policies to generate vigorous wage-price dynanics, reflecting the 2 percent inflation target, one policy implication of this finding is that, while the minimum wage plan will help boost wages, it should be accompanied by other, more “unorthodox” income policies, such as a “soft target” for private sector wage growth through a “comply -or-explain mechanism” for wage growth and increases in public wages in line with the inflation target.
      PubDate: 28 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • System Priors for Econometric Time Series
    • Abstract: The paper introduces “system priors”, their use in Bayesian analysis of econometric time series, and provides a simple and illustrative application. System priors were devised by Andrle and Benes (2013) as a tool to incorporate prior knowledge into an economic model. Unlike priors about individual parameters, system priors offer a simple and efficient way of formulating well-defined and economically-meaningful priors about high-level model properties. The generality of system priors are illustrated using an AR(2) process with a prior that most of its dynamics comes from business-cycle frequencies.
      PubDate: 17 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • Fiscal Discipline and Exchange Rates : Does Politics Matter?
    • Abstract: We look at the effect of exchange rate regimes on fiscal discipline, taking into account the effect of underlying political conditions. We present a model where strong politics (defined as policymakers facing longer political horizon and higher cohesion) are associated with better fiscal performance, but fixed exchange rates may revert this result and lead to less fiscal discipline. We confirm these hypotheses through regression analysis performed on a panel sample covering 79 countries from 1975 to 2012. Our empirical results also show that the positive effect of strong politics on fiscal discipline is not enough to counter the negative impact of being at/moving to fixed exchange rates. Finally, we use the synthetic control method to illustrate how the transition from flexible to fully fixed exchange rate under the Euro impacted negatively fiscal discipline in European countries. Our results are robust to a number of important sensitivity checks, including different estimators, alternative proxies for fiscal discipline, and sub-sample analysis.
      PubDate: 17 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • Non-Performing Loans in the ECCU : Determinants and Macroeconomic Impact
    • Abstract: This paper assesses the determinants of NPLs in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and whether a deterioration in asset quality may result in negative feedback effects from the banking system to economic activity. The results suggest that the deterioration in asset quality can be attributed to both macroeconomic and bank-specific factors. Banks with stronger profitability and lower exposure to the construction sector and household loans tend to have lower NPLs. Further, some evidence indicates that foreign owned banks systematically have lower NPLs than domestic banks, pointing to the presence of important differences across bank practices with an impact on asset quality. Finally, the results emphasize the strength of macrofinancial feedback loops in the ECCU.
      PubDate: 17 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • Forecast Errors and Uncertainty Shocks
    • Abstract: Macroeconomic forecasts are persistently too optimistic. This paper finds that common factors related to general uncertainty about U.S. macrofinancial prospects and global demand drive this overoptimism. These common factors matter most for advanced economies and G- 20 countries. The results suggest that an increase in uncertainty-driven overoptimism has dampening effects on next-year real GDP growth rates. This implies that incorporating the common structure governing forecast errors across countries can help improve subsequent forecasts.
      PubDate: 17 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • The Influence of Gender Budgeting in Indian States on Gender Inequality
           and Fiscal Spending
    • Abstract: This study investigates the effect of gender budgeting in India on gender inequality and fiscal spending. Gender budgeting is an approach to budgeting in which governments use fiscal policies and administration to address gender inequality and women’s advancement. There is little quantitative study of its impact. Indian states offer a relatively unique framework for assessing the effect of gender budgeting. States with gender budgeting efforts have made more progress on gender equality in primary school enrollment than those without, though economic growth appears insufficient to generate equality on its own. The implications of gender budgeting for fiscal spending were more ambiguous.
      PubDate: 16 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • A Balancing Act : Reform Options for Paraguay’s Fiscal
           Responsibility Law
    • Abstract: Paraguay faces a trade-off between building fiscal credibility and amending the existing fiscal rule to accommodate infrastructure investment and provide space for countercyclical policies. In this paper, we discuss several alternative fiscal rules for Paraguay and present simulations of debt trajectories in each case, assuming a baseline and three deterministic shock scenarios. We provide a supplementary Excel file to replicate debt simulations under different fiscal rules. The results suggest that potential modifications to make the fiscal rules more flexible in Paraguay should be accompanied by a number of safeguards that enhance credibility of the fiscal anchor and preserve sustainability.
      PubDate: 16 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • Arrears to the IMF – A Ghost of the Past?
    • Abstract: In this paper, we consider incidences of arrears to the IMF, focusing on protracted arrears cases and attempt to identify determinants of their occurrence. We use narrative and formal methods. In addition, we analyze determinants of the duration of arrears. We find that previous arrears, reserves coverage, and institutional quality are among the main determinants of arrears. In addition, we identify a role for political developments, including civil unrest, which make arrears more likely to arise and to last longer. We conclude that improved macroeconomic conditions and turnaround of political fortunes would help to clear the currently remaining protracted arrears cases.
      PubDate: 16 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • Whose Credit Line is it Anyway : An Update on Banks' Implicit Subsidies
    • Abstract: The post-crisis financial sector framework reform remains incomplete. While capital and liquidity requirements have been strengthened, doubts remain over other aspects, including the fact that expectations of government support for systemically-important banks (SIBs) remain intact. In this paper, we use a jump diffusion option-pricing approach to provide estimates of implicit subsidies gained by these banks due to the expectation of protection to creditors provided by governments. While these subsidies have declined in the post-crisis era as volatility has declined and capital levels have increased, they remain non-trivial. Even conservative parameterizations of default and loss probabilities lead to macroeconomically significant figures.
      PubDate: 16 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
  • Stock Market Liquidity in Chile
    • Abstract: Chile has a large but relatively illiquid stock market. Global factors such as global risk appetite and monetary policy in advanced economies are key cyclical determinants of liquidity in Chilean equities. Evidence from a cross-section of emerging markets suggests strong protection of minority shareholders can help improve stock market liquitidity. Currently, illiquid in Chilean may have to pay 3½ percent more as cost of equity. Corporate governance should be improved, namely through the adoption of a stewardship code.
      PubDate: 16 Nov 2016 09:00:00 EST
       
 
 
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