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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]
  • Financial De-Dollarization : A Global Perspective and the Peruvian
    • Abstract: We re-appraise the cross-country evidence on the dollarization of financial systems in emerging market economies. Amidst striking heterogeneity of patterns across regions, we identify a broad global trend towards financial sector de-dollarization from the early 2000s to the eve of the global financial crisis of 2008–09. Since then, de-dollarization has broadly stalled or even reversed in many economies. Yet a few of them have continued to de-dollarize. This suggests that domestic factors are also important and interact with global factors. To gain insight into such an interaction, we examine the experience of Peru since the early 1990s and find that low global interest rates, low global risk-aversion, and high commodity prices have fostered de-dollarization. Domestic macro-prudential measures that raise the relative cost of domestic dollar loans and the introduction and adherence to inflation targeting have also been key.
      PubDate: 26 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Structural Reform in Germany
    • Abstract: This paper provides a quantitative evaluation of the macroeconomic, distributional, and fiscal effects of three reform proposals for Germany: i) a reduction in the social security tax in the low-wage sector, ii) a publicly financed expansion of full-day child care and full-day schooling, and iii) the further deregulation of the professional services sector. The analysis is based on a macroeconomic model with physical capital, human capital, job search, and household heterogeneity. All three reforms have positive short-run and long-run effects on employment, wages, and output. The quantitative effects of the deregulation reform are relatively small due to the smal size of professional services in Germany. Policy reforms i) and ii) have substantial macroeconomic effects and positive distributional consequences. Ten years after implementation, reforms i) and ii) taken together increase employment by 1.6 percent, potential output by 1.5 percent, real hourly pre-tax wages in the low-wage sector by 3 percent, and real hourly pre-tax wages of women with children by 2.7 percent. The two reforms create fiscal deficits in the short run, but they also generate substantial fiscal surpluses in the long-run. They are fiscally efficient in the sense that the present value of short-term fiscal deficits and long-term surpluses is positive for any interest (discount) rate less than 9 percent.
      PubDate: 25 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Dispelling Fiscal Illusions : How Much Progress Have Governments Made in
           Getting Assets and Liabilities on Balance Sheet?
    • Abstract: When rights and obligations are not recognized as assets and liabilities on a government’s balance sheet, the government’s deficit can be reduced by selling off-balance-sheet assets or incurring off-balance-sheet liabilities. This paper examines how much progress has been made in recognizing assets and liabilities and thus dispelling the fiscal illusions that such transactions create. Looking at the accounts, government-finance statistics, and long-term fiscal projections produced in 28 advanced economies in the period since 2003, it finds good progress in the recognition of some assets and liabilities, such as accounts payable and simple financial assets, but much less in others, such as civil-service pensions.
      PubDate: 21 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Effective Macroprudential Policy : Cross-Sector Substitution from Price
           and Quantity Measures
    • Abstract: Macroprudential policy is increasingly being implemented worldwide. Its effectiveness in influencing bank credit and its substitution effects beyond banking have been a key subject of discussion. Our empirical analysis confirms the expected effects of macroprudential policies on bank credit, both for advanced economies and emerging market economies. Yet we also find evidence of substitution effects towards nonbank credit, especially in advanced economies, reducing the policies’ effect on total credit. Quantity restrictions are particularly potent in constraining bank credit but also cause the strongest substitution effects. Policy implications indicate a need to extend macroprudential policy beyond banking, especially in advanced economies.
      PubDate: 21 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Crisis Transmission in the Global Banking Network
    • Abstract: We study the transmission of financial sector shocks across borders through international bank connections. For this purpose, we use data on long-term interbank loans among more than 6,000 banks during 1997-2012 to construct a yearly global network of interbank exposures. We estimate the effect of direct (first-degree) and indirect (second-degree) exposures to countries experiencing systemic banking crises on bank profitability and loan supply. We find that direct exposures to crisis countries squeeze banks' profit margins, thereby reducing their returns. Indirect exposures to crisis countries enhance this effect, while indirect exposures to non-crisis countries mitigate it. Furthermore, crisis exposures have real effects in that they reduce banks' supply of domestic and cross-border loans. Our results, based on a large global sample, support the notion that interconnected financial systems facilitate shock transmission.
      PubDate: 12 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Optimal Reserves in Financially Closed Economies
    • Abstract: Financially closed economies insure themselves against current-account shocks using international reserves. We characterize the optimal management of reserves using an open-economy model of precautionary savings and emphasize several results. First, the welfare-based opportunity cost of reserves differs from the measures often used by practitioners. Second, under plausible calibrations the model is consistent with the rule of thumb that reserves should be close to three months of imports. Third, simple linear rules can capture most of the welfare gains from optimal reserve management. Fourth, policymakers should place more emphasis on how to use reserves in response to shocks than on the reserve target itself.
      PubDate: 12 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Shifting the Beveridge Curve : What Affects Labor Market Matching?
    • Abstract: This paper explores conditions and policies that could affect the matching between labor demand and supply. We identify shifts in the Beveridge curves for 12 OECD countries between 2000Q1 and 2013Q4 using three complementary methodologies and analyze the short-run determinants of these shifts by means of limited-dependent variable models. We find that labor force growth as well as employment protection legislation reduce the likelihood of an outward shift in the Beveridge curve,. Our findings also show that the matching process is more difficult the higher the share of employees with intermediate levels of education in the labor force and when long-term unemployment is more pronounced. Policies which could facilitate labor market matching include active labor market policies, such as incentives for start-up and job sharing programs. Passive labor market policies, such as unemployment benefits, as well as labor taxation render matching signficantly more difficult.
      PubDate: 12 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • VAR meets DSGE : Uncovering the Monetary Transmission Mechanism in
           Low-Income Countries
    • Abstract: VAR methods suggest that the monetary transmission mechanism may be weak and unreliable in low-income countries (LICs). But are structural VARs identified via short-run restrictions capable of detecting a transmission mechanism when one exists, under research conditions typical of these countries? Using small DSGEs as data-generating processes, we assess the impact on VAR-based inference of short data samples, measurement error, high-frequency supply shocks, and other features of the LIC environment. The impact of these features on finite-sample bias appears to be relatively modest when identification is valid—a strong caveat, especially in LICs. However, many of these features undermine the precision of estimated impulse responses to monetary policy shocks, and cumulatively they suggest that “insignificant” results can be expected even when the underlying transmission mechanism is strong.
      PubDate: 11 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Post-crisis International Banking : An Analysis with New Regulatory Survey
    • Abstract: Foreign bank lending has stopped growing since the global financial crisis. Changes in banks’ business models, balance-sheet adjustments, as well as the tightening of banking regulations are potential drivers of this prolonged slowdown. The existing literature however suggests an opposite effect related to regulation, with tighter regulations encouraging foreign lending through regulatory arbitrage. We investigate this question using new survey data on regulations specific to banks’ international operations. Our results show that regulatory tightening can explain about half of the decline in the foreign lending-to-GDP ratio between 2007 and 2013. Regulatory changes in home countries have had a larger effect than those in host countries.
      PubDate: 08 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • The Cost of Foreign Exchange Intervention : Concepts and Measurement
    • Abstract: The accumulation of large foreign asset positions by many central banks through sustained foreign exchange (FX) intervention has raised questions about its associated fiscal costs. This paper clarifies conceptual issues regarding how to measure these costs both from an ex-post and an ex-ante (relevant for decision making) perspective, and estimates both marginal and total costs for 73 countries over the period 2002-13. We find ex-ante marginal costs for the median emerging market economy (EME) in the inter-quartile range of 2-5.5 percent per year; while ex-ante total costs (of sustaining FX positions) in the range of 0.2-0.7 percent of GDP per year for light interveners and 0.3-1.2 percent of GDP per year for heavy interveners. These estimates indicate that fiscal costs of sustained FX intervention (via expanding central bank balance sheets) are not negligible.
      PubDate: 08 Apr 2016 09:00:00 EST
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