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Journal Cover   IMF Working Papers
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 1018-5941
   Published by International Monetary Fund Homepage  [11 journals]
  • A Network Analysis of Sectoral Accounts: Identifying Sectoral
           Interlinkages in G-4 Economies
    • Abstract: The recent financial crisis highlighted that balance sheet exposures can be a major shock transmission channel. Using sectoral accounts data in combination with data from the Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey, International Investment Position, and BIS this paper estimates bilateral exposures between financial and non-financial sectors in three different financial instruments within and across G-4 economies (Euro Area, Japan, U.K. and U.S.). The generated financial networks represent a powerful tool for assessing financial stability, as they allow for the identification of systemically important sectors. The analysis suggests that after the financial crisis bilateral exposures in debt securities have increased, while exposures in loans and equities have declined. Shock simulations reveal that the vulnerability of the financial sector to the government sector has increased considerably since the outbreak of the financial crisis.
      PubDate: 19 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Assessing Fiscal Risks in Bangladesh
    • Abstract: This paper identifies, quantifies, and assesses fiscal risks in Bangladesh. By performing sensitivity analysis and using stochastic simulations, it measures risks arising from shocks to GDP growth, the exchange rate, commodity prices, and interest rates. It also analyzes specific fiscal and institutional risks, such as those related to the pension system, the issuance of guarantees, the state-owned commercial banks, and the external borrowing and debt management strategy. The paper finds that fiscal aggregates are particularly sensitive to shocks to commodity prices and exchange rates. Other factors that could affect fiscal aggregates are the unfunded pension system and the limited institutional capacity.
      PubDate: 19 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Correcting “Beyond the Cycle:” Accounting for Asset Prices in
           Structural Fiscal Balances
    • Abstract: This paper outlines an operational approach for incorporating the impact of asset price cycles in the calculation of structural fiscal balances (SFBs). The global financial crisis demonstrated that movements in asset prices can have an important fiscal impact. Failing to account for the fiscal impact of asset price cycles can encourage a pro-cyclical policy stance if temporarily high revenues are passed through into expenditures. In addition, over-estimating the SFB may lead to inadequate fiscal buffers when cyclical revenues eventually dissipate. The paper proposes an empirical approach to correct for asset prices and provides illustrative country results for selected OECD countries. We find that asset price cycles are imperfectly synchronized with the business cycle and are quantitatively significant with an average pre-crisis fiscal impact ranging from about ½ to 2 percent of GDP in the sample. For a number of countries, the pre-crisis fiscal impact of high asset prices was larger at about 4 percent of GDP.
      PubDate: 19 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Saving in Latin America and the Caribbean: Performance and Policies
    • Abstract: This paper analyzes saving patterns and determinants in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), including key policy variables and regimes. The review of previous empirical studies on LAC saving reveals contradictions and omissions. This paper presents empirical results of an extensive search of determinants of private and public saving rates, adding previously neglected variables (including different measures of key external prices and macroeconomic policy regimes), in linear form and in interactions with other saving determinants. It analyzes statistical differences in saving determinants between LAC and the rest of the world in a nested econometric framework, and discusses differences across three country subgroups within LAC. The results highlight commonalities and differences in saving behavior between LAC and other world regions, as well as within LAC, identifying the role of key policy variables and regimes.
      PubDate: 18 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Islamic Finance, Consumer Protection, and Financial Stability
    • Abstract: Consumer protection and financial literacy are essential pillars of a well functioning and stable financial system. As the global financial crisis demonstrated, inadequate attention to consumer protection and financial literacy can lead to financial instability. Though Shari’ah principles provide a strong foundation for consumer protection, the principles alone cannot provide adequate protection because not all providers are guided by ethical precepts and the practices have deviated from the principles. To safeguard the stability of the Islamic finance industry, consumer protection frameworks that cater to the specifics of Islamic financial products should be an integral part of regulatory frameworks.
      PubDate: 18 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Issuance of Central Bank Securities: International Experiences and
    • Abstract: The paper discusses the reasons for central bank (CB) issuance of securities, and reasons for choosing different approaches e.g. in maturities and target market. It provides evidence on the range of different approaches taken by those CBs which do issue, as well as suggesting reasons why some CBs do not; and provides operational guidelines on the major building blocks of the issuance of CB securities.
      PubDate: 18 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies?
    • Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive, updated picture of energy subsidies at the global and regional levels. It focuses on the broad notion of post-tax energy subsidies, which arise when consumer prices are below supply costs plus a tax to reflect environmental damage and an additional tax applied to all consumption goods to raise government revenues. Post-tax energy subsidies are dramatically higher than previously estimated, and are projected to remain high. These subsidies primarily reflect under-pricing from a domestic (rather than global) perspective, so even unilateral price reform is in countries’ own interests. The potential fiscal, environmental and welfare impacts of energy subsidy reform are substantial.
      PubDate: 18 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Domestic and Foreign Mutual Funds in Mexico: Do They Behave
    • Abstract: This paper utilizes a new dataset of foreign and domestic mutual funds in Mexico to assess their behavior and obtains three new findings. First, foreign mutual funds are more sensitive to global financial conditions and engage more in herding and positive feedback trading than domestic mutual funds, notably during episodes of market stress. Second, the behavior of foreign funds differs substantially across types of funds: bond funds are more sensitive to global factors and engage more in positive feedback trading than equity funds; funds sold to retail investors, open-end funds, small funds, and regional funds also appear to be less stable sources of capital flows. Third, there is indicative evidence that foreign funds’ trading behavior is associated with higher local market volatilities, notably in periods of market stress; however, domestic mutual fund investors played some mitigating role.
      PubDate: 13 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Are African Households Heterogeneous Agents? : Stylized Facts on
           Patterns of Consumption, Employment, Income and Earnings for Macroeconomic
    • Abstract: This paper reviews the evidence on how households in Sub-Saharan Africa segment along consumption, income and earning dimensions relevant for quantitative macroeconomic policy models which incorporate heterogeneity. Key findings include the importance of home-grown food in the income and consumption of house-holds well up the income distribution, the lack of formal financial inclusion for all but the richest households, and the importance of non-wage income. These stylized facts suggest that an externally-generated macroeconomic shock and the short-term policy response would mainly affect the behavior and welfare of these richer urban households, who are also more likely to have the means to cope. Middle class and poor households, especially in rural areas, should be insulated from these external shocks but vulnerable to a wide range of structural factors in the economy as well as idiosyncratic shocks.
      PubDate: 06 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • High Liquidity Creation and Bank Failures
    • Abstract: We formulate the “High Liquidity Creation Hypothesis” (HLCH) that a proliferation in the core activity of bank liquidity creation increases failure probability. We test the HLCH in the context of Russian banking, which provides a natural field experiment due to numerous failures experienced over the past decade. Using Berger and Bouwman’s (2009) liquidity creation measures as a comprehensive proxy for overall bank output, we find that high liquidity creation significantly increases the probability of bank failure; this finding survives multiple robustness checks. Our results suggest that regulatory authorities can mitigate systemic distress and reduce the costs of bank failures to society through early identification of high liquidity creators and enhanced monitoring of their funding and investment activities.
      PubDate: 06 May 2015 09:00:00 EST
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