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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]
  • Assessing China’s Corporate Sector Vulnerabilities
    • Abstract: This paper documents and assesses the risk stemming from rising corporate indebtedness in China using a firm-level dataset of listed firms. It finds that while leverage on average is not high, there is a fat tail of highly leveraged firms accounting for a significant share of total corporate debt, mainly concentrated in the real estate and construction sector and state-owned enterprises in general. The real estate and construction firms tend to face lower borrowing costs and could withstand a modest increase of interest rate shocks despite their high leverage. The corporate sector is however vulnerable to a significant slowdown in the real estate and construction sector. Our sensitivity analysis suggests that the share of debt that would be in financial distress would rise to about a quarter of total listed firm debt in the event of a 20 percent decline in real estate and construction profits.
      PubDate: 30 Mar 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) An Empirical Study of their Impact on
           Taxpayer Compliance and Administrative Efficiency
    • Abstract: Several administrations have adopted electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) in their quest to combat noncompliance, particularly as regards sales and the value-added tax (VAT) payable on sales. The introduction of EFDs typically requires considerable effort and has costs both for the administration and for the taxpayers that are affected by the requirements of the new rules. Despite their widespread use, and their considerable cost, EFDs can only be effective if they are a part of a comprehensive compliance improvement strategy that clearly identifies risks for the different segments of taxpayers and envisages measures to mitigate these risks. EFDs should not be construed as the “silver bullet” for improving tax compliance: as with any other technological improvement the deployment of fiscal devices alone cannot achieve meaningful results, whether in terms of revenue gains or permanent compliance improvements.
      PubDate: 30 Mar 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Spillovers in the Nordic Countries
    • Abstract: Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden form a tightly integrated region which has strong ties with the euro area as well as some exposure to Russia. Using the IMF’s Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal model (GIMF), we examine spillovers the region could face, focusing on possible scenarios from the rest of the euro area and Russia, and the fall in global oil prices. We show that the spillovers from these scenarios differ in magnitude and impact, regardless of the high degree of integration among the four Nordic economies. These differences are driven by the fact that Denmark and Finland have no independent monetary policy, and Denmark and Norway are net energy exporters while Finland and Sweden are energy importers. We infer lessons for policy from the outcomes.
      PubDate: 27 Mar 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Fiscal Multipliers in Ukraine
    • Abstract: Amid renewed crisis, falling tax revenues, and rising debt, Ukraine faces serious fiscal consolidation needs. Durable fiscal adjustment can support economic confidence and rebuild buffers but what is its overall impact on growth? How effective are revenue versus spending instruments? Does current or capital spending have a larger impact? Applying a structural vector autoregressive model, this paper finds that Ukraine’s near-term revenue and spending multipliers are well below one. In the medium-term, the revenue multiplier becomes insignificant (with a wide confidence interval) and the spending multiplier strengthens. Capital and current spending have a similar effect on growth but the capital multiplier remains significant for longer. These results suggest near-term consolidation based on a combination of revenue and spending measures would have a modest impact on growth. At the same time, medium-term policies could minimize the adverse consequences of consolidation on growth by offsetting some current spending cuts with increased capital spending. Given the severe challenges facing the Ukrainian economy, it is important that policymakers apply these results in conjunction with broader considerations such as public debt sustainability, investor confidence, credibility of government policies, and public spending efficiency. Consequently, it may be necessary to rely more on current spending cuts over other types of consolidation measures even though multiplier estimates suggest a more diverse combination of measures.
      PubDate: 27 Mar 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • A Simple Multivariate Filter for Estimating Potential Output
    • Abstract: Estimates of potential output are an important ingredient of structured forecasting and policy analysis. Using information on consensus forecasts, this paper extends the multivariate filter developed by Benes and others (2010). Although the estimates in real time are more robust relative to those of naïve statistical filters, there is still significant uncertainty surrounding the estimates. The paper presents estimates for 16 countries and provides an example of how the filtered estimates at the end of the sample period can be improved with additional information.
      PubDate: 07 Apr 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Investment in Emerging Markets We Are Not in Kansas Anymore…Or Are
    • Abstract: We document that (i) although private investment growth in emerging markets has decelerated in recent years, it came down from cyclical highs and remains close to pre-crisis trends; and (ii) investment-to-output ratios generally remain close to or above historical averages. We show that investment is positively related to expect future profitability, cash flows and debt flows, and negatively associated with leverage. Critically, it is also positively related to (country-specific) commodity export prices and capital inflows. Lower commodity export prices and expected profitability, a moderation in capital inflows, and increased leverage account for the bulk of the recent investment deceleration.
      PubDate: 03 Apr 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Macroprudential Policy and Labor Market Dynamics in Emerging Economies
    • Abstract: Emerging economies have high shares of self-employed individuals running owner-only firms who, in contrast to many salaried firms, have little access to formal financing and therefore rely on informal financing (input credit) from other firms. We build a small open economy real business cycle model with labor and financial market frictions where formal credit markets, informal credit, and the structure of the labor market interact. The model successfully replicates the cyclical behavior of sectoral employment, formal credit, and the main macroeconomic aggregates in emerging economies. We show that a countercyclical macroprudential policy that reduces formal credit fluctuations has positive though quantitatively limited effects on consumption and output volatility, but generates larger unemployment fluctuations in response to productivity shocks; the same policy increases labor market and aggregate volatility in response to net worth shocks. The link between input credit and the labor market structure---key for capturing the cyclical dynamics of labor and credit markets in the data---plays a crucial role for these results.
      PubDate: 03 Apr 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Recent U.S. Labor Force Dynamics: Reversible or not?
    • Abstract: The U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR) fell dramatically following the Great Recession and has yet to start recovering. A key question is how much of the post-2007 decline is reversible, something which is central to the policy debate. The key finding of this paper is that while around ¼–? of the post-2007 decline is reversible, the LFPR will continue to decline given population aging. This paper’s measure of the “employment gap” also suggests that labor market slack remains and will only decline gradually, pointing to a still important role for stimulative macro-economic policies to help reach full employment. In addition, given the continued downward pressure on the LFPR, labor supply measures will be an essential component of the strategy to boost potential growth. Finally, stimulative macroeconomic and labor supply policies should also help reduce the scope for further hysteresis effects to develop (e.g., loss of skills, discouragement).
      PubDate: 02 Apr 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Frontiers of Monetary Policymaking: Adding the Exchange Rate as a Tool to
           Combat Deflationary Risks in the Czech Republic
    • Abstract: The paper first describes how the Czech National Bank (CNB) moved gradually from a fixed exchange rate regime to the frontiers of Inflation-Forecast Targeting. It then focuses on the CNB’s recent experience in adding the exchange rate as a complementary monetary policy tool to stimulate the economy and combat the risks of deflation when the policy interest rate is at the zero lower bound. It assesses the theoretical basis of such a policy, the communications approach used by the CNB when announcing the new framework, and the effects thus far on inflation and output.
      PubDate: 01 Apr 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • How Did Markets React to Stress Tests?
    • Abstract: We use event study methods to compare the market reaction to U.S. and EU-wide stress tests performed from 2009 to 2013. Typically, stress tests have a positive impact on stressed banks’ returns. While the 2009 U.S. stress test had a large positive outcome, the impact of subsequent U.S. exercises decreased over time. The 2011 EU exercise is the only EU-wide stress test that resulted in a significant negative market reaction. Comparing past exercises suggests that the qualitative aspects of the governance of stress tests can matter more for stock market participants than technical elements, such as the level of the minimum capital adequacy threshold or the extent of data disclosure.
      PubDate: 01 Apr 2015 09:00:00 EST
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