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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]
  • What Matters for Financial Development and Stability?
    • Abstract: This study aims to identify policies that influence the development of financial institutions as measured across three dimensions: depth, efficiency, and stability. Applying the concept of the financial possibility frontier, developed by Beck & Feyen (2013) and formalized by Barajas et al (2013a), we determine key policy variables affecting the gap between actual levels of development and benchmarks predicted by structural variables. Our dynamic panel estimation shows that inflation, trade openness, institutional quality, and banking crises significantly affect financial development. Our analysis also helps identify potential complementarities and trade-offs for policy makers, based on the effect of the policy variables across the different dimensions of financial development.
      PubDate: 24 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Fiscal Deficit and Public Debt in the Western Balkans : 15 Years of
           Economic Transition
    • Abstract: In this paper we analyze how Western Balkans public finances adapted to the boom-bust cycle. Large capital inflows into emerging European economies during the mid-2000s resulted in rapid economic growth and convergence to EU income levels. This also resulted in improved fiscal positions of most countries, on the back of strong revenue performance. Yet, since the onset of the global economic crisis, many countries have struggled to adjust to the new situation of lower external financing and lower growth.
      PubDate: 24 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • A Model for Monetary Policy Analysis in Uruguay
    • Abstract: Uruguay has recently reverted to a money targeting (MT) framework in the context of a disinflation strategy. We develop a quantitative model for monetary policy analysis incorporating money targets in the policy framework while also retaining a central role for interest rates in the transmission of policy. We use the model to show that tight financial conditions for a period may be necessary for inflation to converge to the middle of the target band. We also discuss various aspects of the MT framework. Two issues stand out. Excessive focus on hitting money targets can result in undesirable changes in the policy stance; while targets that incorporate elements of money demand forecasting are superior to targets that are excessively smooth or do not adjust for base effects.
      PubDate: 23 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Transforming Non-Renewable Resource Economies (NREs)
    • Abstract: This paper provides an empirical benchmarking of growth, productivity and export patterns for developing NREs against other low and middle income developing countries, to inform policy discussions and future analytical work. There is stark heterogeneity in the association of resource sector and overall growth outcomes, by commodity and degree of dependence. Over the long term, inter-sectoral growth dynamics have been more muted for NREs than other developing countries, especially at lower incomes. Despite productivity convergence in mining, as expected, productivity growth in manufacturing and services was generally lower in NREs. Exceptions are few, in East Asia and the CIS area which experienced broad-based productivity growth. NRE product exports are more concentrated and relatively less complex, though we find increasingly diversified service export baskets. Technological progress and specialization in trade in services may offer diversification options for the future.
      PubDate: 23 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Household Financial Access and Risk Sharing in Nigeria
    • Abstract: We examine the role of household financial access in determining the extent of risksharing in Nigeria using household-level panel data. We estimate changes in the response of consumption to shocks for households with formal and informal access to finance and those without, both for the country as a whole and for different regions. Our findings suggest that households with financial access who experience an unexpected negative income shock see consumption fall by 15 percentage points less than those without access. This result is mainly driven by households with informal financial access, and by household savings rather than borrowing. Regional variation in risk sharing tends to be significant, suggesting that financial inclusion efforts going forward should have a more regional focus.
      PubDate: 22 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Does Public Sector Inefficiency Constrain Firm Productivity : Evidence
           from Italian Provinces
    • Abstract: This paper studies the effect of public sector efficiency on firm productivity using data from more than 400,000 firms across Italy’s provinces. Exploiting the large heterogeneity in the efficiency of the public sector across Italian provinces and the intrinsic variation in the dependence of industries on the government, we find that public sector inefficiency significantly reduces the labor productivity of private sector firms. The results suggest that raising public sector efficiency could yield large economic benefits: if the efficiency in all provinces reached the frontier, output per employee for the average firm would increase by 9 percent.
      PubDate: 21 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Default Premium
    • Abstract: We re-assess the view that sovereigns with a history of default are charged only a small and/or short-lived premium on the interest rate warranted by observed fundamentals. Our reassessment uses a metric of such a “default premium” (DP) that is consistent with asymmetric information models and nests previous metrics, and applies it to a much broader dataset relative to earlier studies. We find a sizeable and persistent DP: in 1870-1938, it averaged 250 bps upon market re-entry, tapering to around 150 bps five years out; in 1970- 2011 the respective estimates are about 400 and 200 bps. We also find that: (i) these estimates are robust to many controls including on actual haircuts; (ii) the DP accounts for as much as 60% of the sovereign spread within five years of market re-entry; (iii) the DP rises with market exclusion spells. These findings help reconnect theory and evidence on why sovereign defaults are infrequent and earlier debt settlements are desirable.
      PubDate: 21 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST

    • Abstract: The paper presents a global model with systemic and country risks, as well as commodity prices.We show that systemic risk shocks have an important impact on world economic activity, with the busts in world output gap corresponding to unobserved systemic risk associated with major financial events. In addition, systemic risk shocks are shown to be important drivers of output gaps while country risk premium shocks can have important effects on the trade balance. Commodity prices, in particular the price of oil, are shown to be demand driven. The model performs well at one- and four-quarter horizons compared to a survey of analysts' forecasts. In addition, systemic risk shocks explain a large share of the forecast variance for the world output gap, country output gaps, the price of oil, and country risk premiums. The importance of systemic risk shocks lends support for financial surveillance with a systemic focus.
      PubDate: 20 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • From Systemic Banking Crises to Fiscal Costs : Risk Factors
    • Abstract: This paper examines the risk factors associated with fiscal costs of systemic banking crises using cross-country data. We differentiate between immediate direct fiscal costs of government intervention (e.g., recapitalization and asset purchases) and overall fiscal costs of banking crises as proxied by changes in the public debt-to-GDP ratio. We find that both direct and overall fiscal costs of banking crises are high when countries enter the crisis with large banking sectors that rely on external funding, have leveraged non-financial private sectors, and use guarantees on bank liabilities during the crisis. The better quality of banking supervision and the higher coverage of deposit insurance help, however, alleviate the direct fiscal costs. We also identify a possible policy trade-off: costly short-term interventions are not necessarily associated with larger increases in public debt, supporting the thesis that immediate intervention may be actually cost-effective over time.
      PubDate: 20 Jul 2015 09:00:00 EST
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