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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]
  • Monetary Transmission : Are Emerging Market and Low Income Countries
    • Abstract: We use two alternative representations of the yield curve to test the functioning of the interest rate transmission mechanism along the yield curve based on government paper in a sample of emerging market and low-income countries. We find a robust link from shortterm policy and interbank rates to longer-term bond yields. Two policy implications emerge. First, the presence of well-developed secondary financial markets does not seem to affect transmission of short term rates along the yield curve. Second, the strength of the transmission mechanism seems to be affected by the choice of the monetary regime: countries with a credible inflation targeting regime seem to have “better behaved” yield curves than those with other monetary regimes.
      PubDate: 20 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Defining the Government’s Debt and Deficit
    • Abstract: Although the budget deficit and the public debt feature prominently in political debate and economic research, there is no agreement about how they should be measured. They can be defined for different sets of public institutions, including the nested sets corresponding to central government, general government, and the public sector, and, for any definition of government, there are many measures of the debt and deficit, including those generated by four kinds of accounts (cash, financial, full accrual, and comprehensive), which can be derived from four nested sets of assets and liabilities. Each debt and deficit measure says something about public finances, but none tells the whole story. Each is also vulnerable to manipulation, and is likely to be manipulated if it is subject to a binding fiscal rule or target. Narrow definitions of government encourage the shifting of spending to entities outside the defined perimeter of government. Narrow definitions of debt and deficit encourage operations involving off-balance-sheets assets and liabilities, while broad measures are susceptible to the mismeasurement of on-balance-sheet assets and liabilities. Reviewing the literature on these issues, the paper concludes that governments should publish several measures of the debt and deficit in a form that clearly reveals their interrelationships.
      PubDate: 20 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Natural Resource Booms in the Modern Era : Is the curse still alive?
    • Abstract: The global boom in hydrocarbon, metal and mineral prices since the year 2000 created huge economic rents - rents which, once invested, were widely expected to promote productivity growth in other parts of the booming economies, creating a lasting legacy of the boom years. This paper asks whether this has happened. To properly address this question the empirical strategy must look behind the veil of the booming sector because that, by definition, will boom in a boom. So the paper considers new data on GDP per person outside of the resource sector. Despite having vast sums to invest, GDP growth per-capita outside of the booming sectors appears on average to have been no faster during the boom years than before. The paper finds no country in which (non-resource) growth per-person has been statisticallysignificantly higher during the boom years. In some Gulf states, oil rents have financed a migration-facilitated economic expansion with small or negative productivity gains. Overall, there is little evidence the booms have left behind the anticipated productivity transformation in the domestic economies. It appears that current policies are, overall, prooving insufficient to spur lasting development outside resource intensive sectors.
      PubDate: 12 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Public Investment in a Developing Country Facing Resource Depletion
    • Abstract: This paper analyzes the tradeoffs between savings, debt and public investment in the Republic of Congo, a developing country with looming oil exhaustibility concerns. Our results highlight the risks to fiscal and capital sustainability of oil exporting countries from large scaling-up in public investment and oil price volatility in view of a projected decline in the oil revenue to GDP ratio. However, structural reforms that improve the efficiency of public investment can allow for a relatively faster buildup of sustainable public capital and sustain higher non-oil growth without adversely affecting the debt ratio or savings. Moreover, we show that even if a government pursues prudent fiscal policy that preserves resource wealth and debt sustainability in the face of exhaustible and volatile resource revenues, low public investment quality in the form of a misallocation of resources can hinder attainment of sustainable public capital and positive non-oil growth.
      PubDate: 10 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • The Evolving Functions and Organization of Finance Ministries
    • Abstract: There is relatively little literature that analyses the role, functions, and organization of finance ministries. The purpose of this working paper is to review international experiences in this area, in an effort to formulate guiding principles of organizational design and the allocation of functions, while recognizing the crucial importance of each country’s history and institutional context. Over the past 30 years many finance ministries have moved from a “traditional” to an “emerging” model of organizational design in which there is greater openness and transparency, more flexible management practices, and a broader focus on strategic policy issues. In addition, many operational functions have been devolved to arm’s–length agencies or line ministries. The paper describes the challenges facing developing countries in strengthening their finance ministries, and the principles, approaches, and strategies that can be applied.
      PubDate: 09 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Monetary Policy Transmission and Financial Stability in a LIC : The Case
           of Bangladesh
    • Abstract: This paper explores how monetary policy affects the real economy and its efficacy in promoting financial stability in a large low income country. This paper shows that monetary policy modestly impacts real economic activity and inflation via the bank lending and financial accelerator channels. Second, money market and treasury rates signal changes in the policy stance, while altering banks’ intermediation cost curves due to shifting risk premia. At the same time, evidence points to monetary policy inducing an overshooting in asset prices. These findings suggest that financial stability could be undermined if the calibration of monetary policy is based solely on output and inflation without accounting for the stage of the financial cycle. Finally, the paper discusses policy measures that would enhance the transmission of monetary policy and promote financial stability in Bangladesh.
      PubDate: 09 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Financial Inclusion and Development in the CEMAC
    • Abstract: This paper examines financial inclusion and development in the CEMAC. We explore the level of financial inclusion in the CEMAC through a benchmarking exercise.We construct a measure of financial development gap and analyze its determinants. Using panel data regressions, we find that inflation, income, and natural resources explain most of the financial development level but that better financial sector governance and stronger economic governance are positively associated with financial sector development. Richer and poorer countries can be equally far from their expected financial development levels. Finally, we use a benchmarking exercise to identify countries that have successfully reduced the financial development gap and propose policy measures that CEMAC countries could use to boost financial inclusion.
      PubDate: 09 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Monetary Operations and Islamic Banking in the GCC : Challenges and
    • Abstract: The assessment provides evidence of market segmentation across Islamic and conventional banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), leading to excess liquidity, and an uneven playing field for Islamic banks that might affect their growth. Liquidiy management has been a long-standing concern in the global Islamic finance industry as there is a general lack of Shari’ah compliant instruments than can serve as high-quality short-term liquid assets. The degree of segmentation and bank behavior varies across countries depending on Shari’ah permissibility and the availability of Shari’ah-compliant instruments. A partial response would be to support efforts to build Islamic liquid interbank and money markets, which are crucial for monetary policy transmission through the Islamic financial system.This can be achieved, to a large extent, by deepening Islamic government securities and developing Shari’ah-compliant money market instruments.
      PubDate: 09 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Steady as She Goes—Estimating Potential Output During Financial
           “Booms and Busts”
    • Abstract: Potential output—in the sense of the GDP level or path an economy can sustain over the medium term—is a crucial benchmark for policymakers. However, it is difficult to estimate when financial “booms and busts” are driving the real economy. This paper uses a simple multivariate filtering approach to illustrate the role financial variables play in driving potential or sustainable output. The results suggest that it moves more steadily during financial “boom and bust” periods than implied by conventional HP filter estimates, which tend to more closely follow actual GDP. A two-region, multisector New Keynesian DSGE model with financial frictions sheds light on the economic forces that could be behind the results obtained from the filter. This has important implications for policymakers.
      PubDate: 09 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
  • Inflation and Activity – Two Explorations and their Monetary Policy
    • Abstract: We explore two issues triggered by the crisis. First, in most advanced countries, output remains far below the pre-recession trend, suggesting hysteresis. Second, while inflation has decreased, it has decreased less than anticipated, suggesting a breakdown of the relation between inflation and activity. To examine the first, we look at 122 recessions over the past 50 years in 23 countries. We find that a high proportion of them have been followed by lower output or even lower growth. To examine the second, we estimate a Phillips curve relation over the past 50 years for 20 countries. We find that the effect of unemployment on inflation, for given expected inflation, decreased until the early 1990s, but has remained roughly stable since then. We draw implications of our findings for monetary policy.
      PubDate: 06 Nov 2015 09:00:00 EST
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