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   ISSN (Print) 1018-5941
   Published by International Monetary Fund Homepage  [11 journals]
  • The Financial Wealth of Corporations : A First Look at Sectoral Balance
           Sheet Data
    • Abstract: This paper analyzes the nonfinancial corporation (NFC) sector’s financial balance sheets using data available from the OECD. In our sample of 20 advanced economies, corporate debt in percent of GDP—a frequently used indicator in the context of corporate balance sheet adjustments—has remained high since the global financial crisis, with significant differences in the level and the trend between the high-debt and low-debt groups. Looking at financial balance sheets more broadly, including net financial wealth, the NFC sector’s balance sheet conditions have improved recently, particularly reflecting accumulation of corporate cash and valuation gains on financial assets. Longer time series and more granular data for Japan, which has been experiencing a prolonged period of balance sheet adjustments, indicate that a continued strengthening of balance sheets might occur even after debt levels are reduced.
      PubDate: 26 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Flexible Fiscal Rules and Countercyclical Fiscal Policy
    • Abstract: We are very grateful to Jean-Louis Combes and Alexandru Minea for their valuable comments and suggestions. The paper also benefited from useful discussions and comments from Vitor Gaspar, Abdelhak Senhadji, Paulo Medas, Marialuz Moreno Badia, Xavier Debrun, Mousse Sow, Sampawende Tapsoba, Dell’Erba Salvatore, Tigran Poghosyan, Estelle Liu, and participants at the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department seminars. All remaining errors are our own.
      PubDate: 22 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • The Lender of Last Resort Function after the Global Financial Crisis
    • Abstract: The global financial crisis (GFC) has renewed interest in emergency liquidity support (sometimes referred to as “Lender of Last Resort”) provided by central banks to financial institutions and challenged the traditional way of conducting these operations. Despite a vast literature on the topic, central bank approaches and practices vary considerably. In this paper we focus on, for the most part, the provision of idiosyncratic support, approaching it from an operational perspective; highlighting different approaches adopted by central banks; and also identifying some of the issues that arose during the GFC.
      PubDate: 22 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Risks of Stagnation in the Euro Area
    • Abstract: This paper discusses the risks of stagnation over the medium term in the euro area. It examines the consequences of longer-term growth trends that predate the crisis and the progress made in addressing the crisis legacies of high unemployment and debt. The paper illustrates in a downside scenario, how low potential growth and crisis legacies leave the euro area vulnerable to a negative shock that tips the economy into a prolonged slowdown.
      PubDate: 22 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • The Labor Market Performance of Immigrants in Germany
    • Abstract: The paper uses a large survey (GSOEP) to analyze the labor market performance of immigrants in Germany. It finds that new immigrant workers earn on average 20 percent less than native workers with otherwise identical characteristics. The gap is smaller for immigrants from advanced countries, with good German language skills, and with a German degree, and larger for others. The gap declines gradually over time. Less success in obtaining jobs with higher occupational autonomy explains half of the wage gap. Immigrants are also initially less likely to participate in the labor market and more likely to be unemployed. While participation fully converges after 20 years, immigrants always remain more likely to be unemployed than the native labor force.
      PubDate: 21 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • From Containment to Rationalization : Increasing Public Expenditure
           Efficiency in France
    • Abstract: Achieving France’s medium-term fiscal targets will require significant expenditure efforts. This paper identifies areas where there is scope for increasing expenditure efficiency, with a view to achieving higher quality and more sustainable fiscal consolidation. The methodology is based on a triple benchmarking. First, the level of public expenditure in different categories is compared to other European countries. Second, the impact of spending is assessed against other European countries. Third, the input mix is analyzed to understand what components are responsible for the level of spending and for the quality of outcomes This is done for various categories of spending and policies. Based on these results, the paper then provides policy options for expenditure reform in each of these areas, drawing on successful reform episodes in other countries.
      PubDate: 21 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Introducing a New Broad-based Index of Financial Development
    • Abstract: There is a vast body of literature estimating the impact of financial development on economic growth, inequality, and economic stability. A typical empirical study approximates financial development with either one of two measures of financial depth – the ratio of private credit to GDP or stock market capitalization to GDP. However, these indicators do not take into account the complex multidimensional nature of financial development. The contribution of this paper is to create nine indices that summarize how developed financial institutions and financial markets are in terms of their depth, access, and efficiency. These indices are then aggregated into an overall index of financial development. With the coverage of 183 countries on annual frequency between 1980 and 2013, the database should offer a useful analytical tool for researchers and policy makers.
      PubDate: 12 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Effectiveness and Channels of Macroprudential Instruments : Lessons from
           the Euro Area
    • Abstract: The crisis has highlighted the importance of setting up macro-prudential oversight frameworks, having effective macro-prudential instruments in place to be called upon to mitigate growing financial imbalances as needed. We develop a new approach using the euro area Bank Lending Survey to assess the effectiveness of macro-prudential policies in containing credit growth and house price appreciation in mortgage markets. We find instruments targeting the cost of bank capital most effective in slowing down mortgage credit growth, and that the impact is transmitted mainly through price margins, the same banking channel as monetary policy. Limits on loan-to-value ratios are also effective, especially when monetary policy is excessively loose.
      PubDate: 12 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Leaning Against the Wind : Are Costs Larger Also
           with Less Effective Macroprudential Policy?
    • Abstract: “Leaning against the wind” (LAW) with a higher monetary policy interest rate may have benefits in terms of lower real debt growth and associated lower probability of a financial crisis but has costs in terms of higher unemployment and lower inflation, importantly including a higher cost of a crisis when the economy is weaker. For existing empirical estimates, costs exceed benefits by a substantial margin, even if monetary policy is nonneutral and permanently affects real debt. Somewhat surprisingly, less effective macroprudential policy and generally a credit boom, with resulting higher probability, severity, or duration of a crisis, increases costs of LAW more than benefits, thus further strengthening the strong case against LAW.
      PubDate: 11 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Understanding India’s Food Inflation : The Role of Demand and Supply
    • Abstract: Over the past decade, India has seen a prolonged period of high inflation, to a large extent driven by persistently-high food inflation. This paper investigates the demand and supply factors behind the contribution of relative food inflation to headline CPI inflation. It concludes that in the absence of a stronger food supply growth response, food inflation may exceed non-food inflation by 2½–3 percentage points per year. The sustainability of a long-term inflation target of 4 percent under India’s recently-adopted flexible inflation targeting framework will depend on enhancing food supply, agricultural market-based pricing, and reducing price distortions. A well-designed cereal buffer stock liquidation policy could also help mitigate food inflation volatility.
      PubDate: 05 Jan 2016 09:00:00 EST
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