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Journal Cover IMF Working Papers
  [2 followers]  Follow
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 1018-5941
   Published by International Monetary Fund Homepage  [11 journals]
  • Surprise, Surprise : What Drives the Rand / U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate
    • Abstract: This paper investigates possible drivers of volatility in the South African rand since the onset of the global financial crisis. We assess the role played by local and international economic surprises, commodity price volatility, global market risk perceptions, and local political uncertainty. As a measure of rand volatility, the study uses a market-based implied volatility indicator for the rand / U.S. dollar exchange rate. Economic surprises—the difference between market expectations and data prints—are captured by Citi’s Economic Surprise Index which is available for South Africa and its main economic partners. The results suggest that rand volatility is mainly driven by commodity price volatility, and global market volatility, as well as domestic political uncertainty. In addition, economic surprises originating in the United States matter, but not those originating from South Africa, Europe, or China.
      PubDate: 17 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Benefits and Costs of Corporate Debt Restructuring : An Estimation for
    • Abstract: The paper offers a method to quantify benefits and costs of corporate debt restructuring, with an application to Korea. We suggest a “persistent ICR
      PubDate: 17 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Dominican Republic : Sectoral Financial Positions and Macroeconomic
    • Abstract: This paper examines the financial position of the key sectors of the Dominican Republic. It contributes to macroeconomic surveillance by identifying financial interlinkages and vulnerabilities through the balance sheet approach. The balance sheet of the economy has been weakening, particularly in foreign currency, due to persistent fiscal deficits. Risks arising from weaker foreign currency position, however, seem to be mitigated by long-term maturities on government debt and increasing accumulation of foreign currency assets. Given the strong links of the rest of the economy with the public sector, network analysis suggests that while the financial position of the other sectors of the economy is stronger, they could be adversely affected in an external stress scenario. Exposures to public sector are particularly pronounced in the domestic financial system (directly) and households (indirectly, through pension funds).
      PubDate: 17 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • The Role of Newly Industrialized Economies in Global Value Chains
    • Abstract: In light of increased vertical specialization and the dominance of trade in intermediates rather than final goods, this paper seeks to raise awareness of the limitations of traditional trade measures on a gross output basis. To do so, this paper uses the WIOD, a world input output table, as an alternative trade measure to analyze the role of six newly industrialized economies in global value chains. The differences between measures on a gross output basis and value added basis are striking. Export shares measured by both methods differed by more than 20 percent for some industries. These findings highlight the need for more sophisticated world input output data to form a better understanding of global trade dynamics and country interdependencies.
      PubDate: 17 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • National Insurance Scheme Reforms in the Caribbean
    • Abstract: Weighed down by population aging, slow economic growth, and high unemployment, National Insurance Schemes in the Caribbean are projected to run substantial deficits and deplete their assets in the next decades, raising the prospects of government intervention. With the region highly indebted, this paper quantifies the impact of three parametric reforms—freezing pension benefits for two years, raising the retirement age and increasing the contribution rate by one percentage point—that, if implemented, would put the pension schemes on a stronger financial footing. While the appropriate combination of reforms necessary to eliminate the actuarial deficits varies depending on each country’s circumstances, most countries need to undertake reforms now or risk even higher taxes, lower growth and unsustainable debt dynamics.
      PubDate: 17 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Assessing Liquidity Buffers in the Panamanian Banking Sector
    • Abstract: This paper assesses the resilience of Panamanian banks to (i) a very severe short-term, and (ii) a significant long-lasting liquidity shock scenario. Short-term liquidity buffers are evaluated by approximating the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) defined in the Basel III accord. The risk of losing a substantial part of foreign funding is analyzed through a conventional liquidity stress test scrutinizing several layers of liquidity across maturity buckets. The results of this study point to some vulnerabilities. First, our approximations indicate that about half of Panamanian banks would need to adjust their liquid asset portfolios to meet current LCR standards. Second, while most banks would be able to meet funding outflows in the stress-test scenario, a number of banks would have to use up all of their liquidity buffers, and a few even face a final shortfall. Nonetheless, most banks displaying sizable liquidity shortfalls have robust solvency positions.
      PubDate: 14 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Gone with the Wind : Estimating Hurricane and Climate Change Costs in the
    • Abstract: This paper studies the economic costs of hurricanes in the Caribbean by constructing a novel dataset that combines a detailed record of tropical cyclones’ characteristics with reported damages. I estimate the relation between hurricane wind speeds and damages in the Caribbean; finding that the elasticity of damages to GDP ratio with respect to maximum wind speeds is three in the case of landfalls. The data show that hurricane damages are considerably underreported, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, with average damages potentially being three times as large as the reported average of 1.6 percent of GDP per year. I document and show that hurricanes that do not make landfall also have considerable negative impacts on the Caribbean economies. Finally, I estimate that the average annual hurricane damages in the Caribbean will increase between 22 and 77 percent by the year 2100, in a global warming scenario of high CO2 concentrations and high global temperatures.
      PubDate: 14 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • The Blind Side of Public Debt Spikes
    • Abstract: What explains public debt spikes since the end of WWII? To answer this question, this paper identifies 179 debt spike episodes from 1945 to 2014 across advanced and developing countries. We find that debt spikes are not rare events and their probability increases with time. We then show that large public debt spikes are neither driven by high primary deficits nor by output declines but instead by sizable stock-flow adjustments (SFAs). We also find that SFAs are poorly forecasted, which can affect debt sustainability analyses, and are associated with a higher probability of suffering non-declining debt paths in the aftermath of public debt spikes.
      PubDate: 14 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Resolving China’s Corporate Debt Problem
    • Abstract: Corporate credit growth in China has been excessive in recent years. This credit boom is related to the large increase in investment after the Global Financial Crisis. Investment efficiency has fallen and the financial performance of corporates has deteriorated steadily, affecting asset quality in financial institutions. The corporate debt problem should be addressed urgently with a comprehensive strategy. Key elements should include identifying companies in financial difficulties, proactively recognizing losses in the financial system, burden sharing, corporate restructuring and governance reform, hardening budget constraints, and facilitating market entry. A proactive strategy would trade off short-term economic pain for larger longer-term gain.
      PubDate: 14 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
  • Estimating Potential Output in Chile : A Multivariate Filter for Mining
           and Non-Mining Sectors
    • Abstract: Using a multivariate filter, we estimate potential growth rates in Chile’s mining and non-mining sectors. Estimates for the mining sector incorporate information on copper prices, whereas estimates for non-mining reflect information on inflation and unemployment rates. To better understand the drivers of potential growth, we decompose estimates into capital, labor (adjusted for human-capital and hours worked), and total-factor productivity using a production-function. Our estimates of potential output in Chile suggest that an important part of the recent growth slowdown has been structural, with potential-output growth slowing to 2½ percent in recent years, although it plausibly could be higher in the medium-term.
      PubDate: 14 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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