Using a database of up to 62 variables for 196 countries over 57 years, a hyperinflation cycle has been characterized to propose a broader setting of stylized facts. Beyond the usual facts, the findings in this paper contribute to the literature of modern hyperinflations in that these cycles occur in contexts where there are (i) depressed economic freedoms, (ii) deteriorated socioeconomic conditions and rule of law, as well as (iii) high levels of domestic conflictivity and government instability. Despite social infraestructure factors improve during stabilization, they keep being substantially lower than the respresentative non-hyperinflation country, suggesting an important role for them in the occurrence of modern hypeinflations. Finally, the role of international financial assistance in stabilization was studied, noting that (i) a clear majority of hyperinflation countries used it, further improving their (ii) economic freedoms, and allowing themselves (iii) greater fiscal flexibility and (iv) more exchange rate stability.
Excessively procyclical fiscal policy can be harmful. This paper investigates to what extent the fiscal policies of sub-Saharan African countries were procyclical in recent years and the reasons for the degree of fiscal procyclicality among these countries. It finds that a tendency for procyclical fiscal policy was particularly pronounced among oil exporters and after the global financial crisis. It also finds a statistically significant causal link running from deeper financial markets and higher reserves coverage to lower fiscal policy procyclicality. Fiscal rules supported by strong political commitment and institutions seem to be key to facilitating progress for deeper financial markets and stronger reserves coverage.
Reserves have a central place in the policy tool kit of most economies, providing insurance against shocks. In conjunction with sound policies, they can help reduce the likelihood of balance of payment crises and preserve economic and financial stability. Reserves, however, can result from both precautionary and non-precautionary policy objectives and institutional settings. While they can bring several important benefits, reserve holdings can sometimes be costly.
This paper brings together recent Fund work on reserve adequacy issues aiming to strengthen their discussion in bilateral surveillance. Despite the ongoing debate on reserve issues, there is little consensus about how to assess reserve holdings in different economies, even though this is an important aspect of a member’s external stability assessment. The work stream of which this paper is part aims to fill this gap by outlining a framework for discussing reserve adequacy issues in different economies. In this regard, the paper also forms part of the Fund’s response to the 2012 IEO evaluation of the Fund’s advice related to international reserves, which recommended, inter alia, that assessments of international reserves in bilateral surveillance reports should be more detailed and reflect country circumstances. To this end, the paper proposes that, where warranted, individual country Article IV reports include a fuller discussion of the authorities’ stated objectives (precautionary and non-precautionary) for holding reserves, an assessment of the reserve needs for precautionary purposes, and a discussion of the cost of reserves. The aim would be to ensure evenhandedness so that countries with similar circumstances are assessed in similar ways, while allowing the depth and emphasis of this discussion to vary depending on country conditions and needs
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) Annual Report 2012 presents an overview of overall developments in FY2012. In FY2012, the IEO expended approximately 97 percent of its total budgetary resources, including the approved budget amount and the resources carried forward from FY2011 as authorized. Vacancies amounted to about one and one-half staff years over the course of the financial year. This level of vacancies is within the range of what could be expected in a small organization with structural difficulties in recruitment and retention.