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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Botswana entered the COVID-19 crisis with larger buffers than most countries, but significantly less than in the past. The country was contending with structural challenges, persistent negative external shocks and delays in adjustment that had already caused a significant weakening of international reserves coverage and the fiscal position amid high unemployment. The pandemic exacerbated these challenges causing a sharp GDP contraction, among the strongest in SSA and a widening in the current account deficit. Foreign exchange reserves dropped further, though still remaining well above adequate levels. The fiscal deficit widened significantly as the government sought to counter the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and implemented a sizeable public wage increase agreed in 2019. The deficit was financed partially by drawing down on the Government Investment Account.
Nathalie Pouokam
This paper discusses the main challenges faced by resource-rich nations in promoting equity; describes policy tools available for managing exhaustible natural resources; and analyzes the relationship between resource wealth and state fragility. It is argued that human capital accumulation, innovation, and technology diffusion can help escape the trap of low growth and resource dependence that plagues so many developing countries. But to make this possible, resource-rich nations must sustain strong citizen participation in the policy making to hold governments accountable and ensure the inclusive management of resource wealth.
Mr. Johannes Herderschee, Ran Li, Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, and Ms. Luisa Zanforlin
Whereas most of the literature related to the so-called “resource curse” tends to emphasize on institutional factors and public policies, in this research we focus on the role of the financial sector, which has been surprisingly overlooked. We find that countries that have financial systems with more depth, as well as those that actively manage their central banks’ balance sheets experience less exchange-rate appreciation than countries that do not. We analyze the relationship between these two findings and suggest that they appear to follow separate mechanisms.