Mr. Raju J Singh, Kyung-woo Lee, and Mr. Markus Haacker
The paper investigates the determinants and the macroeconomic role of remittances in sub-Saharan Africa, assembling the most comprehensive dataset available so far on remittances in the region and incorporating data on the diaspora. It finds that remittances are larger for countries with a larger diaspora or when the diaspora is located in wealthier countries, and that they behave countercyclically, consistent with a role as a shock absorber. Although the effect of remittances in growth regressions is negative, countries with well functioning domestic institutions seem nevertheless to be better at unlocking the potential for remittances to contribute to faster economic growth.
The Selected Issues paper for the Union of the Comoros describes an assessment of the external competitiveness. Comoros has been hard hit by negative terms-of-trade shocks that have weakened the external position. A trend decline in the world price of vanilla, its main export, has occurred parallel to unprecedented increases in international food and petroleum prices. Although export growth has slackened, imports have steadily grown driven by a surge in remittances and a steady real appreciation of the euro-pegged national currency.
Comoros faces significant economic and political challenges. The fiscal priorities are to restore revenues and curtail spending so that domestic arrears can be reduced and the program brought back on track. Clearing external arrears is a key hurdle to debt sustainability. Improvements to the investment climate are critical for attracting foreign direct investment. Financial sector development is needed to support private sector growth and economic diversification. If implemented successfully, the government’s policies could be the basis for a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement.
This paper provides evidence on the susceptibility of different types of exchange rate regimes to currency crises during 1990-2001. It explores the incidence of crises, identified as episodes of severe exchange market pressure, to seek evidence on whether pegged regimes are more crisis prone than floating regimes and on whether certain types of pegged regimes are more crisis prone than others. The paper finds that pegged regimes, as a whole, have been characterized by a higher incidence of crises than floating regimes, for countries that are more integrated with international capital markets; and that intermediate regimes (mainly soft pegs and tightly-managed floating regimes) have been more crisis prone than both hard pegs and other floating regimes-a view consistent with the bipolar view of exchange rate regimes. The degree of crisis proneness seems to be broadly similar across different types of intermediate regimes.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.