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Mr. Santiago Acosta Ormaechea, Mr. Takuji Komatsuzaki, and Carolina Correa-Caro
We estimate the effects on growth of nine fiscal reform episodes in seven high-income countries using the Synthetic Control Method. These episodes are selected using an indicator-based approach applied to the evaluation of growth-friendly fiscal reforms during 1975-2010. We find that in reform countries the annual growth rate of real GDP was on average about 1 percentage point above their synthetic units 10 years after each respective reform. Moreover, countries which were initially less developed seemed to experience a larger growth impact after their reforms. Results are broadly robust to controlling for structural reforms on business regulation, financial market, labor market, and legal and product markets, which may also affect growth. Our findings also suggest that inequality is not affected by the growth-friendly fiscal reforms analyzed in this paper.
Ms. Li L Ong

Abstract

The IMF has had extensive involvement in the stress testing of financial systems in its member countries. This book presents the methods and models that have been developed by IMF staff over the years and that can be applied to the gamut of financial systems. An added resource for readers is the companion CD-Rom, which makes available the toolkit with some of the models presented in the book (also located at elibrary.imf.org/page/stress-test-toolkit).

Matias Costa Navajas and Aaron Thegeya
The paper tests the effectiveness of financial soundness indicators (FSIs) as harbingers of banking crises, using multivariate logit models to see whether FSIs, broad macroeconomic indicators, and institutional indicators can indeed predict crisis occurrences. The analysis draws upon a data set of homogeneous indicators comparable across countries over the period 2005 to 2012, leveraging the IMF’s FSI database. Results indicate significant correlation between some FSIs and the occurrence of systemic banking crises, and suggest that some indicators are precursors to the occurrence of banking crises.
Mr. M. Cangiano, Mr. Barry Anderson, Mr. Max Alier, Murray Petrie, and Mr. Richard Hemming

Abstract

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) refer to arrangements under which the private sector supplies infrastructure assets and infrastructure-based services that traditionally have been provided by the government. PPPs are used for a wide range of economic and social infrastructure projects, but they are used mainly to build and operate roads, bridges and tunnels, light rail networks, airports and air traffic control systems, prisons, water and sanitation plants, hospitals, schools, and public buildings. PPPs offer benefits similar to those offered by privatization, which is the sale of government-owned enterprises or assets. By the late 1990s, when privatization was losing much of its earlier momentum, PPPs began to be widely seen as a means of obtaining private sector capital and management expertise for infrastructure investment. After a modest start, a wave of PPPs is now beginning to sweep the world. This Special Issue paper provides an overview of some of the issues raised by PPPs, with a particular focus on their fiscal consequences. It also looks at government guarantees, which are used fairly widely to shield the private sector from risk and are a common feature of PPPs. And it examines the consequences of PPPs and guarantees for debt sustainability. The paper concludes with a list of measures that can maximize the benefits and minimize the fiscal risks associated with the use of PPPs. Various appendices augment the discussion by examining country experiences with PPPs, summarizing the statistical reporting framework used to discuss fiscal accounting and reporting, explaining accounting for risk transfer, examining how guarantees are modeled and estimated in Chile, and summarizing international accounting and reporting standards for contingent liabilities.

Mr. Athanasios Vamvakidis
Should a closed economy open its trade to all countries or limit itself to participation in regional trade agreements (RTAs)? Based on time-series evidence for a data set for 1950-92, this paper estimates and compares the growth performance of countries that liberalized broadly and those that joined an RTA. The comparisons show that economies grew faster after broad liberalization, both in the short and long run, but slower after participation in an RTA. Economies also had higher investment shares after broad liberalization, but lower ones after joining an RTA. The policy implications support broad liberalization.