Peter T. Knight, Robert Roy Schneider, Subimal Mookerjee, Bahram Nowzad, and Jozef Van’t dack
This paper examines the impact of the World Bank on the financial markets and developing countries. The sound financial structure of the Bank rests on its conservative loan-to-capital ratio. Its large liquidity is an assurance to investors in Bank bonds that their investments are assured of liquidity in case the need arises. To cope with their payments difficulties, the heavily indebted developing countries have adopted more cautious fiscal and monetary policies, limited wage increases, and reduced domestic consumption and investment.
An important aim of this paper is to take shifts in the long-term anchor in the empirical specifications. The study examines exchange-rate pass-through and external adjustment in the euro area. The impact on third-country trade and investment is also discussed. A better understanding of the economic behavior underlying limited pass-through is an important consideration for investigating the implications of currency fluctuations and the pattern of external adjustment. The impulse-response patterns suggest a high degree of local currency pricing in import prices and producer currency pricing in export prices.
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The December 2015 IMF Research Bulletin features a sampling of key research from the IMF. The Research Summaries in this issue look at “The Impact of Deflation and Lowflation on Fiscal Aggregates (Nicolas End, Sampawende J.-A. Tapsoba, Gilbert Terrier, and Renaud Duplay); and “Oil Exporters at the Crossroads: It Is High Time to Diversify” (Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov). Mahvash Saeed Qureshi provides an overview of the fifth Lindau Meeting in Economics in “Meeting the Nobel Giants.” In the Q&A column on “Seven Questions on Financial Frictions and the Sources of the Business Cycle, Marzie Taheri Sanjani looks at the driving forces of the business cycle and macroeconomic models. The top-viewed articles in 2014 from the IMF Economic Review are highlighted, along with recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and IMF publications.
This Selected Issues paper for France provides an analytical framework to explain the consequences of the downward shift in the unemployment/wages relationship. This framework is also used to analyze possible changes in the equilibrium unemployment rate resulting from cuts in employers’ social security contributions and movements in the user cost of capital. The contribution of wage moderation to the reduction in the equilibrium unemployment is quantified. The paper also addresses the question of fiscal benefits of job-rich growth in France during 1997–2000.
Assaf Razin, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Chi-Wa Yuen
Identifying determinants of the output-inflation tradeoff has long been a key issue in business cycle research. We provide evidence that in countries with greater restrictions on capital mobility, a given reduction in the inflation rate is associated with a smaller loss in output. This result is shown to be consistent with theoretical presumption from a version of the Mundell-Fleming model. Restrictions on capital mobility are measured using the IMF’s Annual Report on Exchange Rate Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions. Estimates of the output-inflation tradeoff are taken from previous studies, viz., Lucas (1973) and Ball, Mankiw and Romer (1988).
This paper examines the ability of alternative classes of growth models to explain the historical experience of the U.S. economy. The potential returns to the U.S. from raising its investment rate in terms of both the level and growth rate of future output are then quantified. The long-run growth performance of the U.S. economy is found to be broadly consistent with the predictions of the neoclassical growth model. Endogenous growth models, which suggest a larger contribution of capital to growth and long-run effects of investment on the growth rate, do not seem to be supported by the data.
Yishay Yafeh, Mr. Kenichi Ueda, and Mr. Stijn Claessens
Financial frictions have been identified as key factors affecting economic fluctuations and growth. But, can institutional reforms reduce financial frictions? Based on a canonical investment model, we consider two potential channels: (i) financial transaction costs at the firm level; and (ii) required return at the country level. We empirically investigate the effects of institutions on these financial frictions using a panel of 75,000 firm-years across 48 countries for the period 1990 - 2007. We find that improved corporate governance (e.g., less informational problems) and enhanced contractual enforcement reduce financial frictions, while stronger creditor rights (e.g., lower collateral constraints) are less important.
This paper analyzes the determinants of credit cyclicality. It constructs a financial development index and studies whether it affects the amplitude of impulse responses to shocks to output, terms of trade, global liquidity, and global risk appetite. The paper uses both country-specific VARs for cross-country analyses and panel VARs to compare impulse responses between various country groupings. The study finds evidence that financial development-especially stronger creditor rights-can mitigate credit cyclicality, given that the response of credit to output or terms of trade shocks is stronger in countries with weaker financial systems.