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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper examines the export performance of developing countries. Taking any recent period, for example the past 15 years, the growth rate in export earnings for individual countries has varied from substantial year-to-year increases to absolute declines. Countries with growth rates as high as 13 percent per year include Greece, Jamaica, and Peru, while at the other end of the spectrum are Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay, whose export earnings declined in absolute terms.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The research summaries in the September 2012 issue of the IMF Research Bulletin are "Surges in Capital Flows: Why History Repeats Itself" (by Mahvash S. Qureshi) and "The LIC-BRIC Linkage: Growth Spillovers" (by Issouf Samake, Yongzheng Yang, and Catherine Pattillo). The Q&A covers "Seven Questions on Monetary Transmission in Low-Income Countries" (by Prachi Mishra and Peter Montiel). "Conversations with a Visiting Scholar" features an interview with IMF Fellow Olivier Coibion. Also included in this issue are details on the IMF Fellowship Program, visiting scholars at the IMF, a listing of recently published IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes, and an announcement on IMF Economic Review's first Impact Factor.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Spain focuses on differences in regional productivity. Recent studies of income convergence among Spanish regions suggest that the convergence has been slow since 1980 reflecting persistent regional disparities in total factor productivity. The empirical analysis—employing stochastic frontier models—finds that, among other factors, differences in regions’ skills mismatch and technology absorption capacity could be behind the disparities. A benchmarking exercise demonstrates significant potential growth benefits from policy measures that would bring regions closer to the frontier. Regional income disparities—driven by differences in total factor productivity (TFP) and unemployment—while not large compared with European peers, have been persistent in recent years. The economy’s overall productivity frontier moved inward overtime, but this trend has slowed down after the crisis. The inward shift of the production frontier could be one of the explanations for the negative TFP growth observed before the crisis. Active labor market policies at the regional level could also work toward addressing skills mismatch and education outcomes.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on long-term impact of Brexit on the European Union (EU). This paper examines consequences of Brexit on the EU27 under various post-Brexit scenarios by using two different complementary approaches. Our results, which are broadly in line with recent findings in the literature, are twofold. First, Brexit would have negative effects on the EU27 as well, given the depth and the complexity of the EU-U.K. integration. Similar to various empirical studies, it has been observed that the estimated long-term output and employment losses (in percent) for the EU27 in the study are on average lower than the corresponding losses for the UK estimated in the literature. The level of output and employment are estimated to fall at most by up to 1.5 percent and 0.7 percent in the long run in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit scenario, respectively. A “soft” Brexit outcome would lead to much lower losses.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on various aspects of corporate debt in France. The increase in debt has financed real investments, as well as acquisition of financial assets and extension of intercompany loans. The increase in debt (and its level) appears less worrisome when debt is consolidated among nonfinancial corporations. Despite the increase in the stock of debt, debt service has increased moderately. A cross-country regression analysis reveals that French publicly listed firms are on average not more indebted and have not increased their debt more than peers in other countries, after controlling for firm and sector characteristics as well as common time effects. However, the increase in debt is concentrated among large firms with sizeable leverage in a few industries, raising questions about these firms’ ability to service this debt when interest rates rise. Stress test scenarios of a large and sudden increase in interest rates suggest that corporate debt at risk could be significant at a macroeconomic level, but that cash buffers would mitigate the impact of the shock on debt service.
International Monetary Fund
This paper focuses on Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper–II (GPRSP II) for Cape Verde. The GPRSP II is formulated with reference to five major strategic aims concerning good governance, human capital, competitiveness, infrastructure building, and social cohesion. In identifying and pursuing these aims, the country seeks to improve its performance with respect to the established objectives and targets. The central objective of poverty reduction rests primarily upon structural policies linked to the promotion of inclusive economic growth, complemented by redistributive policies that are socially compensatory and focused on groups with high vulnerability.
Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad, Mr. Giorgio Brosio, and Mr. Vito Tanzi
There is a widespread presumption that decentralization improves public service provision. This has led to policy prescriptions that are assiduously adhered to by countries and international. This paper reviews the recent evidence from OECD countries-which is seen to be inconclusive. This suggests the need for a careful design of programs that take into account the political economy constraints and incentives, as well as more systematic and thorough evaluations of outcomes.
Benjamin Hilgenstock and Zsoka Koczan
The paper examines the potential effects of international migration on labor force participation in advanced economies in Europe. It documents that migration played a significant role in alleviating aging pressures on labor supply by affecting the age composition of receiving countries’ populations. However, micro-level analysis also points to differences in average educational levels, as well as differences in the effects of any given level of education on participation across migrants and natives. Difficulties related to the recognition of educational qualifications appear to be associated with smaller effects of education on the odds of participation for migrants, especially women.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix constructs an index of human capital for the Spanish labor force over 1977–97, and projects it over the next decade on the basis of likely demographic developments. The methodology by which the index is constructed considers both educational attainments resulting from formal schooling and improvements in workers’ productivity resulting from experience, or “learning by doing.” The results suggest that the gains from increases in formal schooling can be large, although they are translated into higher economic growth only gradually.