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Mr. Alexander Ludwig and Mr. Torsten M Sloek
This paper quantifies the different impact of stock and house prices on consumption using data for 16 OECD countries. The analysis finds that the long-run impact of an increase in stock prices and house prices is in general higher in countries with a market-based financial system. The sensitivity of consumption to changes in stock wealth is about twice as large as the sensitivity to changes in housing wealth. Splitting the sample into the 1980s and 1990s shows that both countries with a market-based financial system and countries with a bank-based financial system moved toward a higher degree of responsiveness of consumption to changes in stock prices and house prices.
Ms. Sonali Jain-Chandra, Min Jung Kim, Sung Ho Park, and Jerome Shin
Korea was hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis, with the foreign bank deleveraging channel coming prominently into play. The global financial crisis demonstrated that a sharp deleveraging can be transmitted to emerging markets through the bank lending channel to a slowdown in credit growth. The analysis finds that a sharp decline in external funding led to relatively modest decline in domestic credit by Korean banks, due to concerted policy efforts by the government in 2008. Impulse responses from a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model calibrated to Korea shows that it appears better prepared to handle such shocks relative to 2008. Indeed, Korea is much more resilient to such shocks due to the efforts by the authorities, which has led to the strengthening of external buffers, such as higher foreign exchange reserves and bilateral and multilateral currency swap arrangements.
Mr. Lev Ratnovski and Mr. Aditya Narain
While public financial institutions (such as public development banks) are commonly associated with developing countries, in fact they are prevalent in the developed world as well. We study a sample of public financial institutions in industrialized countries and identify dominant trends in their organization and oversight. While practices in developed countries may be a useful reference point, a more nuanced approach, accounting for the disparity of institutional environment, regulatory capacity, and government accountability and effectiveness, may be required in developing countries. Further investment in the accumulation of evidence and formulation of best practices in the organization and oversight of public financial institutions seems warranted and necessary. This paper was prepared while Mr. Ratnovski was working in the Financial Supervision and Regulation Division during January-April 2006. The authors are grateful to Jonathan Fiechter, David Marston, and participants of an MCM seminar in April 2006 for their helpful comments.
Jihad Dagher
Financial crises are traditionally analyzed as purely economic phenomena. The political economy of financial booms and busts remains both under-emphasized and limited to isolated episodes. This paper examines the political economy of financial policy during ten of the most infamous financial booms and busts since the 18th century, and presents consistent evidence of pro-cyclical regulatory policies by governments. Financial booms, and risk-taking during these episodes, were often amplified by political regulatory stimuli, credit subsidies, and an increasing light-touch approach to financial supervision. The regulatory backlash that ensues from financial crises can only be understood in the context of the deep political ramifications of these crises. Post-crisis regulations do not always survive the following boom. The interplay between politics and financial policy over these cycles deserves further attention. History suggests that politics can be the undoing of macro-prudential regulations.
Ms. Elva Bova, Mr. Robert Dippelsman, Ms. Kara C Rideout, and Ms. Andrea Schaechter
When discussing debt reduction strategies, little attention has been given to the role of governments’ nonfinancial assets. This is in part because data are scarce. Drawing on various data sources, this paper looks at the size, composition, and management of state-owned nonfinancial assets across 32 economies, with particular focus on the advanced G-20 economies. We find that reported nonfinancial assets comprise mostly structures (such as roads and buildings) and,when valued, land. These assets have increased over time, mostly due to higher property and commodity prices, and are, in large part, owned by subnational governments. Many countries have launched reforms with a view to streamlining public administrations, but receipts and savings have been rather small so far. Governments tend to consider relatively small sets of assets to be disposable, though preferences could change in the future. A potential source for future revenues could be greater reliance on user charges, such as road tolls. In most cases, a first step for more effective asset management has to be the expansion and improvement of data compilation.
Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo
Do foreign-educated individuals play a role in promoting democracy in their home countries? Despite the large amount of private and public resources spent on foreign education, there is no systematic evidence that foreign-educated individuals foster democracy in their home countries. Using a unique panel dataset on foreign students starting from 1950, I show that, indeed, foreign-educated individuals promote democracy in their home country, but only if the foreign education is acquired in democratic countries. The results are robust to reverse causality, country-specific omitted variables, and inclusion of a variety of control variables. The results are stronger for small countries.
Ms. Deniz O Igan and Mr. Prakash Loungani
Housing cycles and their impact on the financial system and the macroeconomy have become the center of attention following the global financial crisis. This paper documents the characteristics of housing cycles in a large set of countries, and examines the determinants of house price movements. Empirical analysis shows that house price dynamics are mostly driven by income and demographics but fluctuations in these fundamentals and credit conditions can create deviations from the implied equilibrium path. We conclude with a discussion of the macroeconomic implications of house price corrections.
Mr. G. Terrier, Mr. Rodrigo O. Valdes, Mr. Camilo E Tovar Mora, Mr. Jorge A Chan-Lau, Carlos Fernandez Valdovinos, Ms. Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Mr. Carlos I. Medeiros, Man-Keung Tang, Miss Mercedes Vera Martin, and W. Christopher Walker

This paper reviews policy tools that have been used and/or are available for policy makers in the region to lean against the wind and review relevant country experiences using them. The instruments examined include: (i) capital requirements, dynamic provisioning, and leverage ratios; (ii) liquidity requirements; (iii) debt-to-income ratios; (iv) loan-to-value ratios; (v) reserve requirements on bank liabilities (deposits and nondeposits); (vi) instruments to manage and limit systemic foreign exchange risk; and, finally, (vii) reserve requirements or taxes on capital inflows. Although the instruments analyzed are mainly microprudential in nature, appropriately calibrated over the financial cycle they may serve for macroprudential purposes.