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Konrad Adler, Mr. JaeBin Ahn, and Mai Dao
We document a broad-based trend in rising cash holdings of firms across major industrialized countries over the last two decades, a trend that is most pronounced for firms engaged strongly in R&D activities. Our contributions to the literature are twofold. First, we develop a simple model that brings together the insights from modern trade theory (Melitz, 2003) with those of contract theory in corporate finance (Holmström and Tirole, 1998) to show that increased openness to trade can result in rising returns to innovation and in turn greater demand for cash as firms insure against innovation-induced liquidity risk. Second, we derive sharp empirical predictions and find supporting evidence for them using firm-level data across major G7 countries during 1995-2014, a period that saw an unprecedented rise in globalization and business innovation.
Mr. Jack J Ree and Seoeun Choi
We examine how Korea’s capital flows and trade have been affected by the quantitative easing (QE) of the United States and the quantitative and qualitative easing (QQME) of Japan. Korea is an intriguing case due to its borderline position between advanced and emerging market country groups, and the common perception that Korea competes fiercely with Japan in the world market for trade. We find that QE had little direct impact on capital flows to Korea, and tapering is unlikely to cause capital outflows from it owing to partial safe-haven behavior of capital flows to Korea. We also find that the exchange rate spillover from QQME to Korea has been limited both on trade and capital flow fronts.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

Barring the realization of downside risks to the global economy, growth in the Asia and the Pacific region is expected to gain momentum over the course of 2012, according to this report, and now projected at 6 percent in 2012, rising to about 6½ percent in 2013. Stronger economic and policy fundamentals have helped buffer the region's economies against the global financial crisis, by limiting adverse financial market spillovers and ameliorating the impact of deleveraging by European banks, but a sharp fall in exports to advanced economies and a reversal of foreign capital flows would have a severe impact on the region. The region's policymakers now face the difficult task of calibrating the amount of insurance needed to support stable, noninflationary growth. Some Asian and Pacific economies can afford to lengthen the pause in the normalization of their macroeconomic policies that was initiated when the global recovery stalled late in 2011; others may need a faster return to more neutral policy stances. Similarly, the pace of fiscal consolidation should be calibrated to country-specific circumstances. Additional chapters in the report discuss whether China is rebalancing and the particular challenges facing Asian low-income and small island economies.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The April 2012 issue of the World Economic Outlook assesses the prospects for the global economy, which has gradually strengthened after a major setback during 2011. The threat of a sharp global slowdown eased with improved activity in the United States and better policies in the euro area. Weak recovery will likely resume in the major advanced economies, and activity will remain relatively solid in most emerging and developing economies. However, recent improvements are very fragile. Policymakers must calibrate policies to support growth in the near term and must implement fundamental changes to achieve healthy growth in the medium term. Chapter 3 examines how policies directed at real estate markets can accelerate the improvement of household balance sheets and thus support otherwise anemic consumption. Chapter 4 examines how swings in commodity prices affect commodity-exporting economies, many of which have experienced a decade of good growth. With commodity prices unlikely to continue growing at the recent elevated pace, however, these economies may have to adapt their fiscal and other policies to lower potential output growth in the future.