Fintech, which delivers financial services digitally, promises to promote financial inclusion and close the gender gap. Using a novel fintech dataset for 114 economies worldwide, this paper shows that fintech adoption significantly improves female employment and reduces gender inequality, the effect being more pronounced in firms without traditional financial access. Fintech not only increases the number and ratio of female employees in the workforce, but also mitigates financial constraints of female-headed firms. Digital divide and poor institutions weaken such benefits. Endogeneity is accounted for by a fixed effects identification strategy. We conclude by providing policy recommendations and outlining avenues for future research.
Mr. Dong He, Annamaria Kokenyne, Xavier Lavayssière, Ms. Inutu Lukonga, Nadine Schwarz, Nobuyasu Sugimoto, and Jeanne Verrier
Capital flow management measures (CFMs) can be part of the broader policy toolkit to help countries reap the benefits of capital flows while managing the associated risks. Their implementation typically requires that financial intermediaries verify the nature of transactions and the identities of transacting parties but is facing the rising challenge of crypto assets. Indeed, crypto assets have become a significant instrument for payments and speculative investments in some countries. They can be traded pseudonymously and held without identification of the residency of the asset holder. Many crypto service providers operate across borders, making supervision and enforcement by national authorities more difficult. The challenges posed by the attributes of crypto assets are compounded by gaps in the legal and regulatory frameworks. This paper aims to discuss how crypto assets could impact the effectiveness of CFMs from a structural and longer-term perspective. To preserve the effectiveness of CFMs against crypto-related challenges, policymakers need to consider a multifaceted strategy whose essential elements include clarifying the legal status of crypto assets and ensuring that CFM laws and regulations cover them; devising a comprehensive, consistent, and coordinated regulatory approach to crypto assets and applying it effectively to CFMs; establishing international collaborative arrangements for supervision of crypto assets; addressing data gaps and leveraging technology (regtech and suptech) to create anomaly-detection models and red-flag indicators that will allow for timely risk monitoring and CFM implementation.
Direct measurement of corruption is difficult due to its hidden nature, and measuring the perceptions of corruption via survey-based methods is often used as an alternative. This paper constructs a new non-survey based perceptions index for 111 countries by applying sentiment analysis to Financial Times articles over 2005–18. This sentiment-enhanced corruption perception index (SECPI) captures not only the frequncy of corruption related articles, but also the articles’ sentiment towards corruption. This index, while correlated with existing corruption perception indexes, offers some distinct advantages, including heightened sensitivity to current events (e.g., corruption investigations and elections), availability at a higher frequency, and lower costs to update. The SECPI is negatively correlated with business environment and institutional quality. Increases in the perceived incidence or scope of corruption influences economic agents’ behaviors, and thus economic dynamics. We found that when the SECPI is at least one standard deviation above the mean, the growth per capita falls by 0.65 percentage point on average, with more pronounced impacts for emerging market and low income countries.
Mr. Michael Gorbanyov, Majid Malaika, and Tahsin Saadi Sedik
The era of quantum computing is about to begin, with profound implications for the global economy and the financial system. Rapid development of quantum computing brings both benefits and risks. Quantum computers can revolutionize industries and fields that require significant computing power, including modeling financial markets, designing new effective medicines and vaccines, and empowering artificial intelligence, as well as creating a new and secure way of communication (quantum Internet). But they would also crack many of the current encryption algorithms and threaten financial stability by compromising the security of mobile banking, e-commerce, fintech, digital currencies, and Internet information exchange. While the work on quantum-safe encryption is still in progress, financial institutions should take steps now to prepare for the cryptographic transition, by assessing future and retroactive risks from quantum computers, taking an inventory of their cryptographic algorithms (especially public keys), and building cryptographic agility to improve the overall cybersecurity resilience.