Jannick Damgaard, Thomas Elkjaer, and Niels Johannesen
Macro statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) are blurred by offshore centers with
enormous inward and outward investment positions. This paper uses several new data
sources, both macro and micro, to estimate the global FDI network while disentangling real
investment and phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investor
economies. We find that phantom investment into corporate shells with no substance and no
real links to the local economy may account for almost 40 percent of global FDI. Ignoring
phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investors increases the
explanatory power of standard gravity variables by around 25 percent.
This paper analyzes asymmetries in direct investment positions reported in the
Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) following a top down approach.
First, it examines asymmetries at global level; second, it examines asymmetries between
CDIS reported and derived data for individual economies; and third, the paper analyzes
data at bilateral economy level.
Then, the paper explores seven main reasons for asymmetries, including those arising
even when economies follow international standards.
Finally, the paper includes a section on addressing bilateral asymmetries and concludes
with specific planned actions to reduce asymmetries, including initiatives led by
This paper addresses three types of geographical decoupling in foreign direct investment (FDI), i.e., challenges when using traditional FDI data as a proxy for real economic integration between economies: (i) large bilateral asymmetries between inward and outward FDI, (ii) the role of special purpose entities (SPEs), and (iii) the effect of moving from immediate counterpart to ultimate investing economy (UIE). A unique global FDI network is estimated, where SPEs are removed and FDI positions are broken down by the UIE. Total inward FDI in the new network is reduced by one-third, and financial centers are less dominant.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the recent trends in The Bahamas’ offshore financial center (OFC) and their contribution to the real economy. The Bahamas hosts one of the largest OFCs in the world. International banks are the most important institutions in the Bahamian OFC. Despite a sharp contraction in the size of the offshore sector, the direct impact on the real economy appears to have been modest. The direct contribution of offshore banks to the real economy appears to have remained broadly stable, reflecting an orderly adjustment so far. Strong compliance with anti–money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and tax transparency standards should help ensure that this orderly adjustment continues.
This paper studies the economic costs of hurricanes in the Caribbean by constructing a
novel dataset that combines a detailed record of tropical cyclones’ characteristics with
reported damages. I estimate the relation between hurricane wind speeds and damages in
the Caribbean; finding that the elasticity of damages to GDP ratio with respect to
maximum wind speeds is three in the case of landfalls. The data show that hurricane
damages are considerably underreported, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, with
average damages potentially being three times as large as the reported average of 1.6
percent of GDP per year. I document and show that hurricanes that do not make landfall
also have considerable negative impacts on the Caribbean economies. Finally, I estimate
that the average annual hurricane damages in the Caribbean will increase between 22 and
77 percent by the year 2100, in a global warming scenario of high CO2 concentrations and
high global temperatures.
Standards assessments serve several important objectives but are not well integrated into Fund surveillance. Financial standards assessments, when undertaken in the context of FSAPs, are used to identify weaknesses in financial regulation and supervision, or other areas covered by international standards. However, those weaknesses are not specifically linked to the risks and vulnerabilities facing the financial sector. Conversely, the analysis of country-specific vulnerabilities in the FSAP does not contribute to targeting the standard assessment effort, since the assessment must be exhaustive and cover the entire standard.
Latvia has rebounded from the crisis, after successfully undertaking a difficult adjustment program. The recovery has been well balanced between external and domestic demand. The labor market is improving but unemployment is still high. Past consolidation efforts have brought down the fiscal deficit. The banking system is recovering. Nonresident deposits in the banking system have been expanding rapidly. Economic growth is expected to weaken slightly in 2013, before picking up later. Euro adoption in 2014 appears within reach, subject to some technical uncertainties.