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Minsuk Kim, Rui Mano, and Mr. Mico Mrkaic
Central banks often buy or sell reserves-–-so called FX interventions (FXIs)---to dampen sharp exchange rate movements caused by volatile capital flows. At the same time, these interventions may entail unintended side effects. In this paper, we investigate whether FXIs incentivize firms to take on more unhedged FX debt, thereby increasing medium-term corporate vulnerabilities. Using a novel dataset with close to 5,000 nonfinancial firms across 19 emerging markets covering 2002--2017, we find that the firm-level share of FX debt rises following intensive use of FXIs, particularly for non-exporting firms in shallow financial markets with no FX debt to begin with. The magnitude of this effect is economically significant, with one standard deviation increase in FXI leading to an average 2 percentage points increase in the FX debt share. For reference, the median share of FX debt in the sample is zero.
Gustavo Adler, Sergii Meleshchuk, and Ms. Carolina Osorio Buitron
The paper explores how international integration through global value chains shapes the working of exchange rates to induce external adjustment both in the short and medium run. The analysis indicates that greater integration into international value chains reduces the exchange rate elasticity of gross trade volumes. This result holds both in the short and medium term, pointing to the rigidity of value chains. At the same time, greater value chain integration is associated with larger gross trade flows, relative to GDP, which tends to amplify the effect of exchange rate movements. Overall, combining these two results suggests that, for most countries, integration into global value chains does not materially alter the working of exchange rates and the benefits of exchange rate flexibility in facilitating external adjustment remain.
Leandro Medina and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
We undertake an extended discussion of the latest developments about the existing and new estimation methods of the shadow economy. New results on the shadow economy for 158 countries all over the world are presented over 1991 to 2015. Strengths and weaknesses of these methods are assessed and a critical comparison and evaluation of the methods is carried out. The average size of the shadow economy of the 158 countries over 1991 to 2015 is 31.9 percent. The largest ones are Zimbabwe with 60.6 percent, and Bolivia with 62.3 percent of GDP. The lowest ones are Austria with 8.9 percent, and Switzerland with 7.2 percent. The new methods, especially the new macro method, Currency Demand Approach (CDA) and Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) in a structured hybrid-model based estimation procedure, are promising approaches from an econometric standpoint, alongside some new micro estimates. These estimations come quite close to others used by statistical offices or based on surveys.
Ms. Li Liu
In 2009, the United Kingdom changed from a worldwide to a territorial tax system, abolishing dividend taxes on foreign repatriation from many low-tax countries. This paper assesses the causal effect of territorial taxation on real investments, using a unique dataset for multinational affiliates in 27 European countries and employing the difference-in-difference approach. It finds that the territorial reform has increased the investment rate of UK multinationals by 15.7 percentage points in low-tax countries. In the absence of any significant investment reduction elsewhere, the findings represent a likely increase in total outbound investment by UK multinationals.
Mr. Slavi T Slavov
There are 13 countries in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) with floating exchange rate regimes, de jure. This paper uses the framework pioneered by Frankel and Wei (1994) and extended in Frankel and Wei (2008) to show that most of them have been tracking either the euro or the US dollar in recent years. Eight countries, all of them current or aspiring EU members, track the euro. Of the five countries keying on the US dollar in various degrees, all but one belong to the Commonwealth of Independent States. The paper shows that the extent to which each country’s currency tracks the euro (or the dollar) is correlated with the structure of its external trade and finance. However, some countries appear to track the EUR or USD to an extent which appears inconsistent with inflation targeting, trade or financial integration, or the extent of business cycle synchronization. The phenomenon is particularly pronounced among the countries in the CESEE euro bloc, which may be deliberately gravitating around the euro in anticipation of eventually joining the Euro Area.
Mr. Jaromir Benes, Kevin Clinton, Asish George, Joice John, Mr. Ondra Kamenik, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Pratik Mitra, G.V. Nadhanael, Hou Wang, and Fan Zhang
India formally adopted flexible inflation targeting (FIT) in June 2016 to place price stability, defined in terms of a target CPI inflation, as the primary objective of monetary policy. In this context, the paper draws on Indian macroeconomic developments since 2000 and the experience of other countries that adopted FIT to bring out insights on how credible policy with an emphasis on a strong nominal anchor can reduce the impact of supply shocks and improve macroeconomic stability. For illustrating the key issues given the unique structural characteristics of India and the policy options under an FIT framework, the paper describes an analytical framework using the core quarterly projection model (QPM). Simulations of the QPM are carried out to illustrate the monetary policy responses under different types of uncertainty and to bring out the importance of gaining credibility for improving monetary policy efficacy.
Mr. Reinout De Bock and Mr. Irineu E de Carvalho Filho
Episodes of increased global risk aversion, also known as risk-off episodes, have become more frequent and severe since 2007. During these episodes, currency markets exhibit recurrent patterns, as the Japanese yen, Swiss franc, and U.S. dollar appreciate against other G-10 and emerging market currencies. The pattern of these moves can be explained by a combination of fundamental factors, such as the nominal interest rate, the international investment position and measures of exchange rate misalignment, and market-liquidity factors, such as bid-offer spreads and restrictions on international capital flows. We also find that currency performance in a risk-off episode has become more related to a currency?s yield and relationship to broader risks in recent years.
Mr. Nicolas E Magud, Mr. Esteban Vesperoni, and Ms. Carmen Reinhart
The prospects of expansionary monetary policies in the advanced countries for the foreseeable future have renewed the debate over policy options to cope with large capital inflows that are, at least partly, driven by low interest rates in the financial centers. Historically, capital flow bonanzas have often fueled sharp credit expansions in advanced and emerging market economies alike. Focusing primarily on emerging markets, we analyze the impact of exchange rate flexibility on credit markets during periods of large capital inflows. We show that bank credit grows more rapidly and its composition tilts to foreign currency in economies with less flexible exchange rate regimes, and that these results are not explained entirely by the fact that the latter attract more capital inflows than economies with more flexible regimes. Our findings thus suggest countries with less flexible exchange rate regimes may stand to benefit the most from regulatory policies that reduce banks' incentives to tap external markets and to lend/borrow in foreign currency; these policies include marginal reserve requirements on foreign lending, currency-dependent liquidity requirements, and higher capital requirement and/or dynamic provisioning on foreign exchange loans.