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Francisco Arizala, Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Ms. Margaux MacDonald, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, and Mustafa Yenice
Francisco Arizala, Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Ms. Margaux MacDonald, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, and Mustafa Yenice
Francisco Arizala, Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Ms. Margaux MacDonald, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, and Mustafa Yenice

After close to two decades of strong economic activity, overall growth in sub-Saharan Africa decelerated markedly in 2015–16 as the largest economies experienced negative or flat growth. Regional growth started recovering in 2017, but the question remains of how trends in the economies stuck in low gear will spill over to the countries that have maintained robust growth. This note illuminates the discussion by identifying growth spillover channels. The focus is on trade, banking, financial, remittance, investment, fiscal, and security channels, which are the most prominent and most likely to transmit growth trends across borders. In addition to bringing together findings from a broad array of existing research, the note identifies countries that are the most likely sources of regional spillovers and those that are most likely to be impacted, and provides estimates for the size of these channels. It finds that intraregional trade and remittance flows are an important channel for growth spillovers, while banking channels are less important but will remain a risk going forward. Finally, the note documents other important spillover channels through financial markets contagion, revenue-sharing arrangements in fiscal unions, commodity-pricing policies, corporate investment, and forced migration. The main takeaway is that the level of interdependence among sub-Saharan countries is higher than is generally assumed. Consequently, there is a need for additional emphasis on regional surveillance and spillover analysis, along with traditional bilateral surveillance.

Patrick Blagrave, Giang Ho, Ksenia Koloskova, and Mr. Esteban Vesperoni
Patrick Blagrave, Giang Ho, Ksenia Koloskova, and Mr. Esteban Vesperoni

Are fiscal spillovers today as large as they were during the global financial crisis? How do they depend on economic and policy conditions? This note informs the debate on the cross-border impact of fiscal policy on economic activity, shedding light on the magnitude and the factors affecting transmission, such as the fiscal instruments used, cyclical positions, monetary policy conditions, and exchange rate regimes. The note assesses spillovers from five major advanced economies (France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) on 55 advanced and emerging market economies that represent 85 percent of global output, looking at government-spending and tax revenue shocks during expansion and consolidation episodes. It finds that fiscal spillovers are economically significant in the presence of slack and/or accommodative monetary policy—and considerably smaller otherwise, which suggests that spillovers are large when domestic multipliers are also large. It also finds that spillovers from government-spending shocks are larger and more persistent than those from tax shocks and that transmission may be stronger among countries with fixed exchange rates. The evidence suggests that although spillovers from fiscal policies in the current environment may not be as large as they were during the crisis, they may still be important under certain economic circumstances.

Patrick Blagrave, Giang Ho, Ksenia Koloskova, and Mr. Esteban Vesperoni
Ms. Adina Popescu and Mr. Ippei Shibata

This note analyzes the impact of preannounced government spending shocks in the United States on the real effective exchange rate and the trade balance. Using a vector autoregression framework that allows anticipated fiscal shocks to be identified using survey information, we find that preannounced spending shocks lead to a sizable real effective dollar appreciation and a worsening of both the aggregate trade balance and bilateral trade balances in a panel of partner countries. The results are robust to controlling for country-specific variables like the macroeconomic and policy conditions in the recipient countries, are generalized across regions and might have decreased during the zero-interest-lower-bound regime.

Davide Furceri, João Tovar Jalles, and Ms. Aleksandra Zdzienicka