International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This chapter presents the point of view and ideas of Sabina Alkire, an economist. Alkire wants the Multidimensional Poverty Index to be part of a data revolution to guide the fight against poverty. According to Alkire, learning to meditate soothed away what she describes as the temper tantrums of her childhood. The chapter also highlights the fact that an index is only as good as its underlying data, and in emerging market economies that quality is often inadequate. The quest for better poverty metrics coincides with growing doubts about the ability of conventional statistics, especially GDP, to gauge economic growth in the digital economy, let alone well-being, welfare, and environmental sustainability.
The rapid growth of Islamic banking has attracted much attention lately in the economic literature. At the same time, a mature body of the literature has shown that financial development is broadly conducive to economic growth, which raises the question as to whether a similar conclusion holds for Islamic banking. Against this backdrop, this paper investigates the relationship between Islamic banking development and economic growth in a sample of low and middle income countries, using data over the period 1990-2010. The results show that, notwithstanding its relatively small size compared to the economy and the overall size of the financial system, Islamic banking is positively associated with economic growth even after controlling for various determinants, including the level of financial depth. The results are robust across across different specifications, sample composition and time periods.
This paper examines the empirical behavior of conventional bank deposit rates and the rate of return on retail Islamic profit-and-loss sharing (PLS) investment accounts in Malaysia and Turkey, using monthly data from January 1997 to August 2010. The analysis shows that conventional bank deposit rates and PLS returns exhibit long-run cointegration and the time-varying volatility of conventional bank deposit rates and PLS returns is correlated and is statistically significant. The pairwise and multivariate causality tests show that conventional bank deposit rates Granger cause returns on PLS accounts. These findings have policy implications in terms of price stability and financial stability.
This study was prepared by Zubair Iqbal of the Middle Eastern Department and Abbas Mirakhor of the Research Department. To collect information and views for the study, the authors held discussions with the authorities and representatives of commercial banks in the Islamic Republic of Iran and in Pakistan.