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Christian Saborowski, Sarah Sanya, Hans Weisfeld, and Juan Yepez
This paper examines the effectiveness of capital outflow restrictions in a sample of 37 emerging market economies during the period 1995-2010, using a panel vector autoregression approach with interaction terms. Specifically, it examines whether a tightening of outflow restrictions helps reduce net capital outflows. We find that such tightening is effective if it is supported by strong macroeconomic fundamentals or good institutions, or if existing restrictions are already fairly comprehensive. When none of these three conditions is fulfilled, a tightening of restrictions fails to reduce net outflows as it provokes a sizeable decline in gross inflows, mainly driven by foreign investors.
Mr. Ashvin Ahuja and Ms. Alla Myrvoda
Real estate investment accounts for a quarter of total fixed asset investment (FAI) in China. The real estate sector’s extensive industrial and financial linkages make it a special type of economic activity, especially where the credit creation process relies primarily on collateral, like in China. As a result, the impact on economic activity of a collapse in real estate investment in China—though a low-probability event—would be sizable, with large spillovers to a number of China’s trading partners. Using a two-region factor-augmented vector autoregression model that allows for interaction between China and the rest of the G20 economies, we find that a 1-percent decline in China’s real estate investment would shave about 0.1 percent off China’s real GDP within the first year, with negative spillover impacts to China’s G20 trading partners that would cause global output to decline by roughly 0.05 percent from baseline. Japan, Korea, and Germany would be among the hardest hit. In that event, commodity prices, especially metal prices, could fall by as much as 0.8–2.2 percent below baseline one year after the shock.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about Large Fiscal Consolidation Attempts in the Past and Implications for Policymakers Today (by Fuad Hasanov and Paolo Mauro). The research summaries are "Booms and Busts" (by Roberto Piazza) and " Did Export Diversification Soften the Impact of the Global Financial Crisis?" (by Rafael Romeu). The issue also provides details on visiting scholars at the IMF (mainly from September through December 2011), as well as recently published IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes.
Mr. Martin Sommer
The Japanese economy has been hit hard by the slump in global demand for advanced manufacturing products such as cars, information technology, and machinery, which account for a larger share of production than in other G-7 economies. Most of the drop in Japan’s exports was caused by a sharp retrenchment in overseas demand for motor vehicles, information technology, and capital goods, as firms and consumers cut their investment and durable goods spending in response to the global credit crunch and extraordinary uncertainties about the outlook. Worsening domestic financial conditions deepened the current recession by reducing domestic demand, especially business investment. The short-term outlook is further clouded by the needed adjustment to inventories, which have accumulated well above normal levels in both Japan and its export markets. During the 2001 recession, industrial production started recovering about 5 months after the peak of the inventory cycle. By analogy, one could expect a bottom in industrial production around May 2009. However, since the global environment is expected to remain weak and the Japanese economy faces headwinds from tight domestic financial conditions, the production adjustment could take longer during this recession.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes external shocks and business cycle fluctuations in Mexico. The paper examines the relative importance of U.S. demand shocks—and other foreign disturbances—in explaining Mexican output fluctuations. It identifies the dynamic response of Mexico’s output to those shocks. The paper investigates which U.S. variables are most relevant to explaining business cycles in Mexico. It analyses potential spillovers and channels of transmission underlying the linkages between the United States and Mexican economies, and focuses on one aspect of the development of the Mexican private mortgage market, the market for mortgage-backed securities.
Mr. Robert P Flood
This paper analyzes the issue of purchasing power parity using real effective exchange rate (REER) data for 20 industrial countries in the post-Bretton Woods period. The serial correlation-robust median-unbiased estimator yields a cross-country average of half-lives of deviations from parity of about eight years, with the REER of several countries displaying permanent deviations from parity. The paper analyzes integration of Africa into world trade. The high-yield spread as a predictor of real economic activity is also examined.
Mr. Andre O Santos
We use the regime-switching econometric models in Hamilton (1989) and Filardo (1994) to study business cycles in Mexico. In particular, we characterize the ups and downs of economic activity in Mexico. As a proxy for economic activity, we use the Mexican quarterly industrial production index from the second quarter of 1972 to the third quarter of 1999. We allow the transition probabilities driving changes in economic activity to be a function of fiscal, financial, and external sector indicators. Our results show that recessions in Mexico are deeper and shorter than expansions.
Mr. Athanasios Vamvakidis and Mr. Sergei Dodzin
This paper examines the impact of international trade on industrialization in developing agricultural economies. The findings show that developing agricultural economies that increased their openness during 1970-95 experienced an increase in their share of industrial production at the expense of agricultural production. This is in contrast to what many policymakers in these economies have often argued when trying to promote industrialization by restricting trade. The paper presents an infant industry model with learning effects from imports of manufacturing products that is consistent with the supporting empirical results.
Mr. Zenon Kontolemis
This paper identifies turning points for the U.S. business cycle using different time series. The model, a multivariate Markov-Swiching model, assumes that each series is characterized by a mixture of two normal distributions (a high and low mean) with switching determined by a common Markov process. The procedure is applied to the series that make up the composite U.S. coincident indicator to obtain business cycle turning points. The business cycle chronology is closer to the NBER reference cycle than the turning points obtained from the individual series using a univariate model. The model is also used to forecast the series, with encouraging results.