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Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister and Mr. Luis D Barrot
This paper presents an alternative method for calculating debt targets using the debt intolerance literature of Reinhart, Rogoff, and Savastano (2003) and Reinhart and Rogoff (2009). The methodology presented improves on the previous papers by using a dynamic panel approach, correcting for endogeneity in the regressors and basing the calculation of debt targets on credit ratings, a more objective criteria. In addition the study uses a new data base on general government debt covering 120 countries over 21 years. The paper suggests a ranking of Central America, Panama, and Dominican Republic (CAPDR) countries in terms of debt intolerance - an index which could be used to further investigate the main components of debt intolerance.
Mr. Emil Stavrev
The paper analyzes the forces driving inflation in the new EU10 member countries. A significant part of headline inflation in these countries is due to common factors, such as price level convergence and EU integration. However, idiosyncratic factors have also played a role in the inflation process. These factors are related to the country-specific financial conditions, pass-through from foreign prices, and demand-supply situation in each country, although administered price adjustments and increases of indirect taxes associated with EU accession are also likely to have played a role.
Raghuram Rajan and Mr. Arvind Subramanian
We examine the effects of aid on growth-- in cross-sectional and panel data--after correcting for the bias that aid typically goes to poorer countries, or to countries after poor performance. Even after this correction, we find little robust evidence of a positive (or negative) relationship between aid inflows into a country and its economic growth. We also find no evidence that aid works better in better policy or geographical environments, or that certain forms of aid work better than others. Our findings, which relate to the past, do not imply that aid cannot be beneficial in the future. But they do suggest that for aid to be effective in the future, the aid apparatus will have to be rethought. Our findings raise the question: what aspects of aid offset what ought to be the indisputable growth enhancing effects of resource transfers? Thus, our findings support efforts under way at national and international levels to understand and improve aid effectiveness.
Mr. Arvind Subramanian and Mr. Shanker Satyanath
We examine the deep determinants of long-run macroeconomic stability in a cross-country framework. We find that conflict, openness, and democratic political institutions have a strong and statistically significant causal impact on macroeconomic stability. Surprisingly the most robust relationship of the three is for democratic institutions. A one standard deviation increase in democracy can reduce nominal instability nearly fourfold. This impact is robust to alternative measures of democracy, samples, covariates, and definitions of conflict. It is particularly noteworthy that a variety of nominal pathologies discussed in the recent macroeconomic literature, such as procyclical policy, original sin, and debt intolerance, have common origins in weak democratic institutions. We also find evidence that democratic institutions both strongly influence monetary policy and have a strong, independent positive effect on stability after controlling for various policy variables.
Mr. Haroon Mumtaz, Mr. Jean Imbs, Mr. Morten O. Ravn, and Ms. Helene Rey
We show the importance of a dynamic aggregation bias in accounting for the PPP puzzle. We prove that established time-series and panel methods substantially exaggerate the persistence of real exchange rates because of heterogeneity in the dynamics of disaggregated relative prices. When heterogeneity is properly taken into account, estimates of the real exchange rate half-life fall dramatically, to little more than one year, or significantly below Rogoff's "consensus view" of three to five years. We show that corrected estimates are consistent with plausible nominal rigidities, thus, arguably, solving the PPP puzzle.
Mr. A. J Hamann and Mr. Alessandro Prati
Many inflation stabilizations succeed only temporarily. Using a sample of 51 episodes of stabilization from inflation levels above 40 percent, we show that most of the failures are explained by bad luck, unfavorable initial conditions, and inadequate political institutions. The evolution of trading partners' demand and U.S. interest rates captures the effect of bad luck. Past inflation affects the outcome in two different ways: a long history of high inflation makes failure more likely, while a high level of inflation prior to stabilization increases the chances of success. Countries with short-lived political institutions, a weak executive authority, and proportional electoral rules also tend to fail. After controlling for all these factors, we find that exchange-rate-based stabilizations are more likely to succeed. These findings are robust across measures of failure (two dichotomous and one continuous), sample selection criteria, and estimation techniques, including Heckman's correction for the endogeneity of the anchor.
International Monetary Fund
Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201 This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during July-December 1994 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period.
International Monetary Fund
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.