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Mr. Serhan Cevik and João Tovar Jalles
Climate change is already a systemic risk to the global economy. While there is a large body of literature documenting potential economic consequences, there is scarce research on the link between climate change and sovereign risk. This paper therefore investigates the impact of climate change vulnerability and resilience on sovereign bond yields and spreads in 98 advanced and developing countries over the period 1995–2017. We find that the vulnerability and resilience to climate change have a significant impact on the cost government borrowing, after controlling for conventional determinants of sovereign risk. That is, countries that are more resilient to climate change have lower bond yields and spreads relative to countries with greater vulnerability to risks associated with climate change. Furthermore, partitioning the sample into country groups reveals that the magnitude and statistical significance of these effects are much greater in developing countries with weaker capacity to adapt to and mitigate the consequences of climate change.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Australia discusses that a continued gradual economic recovery is expected, subject to downside risks. Growth should continue to recover in 2020, but it will take time for the economy to return to potential and restore inflation to within the target range. Despite sound macroeconomic fundamentals and policy management, growth remains below potential and inflation is slightly below its target range. Growth is projected to recover gradually in the near term, supported by monetary policy easing, tax cuts, and the recovery of housing markets. Nonetheless, inflation is forecast to remain slightly below the target range until 2021 due to persistent economic slack. Downside risks, including a renewed escalation of the China–US tensions and weaker private consumption, remain elevated and have increased recently due to the widespread bushfires and the coronavirus outbreak. On the upside, looser financial conditions could re-accelerate asset-price inflation, boosting private consumption but also adding to medium-term vulnerabilities.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Four years after Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu causing extensive damages, reconstruction is near completion with full recovery in sight. The authorities are now focused on implementing their broader development plans that were slowed by the rebuilding process, which will require fiscal discipline and reforms to maintain debt sustainability. The authorities should continue their constructive engagement with development partners for technical assistance, capacity development, and concessional and grant-based funding. In parallel continuing to reform and strengthen the governance of institutions and removing vulnerabilities to corruption will be important.
Katsiaryna Svirydzenka
There is a vast body of literature estimating the impact of financial development on economic growth, inequality, and economic stability. A typical empirical study approximates financial development with either one of two measures of financial depth – the ratio of private credit to GDP or stock market capitalization to GDP. However, these indicators do not take into account the complex multidimensional nature of financial development. The contribution of this paper is to create nine indices that summarize how developed financial institutions and financial markets are in terms of their depth, access, and efficiency. These indices are then aggregated into an overall index of financial development. With the coverage of 183 countries on annual frequency between 1980 and 2013, the database should offer a useful analytical tool for researchers and policy makers.
Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper employs a dynamic multi-country framework to analyze the international macroeconomic transmission of El Niño weather shocks. This framework comprises 21 country/region-specific models, estimated over the period 1979Q2 to 2013Q1, and accounts for not only direct exposures of countries to El Niño shocks but also indirect effects through thirdmarkets. We contribute to the climate-macroeconomy literature by exploiting exogenous variation in El Niño weather events over time, and their impact on different regions crosssectionally, to causatively identify the effects of El Niño shocks on growth, inflation, energy and non-fuel commodity prices. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to El Niño shocks. While Australia, Chile, Indonesia, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa face a short-lived fall in economic activity in response to an El Niño shock, for other countries (including the United States and European region), an El Niño occurrence has a growth-enhancing effect. Furthermore, most countries in our sample experience short-run inflationary pressures as both energy and non-fuel commodity prices increase. Given these findings, macroeconomic policy formulation should take into consideration the likelihood and effects of El Niño weather episodes.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that growth in Fiji in 2013 accelerated to 4.6 percent. Consumption and investment indicators suggest continued strength in 2014, with economic growth projected at 3.8 percent. Headline inflation is currently low as imported commodity and food prices have remained stable. The Reserve Bank of Fiji lowered its policy rate to 0.5 percent in 2011, and monetary policy has been on hold since then. In response to lower rates and improved confidence, net domestic credit accelerated in the first half of 2014. Based on developments in the first half of 2014, the deficit financing target is on track to be met.
Ms. Elva Bova, Mr. Robert Dippelsman, Ms. Kara C Rideout, and Ms. Andrea Schaechter
When discussing debt reduction strategies, little attention has been given to the role of governments’ nonfinancial assets. This is in part because data are scarce. Drawing on various data sources, this paper looks at the size, composition, and management of state-owned nonfinancial assets across 32 economies, with particular focus on the advanced G-20 economies. We find that reported nonfinancial assets comprise mostly structures (such as roads and buildings) and,when valued, land. These assets have increased over time, mostly due to higher property and commodity prices, and are, in large part, owned by subnational governments. Many countries have launched reforms with a view to streamlining public administrations, but receipts and savings have been rather small so far. Governments tend to consider relatively small sets of assets to be disposable, though preferences could change in the future. A potential source for future revenues could be greater reliance on user charges, such as road tolls. In most cases, a first step for more effective asset management has to be the expansion and improvement of data compilation.