Natural disasters are a source of economic risks in many countries, especially in smaller and lower-income states, and ex-ante preparedness is needed to manage the risks. The paper discusses sovereign experience with disaster insurance as a key instrument to mitigate the risks; proposes ways to judge the adequacy of insurance; and considers ways to enhance its use by vulnerable countries. The paper especially aims to inform policy decisions on disaster insurance. Through simulations of natural disasters and various insurance options, we find that sovereign decisions on optimal risk transfer involve balancing trade-offs between growth and debt, based on government risk preferences and country risk exposure. The choice of optimal insurance for smaller countries turns out to be more constrained by cost considerations due to their higher exposure, likely resulting in underinsurance; donor grants could help them achieve a more optimal protection. We also find that optimal insurance packages are those that are least costly relative to expected payouts (i.e. have the lowest insurance multiple), which are also the packages that insure less severe (more frequent) disasters.
Mr. Marcos d Chamon, Mr. David J Hofman, Mr. Nicolas E Magud, and Alejandro M. Werner
Foreign exchange intervention is widely used as a policy tool, particularly in
emerging markets, but many facets of this tool remain limited, especially in
the context of flexible exchange rate regimes. The Latin American experience
can be informative because some of its largest countries adopted floating
exchange rate regimes and inflation targeting while continuing to intervene
in foreign exchange markets.
This edited volume reviews detailed accounts from several Latin American
countries’ central banks, and it provides insight into how and with what aim
many interventions were decided and implemented. This book documents
the effectiveness of intervention and pays special attention to the role of
foreign exchange intervention policy within inflation-targeting monetary
frameworks. The main lesson from Latin America’s foreign exchange
interventions, in the context of inflation targeting, is that the region has had
a considerable degree of success. Transparency and a clear communication
policy have been key. For economies that are not highly dollarized, rules-based
intervention helped contain financial instability and build international
reserves while preserving inflation targets. The Latin American experience can
help other countries in the design and implementation of their policies.
Over the past two decades, Mexico has hedged oil price risk through the purchase of put
options. We examine the resulting welfare gains using a standard sovereign default model
calibrated to Mexican data. We show that hedging increases welfare by reducing income
volatility and reducing risk spreads on sovereign debt. We find welfare gains equivalent to
a permanent increase in consumption of 0.44 percent with 90 percent of these gains
stemming from lower risk spreads.
This paper discusses Guinea’s 2016–20 National Economic and Social Development Plan (PNDES). The PNDES represents the second generation of planning under the Third Republic, after the 2011–15 Five-Year Plan. Through the 2016–20 PNDES, the authorities intend to address the various development challenges posed by the socioeconomic and environmental situation while ensuring post-Ebola public health surveillance and alignment with international development agendas. The principal beneficiaries of the PNDES are the Guinean populations, but particularly poor and vulnerable groups, the government itself, the private sector, and the regions, including urban and rural areas.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes transmission of monetary policy rates to lending and deposit rates in Mexico. The results show that transmission of the policy rate to market rates is statistically significant in all cases, except for mortgage rates. For sight deposits, pass-through is low, with a 1 percentage point increase in the policy rate leading to a 0.2 percentage point rise in the deposit rate. For term deposits the pass-through is stronger, but remains below unity at 0.7. The pass-through to both lending and deposit rates is very rapid. The dynamic specifications show that pass-through is significant in either the current or the following month, and the long-term impact is achieved during the second month.