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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The IMF’s 2019 External Sector Report shows that global current account balances stand at about 3 percent of global GDP. Of this, about 35–45 percent are now deemed excessive. Meanwhile, net credit and debtor positions are at historical peaks and about four times larger than in the early 1990s. Short-term financing risks from the current configuration of external imbalances are generally contained, as debtor positions are concentrated in reserve-currency-issuing advanced economies. An intensification of trade tensions or a disorderly Brexit outcome—with further repercussions for global growth and risk aversion—could, however, affect other economies that are highly dependent on foreign demand and external financing. With output near potential in most systemic economies, a well-calibrated macroeconomic and structural policy mix is necessary to support rebalancing. Recent trade policy actions are weighing on global trade flows, investment, and growth, including through confidence effects and the disruption of global supply chains, with no discernible impact on external imbalances thus far.

Vito Amendolagine, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, Roberta Rabellotti, Marco Sanfilippo, and Adnan Seric
The local sourcing of intermediate products is one the main channels for foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers. This paper investigates whether and how participation and positioning in the global value chains (GVCs) of host countries is associated to local sourcing by foreign investors. Matching two firm-level data sets of 19 Sub-Saharan African countries and Vietnam to country-sector level measures of GVC involvement, we find that more intense GVC participation and upstream specialization are associated to a higher share of inputs sourced locally by foreign investors. These effects are larger in countries with stronger rule of law and better education.
Nordine Abidi, Ms. Burcu Hacibedel, and Ms. Mwanza Nkusu
This paper investigates to what extent low-income developing countries (LIDCs) characterized as frontier markets (FMs) have begun to be subject to capital flows dynamics typically associated with emerging markets (EMs). Using a sample of developing countries covering the period 2000–14, we show that: (i) average annual portfolio flows to FMs as a share of GDP outstripped those to EMs by about 0.6 percentage points of GDP; (ii) during years of heightened stress in global financial markets, portfolio flows to FMs dried up like those to EMs; and that (iii) FMs have become more integrated into international financial markets. Our findings confirm that, in terms of portfolio flows, FMs have become more similar to EMs than to the rest of LIDCs and are therefore more vulnerable to swings in global financial markets conditions. Accordingly, it is important to have in place frameworks to strengthen FMs’ resilience to adverse capital flows shocks.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about policy options for emerging market countries (by Marcos Chamon, Chris Crowe, and Jun Il Kim); research summaries on “Does Trade and Financial Globalization Cause Income Inequality?” (by Chris Papageorgiou) and “The Current Account of Oil-Exporting Countries (by Irineu E. de Carvalho Filho); an article on the launch of the IMF’s new research journal, IMF Economic Review, and the contents of the upcoming IMF Staff Papers, which the new the new journal will succeed in 2010; an article on the upcoming Tenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference; a listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July–September 2009; and listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Position Notes.
Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Andre Faria, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Julian Di Giovanni, Mr. Martin Schindler, Mr. Ayhan Kose, and Mr. Marco Terrones

Abstract

Financial globalization has increased dramatically over the past three decades, particularly for advanced economies, while emerging market and developing countries experienced more moderate increases. Divergences across countries stem from different capital control regimes, and factors such as institutional quality and domestic financial development. Although, in principle, financial globalization should enhance international risk sharing, reduce macroeconomic volatility, and foster economic growth, in practice its effects are less clear-cut. This paper envisages a gradual and orderly sequencing of external financial liberalization and complementary reforms in macroeconomic policy framework as essential components of a successful liberalization strategy.

International Monetary Fund
This paper examines how fiscal policy can contribute to realizing the benefits of two important ongoing developments, globalization and financial deepening.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Calls for stronger IMF, World Growth Outlook, Strauss-Kahn Takes Over as New IMF Head, IMFC Communique, Globalization, Global Business Cycle, Capital Flows, Annual Meetings Seminars, Asian Economic Outlook, African Economic Outlook, News Briefs.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF plan to cut imbalances; IMF clarifies aid role; world growth update; financial globalization; growth in Africa; low-income countries need fiscal reform; Central America seeks stronger growth; IMF surveillance framework; news briefs.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Assiduously tracking the trends and consequences of globalization, the IMF's quarterly magazine Finance & Development has been a major forum for discussing-and dissecting-the policy options and challenges faced by governments in an era when many national decisions transcend borders. This valuable compilation of articles published over the past eight years focuses on financial globalization, including the policy implications of the huge growth in cross-border capital flows. Articles also look at the expansion of world trade, explore the impact of globalization on jobs, taxation, and the poor, and examine the digital divide between developed and some developing countries. An extraordinary summary that distills nearly a decade of accelerated change.