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Mr. David J Hofman, Mr. Marcos d Chamon, Mr. Pragyan Deb, Mr. Thomas Harjes, Umang Rawat, and Itaru Yamamoto
We investigate the motives inflation-targeting central banks in emerging markets may have for intervening in foreign exchange markets and evaluate the case for such interventions based on the existing literature. Our findings suggest that the rationale for interventions depends on initial conditions and country-specific circumstances. The case is strongest in the presence of large currency mismatches or underdeveloped markets. While interventions can have benefits in the short-term, sustained over time they could entrench unfavorable initial conditions, though more work is needed to establish this empirically. A first effort to measure the cost of interventions to the credibility of policy frameworks suggests that the negative impact may be smaller than often assumed—at least for the set of more sophisticated inflation-targeting emerging-market central banks considered here.
Mr. Daniel P. Hewitt
Econometric results from an analysis of the determinants of military expenditure in 125 countries during 1972-88 are presented. The dependent variable is the ratio of military expenditure to GDP; included among the explanatory variables are economic and financial indicators, political variables summarizing the form of government, and demographic and geographic features of nations. The results strongly confirm the importance of these variables in explaining cross-country differences in levels of military expenditure.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes the World Bank’s mission in a changing world. Conditionality of the Bank is different in several ways as it operates over a longer timeframe and relates to the more comfortable issues of economic growth rather than financial stabilization. The longer timeframes of the Bank’s programs require reaching agreement with borrowing countries on the desirability of maintaining the course that’s being advocated for an extended period. Many developing countries are unduly sensitive about the possibility that they may have to exercise their sovereignty more forcefully in the future.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper examines the policy of protectionism in world trade. It reviews alternatives to trade restrictions, factors influencing trade policies, and implications of protection for developing countries. The paper highlights that the rise in protectionist pressures is worrisome, because the likelihood of chain reactions toward more protectionism generated by individual restrictive actions is greatest in a setting of slow economic growth and highly interdependent economies. The paper also analyzes capital utilization in the manufacturing enterprises.