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Mr. Marc C Dobler, Ender Emre, Alessandro Gullo, and Deeksha Kale
This technical note and manual (TNM) addresses the following issues: advantages and disadvantages of different types of depositor preference, international best practice and experience in adopting depositor preference, and introducing depositor preference in jurisdictions with or without deposit insurance.
Davide Furceri, Jun Ge, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Gabriele Ciminelli
Many countries are experiencing persistent, weak medium-term growth and limited fiscal space. Against this background, economic policy agendas—in both advanced and developing economies—are focusing increasingly on structural reforms. While there is broad agreement on the economic benefits of structural reforms, the political-economy of reform is less settled. This is because reforms may generate gains only in the longer term while distributional effects may be sizable in the short run, and because governments may lack political capital to confront vocal interest groups. In these circumstances, politicians may hold back on reforms, fearing they will be penalized at the ballot box. The aim of this Staff Discussion Note is to examine whether the fear of a political cost associated with structural reforms is justified by the available evidence, and whether there are lessons from the data about how reform strategies might be designed to mitigate potential political costs. It provides a major addition to recent IMF analysis examining the output and employment effect of reforms
Mr. John C Bluedorn, Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Mr. Romain A Duval, Davide Furceri, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, Yi Ji, Davide Malacrino, Mr. Haonan Qu, Jesse Siminitz, and Ms. Aleksandra Zdzienicka
Cross-country differences in economic resilience—in an economy’s ability to withstand and adjust to shocks—remain significant in the euro area. In part, the differences reflect the lack of a national nominal exchange rate as a mechanism to adjust to shocks. The IMF staff has argued that union-wide architectural changes such as the banking union, the capital markets union, and a central fiscal capacity can help foster greater international risk sharing. Yet even these changes cannot insure against all shocks. National policies thus have a vital role to play. This IMF staff discussion note analyzes how national structural policies can help euro area countries better deal with economic shocks. Using a mix of empirical and modeling approaches, the note finds that growth-enhancing reforms to labor and product market regulations, tailored to country-specific circumstances, would help individual euro area economies weather adverse shocks. Higher-quality insolvency regimes are associated with more efficient factor reallocation following a shock. The note also finds that structural and cyclical policies interact. Greater rigidities make economies more fragile, putting a higher burden on fiscal policy. This is especially true for members of a monetary union. Countries should build fiscal space in good times and tackle rigidities, reducing their need for countercyclical policies in bad times while making countercyclical policies more effective when deployed.
Mr. Kwangwon Lee

Abstract

The Quarterly National Accounts Manual (the Manual) provides conceptual and practical guidance for compiling quarterly national accounts (QNA) statistics. The Manual offers a comprehensive review of data sources, statistical methods, and compilation techniques to derive official estimates of quarterly GDP. The new edition—which upgrades the first edition, published in 2001—improves and expands the previous content based on recent methodological advances, best country practices, and suggestions received from QNA compilers and experts.

Mr. Kwangwon Lee

Abstract

The Quarterly National Accounts Manual (the Manual) provides conceptual and practical guidance for compiling quarterly national accounts (QNA) statistics. The Manual offers a comprehensive review of data sources, statistical methods, and compilation techniques to derive official estimates of quarterly GDP. The new edition—which upgrades the first edition, published in 2001—improves and expands the previous content based on recent methodological advances, best country practices, and suggestions received from QNA compilers and experts.

Mr. Nathaniel G Arnold, Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, H. Elif Ture, Hou Wang, and Jiaxiong Yao
This note outlines a concrete proposal for a euro area central fiscal capacity (CFC) that could help smooth both country-specific and common shocks. Specifically, it proposes a macroeconomic stabilization fund financed by annual contributions from countries that are used to build up assets in good times and make transfers to countries in bad times, as well as a borrowing capacity in case an exceptionally large shock exhausts the fund’s assets. To address moral hazard risks, transfers from the CFC—beyond a country’s own net contributions—would be conditional on compliance with the EU fiscal rules. The note also discusses several features aimed at avoiding permanent transfers between countries and making the CFC function as automatically as possible—to limit the scope for disputes over its operation—both of which are important points to make it politically acceptable.
Mr. Jörg Decressin, Mr. Raphael A Espinoza, Mr. Ioannis Halikias, Mr. Michael Kumhof, Mr. Daniel Leigh, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Mr. Paulo A Medas, Susanna Mursula, Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo, and Ms. TengTeng Xu
The paper studies the impacts of wage moderation in the euro area. Simulation results show that if a single euro area crisis-hit economy undertakes wage moderation, the impact on output is positive for that economy and for the entire euro area. If all crisis-hit economies undertake wage moderation together, their output still expands, albeit to a lesser degree. If the wage moderation is accompanied by cuts in policy interest rates by the central bank—and by quantitative easing once interest rates hit the zero lower bound—then output for the entire euro area expands as well.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Jose M Garrido, Ms. Anna Ilyina, Andreas Jobst, Mr. Kenneth H Kang, Dmitriy Kovtun, Ms. Yan Liu, Mr. Dermot Monaghan, and Ms. Marina Moretti
Europe’s banking system is weighed down by high levels of non-performing loans (NPLs), which are holding down credit growth and economic activity. This discussion note uses a new survey of European country authorities and banks to examine the structural obstacles that discourage banks from addressing their problem loans. A three pillared strategy is advocated to remedy the situation, comprising: (i) tightened supervisory policies, (ii) insolvency reforms, and (iii) the development of distressed debt markets.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Mr. Ali J Al-Eyd, Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, and Andreas Jobst
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for a disproportionate share of output and employment in Europe but are still highly dependent on bank finance, which dried up or became prohibitively expensive during the crisis. Broader access to alternative, long-term finance through securitization would limit their exposure to banking sector difficulties and thus help revive credit. The SDN examines the various impediments to the development of a well-functioning and liquid securitization market in Europe and proposes a comprehensive multi-faceted strategy to support its development through regulatory reforms and infrastructure development together with targeted and time-bound official sector support. This would require (i) greater regulatory differentiation between securities of different quality and underlying asset structures; (ii) harmonized national enforcement and insolvency frameworks and standardized reporting requirements; and (iii) greater capacity of EU authorities to support new issuance. These measures would be underpinned by a pan-European definition of high-quality securitization (HQS) comprising simple, transparent and efficient asset structures receiving preferential regulatory treatment.
Angana Banerji, Mr. Sergejs Saksonovs, Ms. Huidan Huidan Lin, and Mr. Rodolphe Blavy
The SDN will assess the youth unemployment problem in advanced European countries, with a special focus on the euro area. It will document the main trends in youth and adult unemployment in 22 European countries before and after the global financial crisis. It will identify the main drivers of youth and adult unemployment, focusing in particular on the role of the business cycle and structural characteristics of the labor market. It will outline the main elements of a comprehensive strategy to address the problem.