International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
The Fund has a range of modalities and tools to cover spillovers. However, there remains scope to enhance synergies between global and country-specific spillover coverage and to foster cross-country dialogue. Practical guidance and enhanced information-sharing would also allow for more systematic surveillance of spillovers. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to continue expanding the research frontier covering new spillovers and channels and developing new tools and data sets. Therefore, filling these remaining gaps in the Fund’s spillover work would allow for a more coordinated and evenhanded surveillance of spillovers.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Despite a long history of program engagement, the Fund has not developed guidance on program design in members of currency unions.
Mr. Dmitry Gershenson, Mr. Albert Jaeger, and Mr. Subir Lall
Structural reforms were hoped to increase the scale and number of high-performing firms, which also tend to be exporting firms. Based on the results of a firm survey conducted by IMF staff, there is a perception that many reforms had at least some positive effects, but few reforms are seen as having had a significant impact. Firms’ perceived urgency to revisit or step up reforms, especially in the public and financial sectors, likely reflects the fact that these reforms are critical for reducing high transaction costs, especially for the exporting firms. The limited perceived impact of public sector reforms likely reflects implementation capacity constraints.
Angana Banerji, Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, Mr. James A John, Mr. Tidiane Kinda, Mr. Sergejs Saksonovs, Hanni Schoelermann, and Mr. Tao Wu
The momentum for structural reforms is waning in the euro area at a time when even faster progress is needed to boost productivity and growth, achieve real economic convergence, and improve the resilience of the monetary union. What can the European Union (EU) institutions do to bridge this divide? This paper argues for greater simplicity, transparency and accountability in the EU governance framework for structural reforms. Our three interrelated proposals—“outcome-based” benchmarking; better use of existing EU processes to strengthen oversight and reduce discretion; and improved financial incentives—could help advance reforms. Ex post monitoring by an independent EU-level “structural council” and ex ante policy innovation by national productivity councils could strengthen accountability and ownership. Deeper governance reforms should be considered in the medium-term with a view toward a greater EU role in promoting convergence.
In its April 2009 Communiqué, the IMFC called for a prompt start to the Fourteenth General Review of Quotas so that it is completed by January 2011--some two years ahead of schedule. The IMFC noted that the review is expected to result in increases in the quota shares of dynamic economies, particularly in the share of emerging market and developing countries as a whole. The IMFC also looked forward to further work by the Executive Board on elements of the new quota formula that can be improved before the formula is used again, and noted that this work should start before the 2009 Annual Meetings.
New Q&A feature in this issue focuses on "Seven Questions about Recessions" (by Marco Terrones); IMF research summaries on financial stress (by Selim Elekdag) and on the real effects of the 2007–08 financial crisis (by Hui Tong); listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during April–June 2009; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; listing of contents of Vol. 56 No. 2 of IMF Staff Papers; listing of recent external publications by IMF staff; and a feature on Staff Position Notes, the IMF’s new policy paper series, including a list of recent papers.
We analyze the relationship between international trade and the quality of economic institutions, such as contract enforcement, rule of law, and property rights. In our model, firms differ in their preferences for institutional quality, which is determined endogenously in a political economy framework. We show that trade opening can worsen institutions when it increases the political power of a small elite of large exporters who prefer to maintain bad institutions. The detrimental effect of trade on institutions is most likely to occur when a small country captures a sufficiently large share of world exports in sectors characterized by economic profits.
Mr. Saleh M. Nsouli, Mr. Mounir Rached, and Mr. Norbert Funke
This paper reviews the issues involved in determining the appropriate speed of adjustment and the sequencing of economic reforms, focusing on considerations relevant to policymakers. It points out that the debate between the protagonists of a high-speed approach and those favoring a gradualist approach is based primarily on the weights given to adjustment costs, policy credibility, reform feasibility, and risk assessment. It underscores the importance of appropriate sequencing and the impact of sequencing on the speed of adjustment and reforms. The paper concludes by highlighting factors that policymakers should consider when selecting their approach toward speed and sequencing.