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Mr. Robin Koepke and Simon Paetzold
This paper provides an analytical overview of the most widely used capital flow datasets. The paper is written as a guide for academics who embark on empirical research projects and for policymakers who need timely information on capital flow developments to inform their decisions. We address common misconceptions about capital flow data and discuss differences between high-frequency proxies for portfolio flows. In a nowcasting “horse race” we show that high-frequency proxies have significant predictive content for portfolio flows from the balance of payments (BoP). We also construct a new dataset for academic use, consisting of monthly portfolio flows broadly consistent with BoP data.
Gustavo Adler, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, and Signe Krogstrup
Growing international integration in trade and finance can challenge the measurement of external accounts. This paper presents a unified conceptual framework for identifying sources of mismeasurement of foreign investment income in current account balances. The framework allows to derive a precise definition of measurement distortions and an empirical strategy for estimating their importance. As an application, we empirically estimate two specific distortions related to inflation and retained earnings on portfolio equity for a broad set of countries. We find these may explain a non-trivial share of current account imbalances and that they are particularly relevant in countries with large external investment positions. We also discuss how merchanting and profit-shifting activities could lead to measurement distortions. We suggest areas for future research and underline the need to strengthen data collection efforts.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission about the compilation of Coordinated Direct Investment Survey and Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS) in El Salvador. The mission recommended the authorities to research the nature of the information available that may be useful for starting the CPIS. This entails discussions regarding the forms designed during the mission for requesting information from new sources. It was also recommended to continue efforts to improve the coverage of surveys applied to nonfinancial private sector enterprises, with emphasis on the largest enterprises that are still reluctant to respond to the balance-of-payments questionnaires.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission regarding the balance of payments, international investment position, and secondary income statistics in El Salvador. The mission reviewed progress made on the recommendations for the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS). Although El Salvador is currently reporting data to the CDIS, there are some topics that need improvement, particularly the positions of the shareholders of the three most important financial groups and their subsidiaries to avoid duplicate entries. The mission agreed with the authorities regarding the monitoring of processing payment vouchers sent to the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador by banks and other entities paying remittances for amounts exceeding the threshold of US$500 to complete the personal transfers’ estimates.
Zsoka Koczan
The boom and bust in capital flows to the New Member States of the European Union have received a considerable amount of attention; foreign direct investment and bank flows to the region and countries’ participation in regional supply chains have been well-documented. Relatively little has, however, been written about capital flows to the Western Balkans economies, which are often perceived to be ‘late arrivals’ to large capital flows. This paper aims to examine how capital flows to the Western Balkans compare with flows to the New Member States, in terms of levels as well as dynamics. We find that while financial integration took off somewhat later in the Western Balkans than in the New Member States, it has increased rapidly, despite still much lower capital account openness. Capital inflows as a share of GDP are comparable to those observed in the New Member States, (perhaps surprisingly) diverse in terms of source countries and broadly similar in composition, though with equity shares higher than they were in the New Member States at comparable levels of GDP per capita.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi, Mr. Joseph E. Gagnon, and Christian Saborowski
We use a cross-country panel framework to analyze the effect of net official flows (chiefly foreign exchange intervention) on current accounts. We find that net official flows have a large but plausible effect on current account balances. The estimated effects are larger with instrumental variables (42 cents to the dollar on average compared to 24 without instruments), reflecting a possible downward bias in regressions without instruments owing to an endogenous response of net official flows to private financial flows. We consistently find larger impacts of net official flows when international capital flows are restricted and smaller impacts when capital is highly mobile. A further result is that there is an important positive effect of lagged net official flows on current accounts that we believe operates through the portfolio balance channel.