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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper on Nepal measures the extent to which Nepal’s households change their expenditure patterns and labor supply in response to remittances, using the Nepal Household Risk and Vulnerability Survey—2016 and employing a propensity score matching method. This study provides stylized facts on migrant workers and remittance-recipient households (HH), and then analyzes the effect of remittances on HHs' expenditure patterns and labor supply. Reliance on remittances, both at the macro and household levels, makes Nepal highly vulnerable to shifts that could diminish remittance inflows. The slowdown in growth of remittances has been significant since 2016, owing to weak economic performance in major remittance-sending economies and less outward migration. This study also analyzes the effect of remittances on labor market participation of left behind household heads, using a propensity score matching method. The results show that remittances have supported greater consumption of productive goods (such as durable goods, education and health), without discouraging labor supply of remittance-receiving family members.
Ms. Manuela Goretti, Mr. Daisaku Kihara, Mr. Ranil M Salgado, and Ms. Anne Marie Gulde
Since the mid-1980s, durable reforms coupled with prudent macroeconomic management have brought steady progress to the South Asia region, making it one of the world’s fastest growing regions. Real GDP growth has steadily increased from an average of about 3 percent in the 1970s to 7 percent over the last decade. Although growth trajectories varied across countries, reforms supported strong per capita income growth in the region, lifting over 200 million people out of poverty in the last three decades. Today, South Asia accounts for one-fifth of the world’s population and, thanks to India’s increasing performance, contributes to over 15 percent of global growth. Looking ahead, the authors find that South Asia is poised to play an even bigger role in the global economy, in both relative and absolute terms. India has overtaken China as the fastest growing large economy and South Asia’s contribution to global growth is set to increase, while more mature economies decelerate. Greater economic diversification, with an expansion of the service sector, improvements in education, and a still sizable demographic dividend are among the key elements underpinning this performance. Based on demographic trends, more than 150 million people in the region are expected to enter the labor market by 2030. This young and large workforce can be South Asia’s strength, if supported by a successful high-quality and job-rich growth strategy. Amid a changing global economic landscape, the authors argue that South Asia will need to leverage on all sectors of the economy in a balanced way, supporting improvements in agricultural productivity and a sustainable expansion of manufacturing, while promoting higher-skill services, to achieve this goal.
Suprabha Baniya
This paper investigates the effect of timeliness in accessing the intermediate inputs on the trade pattern. In particular, any country that has a higher ability to transport goods on time has a comparative advantage in industries that place a higher value on the timely delivery of their inputs, and this comparative advantage pattern is stronger for processed goods than for primary goods. To do this, a measure for how intensively any industry demands for the timely delivery of its intermediate inputs is constructed combining Hummels and Schaur (2013)’s calculations of the time sensitivity of products with the input-output tables.
Mr. Paul Cashin and Rahul Anand

Abstract

High and persistent inflation has presented serious macroeconomic challenges in India in recent years, increasing the country’s domestic and external vulnerabilities. A number of factors underpin India’s high inflation. This book analyzes various facets of Indian inflation—the causes, consequences, and policies being implemented to manage it. Several chapters are devoted to analyzing and managing food inflation, given its significance in driving overall inflation dynamics in India.

International Monetary Fund
This report aims to accomplish three objectives: (a) it provides an update on the status of implementation, impact, and costs of the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI); (b) it proposes a modification of the reporting of progress under the initiatives, including the discontinuation of the annual status of implementation reports, and the preparation of periodic reports on debt vulnerabilities in low income countries (LICs), including HIPCs; and (c) it proposes a further ring-fencing of the list of countries eligible or potentially eligible for debt relief under the HIPC Initiative based on end-2010 income and indebtedness criteria.
Mr. Robert Gillingham

Abstract

The Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) is used by the IMF to provide support for countries’ implementation of their poverty reduction and growth strategies. A key requirement in the design of PRGF programs is understanding the effects of reform program measures on vulnerable groups—particularly the poor—and how to devise measures to mitigate any negative effects. Poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA) is a critical instrument for pursuing this goal. The IMF has therefore established a small group of staff economists to facilitate the integration of PSIA into PRGF-supported programs. In this book, the group’s members review analytical techniques used in PSIA as well as several important topics to which PSIA can make valuable contributions. These reviews should prove useful and interesting to readers interested in PSIA in general and the IMF’s PSIA efforts in particular.

International Monetary Fund
This paper identifies the countries that meet the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative’s income and indebtedness eligibility criteria based on end-2004 data. It also updates the status of these countries toward qualifying for debt relief and presents cost estimates of debt relief.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper explains the features of the Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) Franc system. All CFA countries belong to one of three monetary systems. Although their statutes and functions differ somewhat, the three central banks have various common features. All three central banks are authorized to extend short-term and medium-term credit to the private sector. Many the commercial banks operating in the CFA countries are French banks with head offices in Paris. The credit operations of the commercial banks in the CFA countries are largely dependent upon the rediscount facilities offered by the central banks. The Bank is the sole authority for issuing CFA currency in the countries of French Equatorial Africa and in Cameroon. The exchange regulations applied in the CFA countries are patterned on those of France, with adaptations decided upon by local authorities according to local conditions and requirements. While exchange transactions with the other franc area countries generally are free, those with the non-franc area are subject to licensing.