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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The External Sector Report presents a methodologically consistent assessment of the exchange rates, current accounts, reserves, capital flows, and external balance sheets of the world’s largest economies. The 2018 edition includes an analytical assessment of how trade costs and related policy barriers drive excess global imbalances.

Mr. Daniel Leigh, Weicheng Lian, Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, Rachel Szymanski, Viktor Tsyrennikov, and Hong Yang
We examine the stability and strength of the relationship between exchange rates and trade over time using three alternative approaches, mitigating the endogeneity of the relation. We find that both exchange rate pass-through and the price elasticity of trade volumes are largely stable over time. Economic slack and financial conditions affect the relationship, but there is limited evidence that participation in global value chains has significantly changed the exchange rate–trade relationship over time.
Ehsan U. Choudhri and Ms. Dalia S Hakura
Using both regression- and VAR-based estimates, the paper finds that the exchange rate pass-through to import prices for a large number of countries is incomplete and larger than the pass-through to export prices. Previous studies have reported similar results, which give rise to the puzzle that while local currency pricing is needed to account for incomplete import price pass-through, it would not imply a lower export price pass-through. Recent explanations of this puzzle have emphasized markup adjustment in response to exchange rate changes. This paper suggests an alternative explanation based on the presence of both producer and local currency pricing. Using a dynamic general equilibrium model, the paper shows that a mix of producer and local currency pricing can explain the pass-through evidence even with a constant markup. The model can also explain the observed exchange rate and inflation variability as well as the fact that the regression and VAR estimates tend to be similar.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The September 2011 edition of the World Economic Outlook assesses the prospects for the global economy, which is now in a dangerous new phase. Global activity has weakened and become more uneven, confidence has fallen sharply recently, and downside risks are growing. Against a backdrop of unresolved structural fragilities, a barrage of shocks hit the international economy this year, including the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami, unrest in some oil-producing countries, and the major financial turbulence in the euro area. Two of the forces now shaping the global economy are high and rising commodity prices and the need for many economies to address large budget deficits. Chapter 3 examines the inflationary effects of commodity price movements and the appropriate monetary policy response. Chapter 4 explores the implications of efforts by advanced economies to restore fiscal sustainability and by emerging and developing economies to tighten fiscal policy to rebuild fiscal policy room and in some cases to restrain overheating pressures.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper introduces a new database of financial reforms covering 91 economies over 1973-2005. It describes the content of the database, the information sources utilized, and the coding rules used to create an index of financial reform. It also compares the database with other measures of financial liberalization, provides descriptive statistics, and discusses some possible applications. The database provides a multifaceted measure of reform, covering seven aspects of financial sector policy. Along each dimension the database provides a graded (rather than a binary) score, and allows for reversals.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Monetary and Financial Statistics: Compilation Guide is a companion to the IMF's Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (2000). It describes the economic sectorization, valuation, and other accounting rules used in compiling data on the financial assets and liabilities of the financial corporations sector and all economic sectors of an economy. This guide to best practices contributes to the IMF's ongoing initiatives to enhance data transparency and statistical standards among member countries, and thus to further the adoption of sound macroeconomic policies and the smooth functioning of global financial markets.

Mr. Etienne B Yehoue, Miss Mona Hammami, and Jean-François Ruhashyankiko
This paper presents an empirical analysis of the cross-country and cross-industry determinants of public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements. We find that PPPs tend to be more common in countries where governments suffer from heavy debt burdens and where aggregate demand and market size are large. Our findings also suggest that macroeconomic stability is essential for PPPs. We provide evidence on the importance of institutional quality, where less corruption and effective rule of law are associated with more PPP projects. PPPs are also more prevalent in countries with previous PPP experiences. At the industry level, we find that PPP determinants vary across industries depending on the nature of public infrastructure, capital intensity, and technology required. We also find that private participation in PPP projects depends on the expected marketability, the technology required, and the degree of "impurity" of the goods or services.
Mr. Robert P Flood and Ms. Nancy P. Marion
Why do countries hold so much international reserves? Global reserve holdings (excluding gold) were equivalent to 17 weeks of imports at the end of 1999. That is almost double what they were at the end of 1960 and about 20 percent higher than they were at the start of the 1990s. In this paper we study countries’ reserve holdings in light of both the increased financial volatility experienced in the last decade and diminished adherence to fixed exchange rates. We find that buffer-stock reserve models work about as well in the modern floating-rate period as they did during the Bretton Woods regime. During both periods, however, the models’ fundamentals explain only a small portion (10-15 percent) of reserves volatility.