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Mr. Ali J Al-Sadiq
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has helped accelerate the digitization of public services. The lockdown initiated by most governments to curb the spread of the coronavirus forced most public agencies to switch to online platforms to continue providing information and services to the public. It is widely recognized that information diffusion and communication technology play a large role in improving the quality of public services in terms of time, cost, and interface with the public, business, and other agencies. Potentially, e-government could enhance a country’s locational advantages and attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows. This hypothesis is tested empirically using an unbalanced panel data analysis for 178 host countries over the period 2003-2018. The results suggest that e-government stimulates the inflow of FDI.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper assesses Indonesia’s trade integration relative to underlying country characteristics. The paper analyzes Indonesia’s vulnerabilities, especially compared with the eve of the crisis in 1997. Various indicators suggest that the underlying fundamentals are significantly stronger. The paper examines key features of the financial safety net (FSN) in view of international standards and concludes that the current system is capable of timely addressing bank problems. It looks at determinants of, and constraints to, credit growth in recent years.
Mr. Robin Brooks and Mr. Marco Del Negro
We explore the link between international stock market comovement and the degree to which firms operate globally. Using stock returns and balance sheet data for companies in 20 countries, we estimate a factor model that decomposes stock returns into global, country-specific and industry-specific shocks. We find a large and highly significant link: on average, a firm raising its international sales by 10 percent raises the exposure of its stock return to global shocks by 2 percent and reduces its exposure to country-specific shocks by 1.5 percent. This link has grown stronger since the mid-1980s.
Mr. Mohsin S. Khan, Mr. Shigeru Iwata, and Mr. Hiroshi Murao
The conventional growth-accounting approach to estimating the sources of economic growth requires unrealistically strong assumptions about the competitiveness of factor markets and the form of the underlying aggregate production function. This paper outlines a new approach utilizing nonparametric derivative estimation techniques that does not require imposing these restrictive assumptions. The results for East Asian countries show that output elasticities of capital and labor are different from the income shares of these factors, and that the growth of total factor productivity over the period 1960-95 has been an important factor in the overall growth performance of these countries.
Mr. Christian Thimann and Mrs. Anuradha Dayal-Gulati
This paper examines empirical determinants of private saving for a sample of economies in Southeast Asia and Latin America over the period 1975–95. It uses panel estimations to establish relationships between private saving rates and a range of policy and nonpolicy variables. The findings show that fiscal policy, particularly social security arrangements, influence private saving; also macroeconomic stability and financial deepening appear to have been important in accounting for differences in saving behavior between the two regions.