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Sophia Chen and Do Lee
We provide broad-based evidence of a firm size premium of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in Europe after the Global Financial Crisis. The TFP growth of smaller firms was more adversely affected and diverged from their larger counterparts after the crisis. The impact was progressively larger for medium, small, and micro firms relative to large firms. It was also disproportionally larger for firms with limited credit market access. Moreover, smaller firms were less likely to have access to safer banks: those that were better capitalized banks and with a presence in the credit default swap market. Horseraces suggest that firm size may be a more important and robust vulnerability indicator than balance sheet characteristics. Our results imply that the tightening of credit market conditions during the crisis, coupled with limited credit market access especially among micro, small, and medium firms, may have contributed to the large and persistent drop in aggregate TFP.
Mr. JaeBin Ahn, Mr. Romain A Duval, and Can Sever
While there is growing evidence of persistent or even permanent output losses from financial crises, the causes remain unclear. One candidate is intangible capital – a rising driver of economic growth that, being non-pledgeable as collateral, is vulnerable to financial frictions. By sheltering intangible investment from financial shocks, counter-cyclical macroeconomic policy could strengthen longer-term growth, particularly so where strong product market competition prevents firms from self-financing their investments through rents. Using a rich cross-country firm-level dataset and exploiting heterogeneity in firm-level exposure to the sharp and unforeseen tightening of credit conditions around September 2008, we find strong support for these theoretical predictions. The quantitative implications are large, highlighting a powerful stabilizing role for macroeconomic policy through the intangible investment channel, and its complementarity with pro-competition product market deregulation.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note on nonfinancial corporations and households vulnerabilities on France analyzes the structure of nonfinancial corporate financing in the French economy, potential vulnerabilities of the corporate sector, and their possible channels of transmission through interconnections with the financial system. The objective of this paper is to document the evolution of French corporate debt since the global financial crisis, analyze the riskiness of this debt, the quality of allocation of this debt, and uncover potential heterogeneity across sectors and firms which may have implications at the macroeconomic level. This paper also complements existing studies by the Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques, the Haut Conseil de Stabilité Financière and the Banque de France by undertaking a cross-country comparative analysis. Empirical analysis suggests that corporate debt may be allocated efficiently across publicly listed companies, but the picture is less clear among nonpublicly listed firms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The political context has become more complex and uncertain ahead of the 2020 presidential elections, with the three traditional parties openly competing since the end of the ruling coalition between President Ouattara’s Republican Democratic Rally and former President Bédié’s Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire. Positive investor perceptions of Côte d’Ivoire have so far not been affected. The growth outlook remains strong at 7½ percent, predicated on a continuously improving business environment, buoyant investment and sustained private consumption. Inflation is expected to remain low. Downside risks include the effects of the uncertain political landscape and weaker-than-expected global growth.
Mar Delgado-Téllez, Victor Duarte Lledo, and Javier J. Pérez
This paper proposes an empirical framework that distinguishes voluntary from involuntary compliance with fiscal deficit targets on the basis of economic, institutional, and political factors. The framework is applied to Spain’s Autonomous Communities (regions) over the period 2002-2015. Fiscal noncompliance among Spain’s regions has shown to be persistent. It increases with the size of growth forecast errors and the extent to which fiscal targets are tightened, factors not fully under the control of regional governments. Non-compliance also tends to increase during election years, when vertical fiscal imbalances accentuate, and market financing costs subside. Strong fiscal rules have not shown any significant impact in containing fiscal non-compliance. Reducing fiscal non-compliance in multilevel governance systems such as the one in Spain requires a comprehensive assessment of intergovernmental fiscal arrangements that looks beyond rules-based frameworks by ensuring enforcement procedures are politically credible.