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Victoriia Alekhina and Mr. Giovanni Ganelli
Over the past decades ASEAN countries have experienced rapid economic growth accompanied by a dramatic fall in poverty rates, but income inequality has not retreated. This research aims at identifying factors which could contribute to more equally distributed growth in ASEAN. To measure inclusive growth, we use a variable integrating per capita income growth and an equity index. A cross-country panel analysis of the impact of macro-structural factors on inclusive growth and its two components suggests that fiscal redistribution, female labor force participation, productivity growth, FDI inflows, digitalization, and savings significantly drive inclusive growth. A scenario analysis based on our econometric results suggests that the implementation of fiscal redistribution and labor market-oriented structural reforms could help significantly accelerate inclusive growth in ASEAN.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This Technical Assistance report highlights institutional weaknesses that need to be addressed and proposes eight priority reform measures to strengthen the public investment management framework in the Philippines. This report reviews public investment management practices in the Philippines, using the IMF’s Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) methodology. The PIMA findings could guide the upcoming Public Expenditure Review that is likely to be completed with the support of the World Bank. The PIMA provides a broad overview of institutional strengths and weaknesses along the public investment cycle. Strengthening public investment management in the Philippines would help maximize the return from the infrastructure investment in the coming years. While the public investment management institutions in the Philippines are generally comparable to emerging market economies, there is scope to improve performance. Standard methodologies for maintenance planning and costing of infrastructure assets exist for certain types of assets, and the same practice should be extended to other sectors. It would also be beneficial to establish a central monitoring mechanism to ensure the routine maintenance of major infrastructure assets.
Ms. Ana Corbacho and Mr. Shanaka J Peiris

Abstract

The first part of the book examines the evolution of monetary policy and prudential frameworks of the ASEAN­5, with particular focus on changes since the Asian financial crisis and the more recent period of unconventional monetary policy in advanced economies. The second part of the book looks at policy responses to global financial spillovers. The third and last part of the book elaborates on the challenges ahead for monetary policy, financial stability frameworks, and the deepening of financial markets.

Sandile Hlatshwayo, Anne Oeking, Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, David Corvino, Ananya Shukla, and Mr. Lamin Y Leigh
Corruption is macro-relevant for many countries, but is often hidden, making measurement of it—and its effects—inherently difficult. Existing indicators suffer from several weaknesses, including a lack of time variation due to the sticky nature of perception-based measures, reliance on a limited pool of experts, and an inability to distinguish between corruption and institutional capacity gaps. This paper attempts to address these limitations by leveraging news media coverage of corruption. We contribute to the literature by constructing the first big data, cross-country news flow indices of corruption (NIC) and anti-corruption (anti-NIC) by running country-specific search algorithms over more than 665 million international news articles. These indices correlate well with existing measures of corruption but offer additional richness in their time-series variation. Drawing on theory from the corporate finance and behavioral economics literature, we also test to what extent news about corruption and anti-corruption efforts affects economic agents’ assessments of corruption and, in turn, economic outcomes. We find that NIC shocks appear to negatively impact both financial (e.g., stock market returns and yield spreads) and real variables (e.g., growth), albeit with some country heterogeneity. On average, NIC shocks lower real per capita GDP growth by 3 percentage points over a two-year period, illustrating persistence in the effect of such shocks. Conversely, there is suggestive evidence that anti-NIC efforts appear to have a sustained positive macro impact only when paired with meaningful institutional strengthening, proxied by capacity development efforts.