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Ms. Dora Benedek, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Mr. Abdelhak S Senhadji, and Alexander F. Tieman
The COVID-19 pandemic hit countries’ development agendas hard. The ensuing recession has pushed millions into extreme poverty and has shrunk government resources available for spending on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Staff Discussion Note assesses the current state of play on funding SDGs in five key development areas: education, health, roads, electricity, and water and sanitation, using a newly developed dynamic macroeconomic framework.
Mr. Federico J Diez, Mr. Romain A Duval, Jiayue Fan, José Garrido, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Chiara Maggi, and Mr. Nicola Pierri
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased insolvency risks, especially among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are vastly overrepresented in hard-hit sectors. Without government intervention, even firms that are viable a priori could end up being liquidated—particularly in sectors characterized by labor-intensive technologies, threatening both macroeconomic and social stability. This staff discussion note assesses the impact of the pandemic on SME insolvency risks and policy options to address them. It quantifies the impact of weaker aggregate demand, changes in sectoral consumption patterns, and lockdowns on firm balance sheets and estimates the impact of a range of policy options, for a large sample of SMEs in (mostly) advanced economies.
Ufuk Akcigit, Ms. Wenjie Chen, Mr. Federico J Diez, Mr. Romain A Duval, Philipp Engler, Jiayue Fan, Chiara Maggi, Ms. Marina Mendes Tavares, Mr. Daniel A Schwarz, Mr. Ippei Shibata, and Carolina Villegas-Sánchez
Corporate market power has risen in recent decades, and new estimates in this note suggest that the likely wave of small and medium-sized enterprise bankruptcies from the ongoing pandemic will further strengthen market concentration. Whether and how policymakers should address this issue is hotly debated. This note provides new evidence on the policy relevance of rising market power and highlights possible implications for the design of competition policy frameworks and macroeconomic policies.
Frank Adelmann, Ms. Jennifer A. Elliott, Ibrahim Ergen, Tamas Gaidosch, Nigel Jenkinson, Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong, Anastasiia Morozova, Nadine Schwarz, and Christopher Wilson
The ability of attackers to undermine, disrupt and disable information and communication technology systems used by financial institutions is a threat to financial stability and one that requires additional attention.
Mr. Martin Cihak and Ms. Ratna Sahay
The study examines empirical relationships between income inequality and three features of finance: depth (financial sector size relative to the economy), inclusion (access to and use of financial services by individuals and firms), and stability (absence of financial distress). Using new data covering a wide range of countries, the analysis finds that the financial sector can play a role in reducing inequality, complementing redistributive fiscal policy. By expanding the provision of financial services to low-income households and small businesses, it can serve as a powerful lever in helping create a more inclusive society but—if not well managed—it can amplify inequalities.