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.
In this issue, a team of economists look at approaches to modeling the use of IMF resources in order to gauge whether the recent decline in credit outstanding is a temporary or permanent phenomenon. Era Dabla-Norris and Gabriela Inchauste examine what drives the growth of firms, with a focus on informality and regulations. Evan Tanner and Issouf Samake use a vector autoregression approach to examine the probabilistic sustainability of public debt in Brazil. Mexico, and Turkey. And Rachel Glennerster and Yongseok Shin ask whether transparency pays?that is, does the frequency and accuracy of macroeconomic information released to the public lead to lower borrowing costs in sovereign debt markets?
This special issue is devoted to the Global Economy Model (GEM), a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models widely used by the IMF and central banks worldwide to study issues that cannot be adequately addressed with reduced-form econometric models or an earlier generation of macromodels whose dynamic equations were not based on strong choice-theoretic foundations. Douglas Laxton discusses the GEM philosophy and explains how its modelers find solutions to their systems of nonlinear equations. Paolo Pesenti then lays out the structure of model in detail, explaining how the various equations in GEM are derived from individual and firm-level self-interested maximizing behavior and how individual decisions interact with government policy rules. The remaining six papers are specific applications of the GEM structure to a variety of real problems and policy issues.
In this issue, John T. Cuddington and Daniel Jerrett from the Colorado School of Mines examine whether metals prices are in a "super cycle" upswing driven by intensive economic growth in China, in particular. Using evidence from U.S. Social Security records, James E. Duggan, Robert Gillingham, and John S. Greenlees look at the empirical relationship between mortality and lifetime income. Pär Österholm and Jeromin Zettelmeyer analyze the effect of external conditions on growth in Latin America, while Junko Koeda presents a debt overhang model for low-income countries. The issue also includes a comprehensive index for Volume 55 (2008) by author, subject, and title.
In this issue, authors from the IMF and from Argentine institutions team up to review how different banks behaved and were hurt during the country's crisis. Atsushi Iimi looks at how countries can escape from the resource curse in a comparative analysis that focuses on Botswana. John Cady and Jesus Gonzalez-Garcia examine the relationship between exchange rate volatility and the transparency of reserves. The issue also includes a comprehensive index of all Volume 54 papers by author, title, subject, and JEL classification.