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Mr. Subir Lall and Mr. Li Zeng
Intangible investment is growing as a share of economic activity. We present a simple framework incorporating its distinguishing characteristic of generally greater scalability and lower marginal costs than tangible investment. We show evidence that this may have contributed to more elastic aggregate supply in recent years, which is consistent with lower inflation and a flattening of the Phillips curve. This framework also highlights the channels through which technological change, a large constituent of intangible investment, may be leading to wage stagnation and greater market concentration.
Christian Grisse, Signe Krogstrup, and Silvio Schumacher
We study the transmission of changes in the believed location of the lower bound to longterm interest rates since the introduction of negative interest rate policies. The expectations hypothesis of the term structure combined with a lower bound on policy rates suggests that normal policy transmission is reduced when policy rates approach this lower bound. We show that if market participants revise downward the believed location of the lower bound, this may in itself reduce long-term yields. Moreover, normal policy transmission to long-term rates increases. A cross-country event study suggests that such effects have been empirically relevant during the recent negative interest rate episode.
Mrs. Nina T Budina, Mr. Borja Gracia, Xingwei Hu, and Mr. Sergejs Saksonovs
This paper argues that asset price cycles have significant effects on fiscal outcomes. In particular, there is evidence of debt bias—the tendency of debt to increase over the cycle— that is significantly larger for house price cycles than stand-alone business cycles. Automatic stabilizers and discretionary fiscal policy generally respond to output fluctuations, whereas revenue increases due to house price booms are largely treated as permanent. Thus, neglecting the direct and indirect impact of asset prices on fiscal accounts encourages procyclical fiscal policies.
Ms. Chie Aoyagi and Mr. Giovanni Ganelli
This paper argues that Japan’s excessive labor market duality can reduce Total Factor Productivity (TFP) due to a negative impact on non-regular workers’ effort and on firms’ incentives to train them. On the basis of cross-country empirical evidence, the paper proposes some reform options. In particular, our analysis suggests that reducing the difference in employment protection between regular and non-regular workers would substantially reduce labor market duality in Japan. One reform consistent with these findings is the introduction of a Single Open Ended Contract for all newly hired workers. This reform could be complemented by a shift towards a model that combines labor market flexibility and security (“flexicurity”) and by policies aimed at encouraging wage growth.
Mr. Manmohan Singh
This paper highlights the changing collateral landscape and how it may shape the global demand/supply for collateral. We first identify the key collateral pools (relative to the “old” collateral space) and associated collateral velocities. Post-Lehman and continuing into the European crisis, some aspects of unconventional monetary policies pursued by central banks are significantly altering the collateral space. Moreover, regulatory demands stemming from Basel III, Dodd Frank, EMIR etc., new net debt issuance, and collateral connectivity via custodians (e.g., Euroclear/ Clearstream/ BoNY etc) will affect collateral movements.
International Monetary Fund
As described in the latest Consolidated Multilateral Surveillance Report, policy actions in Europe and improving U.S. indicators have helped attenuate financial strains. But recent developments point to the fragility of the world economy and the need to come to grips with a formidable policy agenda. Among the challenges ahead are the immediate risks from a return of stresses in Europe and higher oil prices. Beyond that lie the risks from protracted low growth, too rapid fiscal consolidation in certain cases, deleveraging and uncertain medium-term policy frameworks in some key advanced countries. Many emerging markets may have to deal with inflation risks, elevated oil prices, the resurgence and volatility in capital inflows, and the consequences of extended credit booms. Delays in implementing global regulatory reforms also pose risks.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper empirically investigates the monetary impact of banking crises in Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and Uruguay during 1975–98. Cointegration analysis and error correction modeling are used to research two issues: (i) whether money demand stability is threatened by banking crises; and (ii) whether crises lead to structural breaks in the relation between monetary indicators and prices. Overall, no systematic evidence that banking crises cause money demand instability is found. The paper also analyzes inflation targeting in the context of the IMF-supported adjustment programs.
Mr. Peter S. Heller
This paper provides a perspective on how the IMF assesses a “sound fiscal policy,” focusing principally on industrial and emerging market economies. It observes six central criteria: the short-term fiscal policy stance, with greater emphasis on automatic stabilizers than discretionary fiscal policy; relevance of medium- and sometimes long-term issues; fiscal sustainability; capacity for aggregate fiscal policy implementation (including political economy factors); structural content of fiscal policy (tax efficiency and public expenditure quality); and institutional, governance, and process issues associated with budget implementation and revenue collection. Greater emphasis could be placed on an adequate margin to deal with uncertain long-term challenges.
Ms. Louis Dorrance Johnston and Menzie David Chinn
We investigate the long-run relationship between the real exchange rate, traded and nontraded productivity levels, and government spending for 14 OECD countries, using recently developed panel cointegration tests. The results indicate that under certain assumptions it is easier to detect cointegration in panel data than in the available time series; moreover, the rate of reversion to long-run equilibrium is estimated with greater precision. Using the model augmented by oil prices, we find that in 1991 (the last year productivity data are available) there is less overvaluation of the U.S. dollar than that implied by a naive version of purchasing power parity.
Mr. Ronald MacDonald and Mr. Tamim Bayoumi
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.