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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper analyzes saving to understand history and identify the drivers in Malaysia. IMF analysis suggests that Malaysia’s current account (CA) surplus is higher than warranted by medium-term fundamentals and desired policies. The changes in the corporate saving rate almost entirely reflect the changes within each group of firms of similar size or age. Leveraging firm-level data for listed firms, the paper focuses on the contribution to the CA surplus of private non-financial corporations. The trend analysis indicates a high dependence of listed firms in Malaysia on internal funds (savings) to finance their investments or, equivalently, a lower dependence on external funds. The results suggest that relaxing firms’ external financing constraints and lifting productivity growth could help encourage investment and reduce excess corporate saving. The regression results show that the transaction cost and precautionary saving motives, as well as their interaction with external financing dependence, could play an important role in explaining corporate net saving.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
External trade plays an important role in Singapore’s economy, providing an important share of total value added. Singapore’s exports have a relatively large import share; however, they also have a high level of complexity. As emphasized in previous studies, value-added in exports plays an important role in trade elasticities. The paper finds evidence that this is indeed the case for Singapore’s export products. Products that have higher domestic value-added share also tend to have higher export price elasticity. Economic complexity is also related to export price elasticities: higher economic complexity is associated with lower price elasticity of exports. This relationship is stronger within certain product segments such as the machinery, mechanical appliances and computers as well as the pharmaceuticals segments. Trade elasticities are important to understand Singapore’s exchange rate based monetary policy transmission. Exchange rate changes can affect profits and trade volumes differently, depending upon the price pass-through to import and export prices and the price elasticity of exports and imports. The import and export price pass-through can in return depend on trade elasticities. The paper also shows that there is important product heterogeneity with respect to trade elasticities; both across different product groups but also within individual product groups. This implies that structural changes in the product composition of trade can lead to sizeable changes in Singapore’s trade elasticities.
International Monetary Fund
Overall competitiveness of the Dutch economy seems adequate, but domestically produced exports have lost market share recently. Over the past three decades, globalization has greatly influenced economies as countries have become more integrated. Empirical studies on business cycles synchronization and transmission of shocks among countries have provided conflicting results. In its descriptive part, this study concludes that Dutch export competitiveness is not a problem so far. This also finds that the Netherlands is relatively more exposed to supply-driven shocks while Germany is more exposed to demand-driven shocks.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix on Bhutan underlie the macroeconomic impact of Tala, rapid private sector credit growth, and macroeconomic risks. In Bhutan, as the bulk of Tala-related flows go through the government accounts, this requires an appropriate fiscal stance and skillful expenditure management. Strong economic growth will require and lead to a deepening and further development of the financial system in Bhutan. The financial sector seems to be relatively shielded from adverse events, although risks remain.
International Monetary Fund
The technical note on Mexico’s Financial Sector Assessment Program update analyzes that the private pension system’s regulator in Mexico has introduced innovate rules. Mexico, as with many other countries in Latin America, has adopted an individual capitalization pension system. The design of these pension reforms confers the administration of pension funds to private companies. Under these schemes, competition plays a key role, keeping prices low, a good quality of service, and an efficient investment allocation.
International Monetary Fund
U.S. shocks explain a large part of French output common components. This paper analyzes the economic implications of two alternative welfare financing reforms: a reduction in payroll taxes funded by an increase in consumption taxes, and the other funded by a new levy on business value added. The importance of financial market constraints and whether the recent mortgage market reform is likely to ease these constraints is assessed. Rechargeable mortgages are attractive and encourage collateralization, but bolder measures are needed to limit legal and other fees.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for France provides an analytical framework to explain the consequences of the downward shift in the unemployment/wages relationship. This framework is also used to analyze possible changes in the equilibrium unemployment rate resulting from cuts in employers’ social security contributions and movements in the user cost of capital. The contribution of wage moderation to the reduction in the equilibrium unemployment is quantified. The paper also addresses the question of fiscal benefits of job-rich growth in France during 1997–2000.