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Mr. Kwangwon Lee


The Quarterly National Accounts Manual (the Manual) provides conceptual and practical guidance for compiling quarterly national accounts (QNA) statistics. The Manual offers a comprehensive review of data sources, statistical methods, and compilation techniques to derive official estimates of quarterly GDP. The new edition—which upgrades the first edition, published in 2001—improves and expands the previous content based on recent methodological advances, best country practices, and suggestions received from QNA compilers and experts.

Vitor Gaspar, Laura Jaramillo, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Is there a minimum tax to GDP ratio associated with a significant acceleration in the process of growth and development? We give an empirical answer to this question by investigating the existence of a tipping point in tax-to-GDP levels. We use two separate databases: a novel contemporary database covering 139 countries from 1965 to 2011 and a historical database for 30 advanced economies from 1800 to 1980. We find that the answer to the question is yes. Estimated tipping points are similar at about 12¾ percent of GDP. For the contemporary dataset we find that a country just above the threshold will have GDP per capita 7.5 percent larger, after 10 years. The effect is tightly estimated and economically large.
Mr. Thierry Tressel and Ms. Yuanyan S Zhang
The crisis has highlighted the importance of setting up macro-prudential oversight frameworks, having effective macro-prudential instruments in place to be called upon to mitigate growing financial imbalances as needed. We develop a new approach using the euro area Bank Lending Survey to assess the effectiveness of macro-prudential policies in containing credit growth and house price appreciation in mortgage markets. We find instruments targeting the cost of bank capital most effective in slowing down mortgage credit growth, and that the impact is transmitted mainly through price margins, the same banking channel as monetary policy. Limits on loan-to-value ratios are also effective, especially when monetary policy is excessively loose.
Mr. Willy A Hoffmaister
Why do prices in Spain's regions fail to converge? The prime suspects for this puzzling result are differences in regional barriers to entry in retail distribution. This paper develops a Cournot-Nash model of imperfect competition to illustrate the effect of barriers on prices. A unique data set-derived from an extensive analysis of competition policies in Spain- provides evidence that barriers to entry increase regional prices. The evidence also suggests that, consistent with the model's predictions, barriers to entry raise prices up to a point, and thus indicate that barriers have a threshold effect on prices.
International Monetary Fund
This note assesses the risk profile of the nonfinancial equity investments of Spanish credit institutions (CIs), based on a market-risk approach. It assesses the main features of the situation and indicates the problems of CIs’ nonfinancial equity investments. It presents the evolution of nonfinancial equity investments, and their importance for the economy. It analyzes using the value-at-risk (VaR) approach and recommends enhancing of risk management practices and surveillance with regard to CIs with a significant nonfinancial equity investment, and encourages those CIs to adopt the market-based approach.
Mr. Matteo Ciccarelli and Mr. Alessandro Rebucci
This paper reviews recent advances in the specification and estimation of Bayesian Vector Autoregressive models (BVARs). After describing the Bayesian principle of estimation, we first present the methodology originally developed by Litterman (1986) and Doan et al. (1984) and review alternative priors. We then discuss extensions of the basic model and address issues in forecasting and structural analysis. An application to the estimation of a system of time-varying reaction functions for four European central banks under the European Monetary System (EMS) illustrates how some of the results previously presented may be applied in practice.
Mr. Thomas Kraus
Using symmetric data sets of 92 weekly return observations before and after the introduction of the euro, the paper analyzes the impact of the new currency on the return structure of equity markets in the European Monetary Union. Variance decompositions, cluster analyses, and principle component analyses are used to explore the changes in the structural relations. European industry factors are found to have dramatically increased in importance with the launch of the single currency, and a new 'country-size' factor in European stock returns is detected. Furthermore, inner-European correlations are documented to have been reduced sharply with the start of the monetary union.