This note analyzes the impact of preannounced government spending shocks in the United States on the real effective exchange rate and the trade balance. Using a vector autoregression framework that allows anticipated fiscal shocks to be identified using survey information, we find that preannounced spending shocks lead to a sizable real effective dollar appreciation and a worsening of both the aggregate trade balance and bilateral trade balances in a panel of partner countries. The results are robust to controlling for country-specific variables like the macroeconomic and policy conditions in the recipient countries, are generalized across regions and might have decreased during the zero-interest-lower-bound regime.
Patrick Blagrave, Giang Ho, Ksenia Koloskova, and Mr. Esteban Vesperoni
Are fiscal spillovers today as large as they were during the global financial crisis? How do they depend on economic and policy conditions? This note informs the debate on the cross-border impact of fiscal policy on economic activity, shedding light on the magnitude and the factors affecting transmission, such as the fiscal instruments used, cyclical positions, monetary policy conditions, and exchange rate regimes. The note assesses spillovers from five major advanced economies (France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) on 55 advanced and emerging market economies that represent 85 percent of global output, looking at government-spending and tax revenue shocks during expansion and consolidation episodes. It finds that fiscal spillovers are economically significant in the presence of slack and/or accommodative monetary policy—and considerably smaller otherwise, which suggests that spillovers are large when domestic multipliers are also large. It also finds that spillovers from government-spending shocks are larger and more persistent than those from tax shocks and that transmission may be stronger among countries with fixed exchange rates. The evidence suggests that although spillovers from fiscal policies in the current environment may not be as large as they were during the crisis, they may still be important under certain economic circumstances.
Miss Nkunde Mwase, Mr. Papa M N'Diaye, Ms. Hiroko Oura, Mr. Franto Ricka, Katsiaryna Svirydzenka, and Ms. Yuanyan S Zhang
Although China’s much-needed transition to a new growth path is proceeding broadly as expected, the transition is still fraught with uncertainty, including regarding the Chinese authorities’ ability to achieve a smooth rebalancing of growth and the extent of the attendant slowdown in activity. Thus, in the short run, the transition process is likely to entail significant spillovers through trade and commodities, and possibly financial channels. This note sheds some light on the size and nature of financial spillovers from China by looking at the impact of developments in China on global financial markets, with a particular emphasis on differentiation across asset classes and markets. The note shows that economic and financial developments in China have a significant impact on global financial markets, but these effects reflect primarily the central role the country plays in goods trade and commodity markets, rather than China’s financial integration in global markets and the direct financial linkages it has with other countries.
Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia, Mr. Ermal Hitaj, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Arina Viseth, and Mustafa Yenice
Amid rapid population growth, migration in sub-Saharan Africa has been increasing briskly over the last 20 years. Up to the 1990s, the stock of migrants—citizens of one country living in another country—was dominated by intraregional migration, but over the last 15 years, migration outside the region has picked up sharply. In the coming decades, sub-Saharan African migration will be shaped by an ongoing demographic transition involving an enlargement of the working-age population, and migration outside the region, in particular to advanced economies, is set to continue expanding. This note explores the main drivers of sub-Saharan African migration, focusing on migration outside the region, as this has greater global spillovers. It finds that the economic impact of migration for the region occurs mainly through two channels. First, the migration of young and educated workers—brain drain—takes a toll as human capital is already scarce in the region, although some recent studies suggest that migration may have also a positive effect—brain gain. Second, remittances represent an important source of foreign exchange and income in a number of sub-Saharan African countries, contribute to the alleviation of poverty, and help smooth business cycles.
Ara Stepanyan, Agustin Roitman, Gohar Minasyan, Ms. Dragana Ostojic, and Mr. Natan P. Epstein
In the face of sharply lower oil prices and geopolitical tensions and sanctions, economic activity in Russia decelerated in late 2014, resulting in negative spillovers on Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and, to a lesser extent, on Baltic countries. The spillovers to eastern Europe have been limited. The degree of impact is commensurate with the level of these countries’ trade, remittances, and foreign direct investment (FDI) links with Russia. So far, policy action by the affected countries has focused on mitigating the immediate consequences of spillovers.
Ms. Florence Jaumotte, Ksenia Koloskova, and Ms. Sweta Chaman Saxena
The recent refugee surge has brought attention to the macro-critical policy issue of migration, including speculations that migration can be an unfavorable phenomenon for the receiving economies. A careful examination of the impact of migration on host economies is thus critical. Focusing on the economic impact, most of the academic discussion has centered on the effect of migration on labor markets and public finances. Much less is known about the long-term impact of immigration on the GDP per capita (or the standard of living) of host economies. This note makes three contributions to estimating this impact: it uses a restricted sample of advanced economies rather than a mixed sample of higher- and lower-income host countries, it examines whether the GDP per capita impact varies for different skill levels of migrants, and it goes beyond the aggregate impact of migration on GDP per capita to examine how broadly gains in this regard are shared across the population. In particular, it examines whether migration impacts the income levels of those both at the top and at the bottom of the earnings distribution, or whether gains are instead concentrated in a small group of high earners. It finds that immigration significantly increases GDP per capita in advanced economies, that both high- and lower-skilled migrants can raise labor productivity, and that an increase in the migrant share benefits the average income per capita of both the bottom 90 percent and the top 10 percent of earners, suggesting the gains from immigration are broadly shared.