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Alina Iancu, Gareth Anderson, Mr. Sakai Ando, Ethan Boswell, Mr. Andrea Gamba, Shushanik Hakobyan, Ms. Lusine Lusinyan, Mr. Neil Meads, and Mr. Yiqun Wu
Despite major structural shifts in the international monetary system over the past six decades, the US dollar remains the dominant international reserve currency. Using a newly compiled database of individual economies’ reserve holdings by currency, this departmental paper finds that financial links have been an increasingly important driver of reserve currency configurations since the global financial crisis, particularly for emerging market and developing economies. The paper also finds a rise in inertial effects, implying that the US dollar dominance is likely to endure. But historical precedents of sudden changes suggest that new developments, such as the emergence of digital currencies and new payments ecosystems, could accelerate the transition to a new landscape of reserve currencies.
Mr. Vito Tanzi
Deepening globalization and associated or parallel technological and institutional developments are creating conditions which may reduce the industrial countries’ ability to sustain high levels of taxation. The paper identifies and discusses eight trends which may generate revenue falls. It also discusses some measures that might neutralize or reduce the impact of these trends.
Selim Elekdag, Mr. Saade Chami, and Mr. Ivan Tchakarov
This paper uses a variant of the IMF's Global Economy Model (GEM) to estimate the macroeconomic effects of Yemen's full accession into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). After calibrating the model to Yemen and the GCC countries, several simulations were carried out to estimate the potential impact of economic integration on both. The paper draws two fundamental conclusions. First, further steps in regional integration would enhance competition and produce large economic benefits for both Yemen and the GCC countries. In particular, we show that in some cases economic integration could increase GDP in Yemen by as much as 18 percent and in the GCC by as much as 20 percent over the long run. Second, even if market structures do not improve substantially, GCC enlargement can still generate substantial spillover gains with consumption increasing by up to 7 percent in Yemen and 8 percent in the GCC, respectively.
Miguel Messmacher
The design of the optimal sovereign insurance contract is analyzed when: the sovereign chooses the contract; effort is not contractible; shocks are of uncertain magnitude; the sovereign can save; and the sovereign can default. Under these conditions: i) an ex ante premium leads to higher coverage; ii) the premium increases with the sovereign's incentive to take risks; iii) a deductible is chosen to limit moral hazard; iv) the deductible-to-support ratio is decreasing with the size of the realized shock; and v) the change in the choice of savings when insurance is available is ambiguous, as there is a trade-off between inducing higher effort and increasing the likelihood of default.
Mr. Arvind Subramanian and Aaditya Mattoo
This paper elaborates on a number of key principles that need to underpin a coherent and development-friendly architecture for the WTO. The key principles include enlarging the scope of WTO bargaining to include labor flows as well as capital flows; creating a structure that would provide a balance between furthering liberalization and providing some discretion or policy space to accommodate the inevitable political constraints; and minimizing the extent of regulatory harmonization. These principles, while applicable to all countries, may have less immediate relevance in addressing the problems of the least developed countries.
Kenneth Kletzer
This paper compares the restructuring of sovereign bonds with and without collective action clauses. One conclusion is that collective action clauses can allow efficient debt renegotiation in a formal model of sovereign debt renegotiation while unanimity rules offer incentives for opportunistic behavior by bondholders that leads to inefficient outcomes. With collective action clauses, the mutual gains from renegotiation can be internalized by bondholders so that the holders of each bond issue have incentives to participate in a collective debt restructuring. The analysis abstracts from transactions costs, and the last conclusion might well be sensitive to renegotiation and coordination costs.
Samya Beidas-Strom and Mr. Andrea Pescatori
How much does speculation contribute to oil price volatility? We revisit this contentious question by estimating a sign-restricted structural vector autoregression (SVAR). First, using a simple storage model, we show that revisions to expectations regarding oil market fundamentals and the effect of mispricing in oil derivative markets can be observationally equivalent in a SVAR model of the world oil market à la Kilian and Murphy (2013), since both imply a positive co-movement of oil prices and inventories. Second, we impose additional restrictions on the set of admissible models embodying the assumption that the impact from noise trading shocks in oil derivative markets is temporary. Our additional restrictions effectively put a bound on the contribution of speculation to short-term oil price volatility (lying between 3 and 22 percent). This estimated short-run impact is smaller than that of flow demand shocks but possibly larger than that of flow supply shocks.