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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This Selected Issues paper focuses on the Baltic model, Baltic–Nordic links, and convergence. The Baltic countries form a distinct group within a tightly integrated Nordic–Baltic region. They are following similar approaches to economic policy, broadly in line with those of Northern European and the Anglo-Saxon countries. Their macroeconomic policies are generally robust. The paper examines the possible causes of the creditless recoveries in the Baltic countries. It characterizes their experience in comparison with other episodes of creditless recoveries in both advanced and emerging market economies, and also investigates demand and supply constraints to credit expansion in the Baltics.

ATUL A. DAR and SALEH AMIRKHALKHALI

This paper analyzes macroeconomic effects of projected population aging in industrial countries. The effects of population aging are examined with a theoretical model and simulations of the IMF’s multiregion econometric model (MULTIMOD). The study highlights that an older population will consume more of aggregate disposable income, require higher government expenditure, and decrease labor supply. These effects should raise real interest rates and lower capital stock and output. Effects on current balances will depend on the relative speed and extent of aging.

Mr. Ramana Ramaswamy

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

Reza Y. Siregar and Keen Meng Choy

The reversal of capital flows from the banking sector, rather than portfolio equity investment, has long been considered a main reason for the severity of the East Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. This study analyzes the factors behind the boom and bust of bank lending, focusing on loans from private banks in seven Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries to nine East Asian economies during the 1990–2004 period. The findings suggest that political instability and weaknesses in legal, judicial, and bureaucratic systems help explain the continued stagnation in lending after the financial crisis. Thus, institutional reforms are critical for East Asia to successfully compete for international bank financing.