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Adrián Armas, Mr. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, and Mr. Alain Ize

Abstract

Financial (unofficial) dollarization is widely seen as a critical source of financial fragility in both developing and emerging economies. This volume provides a rigorous and balanced perspective on the causes and implications of dollarization, and the basic policies and options to deal with it: the adaptation of the monetary and prudential frameworks, the development of local-currency substitutes, and the scope for limiting dollarization through administrative restrictions. For more information on how to purchase a copy of this title, please visit http://www.palgrave.com/economics/imf/index.asp.

Seyni N’Diaye

This paper examines how Africa can reposition itself to take full advantage of globalization—while minimizing the risks in the process—to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty. The paper highlights that Africa’s share of world trade has dwindled, foreign direct investment in most countries has remained at low levels, and the income gap relative to advanced countries has widened. The paper looks at why Africa has missed out so far on the benefits of globalization, and indicates what steps Africa now needs to take to boost economic growth.

Mario Pessoa, Andrew Okello, Artur Swistak, Muyangwa Muyangwa, Virginia Alonso-Albarran, and Vincent de Paul Koukpaizan
The value-added tax (VAT) has the potential to generate significant government revenue. Despite its intrinsic self-enforcement capacity, many tax administrations find it challenging to refund excess input credits, which is critical to a well-functioning VAT system. Improperly functioning VAT refund practices can have profound implications for fiscal policy and management, including inaccurate deficit measurement, spending overruns, poor budget credibility, impaired treasury operations, and arrears accumulation.This note addresses the following issues: (1) What are VAT refunds and why should they be managed properly? (2) What practices should be put in place (in tax policy, tax administration, budget and treasury management, debt, and fiscal statistics) to help manage key aspects of VAT refunds? For a refund mechanism to be credible, the tax administration must ensure that it is equipped with the strategies, processes, and abilities needed to identify VAT refund fraud. It must also be prepared to act quickly to combat such fraud/schemes.
International Monetary Fund
Chile's overall economic performance during 1990–97 was very strong. By early 1998, Chile faced the difficult combination of a widening external current account deficit and a slowdown of capital inflows. The authorities scaled back expenditure plans and tightened monetary policy strongly to prevent a large depreciation of the currency. Executive Directors welcomed the new three-pillar framework for policies consisting of conservative, rules-based fiscal and monetary policies, greater emphasis on sound supervisory and regulatory frameworks, as well as new social policies.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Informational Annex highlights the ongoing Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the fiscal period 2012–15, which is guiding World Bank support to Bolivia. The CPS consists of a program of lending operations and knowledge activities along four pillars: (1) sustainable productive development; (2) climate change and disaster risk management; (3) human development and access to basic services; and (4) public sector effectiveness. In addition, the strategy incorporates gender, governance, and anticorruption as cross-cutting themes. These areas respond to government requests and priorities outlined in the National Development Plan, while also making the most of the World Bank’s comparative advantage. For the remainder of the CPS period, efforts will involve more programmatic interventions, new instruments, and more innovative approaches and will now include financing from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper examines market liberalization policies in a reforming socialist economy. The aim of this paper is to develop a model of such a reforming socialist economy and to explore the consequences of market-oriented policies in the context of such an economy. A model of a socialist economy is presented, incorporating bargaining over wages and employment in the socialized sector and shortages that are reflected in the black market. The model is used to analyze the implications of liberalization policies, including trade liberalization, an administered price increase, and provisions allowing for increased direct foreign investment. The nonsocialized sector is perfectly competitive and produces an output that is different from that of the socialized sector. It has a neoclassical production function using a sector-specific input (say, capital) and labor. The results suggest that reforms may have different effects under different trade regimes and that small price reforms may have perverse effects.
Mr. Carlos A. Végh Gramont
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Kristin Magnussen
Countries’ absolute and relative international reserves adequacy has recently attracted considerable attention. The analysis has however concentrated on the largest and most advanced economies. We apply various methodologies for assessing reserve adequacy in Central America, taking into account the region’s high degree of deposit dollarization. We find that reserve cover is low both in an absolute and relative sense, suggesting further reserve accumulation is an important policy option for reducing vulnerabilities.
Mr. Miguel A Savastano
This paper examines the pattern of dollarization in Latin America, focusing on the experience of five countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay) during 1970-1993. It presents evidence on the relative size of dollarization, the allocation of foreign currency deposits, and the behavior of money velocity. The discussion stresses the role of institutional factors, macroeconomic conditions, and the dynamics of money demand In shaping the dollarization process; it also highlights the shortcomings of indicators frequently employed to analyze the phenomenon. The paper provides a brief critical assessment of the empirical literature on dollarization, and identifies areas where further research seems warranted.
Mr. Sebastian Sosa and Gustavo Adler
Shocks stemming from Brazil - the large neighbor in South America - have historically been a source of concern for policy-makers in other countries of the region. This paper studies the importance of Brazil’s influence on its neighboring economies, documenting trade linkages over the last two decades and quantifying spillover effects in a Vector Auto Regression setting. While trade linkages with Brazil are significant for the Southern Cone countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay), they are very weak for others. Consistent with this evidence, econometric results show that, while the Southern Cone economies (especially Mercosur’s members) are vulnerable to output shocks from Brazil, the rest of South America is not. Spillovers can take two different forms: the transmission of Brazil-specific shocks and the amplification of global shocks—through their impact on Brazil’s output. Finally, we also find suggestive evidence that depreciations of Brazil’s currency may not have significant impact on output of its key trading partners.