This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the attractions and disadvantages of currency board arrangements in their various institutional configurations. It asks what defines a currency board arrangement, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and what constraints they place on macroeconomic policies. It also reviews country experiences with these arrangements.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Estonia underlies gross and net international investment positions. Capital gains have been exceptionally beneficial to Malta’s external position, but have significantly worsened Estonia’s NIIP, and to a lesser degree, positions in Hungary and Slovenia. In examining the economic and institutional composition of gross international investment positions, the differences between those in Cyprus and Malta, and in the other new member states is stark. Greater financial integration is associated with greater economic openness, but the influence of levels of economic development is mixed.
The recent financial crisis raises important issues about the transmission of financial shocks across borders. In this paper, a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) model is constructed to assess the relevance of international spillovers following a historical slowdown in U.S. equity prices. The GVAR model contains 27 country-specific models, including the United States, 17 European advanced economies, and 9 European emerging economies. Each country model is linked to the others by a set of country-specific foreign variables, computed using bilateral bank lending exposures. Results reveal considerable comovements of equity prices across mature financial markets. However, the effects on credit growth are found to be country-specific. Evidence indicates that asset prices are the main channel through which-in the short run-financial shocks are transmitted internationally, while the contribution of other variables-like the cost and quantity of credit-becomes more important over longer horizons.
An unexpected shortage of banknotes emerged during 1992 in the former Soviet Union. The cash shortage is explained by the asymmetry in the monetary union that prevailed, under which one member (the Russian Federation) controlled banknote production while every member could create deposit money. Interest rate rigidity forestalled an equilibrating adjustment in demand for banknotes. The possible efficiency costs of the cash shortage are explored.
In this paper we study the dynamics of inflation in Macedonia, provide three forecasting tools and draw some policy conclusions from the quantitative results. We explore three forecasting methods for inflation. We use a Dynamic Factor Model (DFM) for short-term, monthly forecasting. We also develop two quarterly models: A Vector Error Correction Model (VECM), and a New Keynesian Phillips Curve (NKPC) for a more structural model of inflation. The NKPC shows a significant effect of output gap and inflation expectations on current inflation, confirming that the expectations channel of monetary transmission mechanism is strong. In terms of forecast-error variance, we show that all three models do very well in one-period ahead forecasting.
After most restrictions on foreign currency holdings were relaxed in the early 1990s, foreign currency deposits in transition economies have been increasing rapidly. This paper takes a first look at the evidence on dollarization for 15 transition economies, and then discusses some key conceptual and policy implications. Depending on the institutional constraints, foreign currency deposits as a proportion of broad money reached a peak of between 30 and 60 percent in 1992-93. Unlike what has been observed in Latin America, however, dollarization has fallen substantially in the aftermath of successful stabilization plans in Estonia, Lithuania, Mongolia, and Poland. Since foreign currency deposits reflect mainly a portfolio choice, the fall in dollarization can be primarily attributed to higher real returns on domestic-currency assets, as a result of lower inflation and more market-determined interest rates.
This Selected Issues paper of the Republic of Estonia reviews the current account deficits, sustainability, and external solvency in the Baltic countries. The paper describes labor market trends in Estonia after the transition, institutional makeup of the market, and its effects on unemployment. The paper also discusses developments in regional unemployment, effects of regional disparities on average unemployment, and policy recommendations. Finally, the statistical appendix highlights the IMF's projections and estimates for the Republic of Estonia.
Leslie Lipschitz,, Timothy Lane,, and Mr. Alex Mourmouras
This paper focuses on the Doha Development Agenda. The paper highlights that over the past 20 years, world trade has grown twice as fast as world real GDP, deepening economic integration and raising living standards. The paper underscores that the launch of a new trade round in Doha in November 2001 was a major breakthrough following the debacle in Seattle in 1999. The new round places the needs and interests of developing countries at the heart of its work, but a successful outcome for rich and poor nations alike is by no means a foregone conclusion.