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International Monetary Fund

The Selected Issues paper analyzes the determinants of growth in Albania, the macroeconomic underpinnings for growth, the role of remittances in the economy, and the policy response to rapid credit growth. It also analyzes the official estimates with estimates from various macroeconomic surveys, and discusses the implications for the structure of the balance of payments. It also provides a framework for analyzing the budgetary impact of remittances in Albania, and examines the acceleration of credit growth and the policy options available to address the resulting macroeconomic and prudential concerns.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix highlights that after eight years of decline, economic activity of Cameroon began to pick up following the January 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc, the accompanying upturn in world economic activity, and favorable international commodity prices. Real GDP, which had fallen by an annual average of 4 percent since the mid-1980s, began to recover, with the annual growth rate stabilizing at about 5 percent in the three years to 1997/98. In the policy area, the 1994 devaluation was accompanied by tax and trade reforms.

International Monetary Fund
This paper presents an overview of the impact of the EC’s Internal Market on the EFTA countries. It starts by examining the history of EC-EFTA relations; the institutional and legal changes that closer cooperation may require; and the general implications of the Internal Market Program for EFTA countries. This is followed by an exploration of specific issues relating to the goods trade, transport services, labor mobility, financial services and capital flows. Subsequent chapters focus on the potential impact of the EC’s proposed monetary unification on EFTA countries and the implications of the EC’s efforts in the area of tax harmonization.
Mr. Sergi Lanau
This paper examines the effects of improvements in infrastrucutre on sectoral growth and firm-level investment, focusing on six Latin American countries. Exploiting the heterogeneity in the quality of infrastructure across countries and the intrinsic variation in the dependence of sectors on infrastructure, I find that better infrastructure raises growth and investment. Improved infrastructure could yield large economic benefits. For example, if the quality of infrastructure in Colombia increased to the sample median (Czech Republic), GDP growth would increase by about 0.1 percentage points.
Ms. Petya Koeva Brooks
This paper incorporates time-to-build into the standard investment model with convex adjustment costs. The empirical Euler equation is estimated using a U.S. firm-level panel from Compustat. In spite of the introduction of time-to-build, the magnitude of the implied adjustment costs is unrealistically high. Exploiting another approach, I test directly the restrictions imposed by time-to-build on the investment equation. The results indicate that these restrictions cannot be rejected for five of the sixteen industries in the sample. Finally I show that time-to-build can explain approximately one-third of the variation in persistence of structure investment across four-digit industries.
Yongzheng Yang, Hong Chen, Shiu raj Singh, and Baljeet Singh
This study aims to test within a relatively homogeneous group of small states what differentiates the growth performance of Pacific island countries (PICs) from their peers. We find that PICs are disadvantaged by distance and hampered by lower investment and exports compared with other small island states, but greater political stability, catch-up effects from lower initial incomes, and slower population growth have helped offset some of these disadvantages. On balance, policy-related factors, together with geography-related disadvantages, have led to growth rates in PICs that are much lower than in other small states. We also examine how real exchange rate appreciation, unfavorable developments in the external trade environment, and rising international transport costs may have contributed to PICs’ slower growth over the past decade.
CARLOS D. RAMÍREZ and LING HUI TAN

Government-linked companies (GLCs) have a significant presence in Singapore’s corporate sector. Unlike parastatals in many other countries, these companies are run on a competitive, commercial basis, ostensibly without government privileges. Based on data from publicly listed GLCs and non-GLCs, we indeed find no evidence that GLCs have easier access to credit. However, we do find that being a GLC is rewarded in financial markets with a positive premium, over and above what can be explained by the usual determinants of Tobin’s q. [JEL L32, L33, G32]

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper examines the behavior of savings and investment from an Asian and Singaporean perspective. It builds and estimates two econometric models that relate savings and investment to a range of macroeconomic and structural variables. The paper examines the relationship between labor market developments and private consumption behavior, and notes that employment uncertainty did have a significant negative impact on consumption and raised precautionary savings. It also examines quantitative, industry-level measures of the intensity of domestic competition in the manufacturing and services sectors during the past two decades in Singapore.