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Ms. Anne Epaulard and Ms. Aude Pommeret
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the welfare gains from financial integration for developing and emerging market economies. To do so, we build a stochastic endogenous growth model for a small open economy that can (i) borrow from the rest of the world, (ii) invest in foreign assets, and (iii) receive foreign direct investment (FDI). The model is calibrated on 32 emerging market and developing economies for which we evaluate the upper bound for the welfare gain from financial integration. For plausible values of preference parameters and actual levels of financial integration, the mean welfare gain from financial integration is about 10 percent of initial wealth. Compared with financial autarky, actual levels of financial integration translate into slightly higher annual growth rates (around 0.4 percentage point per year.)
Natalija Novta and Evgenia Pugacheva
Macroeconomic costs of conflict are generally very large, with GDP per capita about 28 percent lower ten years after conflict onset. This is overwhelmingly driven by private consumption, which falls by 25 percent ten years after conflict onset. Conflict is also associated with dramatic declines in official trade, with exports (imports) estimated to be 58 (34) percent lower ten years after conflict onset. The onset of conflict often also induces significant refugee outflows to neighboring non-advanced countries in the short run, and relatively small but very persistent refugee outflows to advanced countries over the long run. Finally, we stress that conflict should be defined in terms of the number of people killed relative to the total population. The traditional definition of conflict—based on the absolute number of deaths—skews the sample toward low-intensity conflicts in large countries, thereby understating the negative effects of conflict from a macroeconomic perspective.
Mr. Yasser Abdih, Mr. Ralph Chami, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, and Mr. Adolfo Barajas
This paper identifies a remittances channel that transmits exogenous shocks, such as business cycles in remittance-sending countries, to the public finances of remittance-receiving countries. Using panel data for remittance-receiving countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, three types of results emerge. First, remittances appear to be strongly procyclical vis-à-vis sending country income. Second, remittances tend to be spent on consumption of both imported and domestically produced goods, rather than on investment. Third, shocks in the sending countries are transmitted via remittances to the public finances - specifically, tax revenues - of receiving countries. In the case of the 2009 global downturn, this impact was particularly strong for several countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, whereas in the subsequent recovery in 2010 virtually all receiving countries benefitted from an upturn in remittance-driven tax revenues.
Ms. Dalia S Hakura
This paper analyzes the weak growth performance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region during 1980-2000 using an empirical model of long-run growth. The relative importance of the factors affecting growth is shown to vary across 16 MENA countries. In GCC countries, where oil revenues are significant, large governments appear to have been a key factor stifling private-sector growth and impeding diversification. In other MENA countries poor institutional quality has held back growth. Political instability is also shown to have played a role. While the MENA region's growth differential with east Asia is explained well in the 1980s, this is less so in the 1990s.
International Monetary Fund

Syria faces two interrelated medium-term challenges posed by the prospective decline in its oil reserves. The recently approved five-year plan (FYP) laid down a comprehensive strategy to address these challenges. Syria’s public finances are headed for challenging times in the coming 10–15 years. Large fiscal deficits have marked the economic history of many developed and developing countries alike during the 1970s and 1980s, with damaging consequences to their economies. Although financial markets can help keep the deficit bias in check, market discipline has proved mostly inadequate.

Michael Kuczynski

DEVELOPMENTS on the international cotton market are decisively affected by the cotton policy pursued by the United States, the largest single producer, consumer, and exporter of raw cotton. The world market price for cotton of the so-called American upland type, which is of medium-staple lengths and comprises about 85 per cent of output of all types of cotton outside the Sino-Soviet area, is closely related to the price at which U.S. cotton is sold for export; the prices of other types of cotton respond to some extent to changes in the price of American upland, though these price movements are by no means always closely correlated.