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J. J. Polak and William H. White

THERE IS AMPLE theoretical and empirical evidence that income expansion and inflation are often associated with increases in the money supply. Since, as a rule, monetary statistics are readily and currently available while inflationary pressure is a concept that is hard to measure, it has become customary to accept monetary statistics as reliable indicators of inflation and deflation, of expansion and contraction. When it is observed that the money supply in a country is rising, it is inferred that expansionary factors must be at work and that anti-inflationary policies should be introduced. Likewise, when the money supply declines, it is inferred that contractionary forces are more powerful and that anti-inflationary policies can safely be relaxed or reversed.

ENRIQUE G. MENDOZA

Partial financial indexation in Chile has produced a system in which most bank deposits are 30-day nonindexed deposits or 90-day indexed deposits. This paper uses data on the interest rates of these financial assets to test the joint hypothesis of rational expectations, efficient arbitrage, and a time-invariant liquidity premium. The data are also used to test whether the indexed/nonindexed interest spread is an accurate predictor of future changes in inflation, as the Fisher effect dictates. The significant implications of this empirical analysis for monetary policy are discussed.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Murilo Portugal, Agustin Carstens, Kyrgyz Republic, HIPC, central Asia, Indonesian debt, Saudi Arabian economy, Peter Kenen, European Central Bank, ECB, Danish economy, flexicurity,Burundi's economy, aid volatility, Indian and China, Doing Business.
Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Mr. Herman O. Stekler
We document information rigidity in forecasts for real GDP growth in 46 countries over the past two decades. We investigate: (i) if rigidities are lower around turning points in the economy, such as in times of recessions and crises; (ii) if rigidities differ across countries, particularly between advanced countries and emerging markets; and (iii) how quickly forecasters incorporate news about growth in other countries into their growth forecasts, with a focus on how advanced countries‘ growth forecasts incorporate news about emerging market growth and vice versa.
Mr. Helge Berger
The likely enlargement of euro-area membership will radically change the environment under which monetary policy will be made in the euro area. Within less than a decade, the number of member countries in the euro area could more than double, with the vast majority of accession countries being relatively small in economic terms, compared with current members. Absent reforms, such a significant but asymmetric expansion could impede the effectiveness of the institutional policymaking process of the European Central Bank (ECB) and be seen by some as resulting in the overrepresentation of small member countries in the ECB Council. The paper illustrates these issues, describes the principles on which reforms of the ECB statute could build, and discusses four specific institutional reform scenarios. The analysis coincides with the ECB Council being scheduled to present suggestions for reform by late 2002.
International Monetary Fund
Nominal interest rate pegging leads to instability in an IS-LM model with a vertical long-run Phillips curve and backward-looking inflation expectations. However, it does not lead to instability in several large multicountry econometric models, apparently primarily because these models have nonvertical long-run Phillips curves. Nominal interest rate pegging leads to price level and output indeterminacy in a model with staggered contracts and rational expectations. However, when a class of money supply rules with interest rate smoothing is introduced, and interest rate pegging is viewed as the limit of interest rate smoothing, the price level and output are determinate.
Michel Juillard and Mr. Douglas Laxton
The development and use of forward-looking macro models in policymaking institutions has proceeded at a pace much slower than predicted in the early 1980s. An important reason is that researchers have not had access to robust and efficient solution techniques for solving nonlinear forward-looking models. This paper discusses the properties of a new algorithm that is used for solving MULTIMOD, the IMF’s multicountry model of the world economy. This algorithm is considerably faster and much less prone to simulation failures than to traditional algorithms and can also be used to solve individual country models of the same size.
International Monetary Fund
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.
Mr. Sonali Das and Mr. Volodymyr Tulin
This paper studies private investment in India against the backdrop of a significant investment decline over the past decade. We analyze the potential causes of weaker investment at the firm level, using both firm-level financial statements and a novel dataset on firms’ investment project decisions, and find that financial frictions have played a role in the slowdown. Firms with higher financial leverage invest less, as do firms with lower earnings relative to their interest expenses. Consistent with the notion of credit constraints leading to pro-cyclical investment, we also find that firms with higher leverage are (i) less likely to undertake new investment projects, (ii) less likely to complete investment projects once begun, and (iii) undertake shorter-term investment projects.