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Zsoka Koczan, Giovanni Peri, Magali Pinat, and Dmitriy L Rozhkov
Patrick A. Imam and Mr. Kangni R Kpodar
This paper analyzes the impact of citizenship laws on economic development. We first document the evolution of citizenship laws around the world, highlighting the main features of jus soli, jus sanguinis as well as mixed regimes, and shedding light on the channels through which they could have differentiated impact on economic development. We then compile a data set of citizenship laws around the world. Using cross-country regressions, panel-data techniques, as well as the synthetic control method and subjecting the results to a battery of tests, we find robust evidence that jus soli laws—being more inclusive—lead to higher income levels than alternative citizenship rules in developing countries, though to a less extent in countries with stronger institutional environment.
Mr. Alessandro Prati and Francesco Drudi
This paper proposes a signaling model that offers a new perspective on why governments deviate from optimal tax smoothing and delay debt stabilization. In our model, dependable—but not fully credible—governments have an incentive to tighten the fiscal regime when the signaling effect on credit ratings is larger (that is, when a sufficiently large stock of debt has been accumulated). At this point, they may deviate from tax smoothing not to be mimicked by weak governments. The model predicts that primary balances and debt stocks are complementary inputs in the credit rating function as tests on Italian, Irish, Belgian, and Danish data show.
Mr. Diego Saravia and Mr. Ashoka Mody
An objective of IMF-supported programs is to help countries improve their access to international capital markets. In this paper, we examine the issue whether IMF-supported programs influence the ability of developing country issuers to tap international bond markets and whether they improve spreads paid on the bonds issued. We find that IMF-supported programs do not provide a uniformly favorable signaling effect-that is, the mere existence of a program supported by the IMF does not act as a strong "seal of good housekeeping." Instead, the evidence is most consistent with a positive effect of IMF-supported programs when they are viewed as likely to lead to policy reform and when undertaken before economic fundamentals have deteriorated significantly. The size of the IMF-supported program matters, but the credibility of a joint commitment by the country and the IMF appears to be critical.
Mr. Samir Jahjah, Mr. Ralph Chami, and Connel Fullenkamp
The role of remittances in development and economic growth is not well understood. This is partly because the literatures on the causes and effects of remittances remain separate. We develop a framework that links the motivation for remittances with their effect on economic activity. Because remittances take place under asymmetric information and economic uncertainty, there exists a significant moral hazard problem. The implication is that remittances have a negative effect on economic growth. We test this prediction using panel methods on a large sample of countries. The results indicate that remittances do have a negative effect on economic growth, which indicates that the moral hazard problem in remittances is severe.