This paper provides a historical perspective on the role of international reserves in low-income countries as a cushion against large external shocks over the last three decades - including the current global crisis. The results suggest that international reserves have played a role in buffering external shocks, with the resulting macroeconomic costs varying with the nature of the shock, the economy's structural characteristics, and the level of reserves.
This paper uses the 1991 Indian trade liberalization to measure the impact of trade liberalization on poverty, and to examine the mechanisms underpinning this impact. Variation in sectoral composition across districts and liberalization intensity across production sectors allows a difference-in-difference approach. Rural districts, in which production sectors more exposed to liberalization were concentrated, experienced slower decline in poverty and lower consumption growth. The impact of liberalization was most pronounced among the least geographically mobile, at the bottom of the income distribution, and in Indian states where inflexible labor laws impeded factor reallocation across sectors.
This paper explores the role of foreign aid and remittance inflows in the mitigation of the effects of food price shocks. Using a large sample of developing countries and mobilising dynamic panel data specifications, the econometric results yield two important findings. First, remittance and aid inflows significantly dampen the effect of food price shocks in the most vulnerable countries. Second, a lower remittance-to-GDP ratio is required in order to fully absorb the effects of food price shocks compared to the corresponding aid-to-GDP ratio.