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Mr. Akira Ariyoshi, Mr. Andrei A Kirilenko, Ms. Inci Ötker, Mr. Bernard J Laurens, Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, and Mr. Karl F Habermeier

Abstract

This paper examines country experiences with the use and liberalization of capital controls to develop a deeper understanding of the role of capital controls in coping with volatile capital flows, as well as the issues surrounding their liberalization. Detailed analyses of country cases aim to shed light on the motivations to limit capital flows; the role the controls may have played in coping with particular situations, including in financial crises and in limiting short-term inflows; the nature and design of the controls; and their effectivenes and potential costs. The paper also examines the link between prudential policies and capital controls and illstrates the ways in which better prudential practices and accelerated financial reforms could address the risks in cross-border capital transactions.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper examines the policy of protectionism in world trade. It reviews alternatives to trade restrictions, factors influencing trade policies, and implications of protection for developing countries. The paper highlights that the rise in protectionist pressures is worrisome, because the likelihood of chain reactions toward more protectionism generated by individual restrictive actions is greatest in a setting of slow economic growth and highly interdependent economies. The paper also analyzes capital utilization in the manufacturing enterprises.

Ms. Carmen Reinhart, Mr. Leonardo Leiderman, and Mr. Guillermo Calvo
Since 1990 capital has started to move from industrial countries to developing regions like Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Reentry into international capital markets is a welcome turn of events for most countries. However, capital inflows are often associated with inflationary pressures, a real exchange rate appreciation, a deterioration in the current account, and a boom in bank lending. This paper briefly examines how these inflows have altered the macroeconomic environment in a number of Asian and Latin American countries. The pros and cons of a menu of policy options are discussed.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Research Summaries in this issue of the IMF Research Bulletin cover “Tax Capacity and Growth” (by Vitor Gaspar, Laura Jaramillo, and Philippe Wingender), and “U.S. Shale Revolution and Its Spillover Effects on the Global Economy” (Ravi Balakrishnan, Keiko Honjo, Akito Matsumoto, and Andrea Pescatori). The Q&A coauthored by Amadou Sy and Mariama Sow covers “Seven Questions about the Relationship between Country Finance and Governance.” A listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from IMF Publications is included in the IMF Research Bulletin. Readers can also find news on free-to-view articles from IMF Economic Review and a call for conference papers in this issue of the Bulletin.
Assaf Razin and Mr. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti
A number of developing countries have run large and persistent current account deficits in both the late seventies/early eighties and in the early nineties, raising the issue of whether these persistent imbalances are sustainable. This paper puts forward a notion of current account sustainability and compares the experience of three Latin American countries-Chile, Colombia Mexico-and three East Asian countries-Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. It identifies a number of potential sustainability indicators and discusses their usefulness in predicting external crises.
Mr. Alejandro Lopez Mejia
This paper reviews the causes, consequences, and policy responses to large capital flows in several emerging markets. It opens by studying recent patterns of capital flows, and then discusses the causes of capital flows. Emphasis is given to the reasons behind the capital inflow episode in the 1990s, the major reversals, and the volatility observed in these flows. The paper goes on to examine the consequences of capital inflows and the pros and cons of alternative policy responses. It concludes with policy lessons derived from country experiences.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines the methodological issues arising in the measurement of the distributional impact of tax and expenditure policies, with emphasis on the problems related to the measurement of the impact of adjustment programs on the welfare of the poor. Both conceptual and empirical considerations suggest that public expenditures are a more potent instrument for distributional purposes than taxes but are also more difficult to analyze and evaluate. The paper concludes that more research is needed toward a better measurement of expenditure benefits.
Oli Havryiyshyn and Iradj Alikhani

This paper discusses quantitative indicators that measure such macroeconomic variables as the growth of national product, inflation. The importance of considering several indicators in a dynamic context becomes particularly relevant during periods when needed economic and financial adjustment measures are undertaken. Rationales given for maintaining negative real interest rates in developing countries range from keeping down the cost of servicing the public sector’s debt, or of investment, to avoiding the consequences of other policies.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper presents highlights of the IMF Meetings in 1968. The main themes of the IMF Annual Meeting were referred to by President Lyndon B. Johnson of the United States in his address at the opening joint session. He described 1968 as “a year of crisis in financial markets,” and the special drawing rights facility as a “major step in international financial cooperation.” Many IMF Governors returned to the theme that the containment of the potentially disruptive consequences of the events of the past year was due chiefly to a remarkable degree of international cooperation and collaboration.