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Deepak Lal, Bimal Jalan, Guy Pfeffermann, Rudiger Dornbusch, Sebastian Edwards, John Odling Smee, Ronald I. McKinnon, Mr. Alan A. Tait, Michael Roemer, Christine Jones, Mr. Michael G. Spencer, Miroslav N. Jovanovic, Richard G. Lipsey, Coralie Bryant, and Georg Sorenson

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

NORMAN LOAYZA, HUMBERTO LOPEZ, and ANGEL UBIDE

This paper analyzes common economic patterns across countries and economic sectors in Latin America, East Asia, and Europe for the period 1970-94 by means of an error-components model that decomposes real value-added growth in each country into common international effects, sector-specific effects, and country-specific effects. We find significant comovements in the European and East Asian samples. In the Latin American sample, however, we find country-specific components to be more important than common patterns. These results are robust to different sub-sample time spans and different sub-sample country groups.

Ms. Kate Phylaktis
This paper investigates the extent to which financial markets in the Pacific Basin Region have become more integrated, by analyzing the comovements of real interest rates. The paper uses cointegration and error correction models and draws inferences on the degree of capital market integration by looking at the speed of adjustment of real interest rates following a shock. The results show that there has been an increase in capital market integration with both U.S. and Japan during the 1980s. Japan has not, however, overtaken U.S. in dominating the financial markets of these countries, except possibly in the case of Malaysia. Capital market integration is found to be greater in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan Province of China. On the other hand, Japan is the least integrated country with the United States.
International Monetary Fund
This paper provides the basis for the quinquennial review of the method of valuation of the Special Drawing Right (SDR). The review considers the composition, size, and weighting of the SDR currency basket and the financial instruments used to determine the SDR interest rate. The analysis in this paper is guided by the informal discussion of Executive Directors in July on initial considerations for the review. In light of Directors’ preference, the two currency selection criteria for SDR inclusion are maintained. Since China continues to meet the export criterion, a key focus of this paper is on assessing whether the renminbi (RMB) could be determined to be a freely usable currency, which is the second criterion. The paper documents the rising international use and trading of the RMB since the 2010 SDR valuation review. A range of indicators suggests that use of the RMB in international transactions has risen substantially, albeit from a low base. The paper also finds that the RMB has become far more actively traded in foreign exchange markets, with sufficient depth to support operations of the size Fund members might undertake without an appreciable change in the exchange rate. Full Text also available in Chinese.