Edited by Zubair Iqbal and Ravi Kanbur, this volume consists of papers presented at a joint IMF and World Bank conference on external financing for low-income countries. The primary focus was on the impact of external indebtedness on low-income countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, the HIPC Debt initiative, the determinants and role of private capital flow, policies that could be implemented to catalyze private capital flows, and the appropriate role for official finance in the period ahead.
This Selected Issues paper describes the monetary transmission mechanism in Sierra Leone. The paper uses a vector autoregression model to explore the links between policy changes by The Bank of Sierra Leone and real variables, such as output and prices. The paper describes Sierra Leone’s economic environment and institutions, and also looks at the main channels of monetary policy transmission commonly identified in the literature. Empirical evidence is presented, along with findings and policy recommendations. The paper also describes developments in the external sector, and assesses competitiveness using survey-based indicators.
Many inflation stabilizations succeed only temporarily. Using a sample of 51 episodes of stabilization from inflation levels above 40 percent, we show that most of the failures are explained by bad luck, unfavorable initial conditions, and inadequate political institutions. The evolution of trading partners' demand and U.S. interest rates captures the effect of bad luck. Past inflation affects the outcome in two different ways: a long history of high inflation makes failure more likely, while a high level of inflation prior to stabilization increases the chances of success. Countries with short-lived political institutions, a weak executive authority, and proportional electoral rules also tend to fail. After controlling for all these factors, we find that exchange-rate-based stabilizations are more likely to succeed. These findings are robust across measures of failure (two dichotomous and one continuous), sample selection criteria, and estimation techniques, including Heckman's correction for the endogeneity of the anchor.
This study focuses on identifying the main factors that influenced country-specific and aggregate demand for IMF concessional financing between 1986 and 2018 and makes within-period and out-of-period forecasts. We find that the external debt level, inflation, and real effective exchange rate are the main economic variables influencing concessional borrowing for most eligible countries. Finally, our approach is able to provide quite accurate country-level and aggregate forecasts for historical financing events prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This paper re-examines the issue of the existence of threshold effects in the relationship between inflation and growth, using new econometric techniques that provide appropriate procedures for estimation and inference. The threshold level of inflation above which inflation significantly slows growth is estimated at 1-3 percent for industrial countries and 11-12 percent for developing countries. The negative and significant relationship between inflation and growth, for inflation rates above the threshold level, is quite robust with respect to the estimation method, perturbations in the location of the threshold level, the exclusion of high-inflation observations, data frequency, and alternative specifications.