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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper for Canada presents comprehensive and broad-based analysis of the role of domestic and external shocks. Canada’s economic history illustrates the important role played by external as well as domestic macroeconomic disturbances. Canada’s economy slowed in 2001 because of the global slowdown, although by less than in many other countries. In 2003, the recovery has been interrupted by a series of shocks that moderated growth. Fluctuations in Canadian real GDP are explained by external and domestic cycles.

J. J. Polak

BY THE MIDDLE OF 1951, the “dollar problem” had come much nearer to solution than most observers had considered possible not many months earlier. Some of the more recent improvement in the dollar position of countries outside the United States is due to the rapid acceleration of U.S. imports after the middle of 1950 in connection with the hostilities in Korea. But even before this, the change in the situation had been very pronounced. The surplus on account of goods and services in the U.S. balance of payments, which had been at an annual rate of $7.6 billion in the first half of 1949, was reduced to an annual rate of $3 billion in the first half of 1950. In transactions with the OEEC countries in Europe alone, the U.S. surplus decreased from $3.7 billion to $1.9 billion (annual rates). Measured by the amount of grants from the United States and the use of dollar balances and gold sales to the United States, the improvement in the position of the European countries was even more striking, with the U.S. surplus vis-à-vis these countries dropping from $5.2 billion to $1.9 billion (annual rates).

William S. Gaud

This paper discusses achievement and failure of science in increasing world animal production. The paper highlights that the application of modern animal production technology is virtually confined to Western Europe, to the North American continent, to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The new technologies are not yet used in other parts of the world. Hardly more than a handful of their farmers have any knowledge or understanding of production methods commonplace in highly developed countries.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes external shocks and business cycle fluctuations in Mexico. The paper examines the relative importance of U.S. demand shocks—and other foreign disturbances—in explaining Mexican output fluctuations. It identifies the dynamic response of Mexico’s output to those shocks. The paper investigates which U.S. variables are most relevant to explaining business cycles in Mexico. It analyses potential spillovers and channels of transmission underlying the linkages between the United States and Mexican economies, and focuses on one aspect of the development of the Mexican private mortgage market, the market for mortgage-backed securities.
Mr. Robert P Flood
This paper analyzes the issue of purchasing power parity using real effective exchange rate (REER) data for 20 industrial countries in the post-Bretton Woods period. The serial correlation-robust median-unbiased estimator yields a cross-country average of half-lives of deviations from parity of about eight years, with the REER of several countries displaying permanent deviations from parity. The paper analyzes integration of Africa into world trade. The high-yield spread as a predictor of real economic activity is also examined.
Mr. Don E. Schlagenhauf and Stefan C. Norrbin
Empirical research has been conducted on the various theories of the business cycle over many countries. However, very little research has attempted to undertake a multi-country disaggregate investigation into the sources of output change. This paper decomposes fluctuations in industry output in a particular country into: (1) a nation specific shock; (2) an industry specific shock; (3) a world shock; and (4) an idiosyncratic factor. Using a dynamic factor analysis-state-space approach, the paper finds that the nation-specific shock is the most important impulse.
Mr. Luca A Ricci
This paper shows that exchange rate variability promotes agglomeration of economic activity. Under flexible rates, firms located in large markets have lower variability of sales, reinforcing concentration of firms there. Empirical evidence on OECD countries demonstrates (1) that the negative effect of country size on variability of industrial production is stronger after the 1973 collapse of fixed rates and (2) for small (large) countries, exchange rates variability has a long-run negative (positive) effect on net inward FDI flows. Two implications arise: creating a currency area fosters agglomeration in the area, and a two-stage EMU may exacerbate the current uneven regional development.
Mr. Olivier Coibion and Mr. Yuriy Gorodnichenko
We propose a new approach to test the full-information rational expectations hypothesis which can identify whether rejections of the arise from information rigidities. This approach quantifies the economic significance of departures from the and the underlying degree of information rigidity. Applying this approach to U.S. and international data of professional forecasters and other agents yields pervasive evidence consistent with the presence of information rigidities. These results therefore provide a set of stylized facts which can be used to calibrate imperfect information models. Finally, we document evidence of state-dependence in the expectations formation process.
Ms. Margaux MacDonald
This paper investigates the effects of unconventional monetary policy in a small open economy. Using recently proposed shadow interest rates to capture unconventional monetary policy at the zero lower bound (ZLB) we estimate a Bayesian structural vector autoregressive model for Canada - a useful case where foreign shocks can be proxied by U.S. variables alone. We find that, during the ZLB period, Canadian unconventional monetary policy increased output (measured by industrial production) by 0.013 percent per month on average while US unconventional monetary policy raised Canadian output by 0.127 percent per month on average. Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of domestic unconventional monetary policy and the strong positive spillover effects that foreign unconventional monetary policies can have in a small open economy.
Mr. Sebastian Sosa
This paper examines the relative importance of external shocks as sources of business cycle fluctuations in Mexico, and identifies the dynamic responses of domestic output to foreign disturbances. Using a VAR model with block exogeneity restrictions, it finds that U.S. shocks explain a large share of Mexico's macroeconomic fluctuations after NAFTA. This partly reflects greater trade integration-but also Mexico's "Great Moderation," as the country escaped its former pattern of macro-financial crises. In this period, Mexico's output fluctuations have been closely synchronized with the U.S. cycle, with a large and rapid impact of U.S. shocks on Mexican growth.