Multilateral financing agencies influence technologies in developing countries in a large number of ways. On balance, their influence on the appropriateness of these technologies has been beneficial, largely because of their insistence on operational efficiency—What they have not provided, at least until recently, is a focus on the inherent problems of identifying and stimulating the most appropriate technologies—or less ambitiously, more appropriate technologies.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes the IMF’s activities in developing countries. The paper highlights that there are several instances in which the Articles of Agreement require a member to consult on its policies with the IMF. Other actions by a member concerning the exchange rate of its currency, or its exchange regime generally require the IMF’s prior approval or concurrence. Under the IMF’s policy, a member also discusses with the IMF changes in its financial programs in support of which the use of the IMF’s resources has been pledged.
Using an overlapping-generations growth model featuring financial intermediation, I find that inefficiencies in technology to deal with private debt distress (bankruptcy technology), and obstacles to entrepreneurship (high costs of doing business) have significant negative effects on the income per capita and welfare of developing countries. These inefficiencies may also interact in perverse ways, futher amplifying the negagtive effects in the long run. The results provide strong rationale for structural reforms that simultaneously speed up the resolution of private sector insolvency, improve creditor protection, and eliminate obstacles to entrepreneurship.
Per capita output is more volatile in middle-income economies than in both low-income and high-income economies. We examine this pattern in a two-period overlapping generations model with two productive sectors (a developed sector and a subsistence sector) and a credit sector. In the early and mature stages of development, there is a unique equilibrium, because labor and credit markets are cleared by a unique set of prices. In the middle stages of development, however, the model shows that markets can be cleared by a multiple set of prices. This multiplicity of equilibria arises as productive externalities are reflected in credit markets.
It takes many years for more efficient electronic payments to be widely used, and the fees that
merchants (consumers) pay for using those services are increasing (decreasing) over time. We
address these puzzles by studying payments system evolution with a dynamic model in a twosided
market setting. We calibrate the model to the U.S. payment card data, and conduct welfare
and policy analysis. Our analysis shows that the market power of electronic payment networks
plays important roles in explaining the slow adoption and asymmetric price changes, and the
welfare impact of regulations may vary significantly through the endogenous R&D channel.
We provide broad-based evidence of a firm size premium of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in Europe after the Global Financial Crisis. The TFP growth of smaller firms was more adversely affected and diverged from their larger counterparts after the crisis. The impact was progressively larger for medium, small, and micro firms relative to large firms. It was also disproportionally larger for firms with limited credit market access. Moreover, smaller firms were less likely to have access to safer banks: those that were better capitalized banks and with a presence in the credit default swap market. Horseraces suggest that firm size may be a more important and robust vulnerability indicator than balance sheet characteristics. Our results imply that the tightening of credit market conditions during the crisis, coupled with limited credit market access especially among micro, small, and medium firms, may have contributed to the large and persistent drop in aggregate TFP.
The volume of credit extended by a bank can be an informative signal of its abilities in loan selection and management. It is shown that, under asymmetric information, banks may therefore rationally lend more than they would otherwise in order to demonstrate their quality, thus negatively affecting financial system soundness. Small shifts in technology and uncertainty associated with new technology may lead to large jumps in equilibrium outcomes. Prudential measures and supervision are therefore warranted.
Mr. Arnoud W.A. Boot, Peter Hoffmann, Mr. Luc Laeven, and Mr. Lev Ratnovski
We study the effects of technological change on financial intermediation, distinguishing between innovations in information (data collection and processing) and communication (relationships and distribution). Both follow historic trends towards an increased use of hard information and less in-person interaction, which are accelerating rapidly. We point to more recent innovations, such as the combination of data abundance and artificial intelligence, and the rise of digital platforms. We argue that in particular the rise of new communication channels can lead to the vertical and horizontal disintegration of the traditional bank business model. Specialized providers of financial services can chip away activities that do not rely on access to balance sheets, while platforms can interject themselves between banks and customers. We discuss limitations to these challenges, and the resulting policy implications.