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J. LAWRENCE BROZ, JEFFRY FRIEDEN, and STEPHEN WEYMOUTH

Analyses of the political economy of exchange rate policy posit that firms and individuals in different sectors of the economy have distinct policy attitudes toward the level and stability of the exchange rate. Most such approaches hypothesize that internationally exposed firms prefer more stable currencies and that producers of tradables prefer a relatively depreciated real exchange rate. As sensible as such expectations may be, there are few direct empirical tests of them. This paper offers micro-level, cross-national evidence on sectoral attitudes about the exchange rate. Using firm-level data from the World Bank’s World Business Environment Survey, we find systematic patterns linking sector of economic activity to exchange rate policy positions. Owners and managers of firms producing tradable goods prefer greater stability of the exchange rate: in countries with a floating currency, manufacturers are more likely to report that the exchange rate causes problems for their business. With respect to the level of the exchange rate, we find that tradables producers—particularly manufacturers and export producers—are more likely to be unhappy following an appreciation of the real exchange rate than are firms in nontradable sectors (services and construction). These findings confirm theoretical expectations about the relationship between economic position and currency policy preferences. IMF Staff Papers (2008) 55, 417–144. doi:10.1057/imfsp.2008.16; published online 17 June 2008

Rachel F Wang, Mr. Timothy C Irwin, and Lewis K Murara
Although there are several measures of fiscal transparency, none provides satisfactory information on certain issues of macroeconomic relevance, including whether fiscal data are available for all of general government, whether the government reports a balance sheet, and whether spending and revenue are reported on a cash or accrual basis. Drawing on government finance statistics reported to the IMF, this paper presents a new database of fiscal transparency for 186 countries in 2003–13 and derives from it indices of the overall comprehensiveness of fiscal statistics as well as specific indices of the coverage of public institutions, fiscal flows, and fiscal stocks, respectively. It finds evidence of gradual improvement, most notably in the coverage of institutions, but most countries’ reporting remains far from comprehensive
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper describes the origin of the IMF, its organization, and its method of working. The IMF has as its aim the economic prosperity of the whole world. The IMF pursues an active program of economic research. For this purpose, it systematically collects and publishes data on international trade, holdings of gold and foreign currencies, national income, price indices, restrictions on international payments, international movements of capital, and so on. All this is part of the background against which discussions of problems of individual members are carried out by the Executive Board.

International Monetary Fund
In December 2008, the IMF Executive Board discussed the Seventh Review of Data Standards Initiatives, and Directors requested staff to return to the Board within about a year with a proposal for the inclusion of selected financial indicators in the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). This paper responds to the 2008 request taking into account recent developments. The recent financial crisis has heightened the need for policymakers, financial regulators and capital market participants to put in place conditions that would help prevent the occurrence of similar crises in the future. One of the areas identified by the international community as key in crises prevention is the availability of timely and more detailed financial data that could provide early warning signals of impending risks and vulnerabilities