IMF research summaries on governance of banks (by Luc Laeven) and on whether there is a foreign aid paradox (by Thierry Tressel); country study on Mozambique (by Jean A.P. Clément and Shanaka J. Peiris); listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July 2007-January 2008; listing of contents of Vol. 54, Issue No. 4 of IMF Staff Papers; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; listing of recent external publications by IMF staff; and a call for papers for the upcoming Conference on International Finance.
Economic policy reform has long been a prominent subject of analysis. The analysis has focused mostly on the design of reforms, implicitly assuming that once the optimal course of action is known, implementation is a simple technical matter. Allan Drazen, professor of economics at Tel Aviv University and the University of Maryland, challenged this conventional view at a seminar held at the IMF Institute on December 12, 2000. His presentation, “Political Economy of Reform and Crisis,” drew on material from his recent book, Political Economy in Macroeconomics.
This paper attempts to predict the incidence of arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by modifying and applying two of the major early warning systems for currency crises: the "signals" approach proposed by Kaminsky, Lizondo, and Reinhart (1997) and the probit-based alternative developed by Berg and Pattillo (1998). The results, based on both in-sample and out-of-sample tests, appear encouraging. While the unique nature of IMF arrears poses some challenges, the models could be useful tools for identifying countries at high risk of incurring arrears to the IMF.
This paper examines the design of economic policies using factor analysis, which has several advantages; in particular, it limits the problems that typically arise from the high correlation of economic policy indicators, it helps in identifying clusters of economic policy, and it facilitates the derivation of policy design indicators that represent the pace and sequence of economic policies. Econometric results show that the introduction of sound economic policies has both level effects and growth effects, suggesting it is necessary to exercise caution when assessing a country's growth prospects immediately following the introduction of new policies. In addition, the results suggest that growth strengthens when a country implements policies that outpace either a notional measure of "world average policies" or a country's own policy trend, and highlight the critical role played by macroeconomic vis-à-vis microeconomic policies. The latter also reveals the existence of sequencing factors in policy implementation; for example, trade liberalization and financial liberalization positively affect growth, but more so if economic stability and fiscal sustainability have been secured.
This paper explores the sources of inflation in Sub-Saharan Africa by examining the relationship between inflation, the output gap, and the real money gap. Using heterogeneous panel cointegration estimation techniques, we estimate cointegrating vectors for the production function and the real money demand function to recover the structural output and money gaps for seventeen African countries. The central finding is that both gaps contain significant information regarding the evolution of inflation, albeit with a larger role played by the money gap. There is no significant evidence of asymmetry in the relationship.