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Mr. Luc Laeven
Capital markets can improve risk sharing and the efficiency with which capital is allocated to the real economy, boosting economic growth and welfare. However, despite these potential benefits, not all countries have well developed capital markets. Moreover, government-led initiatives to develop local capital markets have had mixed success. This paper reviews the literature on the benefits and costs of developing local capital markets, and describes the challenges faced in the development of such markets. The paper concludes with a set of policy recommendations emerging from this literature.
Ms. Helene Poirson Ward
This paper investigates the determinants of exchange rate regime choice in 93 countries during 1990-98. Cross-country analysis of variations in international reserves and nominal exchange rates shows that (i) truly fixed pegs and independent floats differ significantly from other regimes and (ii) significant discrepancies exist between de jure and de facto flexibility. Regression results highlight the influence of political factors (political instability and government temptation to inflate), adequacy of reserves, dollarization (currency substitution), exchange rate risk exposure, and some traditional optimal currency area criteria, in particular capital mobility, on exchange rate regime selection.