This paper provides a perspective on how the IMF assesses a “sound fiscal policy,” focusing principally on industrial and emerging market economies. It observes six central criteria: the short-term fiscal policy stance, with greater emphasis on automatic stabilizers than discretionary fiscal policy; relevance of medium- and sometimes long-term issues; fiscal sustainability; capacity for aggregate fiscal policy implementation (including political economy factors); structural content of fiscal policy (tax efficiency and public expenditure quality); and institutional, governance, and process issues associated with budget implementation and revenue collection. Greater emphasis could be placed on an adequate margin to deal with uncertain long-term challenges.
This paper empirically investigates the monetary impact of banking crises in Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and Uruguay during 1975–98. Cointegration analysis and error correction modeling are used to research two issues: (i) whether money demand stability is threatened by banking crises; and (ii) whether crises lead to structural breaks in the relation between monetary indicators and prices. Overall, no systematic evidence that banking crises cause money demand instability is found. The paper also analyzes inflation targeting in the context of the IMF-supported adjustment programs.
Given the increasing integration of financial markets, a better understanding of the effects of fiscal deficits and debt on real interest rates might be obtained by taking a global, rather than a national, perspective. The paper constructs aggregate flow and stock data (including GDP, fiscal deficits, government debt, and saving rates) and examines the empirical evidence of the global effect of fiscal policies on interest rates. The sensitivity of the results to the choice of deficit (central or general government), public debt (gross or net), and saving (gross or net), as well as the level and method of aggregation, is also examined.
Intangible investment is growing as a share of economic activity. We present a simple framework incorporating its distinguishing characteristic of generally greater scalability and lower marginal costs than tangible investment. We show evidence that this may have contributed to more elastic aggregate supply in recent years, which is consistent with lower inflation and a flattening of the Phillips curve. This framework also highlights the channels through which technological change, a large constituent of intangible investment, may be leading to wage stagnation and greater market concentration.
This paper presents updated and revised estimates for the World Trade Model. The model estimates import and export price and volume relationships for each of three types of merchandise trade--manufactured, raw material, and agricultural--for 14 of the largest industrial countries. The extended data set has generally resulted in estimated price and volume equations that fit the data better than previous versions of the model. In addition, the simulation properties of the model have been enhanced by imposing long-run activity elasticities of unity on the activity terms in the demand for imported manufactures equations.
Mrs. Nina T Budina, Mr. Borja Gracia, Xingwei Hu, and Mr. Sergejs Saksonovs
This paper argues that asset price cycles have significant effects on fiscal outcomes. In
particular, there is evidence of debt bias—the tendency of debt to increase over the cycle—
that is significantly larger for house price cycles than stand-alone business cycles. Automatic
stabilizers and discretionary fiscal policy generally respond to output fluctuations, whereas
revenue increases due to house price booms are largely treated as permanent. Thus,
neglecting the direct and indirect impact of asset prices on fiscal accounts encourages procyclical
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Ms. Louis Dorrance Johnston and Menzie David Chinn
We investigate the long-run relationship between the real exchange rate, traded and nontraded productivity levels, and government spending for 14 OECD countries, using recently developed panel cointegration tests. The results indicate that under certain assumptions it is easier to detect cointegration in panel data than in the available time series; moreover, the rate of reversion to long-run equilibrium is estimated with greater precision. Using the model augmented by oil prices, we find that in 1991 (the last year productivity data are available) there is less overvaluation of the U.S. dollar than that implied by a naive version of purchasing power parity.