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International Monetary Fund
Tunisia’s reliance on European countries for export earnings, tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investment inflows has remained high over the last decades. Remittances and tourism receipts have been broadly stable in percent of GDP, with somewhat more fluctuations in the latter caused in part by identifiable political events that harmed tourism in the region. Tunisia’s annual growth rate appears to have become increasingly synchronized over time with the annual growth rate of its main European trading partners.
Mr. R. G Gelos and Mr. Alberto Isgut
This paper examines capital adjustment patterns using two large and largely novel data sets from the manufacturing sectors of Colombia and Mexico. The findings show that investment patterns in these countries resemble those reported for the United States to a surprising extent. Capital adjustments beyond maintenance investment occur only rarely, but large spikes account for a significant fraction of total investment. Although duration models do not provide strong evidence for the presence of substantial fixed costs, nonparametric adjustment function estimates reveal the presence of irreversibilities in investment. These irreversibilities are important for understanding aggregate investment behavior.
Mr. Pau Rabanal and Mr. Jaewoo Lee
The driving force of U.S. economic growth is expected to rotate from the fiscal stimulus and inventory rebuilding in 2009 to private demand in 2010, with consumption and particularly investment expected to be important contributors to growth. The strength of U.S. investment will hence be a crucial issue for the U.S. and global recovery. On the basis of several traditional models of investment, we forecast that the U.S. investment in equipment and software will grow by about 10 percent on average over the 2010-12 period. The contribution of investment to real GDP growth will be 0.8 percentage points on average over the same period.
Sanjay Kalra
The paper characterizes trade exposure and regional integration in six ASEAN economies during 1997-2008. For this, the paper uses the 2000 Asian Input Output Tables which are extrapolated using National Income Accounts and COMTRADE data. On the demand side, the paper shows that the level and geographical nature of external exposure varies across the ASEANs, and has changed over time. In particular, there was a shift in the external demand exposure of ASEANs from mature markets, including the United States, to China and ROW. In addition, the share of China in East Asia’s final demand, especially investment, rose sharply while that of Japan fell. On the supply side, the paper documents the rise of China into a “global factory” and the steady shift in regional production and integration from Japan and the United States to China.
Mr. Shanaka J Peiris and Régis Barnichon
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.
Mr. Jens R Clausen and Bianca Clausen
This paper simulates out-of-sample inflation forecasting for Germany, the UK, and the US. In contrast to other studies, we use output gaps estimated with unrevised real-time GDP data. This exercise assumes an information set similar to that available to a policymaker at a given point in time since GDP data is subject to sometimes substantial revisions. In addition to using real-time datasets for the UK and the US, we employ a dataset for real-time German GDP data not used before. We find that Phillips curves based on ex post output gaps generally improve the accuracy of inflation forecasts compared to an AR(1) forecast but that real-time output gaps often do not help forecasting inflation. This raises the question how operationally useful certain output gap estimates are for forecasting inflation.
Maral Shamloo
In this paper we study the dynamics of inflation in Macedonia, provide three forecasting tools and draw some policy conclusions from the quantitative results. We explore three forecasting methods for inflation. We use a Dynamic Factor Model (DFM) for short-term, monthly forecasting. We also develop two quarterly models: A Vector Error Correction Model (VECM), and a New Keynesian Phillips Curve (NKPC) for a more structural model of inflation. The NKPC shows a significant effect of output gap and inflation expectations on current inflation, confirming that the expectations channel of monetary transmission mechanism is strong. In terms of forecast-error variance, we show that all three models do very well in one-period ahead forecasting.
Mr. Thomas Helbling and Mr. Tamim Bayoumi
This paper reviews the international business cycle among Group of Seven (G-7) countries since 1973 from two angles. An examination of business cycle synchronization among these countries using simple descriptive statistics shows that synchronized slowdowns have been the norm rather than the exception and that the slowdown in 2000-2001 largely followed patterns seen in the past. The paper also identifies the international business cycle with an asymptotic dynamic factor model. Two global factors explain roughly 80 percent of the variance in G-7 output gaps at business cycle frequencies. The factor model decomposes the "common part" of national output fluctuations into two factors, one capturing the average G-7 cycle and one that corrects for phase and amplitude differences. We also found some evidence supporting the hypothesis that global shocks were the main force behind the slowdown in 2000-2001.