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Peter T. Knight, Robert Roy Schneider, Subimal Mookerjee, Bahram Nowzad, and Jozef Van’t dack

This paper examines the impact of the World Bank on the financial markets and developing countries. The sound financial structure of the Bank rests on its conservative loan-to-capital ratio. Its large liquidity is an assurance to investors in Bank bonds that their investments are assured of liquidity in case the need arises. To cope with their payments difficulties, the heavily indebted developing countries have adopted more cautious fiscal and monetary policies, limited wage increases, and reduced domestic consumption and investment.

Homi Kharas, R. Kyle Peters, Mr. Alan A. Tait, Phiroze Medhora, and Dale Weigel

This paper highlights the sources of payments problems in less developed countries. Growth in the industrial countries has a direct impact on the current account of the developing countries through its influence on both the prices and volumes of their exports. An increase in the real effective exchange rate is clearly a fundamental determinant of a deteriorating current account since, other things being equal, it tends to raise domestic demand for imports and to reduce foreign demand for exports.

ENRIQUE G. MENDOZA

Partial financial indexation in Chile has produced a system in which most bank deposits are 30-day nonindexed deposits or 90-day indexed deposits. This paper uses data on the interest rates of these financial assets to test the joint hypothesis of rational expectations, efficient arbitrage, and a time-invariant liquidity premium. The data are also used to test whether the indexed/nonindexed interest spread is an accurate predictor of future changes in inflation, as the Fisher effect dictates. The significant implications of this empirical analysis for monetary policy are discussed.

Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Mr. Herman O. Stekler
We document information rigidity in forecasts for real GDP growth in 46 countries over the past two decades. We investigate: (i) if rigidities are lower around turning points in the economy, such as in times of recessions and crises; (ii) if rigidities differ across countries, particularly between advanced countries and emerging markets; and (iii) how quickly forecasters incorporate news about growth in other countries into their growth forecasts, with a focus on how advanced countries‘ growth forecasts incorporate news about emerging market growth and vice versa.
Jonas Dovern, Mr. Ulrich Fritsche, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa
We study forecasts for real GDP growth using a large panel of individual forecasts from 36 advanced and emerging economies during 1989–2010. We show that the degree of information rigidity in average forecasts is substantially higher than that in individual forecasts. Individual level forecasts are updated quite frequently, a behavior more in line “noisy” information models (Woodford, 2002; Sims, 2003) than with the assumptions of the sticky information model (Mankiw and Reis, 2002). While there are cross-country variations in information rigidity, there is no systematic difference between advanced and emerging economies.
International Monetary Fund
Nominal interest rate pegging leads to instability in an IS-LM model with a vertical long-run Phillips curve and backward-looking inflation expectations. However, it does not lead to instability in several large multicountry econometric models, apparently primarily because these models have nonvertical long-run Phillips curves. Nominal interest rate pegging leads to price level and output indeterminacy in a model with staggered contracts and rational expectations. However, when a class of money supply rules with interest rate smoothing is introduced, and interest rate pegging is viewed as the limit of interest rate smoothing, the price level and output are determinate.
Michel Juillard and Mr. Douglas Laxton
The development and use of forward-looking macro models in policymaking institutions has proceeded at a pace much slower than predicted in the early 1980s. An important reason is that researchers have not had access to robust and efficient solution techniques for solving nonlinear forward-looking models. This paper discusses the properties of a new algorithm that is used for solving MULTIMOD, the IMF’s multicountry model of the world economy. This algorithm is considerably faster and much less prone to simulation failures than to traditional algorithms and can also be used to solve individual country models of the same size.
Mr. Francisco Roch and Francisco Roldán
We analyze how concerns for model misspecification on the part of international lenders affect the desirability of issuing state-contingent debt instruments in a standard sovereign default model à la Eaton and Gersovitz (1981). We show that for the commonly used threshold state-contingent bond structure (e.g., the GDP-linked bond issued by Argentina in 2005), the model with robustness generates ambiguity premia in bond spreads that can explain most of what the literature has labeled as novelty premium. While the government would be better off with this bond when facing rational expectations lenders, this additional source of premia leads to welfare losses when facing robust lenders. Finally, we characterize the optimal design of the state-contingent bond and show how it varies with the level of robustness. Our findings rationalize the little use of these instruments in practice and shed light on their optimal design.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Staff Papers draws on IMF Working Papers, which are research studies by members of the Fund’s staff. A list of Working Papers issued in 1992:2 follows; additions will be noted in future issues.

Mr. Olivier Coibion and Mr. Yuriy Gorodnichenko
We propose a new approach to test the full-information rational expectations hypothesis which can identify whether rejections of the arise from information rigidities. This approach quantifies the economic significance of departures from the and the underlying degree of information rigidity. Applying this approach to U.S. and international data of professional forecasters and other agents yields pervasive evidence consistent with the presence of information rigidities. These results therefore provide a set of stylized facts which can be used to calibrate imperfect information models. Finally, we document evidence of state-dependence in the expectations formation process.