This paper tests empirically the theoretical prediction that the country premium paid by emerging economies on sovereign debt increases with the amount of debt up to a certain critical level, above which the supply of foreign funds becomes fixed. The results confirm this theoretical prediction. The approach developed in the paper is also used to test for the presence of moral hazard in international lending. The results indicate significant changes in the supply of funds curve consistent with the presence of moral hazard in the period immediately following the Mexican rescue operation, but not after the Russian non-bailout.
This paper investigates whether balance-sheet conditions of firms and their main banks matter for firm investment behavior using dynamic corporate panel data in Japan for the period 1985-95. It finds that smaller non-bond issuing firms were facing liquidity constraints; these firms’ balance-sheet conditions (the debt asset ratios) affected their investment from the midst of the bubble era by influencing main banks’ lending to them; and the deterioration of their main banks’ balance-sheet conditions constrained these firms’ investment from about 1993. These findings highlight the potential macroeconomic impact and importance of the credit channel of monetary policy, and support the case of a credit crunch facing small Japanese firms during this period.
This paper examines the extent to which conclusions of cross-country studies of private savings are robust to allowing for the possible heterogeneity of savings behavior across countries and the inclusion of dynamics. It shows that neglecting heterogeneity and dynamics can lead to misleading inferences about the key determinants of savings behavior. The results indicate that among the many variables considered in the literature only the fiscal variables—the general government surplus as a proportion of GDP and the ratio of government consumption to GDP—are important determinants of private savings rates in the industrial countries in the post-World War II period.
Ms. Rina Bhattacharya, Katja Mann, and Ms. Mwanza Nkusu
This paper takes a fresh look at the determinants of reserves holding with the aim of highlighting similarities and differences in the motives for holding reserves among emerging markets (EMs), advanced economies (AEs), and low-income countries (LICs). We apply two panel estimation techniques: fixed effects (FE) and common correlated effects pooled mean group (CCEPMG). FE regression results suggest that precautionary savings motives, both current account- and capital account-related, are generally the most important determinants of reserves holding across country groups and that their importance has increased for AEs and LICs since the global financial crisis while receding for EMs. Mercantilist motives matter mostly for EMs. Intertemporal motives have been gaining importance everywhere over time. The CCEPMG results confirm the importance of precautionary motives and suggest that current account motives matter only for EMs and LICs and capital account motives matter for all groups while being more important for EMs in both the shortand long runs. The CCEPMG results also point to the importance of taking into account unobserved common factors that affect coefficient estimates and the dynamic process through which reserves adjust to changes. At about 0.6, the speed of adjustment to the long-run equilibrium implies that more than half of the gap between actual and desired reserve holdings is closed within a year.
Quantitative easing could improve market liquidity through many channels such as relaxing bank funding constraints, increasing risk appetite, and facilitating trades. However, it can also reduce market liquidity when the increase in the central bank’s holdings of certain securities leads to a scarcity of those securities and hence higher search costs in the market. Using security-level data from the Japanese government bond (JGB) market, this paper finds evidence of the scarcity (flow) effects of the Bank of Japan (BOJ)’s JGB purchases on market liquidity. Moreover, we also find evidence that such scarcity effects could dominate other effects when the share of the BOJ’s holdings exceeds certain thresholds, suggesting that the flow effects may also depend on the stock.
Climate change is already a systemic risk to the global economy. While there is a large body of literature documenting potential economic consequences, there is scarce research on the link between climate change and sovereign risk. This paper therefore investigates the impact of climate change vulnerability and resilience on sovereign bond yields and spreads in 98 advanced and developing countries over the period 1995–2017. We find that the vulnerability and resilience to climate change have a significant impact on the cost government borrowing, after controlling for conventional determinants of sovereign risk. That is, countries that are more resilient to climate change have lower bond yields and spreads relative to countries with greater vulnerability to risks associated with climate change. Furthermore, partitioning the sample into country groups reveals that the magnitude and statistical significance of these effects are much greater in developing countries with weaker capacity to adapt to and mitigate the consequences of climate change.
This paper analyzes the evolution of investment in China, its main features, and its key determinants. In recent years, manufacturing, real estate, and infrastructure have been the main drivers of investment. Investment remains largely concentrated in coastal areas, but there has been a shift to greater investments inland in recent years. The empirical analysis of the determinants of investment indicates that financial variables, such as interest rates, the exchange rate, and the depth of the domestic capital market are important determinants of corporate investment. The results suggest in particular that financial sector reform, including that which deregulates and raises real interest rates as well as appreciates the real effective exchange rate, would lower investment and help rebalance growth away from exports and investment toward private consumption.
This paper highlights that real interest rates in Brazil have declined substantially over time, but are still well above the average of emerging market inflation targeting regimes. The adoption of an inflation-targeting regime and better economic fundamentals (reduction in inflation volatility and improvements in the fiscal and external positions) has helped Brazil sustain significantly lower real interest rates than in the past. Going forward, the paper shows that Brazil can converge towards lower equilibrium real interest rates if domestic savings increase to the level of other emerging market countries. The effect is particularly pronounced if the increase in domestic savings is achieved through higher levels of public savings. Still, econometric results suggest that, controlling for everything else in the model, real interest rates in Brazil are about two full percentage points higher than in other countries in the sample, suggesting that there are still Brazil-specific factors that have not been captured by the empirical analysis. Some of these factors may include credit market segmentation and inflation inertia generated by still pervasive indexation practices.
Climate change is an existential threat to the world economy like no other, with complex, evolving and nonlinear dynamics that remain a source of great uncertainty. There is a bourgeoning literature on the economic impact of climate change, but research on how climate change affects sovereign risks is limited. Building on our previous research focusing on the impact of climate change on sovereign risks, this paper empirically investigates how climate change may affect sovereign credit ratings. By means of binary-choice models, we find that climate change vulnerability has adverse effects on sovereign credit ratings, after controlling for conventional macroeconomic determinants of credit worthiness. On the other hand, with regards to climate change resilience, we find that countries with greater climate change resilience benefit from higher (better) credit ratings. These findings, robust to a battery of sensitivity checks, also show that impact of climate change is disproportionately greater in developing countries due largely to weaker capacity to adapt to and mitigate the consequences of climate change.
Using a dataset covering a large sample of emerging economies (EMEs), we study the relationship between debt and economic performance in bad times. While previous research has shown that private debt buildups exacerbate the duration and intensity of recessions in advanced economies (AEs), we document that this effect is very pronounced in EMEs as well. Moreover, although rapid public debt buildups are unlikely to be the primary trigger of financial crises, in EMEs they are associated with deeper and longer recessions than in AEs. Part of this difference is explained by a less supportive fiscal policy in EMEs during crises.