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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx

Mr. Andy M. Wolfe and Rafael Romeu
This study measures the impact of changing economic conditions in OECD countries on tourist arrivals to countries/destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. A model of utility maximization across labor, consumption of goods and services at home, and consumption of tourism services across monopolistically competitive destinations abroad is presented. The model yields estimable equations arrivals as a function of OECD economic conditions and the elasticity of substitution across tourist destinations. Estimates suggest median tourism arrivals decline by at least three to five percent in response to a one percent increase in OECD unemployment, even after controlling for declines in OECD consumption and output gaps. Arrivals to individual destination are driven by differing exposure to OECD country groups sharing similar business cycle characteristics. Estimates of the elasticity of substitution suggest that tourism demand is highly price sensitive, and that a variety of costs to delivering tourism services drive market share losses in uncompetitive destinations. One recent cost change, the 2009 easing of restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba, supported a small (countercyclical) boost to Cuba’s arrivals of U.S. non-family travel, as well as a pre-existing surge in family travel (of Cuban origin). Despite the US becoming Cuba’s second highest arrival source, Cuban policymakers have significant scope for lowering the relatively high costs of family travel from the United States.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The litigation in U.S. courts in which claims have been made under life insurance policies issued by U.S. or Canadian companies to applicants then resident in Cuba is the most extensive body of cases involving Article VIII, Section 2(b), that has come into the courts so far. The cases suggest the following reactions.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The change of regime in Cuba in 1959 led to a considerable migration of citizens from that country. Many of these émigrés held insurance policies issued by U.S. or Canadian companies that had been doing business in Cuba. A wave of litigation based on these policies flooded into courts in the United States against both groups of companies.1 One company alone had more than 6,000 policies outstanding that had been issued through its Havana branch. “The pending suits involve all kinds of policy claims, including death claims, suits for cash surrender values of policies, annuity benefits and endowment proceeds, as well as actions to force insurers to accept premiums and maintain policies in force.” 2

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper discusses the Cuban insurance cases. The litigation in U.S. courts in which claims have been made under life insurance policies issued by U.S. or Canadian companies to applicants then resident in Cuba is the most extensive body of cases involving Article VIII, Section 2(6) that has come into the courts. The cases suggest that the benefits of Article VIII, Section 2(6), cease to be available to a country once it withdraws from the IMF, even in respect of contracts entered into when the country was a member. This conclusion seems to have been accepted by both courts and counsel in the cases.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Finance and Development, September 2015

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper focuses on various aspects of inflation in Latin America. Among short-run factors, World War II considerably affected the balance of payments of Latin American countries and thus indirectly their inflationary situation. Inflation in a greater or less degree has long been characteristic of many Latin American countries. A high propensity to consume implies either a high multiplier or a high propensity to import. In normal times, the latter was more usual, since the supply of consumers' goods in these countries was rather inelastic. In countries where controls over consumption and investment are strict and efficient, there is a tendency for inflation to give rise to substantial holdings of cash, bank deposits, and other relatively liquid assets in excess of those which would voluntarily be held by business and consumers. In countries such as those of Latin America, where controls have not been very effective, this tendency toward excess liquidity is noticeably smaller. Nevertheless, it is still a factor to reckon with, because involuntary hoarding may be the result of the impossibility of obtaining desired commodities or supplies, even though there is no rationing or similar system in operation. In Latin America during the war the inevitable curtailment of imports did in this way bring about a condition of latent inflation.