Ms. Monique Newiak, Mr. Abdoul A Wane, and Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo
Governance and corruption issues have taken the center stage in international discussions, especially after the adoption by the IMF in 2018 of a new framework for engagement on governance and corruption. Sound institutions that guarantee integrity in the management of public affairs are critical on the path toward higher and more inclusive growth. Corruption undermines the quality of institutions, weakens the effectiveness of government programs, and compromises social trust in government policies. Indeed, countries around the world that improved their governance systems are reaping a “governance dividend,” and governance-enhancing reformist countries in sub-Saharan Africa include Botswana, Rwanda, and Seychelles. In addition, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola demonstrate that important reforms are possible, including in fragile environments. The importance of good governance has acquired even more importance as countries try to introduce policies to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Special attention to governance in an emergency context, including situations associated with conflict, other health crises and natural disasters, is therefore essential. Innovation and new technologies are critical instruments that policymakers can use in their efforts to improve governance and transparency.
Mr. Romain A Duval, Davide Furceri, Raphael Lee, and Marina M. Tavares
We show that firms’ market power dampens the response of their output to monetary policy shocks, using firm-level data for the United States and a large cross-country firm-level dataset for 14 advanced economies. The estimated impact of a firm’s markup on its response to a monetary policy shock is large enough to materially affect monetary policy transmission. We also find some evidence that the role of markup in monetary policy transmission, while independent from other channels, is greater for firms whose characteristics — notably size and age — are likely to be associated with greater financial constraints. We rationalize these findings through a simple partial equilibrium model in which borrowing constraints amplify disproportionately low-markup firms’ responses to changes in interest rates.
Fund staff use indicators developed by other organizations as input into analysis in surveillance and, to a lesser extent, in program work. While the Fund has been able to rely on data and statistics provided by member countries and compiled internally, continued efforts to foster global economic and financial stability require staff to work with indicators drawn from numerous third-party compilers. These indicators of varied qualities are used to measure concepts such as business environment, competitiveness, and quality of governance. It is anticipated that staff will continue to draw on other institutions’ expertise and estimates. This practice is consistent with the Executive Board’s guidance in areas where internal expertise is lacking or limited. It also puts a premium on staff’s understanding of the third-party indicators (TPIs) used to add analytical value, avoid flawed conclusions and presentation, and support traction with the membership. This paper outlines a framework to promote best practice with respect to use of TPIs in Fund reports. The framework will apply to all documents that are subject to the Fund’s Transparency Policy. Staff are encouraged to follow similar guidelines for other Fund documents. It draws on lessons from the current practice in the Fund and other selected international organizations (IOs), and insights from the application of an adapted data quality assessment framework (DQAF) to a subset of TPIs commonly used by Fund staff. Common good practices across IOs include the emphasis on staff judgment, review, and consultation with stakeholders.
This paper sets out Management’s response to the Independent Evaluation Office’s (IEO) evaluation report on Self-Evaluation at the IMF. The implementation plan proposes specific actions to address the recommendations of the IEO that were endorsed by the Board in its September 18, 2015 discussion of the IEO’s report, namely: (i) adopt a broad policy or general principles for self-evaluation in the IMF, including its goals, scope, outputs, utilization, and follow-up; (ii) give country authorities the opportunity to express their views on program design and results, and IMF performance; (iii) for each policy and thematic review, explicitly set out a plan for how the policies and operations it covers will be self-evaluated; (iv) develop products and activities aimed at distilling and disseminating evaluative findings and lessons. The implementation of some of these proposed actions is already underway. The paper also explains how implementation will be monitored.
Studies of the impact of trade openness on growth are based either on crosscountry analysis—which lacks transparency—or case studies—which lack statistical rigor. This paper applies a transparent econometric method drawn from the treatment evaluation literature (matching estimators) to make the comparison between treated (that is, open) and control (that is, closed) countries explicit while remaining within a statistical framework. Matching estimators highlight that common cross-country evidence is based on rather far-fetched country comparisons, which stem from the lack of common support of treated and control countries in the covariate space. The paper therefore advocates paying more attention to appropriate sample restriction in crosscountry macro research.