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Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia
Does it pay off to be transparent and, if so, can the benefits of transparency be measured? This paper provides an affirmative answer to both questions, supported by novel evidence on the link between transparency through dissemination of economic data and sovereign bond spreads. It explores changes in sovereign financing conditions when countries join the IMF Data Standards Initiatives—a multilateral framework that promotes data transparency as a global public good. The results from event studies and local projection models show a significant decrease in spreads following the adoption of the standards. In addition, countries with relatively weaker governance benefit the most from signaling their effort toward strengthening transparency.
Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia
Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia

Does it pay off to be transparent and, if so, can the benefits of transparency be measured? This paper provides an affirmative answer to both questions, supported by novel evidence on the link between transparency through dissemination of economic data and sovereign bond spreads. It explores changes in sovereign financing conditions when countries join the IMF Data Standards Initiatives—a multilateral framework that promotes data transparency as a global public good. The results from event studies and local projection models show a significant decrease in spreads following the adoption of the standards. In addition, countries with relatively weaker governance benefit the most from signaling their effort toward strengthening transparency.

Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia

Abstract

The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union (OECS/ECCU) is one of four currency unions in the world. As in other parts of the world in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis, the region is at a crossroads, facing the major challenges of creating jobs, making growth more inclusive, reforming the banking system, and managing volatility, while grappling with high public debt and persistent low economic growth. Policymakers have the critical task of implementing strong reforms to strengthen the monetary union while also laying the foundation for accelerating growth. This Handbook provides a comprehensive analysis of the key issues in the OECS/ECCU, including its organization and economic and financial sector linkages, and provides policy recommendations to foster economic growth.

Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia and Yuanchen Yang
This paper examines the effect of international trade on corporate market power in emerging market economies and developing countries, with a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa. The analysis is based on a large firm-level dataset, tariff data by sector and agreggate indicators of international trade for the period 2000-17. Greater trade liberalization and trade integration are associated with significant declines in market power, with the effect being more pronounced for firms in the manufacturing and ICT sectors, private sector firms, and firms with higher initial markups. Firms in sub-Saharan Africa tend to experience signficantly lower markups after allowing greater trade integration. The effects of trade liberalization on market power materializes over time, and there are significant complementarities between trade reforms and real sector reforms.
Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia and Yuanchen Yang

This paper examines the effect of international trade on corporate market power in emerging market economies and developing countries, with a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa. The analysis is based on a large firm-level dataset, tariff data by sector and agreggate indicators of international trade for the period 2000-17. Greater trade liberalization and trade integration are associated with significant declines in market power, with the effect being more pronounced for firms in the manufacturing and ICT sectors, private sector firms, and firms with higher initial markups. Firms in sub-Saharan Africa tend to experience signficantly lower markups after allowing greater trade integration. The effects of trade liberalization on market power materializes over time, and there are significant complementarities between trade reforms and real sector reforms.

Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia and Mr. John Cady
The effects of the adoption of the IMF's International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity Data Template on nominal exchange rate volatility are investigated for 48 countries. Estimation of panel data models indicates that nominal exchange rate volatility decreases following dissemination of reserves template data while the effects of indebtedness and reserve adequacy on volatility exhibit statistically significant changes.
Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia and Mr. Gonzalo C Pastor Campos
This paper examines the usefulness of testing the conformity of macroeconomic data with Benford's law as indicator of data quality. Most of the macroeconomic data series tested conform with Benford's law. However, questions emerge on the reliability of such tests as indicators of data quality once conformity with Benford's law is contrasted with the data quality ratings included in the data module of the Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (data ROSCs). Furthermore, the analysis shows that rejection of Benford's law may be unrelated to the quality of statistics, and instead may result from marked structural shifts in the data series. Hence, nonconformity with Benford's law should not be interpreted as a reliable indication of poor quality in macroeconomic data.
Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia and Mr. Francesco Grigoli
State-owned banks may help to soften the financing constraints of public sector entities and consequently become a factor that hampers fiscal discipline. Using a panel dataset, we find that a larger presence of state-owned banks in the banking system is associated with more credit to the public sector, larger fiscal deficits, higher public debt ratios, and the crowding out of credit to the private sector. These results suggest that the lending practices of state-owned banks should be carefully assessed in any strategy to pursue fiscal discipline.