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Mr. Joannes Mongardini
In light of the real appreciation of the Egyptian pound over the last six years and Egypt’s lackluster export growth, questions of external competitiveness and exchange rate policy have arisen. This paper sheds light on these issues by estimating empirically Egypt’s equilibrium real exchange rate, that is, the rate that is consistent with fundamentals. The results show that, while the real exchange rate was substantially overvalued before 1993, today it is only moderately above the equilibrium rate. Moreover, the analysis shows that the recent appreciation of the pound does not indicate a worsening misalignment.
Mr. Joannes Mongardini

In light of the real appreciation of the Egyptian pound over the last six years and Egypt’s lackluster export growth, questions of external competitiveness and exchange rate policy have arisen. This paper sheds light on these issues by estimating empirically Egypt’s equilibrium real exchange rate, that is, the rate that is consistent with fundamentals. The results show that, while the real exchange rate was substantially overvalued before 1993, today it is only moderately above the equilibrium rate. Moreover, the analysis shows that the recent appreciation of the pound does not indicate a worsening misalignment.

Mr. Joannes Mongardini

Abstract

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010. As the oldest customs union in the world, SACU has brought significant benefits to its five member countries, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland (Figure 1.1). The significant degree of trade integration among its member countries has facilitated trade within and outside SACU and thus improved living standards. All members, excluding Botswana, also benefit from the Common Monetary Area (CMA), in which the currencies of Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland are fixed at parity with the South African rand, which is also accepted as legal tender in these countries. Regional and financial integration have improved the welfare of the people of Southern Africa.

Mr. Joannes Mongardini and Issouf Samaké
This paper assesses the macroeconomic implications of scaling up aid for Benin in line with the Gleneagles commitment to double aid to poor countries over the next three years to reach $85 per capita by 2010 and keep it at that level thereafter. The analysis suggests that the additional aid inflows can be accommodated under Fund-supported programs without major disruptions to macroeconomic stability, provided the inflows are highly concessional and used effectively. There are, however, significant risks that the impact on growth and poverty reduction of the additional aid inflows could fall short of expectations, given Benin's limited absorptive and administrative capacity.
Mr. Joannes Mongardini and Brett Rayner
This paper builds on the methodology developed by Chudik and Mongardini (2007) to estimate the relationship between grants and remittances and the equilibrium real exchange rate in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries using panel techniques. The results indicate that grants and remittances are not associated, in the long run, with an appreciation of the real effective exchange in SSA and are therefore not likely to give rise to Dutch disease effects. These findings suggest that grants and remittances may be serving to ease supply constraints or boost productivity in the non-tradable sector in the recipient economies.
Mr. Joannes Mongardini and Aneta Radzikowski
Global smartphone sales may have peaked. After reaching nearly 1.5 billion units in 2016, global smartphone sales have since declined, contributing negatively to world trade in 2019 and suggesting that the global market may now be saturated. This paper develops a simple model to forecast smartphone sales, which shows that sales are likely to decline further. As tech companies shift to embedded services (cloud computing, content subscriptions, and financial services), the impact on global trade may also be shifting in favor of services exports mostly from advanced economies.
Mr. Joannes Mongardini and Issouf Samaké
Mr. Joannes Mongardini and Issouf Samaké

This paper assesses the macroeconomic implications of scaling up aid for Benin in line with the Gleneagles commitment to double aid to poor countries over the next three years to reach $85 per capita by 2010 and keep it at that level thereafter. The analysis suggests that the additional aid inflows can be accommodated under Fund-supported programs without major disruptions to macroeconomic stability, provided the inflows are highly concessional and used effectively. There are, however, significant risks that the impact on growth and poverty reduction of the additional aid inflows could fall short of expectations, given Benin's limited absorptive and administrative capacity.

Mr. Joannes Mongardini and Brett Rayner