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Mr. Rodney Ramcharan
Does the choice of exchange rate regime affect the way an economy's adjustment to real shocks? Exploiting the randomness of natural shocks, this paper assesses empirically the often contrasting answers found in the theoretical literature. The evidence supports key themes in this literature, and points to an important tradeoff between regimes. First, adverse natural shocks are associated with both higher investment and foreign direct investment (FDI) only in developing countries with fixed rate regimes. Second, over a 24-month horizon, growth rebounds earlier in flexible rate regimes. Third, in the long run, more adverse shocks are associated with higher growth and investment only in predominantly fixed regimes. Thus, while claims of faster adjustment to real shocks under flexible rate arrangements have merit, so does the idea that exchange rate variability can impede investment. And the benefits from faster adjustment may come at the cost of foregoing the long run productivity benefits embodied in the larger investment response in fixed rate regimes.
Mr. Rodney Ramcharan

=Dual market in which parallel market data is missing. Exchange Rate Regime Classification, LY-S 1=inconclusive; 2=float; 3=dirty; 4=dirty/crawling peg; 5=fixed. Levy-Yeyati and Sturzenengger (2004) Exports The Ratio of Exports to GDP World Bank (2003). FDI The Ratio of Foreign Direct Investment to GDP World Bank (2003). Frequency The Percent of Years With At Least One Recorded Windstorm, 1900-2000. CRED (2003) GDP Growth Growth in Real GDP World Bank (2003). Government Consumption Growth Annual Percent Change

International Monetary Fund

(2004). Although quarter-on-quarter growth in Q1 2006 was revised down, the revision was small (just 0.1 percentage point of GDP) and first quarter developments continue to be seen as broadly in line with staff’s full-year GDP projections (as indicated in footnote 6 of the staff report). The new first quarter data show lower government consumption growth than before, while investment growth is now positive instead of slightly negative. Meanwhile, as indicated in the staff report, exports remained robust and private consumption above expectations. Revised GDP

The sharp increase in debt in the Caribbean since the mid-1990s has focused attention on the conduct of fiscal policy in the region. This paper aims to diagnose how fiscal policy has behaved during this period by looking at three main cycles of the economy: the business, election, and natural disaster cycles. Our main findings suggest that fiscal policy has been mostly procyclical in the region, while disasters have been heavily "insured" by foreign transfers. The "when it rains, it pours" phenomena suggested by Kaminsky, Reinhart and Vegh (2004) seems to take place in the Caribbean.
Mr. Selim A Elekdag and Maxwell Tuuli
This paper assesses the stabilization properties of fixed versus flexible exchange rate regimes and aims to answer this research question: Does greater exchange rate flexibility help an economy’s adjustment to weather shocks? To address this question, the impact of weather shocks on real per capita GDP growth is quantified under the two alternative exchange rate regimes. We find that although weather shocks are generally detrimental to per capita income growth, the impact is less severe under flexible exchange rate regimes. Moreover, the medium-term adverse growth impact of a 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature under a pegged regime is about –1.4 percentage points on average, while under a flexible regime, the impact is less than one half that amount (–0.6 percentage point). This finding bolsters the idea that exchange rate flexibility not only helps mitigate the initial impact of the shock but also promotes a faster recovery. In terms of mechanisms, our findings suggest that the depreciation of the nominal exchange rate under a flexible regime supports real export growth. In contrast to standard theoretical predictions, we find that countercyclical fiscal policy may not be effective under pegged regimes amid high debt, highlighting the importance of the policy mix and precautionary (fiscal) buffers.
International Monetary Fund
The Netherlands showed economic recovery, supported by strong polices, public finances, and structural reforms. Executive Directors commended the strong fiscal framework and agreed that it meets the good practice standards according to the reports on the observance of standards and codes. They commended the sound financial system and welcomed the new Financial Supervision Act. They emphasized the need for fiscal consolidation for securing fiscal sustainability. Directors appreciated the authorities’ responsiveness to the recommendations of the Financial System Stability Assessment.