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Leandro Medina, Mr. Andrew W Jonelis, and Mehmet Cangul
The multiple indicator-multiple cause (MIMIC) method is a well-established tool for measuring informal economic activity. However, it has been criticized because GDP is used both as a cause and indicator variable. To address this issue, this paper applies for the first time the light intensity approach (instead of GDP). It also uses the Predictive Mean Matching (PMM) method to estimate the size of the informal economy for Sub-Saharan African countries over 24 years. Results suggest that informal economy in Sub-Saharan Africa remains among the largest in the world, although this share has been very gradually declining. It also finds significant heterogeneity, with informality ranging from a low of 20 to 25 percent in Mauritius, South Africa and Namibia to a high of 50 to 65 percent in Benin, Tanzania and Nigeria.
Mr. Istvan P Szekely and Ádám Kóbor
The paper analyzes foreign exchange market volatility in four Central European EU accession countries in 2001-2003. By using a Markov regime-switching model, it identifies two regimes representing high- and low-volatility periods. The estimation results show not only that volatilities are different between the two regimes but also that some of the cross-correlations differ. Notably, cross-correlations increase substantially for two pairs of currencies (the Hungarian forint-Polish zloty and the Czech koruna-Slovak koruna) in the high-volatility period. The paper concludes by discussing the policy implications of these findings.
Mr. R. S Craig and Mr. Changchun Hua

Front Matter Page Asia and Pacific Department Content I. Introduction II. Policies to Restrain Residential Property Prices in Hong Kong SAR III. An Econometric Model of Property Prices in Hong Kong SAR IV. Model Estimation Results V. Explaining the Rapid Rise in Property Prices VI. Conclusions References

Ms. Kazuko Shirono

Front Matter Page IMF Institute Authorized for distribution by Jorge Roldos Contents I. Introduction II. Gravity Model A. Theory B. Empirical Specification III. National Currencies as a Trade Barrier A. Estimating Parameters B. East Asian Currency Unions C. Extended Membership IV. Yen Zone vs. Dollar Zone A. Exchange Rate Policy in East Asia B. Common Currency Arrangements V. Conclusion References Tables 1. Gravity Model Estimation Results 2. Robustness Checks 3. Common Currency Arrangements in East Asia