Camila Casas, Mr. Federico J Diez, Ms. Gita Gopinath, and Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas
Most trade is invoiced in very few currencies. Despite this, the Mundell-Fleming benchmark and its variants focus on pricing in the producer’s currency or in local currency. We model instead a ‘dominant currency paradigm’ for small open economies characterized by three features: pricing in a dominant currency; pricing complementarities, and imported input use in production. Under this paradigm: (a) the terms-of-trade is stable; (b) dominant currency exchange rate pass-through into export and import prices is high regardless of destination or origin of goods; (c) exchange rate pass-through of non-dominant currencies is small; (d) expenditure switching occurs mostly via imports, driven by the dollar exchange rate while exports respond weakly, if at all; (e) strengthening of the dominant currency relative to non-dominant ones can negatively impact global trade; (f) optimal monetary policy targets deviations from the law of one price arising from dominant currency fluctuations, in addition to the inflation and output gap. Using data from Colombia we document strong support for the dominant currency paradigm.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on Venezuelan migration and the labor market. Over 2 million migrants have crossed the border from Venezuela and continue to join Colombia’s labor market—which remains weak overall with rising unemployment and falling participation. There is so far little evidence of displacement effects on account of immigration, however, as the Colombian informal sector has capably absorbed most of the migrant inflow. A more granular view of Colombia’s local labor markets does not show weaker employment outcomes in those that have received the most migrants. However, with many of these workers being highly skilled and attached to the informal sector, evidence of labor misallocation highlights the need to continue integration policies. The government is conducting efforts to accelerate the validation of Venezuelan degrees for easing the integration of professional migrants and high-school educated migrants who wish to continue their university studies in Colombia.
This paper considers how an international lender of last resort (LOLR) can prevent self-fulfilling banking and currency crises in emerging economies. We compare two different arrangements: one in which the international LOLR injects liquidity into international financial markets, and one in which its resources are used to back domestic banking safety nets. Both arrangements would require important changes in the global financial architecture: the first one would require a global central bank issuing an international currency, while the second one would have to be operated by an "international banking fund" closely involved in the supervision of domestic banking systems.
This Selected Issues paper quantifies the importance of international food and oil price inflation for Uruguayan inflation. The paper employs the vector autoregressive (VAR) model and Phillips-curve estimations techniques to address these questions. Similar estimations are carried out for a broader set of emerging markets to put the Uruguayan results into an international context. The paper examines spillovers from commodity price increases to measures of core inflation, and reveals that world food prices have had a strong but stable impact on Uruguay’s inflation.
The value-added tax (VAT) is often a major component of national fiscal structures. While its effects on allocative efficiency, inflation, income distribution, and tax administration have been addressed, little work, exists on the theoretical base of a VAT, given its structure. This is essential for knowing how much of the base is actually taxed. Using Mexican national accounts and input-output tables, this paper develops a methodology for calculating the theoretical base of the Mexican VAT for 1980 and 1983 (two years whose individual VAT structures were considerably different). The method is applicable to other VAT systems as well.
Ms. Deniz O Igan, Mr. Taehoon Kim, and Antoine Levy
State-contingent debt instruments such as GDP-linked warrants have garnered attention as a potential tool to help debt-stressed economies smooth repayments over business cycles, yet very few studies of the empirical properties of these instruments exist. This paper develops a general f ramework to estimate the time-varying risk premium of a state-contingent sovereign debt instrument. Our estimation framework applied to GDP-linked warrants issued by Argentina, Greece, and Ukraine reveals three stylized facts: (i) the risk premium in state-contingent instruments is high and persistent; (ii) the risk premium exhibits a pro-cyclical pattern; and (iii) the liquidity premium is higher and more volatile than that for plain-vanilla government bonds issued by the same sovereign. We then present a model in which investors fear ambiguity and that can account for the cyclical properties of the risk premium.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents an overview of Argentina’s economic developments in the past 10 years. Argentina’s impressive growth over the past decade has been accompanied by the accumulation of a number of major vulnerabilities. Policy inconsistencies were exposed in early 2014 when mounting balance-of-payments pressures culminated in a sharp devaluation of the peso. Subsequent to the devaluation, domestic imbalances were exacerbated by a deteriorating external environment. At the same time, the dispute with holdout creditors continued to impede Argentina’s access to international capital markets. The combination of weak external demand, fast eroding competitiveness, and compromised access to international capital markets fueled balance of payments pressures in 2014.
This paper discusses the causes of the imbalance of international payments. Under the forces of supply and demand, gold came to have a certain value in relation to goods, which enabled it to function smoothly as a medium of reserve and settlement. This value varied somewhat from time to time under the influence of new discoveries or the exhaustion of existing sources. Of all the particular imbalances in the international payments pattern, that between the dollar and other currencies is the greatest. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to measure the amount of imbalance existing. Europe has made considerable and, to some extent, successful efforts to expand direct sales to the United States. It is in the sphere of finished manufactures principally that one could hope for an expansion of exports by an organized export drive or currency devaluation, other categories of goods depending more on the level of US production and national income.