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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper surveys the foreign exchange markets, money and secondary government security markets, and stock exchanges in 107 smaller economy countries. The underdevelopment of these markets impedes risk transfer, monetary policy, corporate financing, and the capacity to absorb capital inflows. This study marks a first step toward formulating policies to develop essential smaller economy financial markets by documenting the stylized facts and presenting a framework for assessing the policy issues.

Connel Fullenkamp, Mr. Thomas F. Cosimano, Michael T. Gapen, Mr. Ralph Chami, Mr. Peter J Montiel, and Mr. Adolfo Barajas

Abstract

Given the large size of aggregate remittance flows (billions of dollars annually), they should be expected to have significant macroeconomic effects on the economies that receive them. This paper directly addresses the two main issues of interest to policymakers with regard to remittances--how to manage their macroeconomic effects, and how to harness their development potential--by reporting the results of the first global study of the comprehensive macroeconomic effects of remittances on recipient economies. In broad terms, the findings of this paper tend to confirm the main benefit cited in the microeconomic literature: remittances improve households' welfare by lifting families out of poverty and insuring them against income shocks. The findings also yield a number of important caveats and policy considerations, however, that have largely been overlooked. The main challenge for policymakers in countries that receive significant flows of remittances is to design policies that promote remittances and increase their benefits while mitigating adverse side effects. Getting these policy prescriptions correct early on is imperative. Globalization and the aging of developed economy populations will ensure that demand for migrant workers remains robust for years to come. Hence, the volume of remittances likely will continue to grow, and with it, the challenge of unlocking the maximum societal benefit from these transfers.

Mr. Alfred Schipke and Mr. Dominique Desruelle

Abstract

¿Cómo consolidar los avances logrados con tanto esfuerzo, acrecentar la capacidad de resistencia a los shocks y alcanzar un mayor crecimiento económico a fin de reducir la pobreza? Estos son los desafíos que se le presentan en el camino a América Central en el proceso de recuperación de la estabilidad macroeconómica. Este estudio analiza las políticas de América Central en los sectores real, fiscal, monetario y financiero a nivel regional, comenzando por un análisis del crecimiento y de las implicaciones macroeconómicas de las remesas. Seguidamente se abordan la sostenibilidad de los sistemas de pensiones, el desarrollo del sistema financiero, las vulnerabilidades de la deuda soberana y las formas de apoyar el avance en la reducción de la inflación fortaleciendo la credibilidad de los bancos centrales.

Mr. Alfred Schipke and Mr. Dominique Desruelle

Abstract

How to entrench hard-won gains, increase resilience to shocks, and improve growth performance to reduce poverty? As Central America moves forward in regaining macroeconomic stability, these are the challenges. This study analyzes Central America’s real, fiscal, monetary, and financial sector policies at the regional level, starting with a review of growth performance and the macroeconomic implications of remittances. It then looks at the sustainability of pension systems, financial system development, sovereign debt vulnerabilities, and ways to sustain progress in reducing inflation by strengthening the credibility of central banks.

Mr. David S. Hoelscher, Mr. Michael W Taylor, and Mr. Ulrich H Klueh

Abstract

This paper describes recently established deposit insurance systems, identifying emerging trends. In line with previous IMF work on the subject, it argues against the development of "best practices" applicable to all systems. Rather, it stresses the importance of incorporating each country’s individual objectives in adopting a deposit insurance system, as well as that country’s characteristics, to ensure an effective system that minimizes disincentives and distortions to financial sector intermediation. The paper includes a summary of the academic literature.

Mr. Markus Rodlauer and Mr. Alfred Schipke

Abstract

América Central ha concitado creciente atención como una región que se está integrando exitosamente a la economía mundial. Este estudio examina -entre otras cosas- las implicaciones macroeconómicas y fiscales del Acuerdo de Libre Comercio con Estados Unidos (CAFTA-RD), y se destaca que este acuerdo impulsará el proceso de integración. Sin embargo, a fin de potenciar al máximo los beneficios en términos de un crecimiento sostenible más acelerado, reducción de la pobreza y progreso social, la región también debe llevar adelante ambiciosas reformas estructurales que consoliden la estabilidad macroeconómica y aseguren condiciones atractivas para la inversión, a la vez que se intensifica la cooperación regional en materia de recaudación y administración de impuestos, sistemas financieros y estadísticas.

Mr. Markus Rodlauer and Mr. Alfred Schipke

Abstract

Central America has received growing attention as a region that is integrating successfully into the global economy. This paper examines—among other things—the macroeconomic and fiscal implications of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA-DR), noting that the agreement will provide a boost to the integration process. To maximize the benefits in terms of faster sustainable growth, poverty reduction, and social progress, however, the region also needs to press ahead with ambitious structural reforms to entrench macroeconomic stability and ensure an attractive environment for investment, while stepping up regional cooperation in the areas of taxes and tax administration, financial systems, and statistics.

Mr. Olivier P. Benon, Ms. Katherine Baer, and Mr. Juan Toro R.

Abstract

One area that has not been reviewed in developing countries is the growing focus on different segments of the taxpayer population-including the large taxpayers-as a way to encourage greater stability in public revenue flows, improve the effectiveness and efficiency of tax administration, and introduce innovations in the public sector. Based on a sample of about 40 countries, this paper provides an overview of country practices in terms of the organization, systems, and procedures used by tax administrations to monitor the compliance of the large taxpayers. The paper also reviews the effectiveness of large taxpayer operations in selected developing and transition countries where the IMF has recommended their establishment.

Mr. Owen Evens and Peter J. Quirk

Abstract

The paper summarizes the main issues arising from experiences of industrial and developing countries with capital account liberalization and it examines the IMF's treatment of capital controls in its surveillance, use of IMF resources, and technical assistance activities. Case studies of recent experiences with capital controls in Chile, Colombia, Malaysia, and Venezuela are presented.

Mr. Louis Dicks-Mireaux, Mr. Miguel A Savastano, Mr. Adam Bennett, Ms. María Vicenta Carkovic S., Mr. Mauro Mecagni, Mr. James A John, and Ms. Susan M Schadler

Abstract

This paper is Part I of a two-volume study conducted as a part of the IMF's ongoing process of evaluating its lending facilities. It focuses on IMF-supported programs and macroeconomic performance during 1988-92, reflecting information available through the end of 1993. Part I provides an overview of the experiences during the arrangements reviewed: it describes the initial conditions faced in these countries, the adjustment strategies adopted, the degree to which programs were implemented, and the extent of sustained adjustment experienced.