Arnold McIntyre, Ahmed El-Ashram, Mr. Márcio Valério Ronci, Julien Reynaud, Ms. Natasha X Che, Ke Wang, Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, and Mr. Mark Scott Lutz
High energy costs contribute to dampening Caribbean competitiveness and potential growth. This paper overviews power sector challenges and takes stock of national and regional strategies to address them. It presents recommendations to move the energy agenda forward based on analyses of macro-aspects of energy reform. These include: i) quantitative assessment of the impact of energy costs on growth and competitiveness; ii) evaluation of gains from implementing announced renewable energy and energy efficiency targets; and iii) analysis of the impact of energy investments on debt sustainability. The paper argues for a bigger role for the private sector in energy reform and discusses prerequisites for good public-private partnerships.
This paper develops country-specific VAR models with block exogeneity restrictions to analyze how exogenous factors affect business cycles in the Eastern Caribbean. It finds that external shocks play a key role, explaining more than half of macroeconomic fluctuations in the region. Domestic business cycles are especially vulnerable to changes in climatic conditions, with a natural disaster leading to an immediate and significant fall in output-but the effects do not appear to be persistent. Oil price and external demand shocks also contribute significantly to domestic macroeconomic fluctuations. An increase in oil prices (external demand) is contractionary (expansionary), and the effects dissipate up to three years after the shock.
This paper investigates the determinants of tourism demand in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. We estimate the demand function in a panel setting using annual data from 1979 to 2005. Results show that tourism arrivals are significantly affected by economic developments in the source countries, while price considerations and external shocks (such as hurricanes and wars) are also important. Supply factors, such as developments in foreign direct investment and the number of airlines servicing a destination, are also found to be significant determinants of tourism demand.