Unconstrained multi-sector bond funds (MSBFs) can be a source of spillovers to emerging markets and potentially exert a sizable impact on cross-border flows. MSBFs have grown their investment in emerging markets in recent years and are highly concentrated—both in their positions and their decision-making. They typically also exhibit opportunistic behavior much more so than other investment funds. Theoretically, their size, multisector mandate, and unconstrained nature allows MSBFs to be a source of financial stability in periods of wide-spread market turmoil while others sell at fire-sale prices. However, this note, building on the analysis of Cortes and Sanfilippo (2020) and incorporating data around the COVID-19 crisis, finds that MSBFs could have contributed to increase market stress in selected emerging markets. When faced with large investor redemptions during the crisis, our sample of MSBFs chose to rebalance their portfolios in a concentrated manner, raising a large proportion of cash in a few specific local currency bond markets. This may have contributed to exacerbating the relative underperformance of these local currency bond markets to broader emerging market indices.
This guidance note was prepared by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group staff under a project undertaken with the support of grants from the Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening Initiative, (FIRST).The aim of the project was to deliver a report that provides emerging market and developing economies with guidance and a roadmap in developing their local currency bond markets (LCBMs). This note will also inform technical assistance missions in advising authorities on the formulation of policies to deepen LCBMs.
Luc Eyraud, Andrew Hodge, Mr. John Ralyea, and Julien Reynaud
This note discusses how to design subnational fiscal rules, including how to select them and calibrate them. It expands on the guidance provided at the national level on rule selection and calibration in IMF (2018a) and IMF (2018b). Thinking on subnational fiscal rules is still evolving, including their effectiveness (for example, Heinemann, Moessinger, and Yeter 2018; Kotia and Lledó 2016; Foremny 2014), and this note only provides a first analysis based on international experiences and the technical assistance provided by the IMF. Main findings are summarized in Box 1. The note is divided into five sections. The first section defines fiscal rules. The second section discusses the rationale for subnational rules. The third section provides some guidance on how to select the appropriate rule(s) and whether they should differ across individual jurisdictions. The fourth section explores the issue of flexibility by looking at how rules should adjust to shocks. Finally, the last section focuses on the “calibration” of the rules.
This paper discusses theoretical aspects and evidences related to designing labor market institutions in emerging market and developing economies. This note reviews the state of theory and evidence on the design of labor market institutions in a developing economy context and then reviews its consistency with actual labor market advice in a selected set of emerging and developing economies. The focus is mainly on three broad sets of institutions that matter for both workers’ protection and labor market efficiency: employment protection, unemployment insurance and social assistance, minimum wages and collective bargaining. Text mining techniques are used to identify IMF recommendations in these areas in Article IV Reports for 30 emerging and frontier economies over 2005–2016. This note has provided a critical review of the literature on the design of labor market institutions in emerging and developing market economies, and benchmarked the advice featured in IMF recommendations for 30 emerging market and frontier economies against the tentative conclusions from the literature.
Luc Eyraud, Mr. Xavier Debrun, Andrew Hodge, Victor Duarte Lledo, and Ms. Catherine A Pattillo
Fiscal rule frameworks have evolved significantly in response to the global financial crisis. Many countries have reformed their fiscal rules or introduced new ones with a view to enhancing the credibility of fiscal policy and providing a medium-term anchor. Enforcement and monitoring mechanisms have also been upgraded. However, these innovations have made the systems of rules more complicated to operate, while compliance has not improved. The SDN takes stock of past experiences, reviews recent reforms, and presents new research on the effectiveness of rules. It also proposes guiding principles for future reforms to strike a better balance between simplicity, flexibility, and enforceability. Read the blog
Mr. Thomas F Alexander, Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, Mr. Marco Marini, Eric Metreau, and Mr. Michael Stanger
To derive real GDP, the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) recommends a technique called double deflation. Some countries use single deflation techniques, which fail to capture important relative price changes and introduce estimation errors in official GDP growth. We simulate the effects of single deflation to the GDP data of eight countries that use double deflation. We find that errors due to single deflation can be significant, but their magnitude and direction are not systematic over time and across countries. We conclude that countries still using single deflation should move to double deflation.
Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Mr. Alexei Goumilevski, and Mr. Kangni R Kpodar
Increased focus on income inequality and distributional issues has made incidence analysis a crucial input into policy decisions. This note presents the theoretical framework used to conduct incidence analysis of fuel price subsidy reform and presents a user-friendly tool for its application. This new tool requires limited inputs and has the advantage of using the commonly available software program Excel. The note presents an illustration based on the case of Brazil, using the 2005 household survey and input-output table. The results reinforce the typical finding that fuel subsidies benefit well-off households and that their removal would be progressive.
Mr. Julian T Chow, Ms. Florence Jaumotte, Mr. Seok G Park, and Ms. Yuanyan S Zhang
The recent strong, sustained appreciation of the U.S. dollar raises questions about possible financial spillover effects for emerging markets and developing countries. This report finds that, unlike past episodes, emerging markets’ vulnerability has improved along a number of dimensions, though some risks persist (as identified in this report).
This paper examines the extent to which World Trade Organization (WTO) rules impinge on policymakers’ freedom to formulate tax policies. It provides an overview of both the economic rationale for WTO rules concerning taxation and the provisions of the main WTO agreements concerning border taxes and internal taxes (direct as well as indirect). It also points out some tax anomalies and inconsistencies in these rules, and how the rules have evolved as a consequence of the interpretation of the WTO agreements by its Dispute Settlement Body and the latter’s rulings in connection with several disputes over taxes affecting trade. As WTO Members will undoubtedly want to avoid having their tax policies successfully challenged in the WTO, the paper provides some guidance concerning the design of tax policy.