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Andreas Fagereng, Luigi Guiso, Mr. Davide Malacrino, and Luigi Pistaferri
We provide a systematic analysis of the properties of individual returns to wealth using twelve years of population data from Norway’s administrative tax records. We document a number of novel results. First, during our sample period individuals earn markedly different average returns on their financial assets (a standard deviation of 14%) and on their net worth (a standard deviation of 8%). Second, heterogeneity in returns does not arise merely from differences in the allocation of wealth between safe and risky assets: returns are heterogeneous even within asset classes. Third, returns are positively correlated with wealth: moving from the 10th to the 90th percentile of the financial wealth distribution increases the return by 3 percentage points - and by 17 percentage points when the same exercise is performed for the return to net worth. Fourth, wealth returns exhibit substantial persistence over time. We argue that while this persistence partly reflects stable differences in risk exposure and assets scale, it also reflects persistent heterogeneity in sophistication and financial information, as well as entrepreneurial talent. Finally, wealth returns are (mildly) correlated across generations. We discuss the implications of these findings for several strands of the wealth inequality debate.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines Finland’s sectoral balance sheets and how they have evolved since the global financial crisis; the analysis reveals that financial vulnerabilities have risen in most sectors. Indebtedness has increased for nonfinancial corporations (NFCs), households, and the government, increasing their financial fragility and vulnerability to shocks. Also, cross-border financial exposures have risen on both sides of Finland’s balance sheet. Specifically, banks’ balance sheets have grown considerably, largely owing to a rise in foreign liabilities. NFCs and the government have also relied in part on foreign investors to finance their debt increases.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note reviews linkages and interconnectedness in the Norwegian financial system for Norway. Norway’s banks have important connections with global financial centers, but regional links are also important. Norwegian banks are very dependent on global financial centers as sources of funding and to hedge currency risks. Cross-sectoral exposures of Norway’s banks, insurance companies, and real estate companies are significant and extend beyond the Nordic region. The authorities are encouraged to expand their current monitoring efforts of crossborder and cross-sectoral exposures of the Norwegian financial sector, and to conduct regional stress tests. For this effect, the authorities can resort to market data and, if available, to balance sheet data of exposures at the individual financial institution level.
Mr. Mike Seiferling
This paper re-examines the stock-flow discrepancies of government debt and deficits and correlation with fiscal transparency. Applying the fully integrated relationship between financial stocks and flows allows for a more refined analysis of the deterministic components that make up the ‘stock-flow’ residual. Using partial measures of these stock-flow residuals, several empirical studies have found them to be significantly correlated with fiscaltransparency, inflation, fiscal rules, and banking crisis. Using fully integrated public finance data from the IMF Government Finance Statistics Yearbook for a sample of 22 countries, the findings in this paper suggest that stock-flow residuals have a significantly smaller magnitude than previously assumed and are, in fact, not correlated with fiscal transparency. A stronger determinant of fiscal transparency scores appears to be the actual reporting of fiscal data covering general government, especially a full financial balance sheet.
Iva Petrova, Jukka Pihlman, Mr. Peter J Kunzel, and Miss Yinqiu Lu
While SWF investment objectives to some extent reflect inherent characteristics, notable differences in strategic asset allocation (SAA) exist even amongst SWFs of similar types. Even so, this paper shows that the global crisis may have changed SWF’s asset allocations in ways that may not be ideal or justified in all cases and that a review of investment objectives may be warranted. It also argues for regular macro-risk assessments for the sovereign, the continued importance of SWFs as a stabilizer in international capital markets, as well as the active role they could play in international regulatory reform.
Aaron Howard Clifford Brown, Mr. Michael G. Papaioannou, and Iva Petrova
This paper analyses the links between the investment strategies of a commodity-based SWF and the macroeconomic framework of the owner country. We examine some basic macrofinancial linkages of an SWF's strategic asset allocation (SAA) strategies with regard to the government budget, monetary policy, and exchange rate movements. Based on a simple Markowitz-model framework, which integrates the specific objectives and constraints facing an SWF and the country's specific characteristics and macroeconomic vulnerabilities (especially in relation to commodity prices and prospective defined liabilities), we derive an SAA. The asset-liability methodology that is applied in the selection of an SWF SAA also allows assessing whether (i) the SAA adequately takes into account the country-specific risks and vulnerabilities, and (ii) its objectives and macrofinancial constraints are consistent. Some analytical and practical issues in determining an SAA model are also discussed, along with key effects of a financial crisis.
Thomas Elkjaer, Jannick Damgaard, and Emmanuel O. Kumah
This paper analyzes the seven valuation methods for unlisted direct investment equity included in the recently adopted IMF Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, Sixth Edition (BPM6). Based on publicly available Danish data, we test the three methods that are generally applicable and find that the choice of valuation method and estimation technique can have a highly significant impact on the international investment position, pointing to the need for further harmonization. The results show that the price-to-book value method generates more robust market value estimates than the price-to-earnings method. This finding suggests that the valuation basis for the forthcoming Coordinated Direct Investment Survey - own funds at book value -will provide useful information for compiling the international investment position.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper presents evidence on linkages between investment and growth observed in other countries to gauge the expected impact of increasing public investment in Timor-Leste. The results indicate that the level of capital expenditure envisioned in the government’s strategy could significantly boost economic growth and reduce poverty. The paper reviews the major issues related to tax policy reform in Timor-Leste. It also discusses the current direction of Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund asset management and issues that might arise with eventual asset diversification.
Mr. Marco Del Negro and Mr. Robin Brooks
We investigate the relative importance of country and industry effects in international stock returns, with the innovation that we decompose country effects into region and within-region country effects. We divide the global stock market into the Americas, Asia, and Europe and find that most of the variation explained by country effects is actually due to region effects. Over time, these region effects have fallen. Within regions, however, only in Europe has segmentation declined, while it has increased elsewhere. Europe is also the only region where industry effects are now robustly more important than country effects.
Mr. R. G Gelos and Mr. Alberto Isgut
This paper examines capital adjustment patterns using two large and largely novel data sets from the manufacturing sectors of Colombia and Mexico. The findings show that investment patterns in these countries resemble those reported for the United States to a surprising extent. Capital adjustments beyond maintenance investment occur only rarely, but large spikes account for a significant fraction of total investment. Although duration models do not provide strong evidence for the presence of substantial fixed costs, nonparametric adjustment function estimates reveal the presence of irreversibilities in investment. These irreversibilities are important for understanding aggregate investment behavior.