Ms. Grace B Li, Mr. Stephen A. O'Connell, Mr. Christopher S Adam, Mr. Andrew Berg, and Mr. Peter J Montiel
VAR methods suggest that the monetary transmission mechanism may be weak and unreliable in low-income countries (LICs). But are structural VARs identified via short-run restrictions capable of detecting a transmission mechanism when one exists, under research conditions typical of these countries? Using small DSGEs as data-generating processes, we assess the impact on VAR-based inference of short data samples, measurement error, high-frequency supply shocks, and other features of the LIC environment. The impact of these features on finite-sample bias appears to be relatively modest when identification is valid—a strong caveat, especially in LICs. However, many of these features undermine the precision of estimated impulse responses to monetary policy shocks, and cumulatively they suggest that “insignificant” results can be expected even when the underlying transmission mechanism is strong.
Mr. Paulo Drummond, Mr. Ari Aisen, Mr. Emre Alper, Ms. Ejona Fuli, and Mr. Sébastien Walker
This paper examines how susceptible East African Community (EAC) economies are to asymmetric shocks, assesses the value of the exchange rate as a shock absorber for these countries, and reviews adjustment mechanisms that would help ensure a successful experience under a common currency. The report draws on analysis of recent experiences and examines likely future changes in the EAC economies.
We review the literature on Dutch disease, and document that shocks that trigger foreign exchange inflows (such as natural resource booms, surges in foreign aid, remittances, or capital inflows) appreciate the real exchange rate, generate factor reallocation, and reduce manufacturing output and net exports. We also observe that real exchange rate misalignment due to overvaluation and higher volatility of the real exchange rate lower growth. Regarding the effect of undervaluation of the exchange rate on economic growth, the evidence is mixed and inconclusive. However, there is no evidence in the literature that Dutch disease reduces overall economic growth. Policy responses should aim at adequately managing the boom and the risks associated with it.
Uganda's market-friendly development strategy and poverty reduction agenda have attracted large financial inflows, including aid. During 2000-02, concerns about a possible aid-induced Dutch disease were heightened by widening macroeconomic imbalances and an upward trend in the real effective exchange rate (REER). This paper shows that the REER remained broadly stable during a 10-year period and nontraditional exports increased remarkably, contrary to the predictions of the Dutch disease model. Also, economic growth was strong. This good performance is attributed to sound macroeconomic policies and important structural reforms, which have allowed an increased use of available production factors.