Alina Iancu, Gareth Anderson, Mr. Sakai Ando, Ethan Boswell, Mr. Andrea Gamba, Shushanik Hakobyan, Ms. Lusine Lusinyan, Mr. Neil Meads, and Mr. Yiqun Wu
Despite major structural shifts in the international monetary system over the past six decades, the US dollar remains the dominant international reserve currency. Using a newly compiled database of individual economies’ reserve holdings by currency, this departmental paper finds that financial links have been an increasingly important driver of reserve currency configurations since the global financial crisis, particularly for emerging market and developing economies. The paper also finds a rise in inertial effects, implying that the US dollar dominance is likely to endure. But historical precedents of sudden changes suggest that new developments, such as the emergence of digital currencies and new payments ecosystems, could accelerate the transition to a new landscape of reserve currencies.
Davide Furceri, Jun Ge, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Mr. Giovanni Melina
We construct unanticipated government spending shocks for 103 developing countries from 1990 to 2015 and study their effects on income distribution. We find that unanticipated fiscal consolidations lead to a long-lasting increase in income inequality, while fiscal expansions lower inequality. The results are robust to several measures of income distribution and size of the fiscal shocks, to an alternative identification strategy, across expansions and recessions and across country groups (low-income countries versus emerging markets). An additional contribution of the paper is the computation of the medium-term inequality multiplier. This is on average about 1 in our sample, meaning that a cumulative decrease in government spending of 1 percent of GDP over 5 years is associated with a cumulative increase in the Gini coefficient over the same period of about 1 percentage point. The multiplier is larger for total government expenditure than for public investment and consumption (with the former having larger effect), likely due to the redistributive role of transfers. Finally, we find that (unanticipated) fiscal consolidations lead to an increase in poverty.
Despite the rapid increase in FDI flows to LICs, there have been relatively few studies that have specifically examined these flows. This paper attempts to partially fill the void by throwing light on one particularly dynamic aspect of global FDI-flows from Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs). The paper finds that official data sources undoubtedly underestimate the volume and scope of FDI flows as many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not always register their investment. As a result, while it is difficult to estimate accurately the growth impact of BRIC FDI, there is case study evidence that it is increasingly significant. Second, while initial investment, mostly by state-owned companies, has often been destined for natural resource industries, over time, investment has been spreading to agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries (e.g., telecommunications). Third, FDI from BRICs flows into many non resource-rich countries in LICs and plays a significant role in growth in those countries.
This paper discusses two opposing views on global imbalances: The "traditional view", which regards the imbalances as a threat to global economic and financial stability, and the "new paradigm" view, which considers that they are the natural consequence of economic and financial globalization. In terms of their policy implications, the traditional view focuses on monetary and fiscal policy decisions in the United States that need to be urgently reversed to avoid an abrupt unwinding of the imbalances involving a sell-off of dollar assets, a sharp increase in U.S. interest rates, and a hard landing for the global economy. By contrast, the new paradigm view considers that the imbalances will be resolved smoothly through the normal functioning of markets. The paper argues that an abrupt unwinding of imbalances is highly unlikely and advances a number of arguments in support of the new paradigm view.
This paper looks at the historical lessons that might serve to entrech Latin America's newly resurgent growth phase. It briefly reviews the post-World War II experiences in Latin America and Asia, focusing on the conditions that favored capital accumulation and productivity growth in the faster growing economies. Among these, the paper highlights the importance of stable macroeconomic policies, especially fiscal policy.
China's dramatic success in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) has raised concerns that it has success diverted FDI from other countries in Asia. We develop a new methodology to estimate crowding out, and we use it to investigate the impact of China's emergence on FDI flows to Asia using data from 14 Asian economies from 1984 to 2002. The results suggest that China did not have much impact on FDI to other countries. In particular, lowincome economies, which compete with China for low-wage investment, and countries with low levels of education or scientific development do not seem to have been especially affected.
Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Christopher M Towe, and Mr. Guy M Meredith
This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of the impact of NAFTA on growth and business cycles in Mexico. The effect of the agreement in spurring a dramatic increase in trade and financial flows between Mexico and its NAFTA partners, and its impact on Mexican economic growth and business cycle dynamics, are documented with reference both to stylized facts and recent empirical research. The paper concludes by drawing lessons from Mexico's NAFTA experience for policymakers in developing countries. The foremost of these is that in an increasingly globalized trading system, bilateral and regional free trade arrangements should be used to accelerate, rather than postpone, needed structural reform.
Globalization has become the focus for a wide range of protests against various features of the world economy. This paper aims to give a concise summary of the economic dimensions of globalization, while leaving to one side other aspects—such as cultural, environmental, or political ones—that are beyond the scope of the IMF. Periods of increased globalization have tended to be associated with technological innovations that reduce transportation and communications costs and with generally rising standards of living. Moreover, countries that have embraced openness to the rest of the world have done better than those that have not. Nevertheless, globalization may also be associated with increased inequality and volatility, which may justify strengthening domestic safety nets and financial supervision and regulation, and enhancing international economic policy coordination. The IMF helps to ensure economic gains from globalization by encouraging trade liberalization, reducing countries’ vulnerability to crises, lending to them when they are in difficulty, and assisting them in putting in place structural reforms that help reduce poverty.