Does it pay off to be transparent and, if so, can the benefits of transparency be measured? This paper provides an affirmative answer to both questions, supported by novel evidence on the link between transparency through dissemination of economic data and sovereign bond spreads. It explores changes in sovereign financing conditions when countries join the IMF Data Standards Initiatives—a multilateral framework that promotes data transparency as a global public good. The results from event studies and local projection models show a significant decrease in spreads following the adoption of the standards. In addition, countries with relatively weaker governance benefit the most from signaling their effort toward strengthening transparency.
The IMF Data Standards Initiatives enhance data transparency as a global public good. The Tenth Review updates the framework, in light of new data priorities, through a parsimonious and principles-based expansion of encouraged data categories covering selected aspects in the areas of public debt, macro-financial indicators, foreign exchange intervention, climate change-related policy, and gender- disaggregated labor market statistics. The Review also focuses on strengthening the monitoring of the first tier of the Data Standards Initiatives, the enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS), and encouraging subscribers of the second tier, the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), to modernize data publication technology.