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Mr. Sakai Ando, Mr. Francisco Roch, Ursula Wiriadinata, and Mr. Chenxu Fu
Financial markets will play a catalytic role in financing the adaptation and mitigation to climate change. Catastrophe and green bonds in the private sector have become the most prominent innovations in the field of sustainable finance in the last fifteen years. Yet, the issuances at the sovereign level have been relatively recent and not well documented in the literature. This Note discusses the benefits of issuing these instruments as well as practical implementation challenges impairing the scaling-up of these markets. The issuance of these instruments could provide an additional source of stable financing with more favorable market access conditions, mitigate the stress of climate risks on public finances and facilitate the transition to greener low-carbon economies. Emerging market and developing economies stand to benefit the most from these financial innovations.
Mr. Johannes Wiegand
In the early 1870s, the global monetary system transitioned from bimetallism—a regime in which gold and silver currencies were tied at quasi-fixed exhange ratios—to the gold standard that was characterized by the use of (only) gold as the main currency metal by the largest and most advanced economies. The transition ocurred against the backdrop of both large supply shifts in global bullion markets in the 1850s and 60s and momentous political events, such as the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71 and the subsequent foundation of the German empire. The causes for the transition have long been a matter of intense debate. This article discusses three separate but interrelated issues: (i) assessing the robustness of the pre-1870 bimetallic system to shocks—which includes a discussion of the appropriate use of Flandreau’s (1996) reference model; (ii) analyzing the transition from bimetallism to gold as a multi-stage currency game played by France and Germany; and (iii) evaluating the monetary debates at the German Handelstag conferences in the 1860s, to present a more complete narrative of the German discussion in the run-up to the transition.
Mr. Tobias Adrian, Mr. Patrick Bolton, and Alissa M. Kleinnijenhuis
We measure the gains from phasing out coal as the social cost of carbon times the quantity of avoided emissions. By comparing the present value of the benefits from avoided emissions against the present value of costs of ending coal plus the costs of replacing it with renewable energy, our baseline estimate is that the world can realize a net gain of 77.89 trillion USD. This represents around 1.2% of current world GDP every year until 2100. The net benefits from ending coal are so large that renewed efforts, carbon pricing, and other financing policies we discuss, should be pursued.
Mr. Alberto Behar and Ramin Hassan
In terms of size, the net income balance (IB) is comparable to the trade balance (TB) for many countries. Yet the role of the IB in mitigating external vulnerabilities or complicating external adjustment remains underexplored. This paper studies the role of the IB in stabilizing or destabilizing the current account over the cycle and in crises. Our results show that, due to a negative correlation with the TB, the IB significantly dampens the time series volatility of the current account for most countries. However, the IB generally does not improve during crisis episodes, so current account adjustment occurs entirely through improvements in the TB. The paper also estimates IB semi-elasticities with respect to the exchange rate (ER). Semi-elasticities are small for most countries, so the IB is generally not a significant channel through which the ER stabilizes the current account, and trade-based semi-elasticities are, with some important exceptions, good proxies for current account semi-elasticities used in external sector assessments.
Sascha Buetzer
This paper argues that in reserve currency issuing economies at the effective lower bound, outright transfers from the central bank to households are both more equitable and more effective in achieving monetary policy objectives than asset purchases or negative interest rates. It shows that concerns pertaining to central banks’ policy solvency and equity position can be addressed through a careful assessment of a central bank's loss absorbing capacity and, if need be, tiered reserve remuneration policies. It also spells out key differences to a debt or money financed fiscal stimulus, which are particularly pronounced in a currency union without a central fiscal capacity. The paper concludes by discussing broader institutional, political, and legal considerations.