Western Hemisphere > Dominican Republic

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Aleksandra Babii, Ms. Alina Carare, Dmitry Vasilyev, and Mr. Yorbol Yakhshilikov
Traditional models relying on standard variables like the U.S. Hispanic unemployment rate fared well in explaining remittances to CAPDR and Mexico during the pre-pandemic period. However, they fail to predict the sustained growth in remittances since June 2020, including the significant increase in the average amount remitted. Using data from over 300 remittances corridors (from 23 U.S. states to 14 Salvadoran departments), we find that this increase is primarily explained by the dynamics of U.S. states real wages, as well as more temporary factors like U.S. unemployment relief (including the extraordinary pandemic support), U.S. states mobility, and COVID-19 infections at home. The paper also analyses what role the change in the modes of transmission of remittances, additional U.S. fiscal stimulus and U.S. labor market developments, especially in the sectors were CAPDR and Mexican migrants preponderantly work, play in explaining aggregate remittances growth.
Jean François Clevy, Mr. Guilherme Pedras, and Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz
The pandemic has urged countries around the globe to mobilize financing to support the recovery. This is even more relevant in Central America, where the policy response to cushion the pandemic’s economic and social impact has accentuated pre-existing debt vulnerabilities. This paper documents the potential for local currency bond markets to diversify and expand financing for the recovery, lowering bond yields, funding volatility, and exposure to global shocks. The paper further identifies priority actions, both national and regional, to support market development.
Carlo Pizzinelli, Kotaro Ishi, and Tariq Khan
To complement the early warning signals literature, we study the determinants of banking and currency crises for small states and currency boards. Building on the crisis dataset by Laeven and Valencia (2020), we estimate a binominal logit model to identify the determinants of crises, and as a case study, we apply our models to the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). Our findings largely confirm past studies’ results that both external and domestic fundamentals matter in predicting crisis likelihood, but we find that small states and fixed exchange rate regimes are more sensitive to these fundamentals, compared to larger economies. Our empirical results also suggest that for currency board economies, keeping a high level of the foreign reserve cover—the “backing ratio” defined as official foreign reserves as a share of central bank demand liabilities—is critical to reduce the likelihood of both banking and currency crises. The backing ratio is particularly important during years of global economic downturn.
Cristian Alonso, Ledys Feliz, Patricia Gil, and Miguel Pecho
Invoices document economic transactions and are thus critical to assess tax liabilities. We study a reform in the Dominican Republic that aimed to integrate invoice management into a broader, more comprehensive, risk-based compliance strategy. By rationing authorized invoices based on an extra scrutiny of each taxpayer’s compliance history, the reform led to significant and persistent improvements on filing, payment, and information reporting obligations and a modest increase in reported tax liabilities. Our study shows that deterrence effects over compliance behaviors are strengthened when the tax administration makes explicit and active use of taxpayers’ information, no matter if the invoicing framework is paper-based or electronic.
Mr. Dmitry Gershenson, Frederic Lambert, Luis Herrera, Grey Ramos, Mrs. Marina V Rousset, and Mr. Jose L. Torres
Despite some improvement since 2011, Latin America and the Caribbean continue to lag behind other regions in terms of financial inclusion. There is no clear evidence that fintech developments have supported greater financial inclusion in LAC, contrary to what has been observed elsewhere in the world. Case studies by national policy experts suggest that barriers to entry in the financial sector, along with a constraining regulatory environment, may have hindered a faster adoption of fintech. However, fintech development seems to have accelerated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the support of recent policy initiatives.
Julia Bersch, Jean François Clevy, Naseem Muhammad, Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz, and Mr. Yorbol Yakhshilikov
This paper analyzes the potential for fintech to facilitate cheaper and more efficient remittances, and to enhance financial inclusion in Central America. Digital remittances remain nascent in the region, primarily reflecting behavioral inertia, small cost advantages of digital over traditional channels, and inadequate financial literacy. Through expanded alliances between traditional and fintech operators, digital remittances can further reduce transaction costs and reach those remote, low-income households in a timely and secure manner. A meaningful expansion of fintech remittances necessitates an enabling regulatory environment for digital financial services, and KYC and AML/CFT requirements proportionate to the value of transfers.
Guillermo Javier Vuletin
This paper estimates the size of the informal economy for 32 mainly Latin American and Caribbean countries in the early 2000s. Using a structural equation modeling approach, we find that a stringent tax system and regulatory environment, higher inflation, and dominance of the agriculture sector are key factors in determining the size of the informal economy. The results also confirm that a higher degree of informality reduces labor unionization, the number of contributors to social security schemes, and enrollment rates in education.
International Monetary Fund
This paper analyzes the implications of devaluation and a variety of structural disturbances in a dual exchange rate economy. A key feature of the model developed is its explicit recognition of both private (fraudulent) and officially-sanctioned cross transactions between the two exchange markets. The principal lesson to be learned from the analysis is that popular notions as to the effects of devaluation or of other disturbances are to be viewed with considerable caution when the dual rate regime involves inter-market transactions.