The topics discussed in this report are tax regimes for small taxpayers (Chapter II) and the tax treatment of special economic zones (Chapter III). Although these aspects of the tax system have little direct effect on public finances, they affect many people and how those people make decisions or impact the positioning of certain regions relative to the rest of the country. Both are of social and political scope that is disproportionate to their magnitude of tax revenue collection, which is why their design must remain focused in its most strategic sense.
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.
The paper investigates asymmetry in the allocation of aggregate demand shocks between real output growth and price inflation over the business cycle in a sample of fifteen Caribbean countries. In most countries, the evidence indicates the existence of structural constraints, implying that positive demand shocks feed predominantly into prices while negative demand shocks mainly affect output. The high variability of aggregate demand in Caribbean countries, frequently exposed to shocks that are exacerbated by pro-cyclical policy stance, tends to create an upward bias on inflation and a downward bias on real output growth, on average, over time. The analysis highlights the benefits of eliminating structural rigidities responsible for asymmetric real and inflationary effects and points to the dangers of procyclical macroeconomic policies that exacerbate the adverse effects of demand variability.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This article is an analytical report of the economic developments of Costa Rica. The economy showed rapid growth in the aftermath of the global crisis with low inflation; but for further stable growth, certain policy frameworks and reforms need to be reinforced. The fiscal stance should be made tighter to mitigate risks of inflation and external imbalances. Interest rates and exchange rates must be increased, and monetary policy should be tightened for price stability. The Executive Board welcomes these measures for structural potential growth.
The Research Summaries in the March 2013 Research Bulletin discuss "Trade Finance and Its Role in the Great Trade Collapse" (JaeBin Ahn) and "Sovereign Debt: How to Track Who Is Buying and Selling It" (Serkan Arslanalp and Takahiro Tsuda). The Q&A looks at "Seven Questions on the Implications of Global Supply Chains for Real Effective Exchange Rates" (Rudolfs Bems). Readers can also find in this issue a listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from IMF Publications. The Bulletin also includes a call for papers for a research conference and information on free access to the IMF Economic Review in April.
This paper investigates the drivers of reserves in emerging markets (EMs) and small island (SIs) and develops an operational metric for estimating reserves in SIs taking into account their unique characteristics. It uses quantile regression techniques to allow the estimated factors driving reserves holdings to vary along the reserves’ holding distribution and tests for equality among the slope coefficients of the various quantile regressions and the overall models. F-tests comparing the inter-quantile differences could not reject the that the models for the different quantiles of SIs reserve distribution were similar but this was rejected for EMs distribution suggesting that models explaining drivers of reserve holdings should take into account the country’s reserve holdings. Empirical analysis suggests that the metric performs better than existing metrics in reducing crisis probabilities in SIs.
This paper assesses the vulnerability of emerging markets and their banks to aggregate shocks. We find significant links between banks' asset quality, credit and macroeconomic aggregates. Lower economic growth, an exchange rate depreciation, weaker terms of trade and a fall in debt-creating capital inflows reduce credit growth while loan quality deteriorates. Particularly noteworthy is the sharp deterioration of balance sheets following a reversal of portfolio inflows. We also find evidence of feedback effects from the financial sector on the wider economy. GDP growth falls after shocks that drive non-performing loans higher or generate a contraction in credit. This analysis was used in chapter 1 of the Global Financial Stability Report (September 2011) to help evaluate the sensitivity of banks' capital adequacy ratios to macroeconomic and funding cost shocks.