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Miss Nkunde Mwase
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.
Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, and Cleary Haines
This paper examines the macroeconomic effects of the erosion of trade preferences, with a focus on the export of Caribbean bananas to Europe. Estimates are made of the magnitude of implicit assistance provided over a period of three decades to eastern Caribbean countries through banana trade preferences. The value of such assistance rose until the early 1990s, and has declined precipitously since then. Using vector autoregressive analysis, the paper finds that changes in the level of implicit assistance have had a considerable macroeconomic impact, especially on Caribbean real GDP growth.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Régis Barnichon
The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate. This paper develops an analytical framework that helps to quantify the optimal level of international reserves for a small open economy with limited access to foreign capital and subject to natural disasters or terms of trade shocks. International reserves allow the country to relieve balance of payments pressures caused by external shocks and to avoid large fluctuations in imports. I calibrate the model to two regions, the Caribbean and the Sahel, and assess the sensitivity of the results.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the income dispersion and comovement in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union region. It finds that incomes are diverging, with the Leeward Islands converging to a higher income level than the Windward Islands. The paper examines the macroeconomic impact of trade preference erosion on the Windward Islands and demonstrates the substantial impact from preference erosion on growth, trade balances, and fiscal positions. The paper also analyzes the size of the informal economy in the Caribbean.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Mr. A. Salehizadeh, Mr. Peter Berezin, and Mr. Elcior Santana
It is typically assumed that countries in the Caribbean suffer from a lack of output and export diversification. Contrary to this popular perception, we find no evidence that output variability is higher in Caribbean countries than in larger, more diversified, developing economies. In addition, we find no evidence that export earnings are more volatile in the Caribbean economies than elsewhere. In fact, export earnings are quite stable in the Caribbean, reflecting the fact the region is rather unique in that most of its export earnings are generated from service exports, which tend to be considerably less volatile than goods exports.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on St. Lucia examines challenges facing the Windward Islands banana industry with a focus on the socioeconomic impact and production recovery strategies. The paper focuses on St. Luciathe—region’s largest producer and most populous island. It reviews recent developments in the tourist industry in St. Lucia and its growth potential over the medium term, in an increasingly competitive global tourism market. An overview of developments in the tourist industry in St. Lucia during the 1990s is also presented.
International Monetary Fund
This 2000 Article IV Consultation highlights that after a period of slow growth in the mid-1990s, mainly owing to a decline in banana output, economic growth of St. Lucia has improved since 1998. In 1998–99, real GDP rose by an average of 3 percent a year. Executive Directors have stressed that further diversification and enhancements to international competitiveness are needed to permanently raise long-term growth and to reduce the external vulnerability of the economy, particularly in light of the market uncertainties facing the crucial banana industry.