This Selected Issues paper assesses the macrofinancial linkages in The Gambia. Significant macrofinancial linkages persist in The Gambia, first and foremost between the public sector and the banks. Banks are highly exposed to the government through large holdings of short-term government debt, which is a legacy of the large financing needs of the previous administration. In addition, large claims have built up between government and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on the one hand, and banks and the corporate sector including SOEs on the other. There has been persistent financial distress within the SOE cluster. Weak SOE performance has also led to arrears both to central government and within the SOE cluster.
This Selected Issues paper assesses The Gambia’s external competitiveness by reviewing developments in several indicators, ranging from exchange rate-based indices to survey-based assessments of the investment climate. The paper reviews the evolution of several multilateral and bilateral real exchange rate indices for The Gambia, and summarizes the results of a regression analysis that tests for misalignment of the exchange rate. The paper also evaluates the degree of autonomy extended to the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) under the provisions of the new Central Bank of The Gambia Act, 2005.
Should donors who are interested in the effectiveness of developmental programs rely on conditional budget support or on project aid? To answer this question, we present a model in which only a subset of the developmental expenditures can be subject to conditionality. We show that budget support is preferable to project aid when donors and recipients' preferences are aligned, and when assistance is small relative to recipients' resources. Then, we test our model estimating a modified growth model for a panel of developing countries, and find evidence in support of our predictions.
Sheku Bangura, Mr. Robert Powell, and Mr. Damoni N Kitabire
Improving debt management capacity in Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) is a key element of the international community’s strategy for ensuring a robust and sustained exit from unsustainable debt burdens. External debt management is a multi-facetted task involving the formulation of a transparent strategy for managing the level of debt, and establishing an appropriate institutional framework that supports effective implementation. This paper brings together the essential elements of effective debt management practices to guide for those assessing debt management capacity and advising on its improvement in low-income countries.
This Selected Issues paper examines economic developments in The Gambia during 1994–98. Although real output growth slowed significantly in the early 1990s and turned negative in 1994/95, both 1997 and 1998 were characterized by an upswing in real economic activity. The 1994/95 output decline of 3.4 percent was primarily owing to a significant downturn in tourist activity. The recovery in the tourist sector and the more favorable weather conditions led to real GDP growth of 4.9 percent in 1997 and an estimated real growth rate of 4.7 percent in 1998.
This paper undertakes a survey of theoretical considerations and an analysis of the experience of five African countries with interest rate liberalization. Despite substantial progress in monetary policy reforms, liberalization has only partially affected the level and variability of interest rates. Several factors—macroeconomic instability, oligopolistic financial markets, the absence of developed capital markets, as well as the sequencing of the liberalization programs and the asymmetric availability of information—explain the increase in the spread between lending and deposit rates as well as the rather inflexible pattern of interest rates during the transition to a market-based financial system.
This paper analyzes determinants of the evolution of exchange rates within the context of alternative models of exchange rate dynamics. The overshooting hypothesis is examined in models that emphasize differential speeds of adjustment in asset and goods markets as well as in models that emphasize portfolio balance considerations. It is shown that exchange rate overshooting is not an intrinsic characteristic of the foreign exchange market and that it depends on a set of specific assumptions. It is also shown that the overshooting is not a characteristic of the assumption of perfect foresight, nor does it depend in general on the assumption that goods and asset markets clear at different speeds. If the speeds of adjustment in the various markets are less than infinite, the key factor determining the short-run effects of a monetary expansion is the degree of capital mobility. When capital is highly mobile, the exchange rate overshoots its long-run value, and when capital is relatively immobile, the exchange rate undershoots its long-run value. When internationally traded goods are a better hedge against inflation than nontraded goods, the nominal exchange rate overshoots the domestic price level, and conversely.