Western Hemisphere > Jamaica

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  • Financial Aspects of Economic Integration x
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Abdullah Al-Hassan, Mary E. Burfisher, Mr. Julian T Chow, Ding Ding, Fabio Di Vittorio, Dmitriy Kovtun, Arnold McIntyre, Ms. Inci Ötker, Marika Santoro, Lulu Shui, and Karim Youssef
Deeper economic integration within the Caribbean has been a regional policy priority since the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the decision to create the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Implementation of integration initiatives has, however, been slow, despite the stated commitment of political leaders. The “implementation deficit” has led to skepticism about completing the CSME and controversy regarding its benefits. This paper analyzes how Caribbean integration has evolved, discusses the obstacles to progress, and explores the potential benefits from greater integration. It argues that further economic integration through liberalization of trade and labor mobility can generate significant macroeconomic benefits, but slow progress in completing the institutional arrangements has hindered implementation of the essential components of the CSME and progress in economic integration. Advancing institutional integration through harmonization and rationalization of key institutions and processes can reduce the fixed costs of institutions, providing the needed scale and boost to regional integration. Greater cooperation in several functional policy areas where the region is facing common challenges can also provide low-hanging fruit, creating momentum toward full integration as the Community continues to address the obstacles to full economic integration.
Ms. Sumiko Ogawa, Mr. Joonkyu Park, Ms. Diva Singh, and Ms. Nita Thacker
Financial sector linkages have increased continuously in the Caribbean with cross border capital flows and financial conglomerates dominating the financial system. While the greater interconnectedness can heighten systemic risks and likelihood of contagion, it can have positive impacts provided the regional authorities take steps to prevent the systemic risk. In this context, financial sector reform measures aimed at bolstering and harmonizing prudential regulations in line with international best practices, the strengthening and enhancement of financial sector supervision to include cross border linkages through consolidated supervision, increased cooperation across supervisors in the region, and the establishment of deposit insurance and crisis resolution frameworks will be critical to maintain financial sector stability and minimize the repercussions of any negative shocks.
Goohoon Kwon and Mr. Raphael A Espinoza
This paper assesses the extent of regional financial integration in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by analyzing equity prices in the region and rigidity of external financing constraints. The results are presented in a cross-regional perspective. The Caribbean stock markets are not as well integrated as one would expect from the extent of cross-listing and importance of regional banking groups: price differentials of cross-listed stocks reach an average of 5 percent. Auto-Regressive models suggest that these price differentials are only slowly arbitraged away, with half-lives exceeding 7 worked days, even when looking only at large arbitrage opportunities (using a Threshold Auto-Regressive model). A speculative methodology using macroeconomic data seems to confirm these findings. A strong mean reversion of the current account (respectively regional trade imbalances) is interpreted, following Obstfeld and Taylor (2004), as a lack of ways to finance current account deficits, i.e. a lack of global (respectively regional) financial integration. The region appears to be much less integrated than the EU15 or the ASEAN+3 groups, although it fares well compared to other LDCs.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper surveys the foreign exchange markets, money and secondary government security markets, and stock exchanges in 107 smaller economy countries. The underdevelopment of these markets impedes risk transfer, monetary policy, corporate financing, and the capacity to absorb capital inflows. This study marks a first step toward formulating policies to develop essential smaller economy financial markets by documenting the stylized facts and presenting a framework for assessing the policy issues.

Mr. Rupert D Worrell
The experiences of Caribbean Economic Community countries show that exchange rate depreciation in these countries is inflationary, and that, while changes in the relative prices of tradables may affect exports, tourism, and imports, nominal exchange rate changes have no predictable effect on those relative prices. Under these circumstances, economic literature indicates that a fixed exchange rate regime is optimal, and Caribbean countries with (quasi-) currency boards have been successful in maintaining durable exchange rate pegs. Commitment to a currency board is a potentially vital step in achieving a currency union for the Caribbean.
Mr. Philippe Egoume Bossogo and Mr. Chandima Mendis
This paper analyzes trade in the Caribbean community (CARICOM) using a gravity model framework. The paper seeks to shed light on the dynamics of trade among CARICOM member countries, as well with the rest of world over 1980–99. Overall, the results show that intra-CARICOM trade has increased, suggesting that further regional integration is desirable. At the same time, CARICOM’s trade with the rest of the world has risen as well, fueled notably by the reduction of the arrangement’s common external tariff and despite the negative impact of the declining preferential access to EU markets for banana. In contrast, WTO membership does not appear to have had a positive impact on trade. Overall, it appears that trade liberalization is consistent with greater CARICOM trade integration.