Middle East and Central Asia > Kyrgyz Republic

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Iulia Ruxandra Teodoru and Asel Toktonalieva
This paper estimates the neutral interest rate in the Kyrgyz Republic using a range of methodologies. Results indicate that the real neutral rate is about 4 percent based on an average of models and 3.7 percent based on a Quarterly Projection Model. This is higher than in many emerging markets and is likely explained by higher public debt and an elevated risk premium, low creditor rights and contractual enforcement, and low domestic savings. The use of an estimate of the neutral interest rate provides useful guidance to monetary policy and enhances transparency and independence of the central bank. Our estimate provides a quantitative benchmark for the monetary policy stance in the context of a central bank that is building analytical capacity, integrating additional insights in its decision-making process, and working to improve its communication. Strengthening the monetary transmission mechanism will be critical to enhance the effectiveness of monetary policy, including by allowing more exchange rate flexibility to support the transition to a full-fledged inflation targeting regime, and reducing excess liquidity to enhance the credit channel, reducing dollarization and high interest rate spreads that adversely affect the transmission of the policy rate to the economy.
Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, Hans Weisfeld, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Mr. Martin Schindler, Mr. Nikola Spatafora, and Mr. Andrew Berg
This paper investigates the short-run effects of the 2007-09 global financial crisis on growth in (mainly non-fuel exporting) low-income countries (LICs). Four conclusions stand out. First, for many individual LICs, 2009 was not extraordinarily calamitous; however, aggregate LIC output declined sharply because LICs were unusually synchronized. Second, the growth declines are on average well explained by the decline in export demand. Third, if the external environment facing LICs improves as forecast, their growth should rebound sharply. Finally, and contrary to received wisdom, there are few robust relationships between the cross-country growth variation and the policy and structural environment; the main exceptions are reserve coverage and labor-market flexibility.
Mr. Ernesto Hernández-Catá
This paper deals with liberalization and the evolution of output during the transition from plan to market. It explains why strong liberalization leads to a comparatively steep fall in output early in the transition, but a relatively strong recovery later on. Because it takes time to restructure the capital stock inherited from the old system, liberalization initially leads to transitional unemployment of capital and the contraction of the old enterprise sector. By making room quickly for the new, more efficient enterprises, however, liberalization also sets the stage for recovery and a much higher level of income in the medium term.