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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Swift and decisive policy response to the Covid-19 pandemic has helped to mitigate the health and economic impact of the crisis. Fast vaccination rollout has also strengthened the economy’s resilience to new pandemic waves, paving the way for a speedy recovery. As the economy rebounds, a gradual exit from pandemic support measures is underway.
Ms. Natasha X Che and Xuege Zhang
This paper studies the relationship between export structure and growth performance. We design an export recommendation system using a collaborative filtering algorithm based on countries' revealed comparative advantages. The system is used to produce export portfolio recommendations covering over 190 economies and over 30 years. We find that economies with their export structure more aligned with the recommended export structure achieve better growth performance, in terms of both higher GDP growth rate and lower growth volatility. These findings demonstrate that export structure matters for obtaining high and stable growth. Our recommendation system can serve as a practical tool for policymakers seeking actionable insights on their countries’ export potential and diversification strategies that may be complex and hard to quantify.
Katharina Bergant, Miss Anke Weber, and Andrea Medici
Using micro-data from household expenditure surveys, we document the evolution of consumption poverty in the United States over the last four decades. Employing a price index that appears appropriate for low income households, we show that poverty has not declined materially since the 1980s and even increased for the young. We then analyze which social and economic factors help explain the extent of poverty in the U.S. using probit, tobit, and machine learning techniques. Our results are threefold. First, we identify the poor as more likely to be minorities, without a college education, never married, and living in the Midwest. Second, the importance of some factors, such as race and ethnicity, for determining poverty has declined over the last decades but they remain significant. Third, we find that social and economic factors can only partially capture the likelihood of being poor, pointing to the possibility that random factors (“bad luck”) could play a significant role.
Chris Redl and Sandile Hlatshwayo
We produce a social unrest risk index for 125 countries covering a period of 1996 to 2020. The risk of social unrest is based on the probability of unrest in the following year derived from a machine learning model drawing on over 340 indicators covering a wide range of macro-financial, socioeconomic, development and political variables. The prediction model correctly forecasts unrest in the following year approximately two-thirds of the time. Shapley values indicate that the key drivers of the predictions include high levels of unrest, food price inflation and mobile phone penetration, which accord with previous findings in the literature.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Banking supervision and regulation by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) remain strong. This assessment confirms the 2014 Basel Core Principles assessment that the HKMA achieves a high level of compliance with the BCPs. The Basel III framework (and related guidance) and domestic and cross-border cooperation arrangements are firmly in place. The HKMA actively contributes to the development and implementation of relevant international standards. Updating their risk based supervisory approach helped the HKMA optimize supervisory resources. The HKMA’s highly experienced supervisory staff is a key driver to achieving one of the most sophisticated levels of supervision and regulation observed in Asia and beyond.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
he Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is among the world’s major fintech hubs, well positioned to develop fintech initiatives from its traditional strengths in financial services. Key factors enabling the HKSAR to emerge as a fintech hub include its presence as an international financial center, its free-flowing talent and capital, a highly developed information and technology communication (ITC) infrastructure, and its most unique trait, a geographical and strategic advantage by proximity to the market in Mainland China.