Ms. Manuela Goretti, Mr. Lamin Y Leigh, Aleksandra Babii, Mr. Serhan Cevik, Stella Kaendera, Mr. Dirk V Muir, Sanaa Nadeem, and Mr. Gonzalo Salinas
This departmental paper analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, and Caribbean countries. Many tourism dependent economies in these regions, including small states in the Pacific and the Caribbean, entered the pandemic with limited fiscal space, inadequate external buffers, and foreign exchange revenues extremely concentrated in tourism. The empirical analysis leverages on an augmented gravity model to draw lessons from past epidemics and finds that the impact of infectious diseases on tourism flows is much greater in developing countries than in advanced economies.
Over the past decades ASEAN countries have experienced rapid economic growth accompanied by a dramatic fall in poverty rates, but income inequality has not retreated. This research aims at identifying factors which could contribute to more equally distributed growth in ASEAN. To measure inclusive growth, we use a variable integrating per capita income growth and an equity index. A cross-country panel analysis of the impact of macro-structural factors on inclusive growth and its two components suggests that fiscal redistribution, female labor force participation, productivity growth, FDI inflows, digitalization, and savings significantly drive inclusive growth. A scenario analysis based on our econometric results suggests that the implementation of fiscal redistribution and labor market-oriented structural reforms could help significantly accelerate inclusive growth in ASEAN.
Despite the rapid economic growth and poverty reduction, inequality in Asia worsened during last two decades. We focus on the determinants of growth inclusiveness and suggest options for reform. A cross cross-country empirical analysis suggests that fiscal redistribution, monetary policy aimed at macro stability, and structural reforms to stimulate trade, reduce unemployment and increase productivity are important determinants of inclusive growth. The main policy implication of our analysis is that there is still room to strengthen such policies in Asia to better achieve growth with shared prosperity. In particular, scenario simulations based on our results suggests that the effect of expanding fiscal redistribution on inclusive growth could be sizeable in emerging Asia, since the estimated improvement in our proxy of inclusive growth – a measure of growth in average income “corrected” for the equity impact—ranges from about 1 to about 8 percentage points.
Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Mr. Ralph Chami, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, and Mr. Sampawende J Tapsoba
This paper shows that remittance flows significantly increase the business cycle synchronization between remittance-recipient countries and the rest of the world. Using both aggregate and bilateral remittances data in a panel data setting, the study demonstrates that this effect is robust and causal. Moreover, the econometric analysis reveals that remittance flows are more effective in channeling economic downturns than upswings from the sending countries to remittance-receiving economies. The analysis suggests that measures of openness and spillovers could be enhanced by accounting for the role of the remittances channel.
This paper estimates the effectiveness of capital controls in response to inflow surges in Brazil, Colombia, Korea, and Thailand in the 2000s. Controls are generally associated with a decrease in inflows and a lengthening of maturities, but the relationship is not statistically significant in all cases, and the effects are temporary. Controls are more successful in providing room for monetary policy than dampening currency appreciation pressures. We argue that the macroeconomic impact of capital controls depends on the extensiveness of the policy, the level of capital market development, the support provided by other policies, and the persistence of capital flows.
This paper proposes a tractable Sudden Stop model to explain the main patterns in firm level data in a sample of Southeast Asian firms during the Asian crisis. The model, which features trend shocks and financial frictions, is able to generate the main patterns observed in the sample during and following the Asian crisis, including the ensuing credit-less recovery, which are also patterns broadly shared by most Sudden Stop episodes as documented in Calvo et al. (2006). The model also proposes a novel explanation as to why small firms experience steeper declines than their larger peers as documented in this paper. This size effect is generated under the assumption that small firms are growth firms, to which there is support in the data. Trend shocks when combined with financial frictions in this model also generate strong leverage effects in line with what is observed in the sample, and with other observations from the literature.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
The abruptness and virulence of the 1997 Asian crises have led many to claim that these crises are of a new breed and were thus unforecastable. This paper examines 102 financial crises in 20 countries and concludes that the Asian crises are not of a new variety. Overall, the 1997 Asian crises, as well as previous crises elsewhere, occur when economies are in distress, making the degree of fragility of the economy a useful indicator of future crises. Based on this idea, the paper proposes different composite leading indicators of crises, evaluated in terms of accuracy both in-sample and out-of-sample.
This paper studies whether exchange rate expectations and overvaluations are predictors of currency crises. The results suggest that overvaluation has predictive power in explaining crises. However, although expected depreciation obtained from survey data partially takes different measures of exchange rate misalignment into consideration, expectations fail to anticipate currency crises.
This study examines the nature of the growth process in the ASEAN countries, and particularly whether it has been generated primarily by more inputs or by productivity gains. It uses internationally comparable data and explores an alternative method for estimating the capital and labor factor shares. The results, contradicting some previous studies, indicate a very impressive growth rate of TFP in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, a relatively strong rate for Indonesia, and a negative rate for the Philippines. This study argues that the results of previous studies were driven mainly by the fact that they relied on national accounts data for measures of various variables and, in particular, the factor income shares of capital and labor.