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  • Author: Renu Kohli
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: India's capital account displays a sharp swing in external financing from official assistance to private capital transfers in the 1990s. This paper examines the implications of this transition for the country. An analysis of the private resource transfer reveals that unlike official flows, private capital flows are associated with real exchange rate appreciation, expansion in domestic money supply and stock market growth, liquidity and volatility. The paper concludes with a discussion on the implications of the transition for economic policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: David Fielding, Kevin Lee, Kalvinder Shields
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we fit a VECM in output and prices to data from ten countries of the CFA Franc Zone. This model allows for various cross-country interactions in both the short run and the long run. The VECM parameters are used to estimate persistence profiles of different kinds, in order to identify the degree of homogeneity in the way in which the countries respond to macroeconomic shocks. In this way we can shed light on questions about the likely size of the costs incurred from these countries' membership of a monetary union.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anja Shortland, David Stasavage
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines to what extent the central bank for the West African Economic and Monetary Union (BCEAO) has used interest rate policy in response to domestic economic developments. We show that while in the long run the BCEAO matches changes in French (Eurozone) interest rates one for one, in the short run it retains freedom to react to domestic economic variables, such as inflation, the output gap, its foreign exchange position and government borrowing.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, France, West Africa
  • Author: Jean-Paul Azam
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper brings out that poverty increased massively in the wake of the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc, despite a significant recovery of economic growth. Although this increase affected all the social groups, it fell mostly on the urban poor. An analytical model is presented, which explains this puzzle by the stratification of the labour market, assuming that the formal sector workers are at the same time the investors in the informal sector. Then, capital intensity in the latter increases as the former anticipate the cut in formal sector wages that the long-awaited devaluation brings about. Ex post, they run down their assets for consumption-smoothing purposes, thus de-capitalizing the informal sector firms, with a negative impact on incomes in the (urban) informal sector.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Fielding, Kalvinder Shields
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we use data from 17 African nations in order to investigate the hypothesis that monetary union – represented in this case by the CFA Franc Zone – augments the extent of macroeconomic integration. The paper covers a number of dimensions of integration including the volume of bilateral trade, real exchange rate volatility and the magnitude of cross-country business cycle correlation.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anja Shortland, David Stasavage
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines whether the BCEAO has made use of the various policy instruments at its disposal for steering credit in the individual CFA zone member countries to complement interest rate policy at the zone level. We estimate whether private sector credit has responded systematically to different monetary policy variables using iterated 3-stage least squares regressions for Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and Togo. If we constrain the coefficient estimates there is some support for the hypothesis that the BCEAO has contracted private sector credit in response to a higher inflation differential with France. However, there seems to be no policy rule to restrict private sector credit in response to increasing government borrowing from the central bank or increased foreign borrowing. If the coefficient estimates are unconstrained, there does not appear to be any systematic policy to control credit expansion at the domestic level.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, France
  • Author: Mireille Linjouom
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper determines an analytical framework defining the choice of an optimal exchange rate regime for a typical CFA country. The policymakers behave strategically to decide to adopt alternative exchange rate regime by minimizing their loss function under specific constraints like economic characteristics and political consideration. One concludes a CFA economy with less inflationary propensity and greater external shocks volatility will tend to select a flexible exchange rate regime. Moreover, the model suggests that a CFA country with a more unstable political system and a higher propensity to apply inflationary policies will prefer a flexible arrangement than a fixed one.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Simeon Coleman
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts and responses of macroeconomic shocks in some domestic economies in Sub-Saharan Africa over the period 1961-99; more specifically, it seeks to answer the question of whether there are any systematic differences in the responses of the CFA franc zones and the non-CFA franc zone countries to macroeconomic shocks. Based on the Blanchard-Quah methodology, we identify shocks to the changes in real exchange rate and output using a structural VAR (SVAR) model for these small open economies. Our finding that the real exchange rate innovations in the CFA franc zones are largely independent of domestic variables suggests that external influence is more important in the CFA zones. There is also some evidence that money demand shocks are more significant in the non-CFA franc zone countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Bleaney, Akira Nishiyama
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The causes of the slow growth of CFA countries are investigated. There is little difference in this respect between the CFA and other sub-Saharan African countries. Since 1970, GDP growth in the CFA countries has shown no significant trend but one or two medium-term fluctuations (positive in 1979-83 and negative in 1989-93). Internationally, the income share of the poorest 20 per cent of the population of any country has improved most in poor countries, and there is no evidence that this does not apply to CFA countries also.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Fielding
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) has a history of monetary stability and low inflation. Nevertheless, there is substantial variation in relative prices within some UEMOA countries, in particular in the price of food relative to other elements of the retail price index (IHPC). Using monthly time-series data for cities within the region, we analyze the impact of changes in monetary policy instruments on the relative prices of components of the IHPC. We are then able to explore how the burden of monetary policy innovations is likely to be shared between the rich and poor.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ernest Aryeetey
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Efforts to realize the issue of development-focused Special Drawing Rights (SDR) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been on-going for many years. Recently, however, the campaign first gained a new momentum immediately after the Asian financial crises with the new liquidity problems of developing nations following the collapse of private capital markets. Currently the search for financing options towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals drives the interest in development-focused SDRs. Extending the uses to which SDR can be put is derived from the growing demands on the international financial system to respond to the development finance needs of poor nations. Apart from the need to provide emergency funds in times of crises and the whole area of crisis prevention, increasingly the facilitation of development in poor countries and assistance to make the best policy decisions is considered crucial.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Simon Appleton
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Absolute poverty lines are often derived from the cost of obtaining sufficient calories. Where staples vary across regions, such poverty lines may differ depending on whether they are set using national or regional food baskets. Regional poverty lines are open to the objection that they may be contaminated by income effects. This paper explores this issue by focussing on Uganda, a country where widening spatial inequalities in the 1990s have caused concern. Conflicting results from earlier studies have suggested that the spatial pattern of poverty in Uganda is very sensitive to whether national or regional food baskets are used in setting poverty lines. We confirm this suggestion by comparing the spatial profile of poverty in 1993 using national and regional poverty lines. However, since the regions consuming the more expensive staple sources of calories are also those with higher incomes, using simple regional poverty lines is problematic. Instead, a method of setting regional poverty lines is considered that adjusts for income differentials between regions. Even with this adjustment, the use of regional food baskets implies a markedly different.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Andrés Solimano
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Remittances, after foreign direct investment, are currently the most important source of external finance to developing countries. Remittances surpass foreign aid, and tend to be more stable than such volatile capital flows as portfolio investment and international bank credit. Remittances are also an international redistribution from low-income migrants to their families in the home country.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Migration
  • Author: Anthony B. Atkinson
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In analysing proposals for new sources of development funding, there are several issues that arise across the board. What is the role of new sources in relation to existing overseas development assistance? Should we be seeking new sources that generate a double dividend? Can the key elements of a proposal be achieved by another route? What should be the fiscal architecture? Is there a modern transfer problem? It is with these general concerns that the present paper deals. Its aim is to bring to bear on global public finance the accumulated knowledge in the field of national public finance, and more generally public economics.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Robin Boadway
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers lessons from the practice of fiscal federalism for guidance on new approaches to development finance. Despite the fact that inter-regional redistribution in a federation relies on a central government with strong fiscal powers, the form of that redistribution can be used as a benchmark for international development assistance financing. In a federation, finance for less-developed regions takes the form of equalizing transfers to sub-national governments. The objective of these transfers is to enable sub-national governments to provide comparable levels of public services at comparable tax rates, called fiscal equity, leaving them discretion to implement interpersonal redistribution schemes within their jurisdictions. This same principle of assuming that national governments rather than donor nations are responsible for vertical equity within their borders leads to the view that the ideal form of development assistance is a system of equalizing inter-nation transfers intended to enhance fiscal equity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Agnar Sandmo
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers the role of global environmental taxes both as instruments for improving the global environment and as a source of revenue for funding economic development. It reviews the general case for environmental taxes and the particular issues that arise for the adoption of such taxes in an international setting without a single jurisdiction. It also discusses the possibilities for political acceptance of such taxes when tax revenue is linked to the goal of economic development. The revenue potential of global environmental taxes is evaluated with special reference to a global carbon tax. It is found that this tax alone has the potential to raise sufficient revenue to finance the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: George Mavrotas
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper uses an aid disaggregation approach to examine the impact of different types of aid on the fiscal sector of the aid-recipient country. It uses time-series data on different types of aid (project aid, programme aid, technical assistance and food aid) for Uganda, an important aid recipient in recent years, to estimate a model of fiscal response in the presence of aid which combines aid disaggregation and endogenous aid. The empirical findings clearly suggest the importance of the above approach for delving deeper into aid effectiveness issues since different aid categories have different effects on key fiscal variables—an impact that could not be revealed if a single figure for aid was employed. More precisely, project aid and food aid appear to cause a reduction in public investment whereas programme aid and technical assistance are positively related to public investment. The same applies for government consumption. A negligible impact on government tax and non-tax revenues, and a strong displacement of government borrowing are also found.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Salvatore Capasso
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper presents a model in which credit-constrained firms might delay the adoption of new and more productive technologies because of the very high external financing costs they face. Our point of departure is that the efficiency of the banking system can have a profound impact on real resource and investment allocation not only directly, by reducing the amount of resources channelled to the credit market, but also indirectly by affecting entrepreneurs' investment decisions. Along these lines of reasoning we develop a model of information asymmetries in the credit market in which high costs of processing bank loan applications might obstruct investments in high-tech projects and favour, instead, low-return, self-financed investments in mature sectors. The result is that these kinds of costs have a negative impact on the average capital productivity and on the rate of economic growth. In specific circumstances, the combination of these costs and the dynamics of capital accumulation can be such that the economy incurs in a 'technology trap', in which new technologies, even if readily available, will never be adopted because of high frictions and inefficiencies in the credit market, a situation that seems to be relevant to many developing countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Ilene Grabel
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores two proposals to tax financial flows in developing economies—the package of policies implemented to various degrees by Chile and Colombia during the 1990s, widely referred to today as the Chilean model—and securities transactions taxes (STTs). I find that each provides a viable mechanism to raise revenue in some developing countries. Both can be introduced unilaterally (with the prospect of multilateral coordination in the future); both are progressive in their incidence, and in the case of the STT, represents an administratively manageable form of revenue collection. I also find that each entails double dividends that manifest in greater domestic and international macroeconomic stability.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: John Micklewright, Anna Wright
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Charitable donations by private individuals and firms can help fund the Millennium Development Goals. What are the prospects for increasing donations for international development, whether from small-scale donors, the super-rich (as in the recent gifts by Bill Gates and Ted Turner), or the corporate sector? The paper starts by reviewing how large are the sums currently given in OECD countries (including gifts of time) and the problems development has in competing with domestic causes. It then looks at possibilities for the future, including tax deductions, the new 'global funds', corporate social responsibility and 'cause-related marketing', the use of the Internet, and long-term donor education.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Third World