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You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution United Nations University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: United Nations University Topic International Trade and Finance Remove constraint Topic: International Trade and Finance
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  • Author: Lisandro Abrego, Doris C. Ross
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses debt relief efforts by creditors to alleviate the debt burden of low- income countries. The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative builds on traditional debt relief, and for the first time involves relief on multilateral debt. It seeks to reduce debt to sustainable levels and eliminate any debt overhang that might hinder growth and investment. It provides substantial debt relief to eligible countries by reducing their overall debt stocks by about one-half, or, together with traditional relief over time, by some 80 per cent. It lowers debt service payments of HIPCs substantially, provides room for increased social spending, and provides a solid basis for debt sustainability. The latter requires efforts by both debtors and creditors. To find poverty reduction efforts, HIPC relief is important, but much broader international support is needed as external transfers to HIPCs in the past far exceeded debt service paid. Experience has shown that external support can only be effective if it reinforces sound policies implemented by HIPCs themselves. Thus debt relief and ODA are most important not in isolation, but as help for self-help.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Andrew McKay
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Fiscal policy measures are a key means by which governments can influence distribution and poverty, but in fact the relationships between fiscal policy and poverty are not well understood. The most commonly used technique for assessing the distributional impact, benefit incidence analysis, is straightforward, but applied by itself it suffers from a number of serious limitations. Assessment of the impact of fiscal policy needs to be developed in various directions, including allowing for behavioural responses and incorporating a broader range of information. In parallel with this careful attention needs to be paid to more effective monitoring of the poverty impsact of fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: John Hawkins
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: International bank lending is a major component of capital flows between advanced and emerging economies. However, in recent years these flows have been going the wrong way, like water flowing uphill. Even four years after the Asian crisis, there is a net flow of funds from emerging economies to banks in advanced economies. This paper looks at this phenomenon, starting by setting out the relevant data, and then looking at factors influencing these flows. These include both cyclical influences (both 'push' and 'pull') and structural changes within the banking industry. There is some evidence that international lenders are now discriminating more between the various emerging economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Carlos Budnevich L.
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: For many emerging market economies, over reliance on monetary policy may bring worse macro results, when compared to a more balanced framework of countercyclical fiscal and monetary policy. The use of countercyclical fiscal policy requires as a precondition solvent and sustainable fiscal accounts and the re-engineering of fiscal institutions to increase the timeliness and flexibility of fiscal policy. A higher degree of tax or pension fund and/or unemployment insurance contribution flexibility may help in economies subject to significant external shocks. Automatic indexing rules to terms of trade or country risk spreads for pension contributions and interest payments on public debt may also contribute to the stabilization effort. If fiscal revenues are highly volatile, structural budget rules and commodity stabilization funds may provide the necessary framework to achieve saving (dissaving) during expansions (contractions).
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Simon Feeny
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper looks at public sector debt in developing countries, being concerned specifically with the relationship between aid inflows and the public sector borrowing requirement net of aid loans. After examining the public sector budget constraint and various conditions under which aid might lead to an increase in this borrowing, the paper surveys the empirical results of literature on aid and public sector fiscal behaviour. It finds that the results of a number of studies are consistent with aid leading to increases in this borrowing. Further investigation, in the form of econometric analysis of panel data, also points to this outcome. The paper then looks at a number of theoretical scenarios in which aid leads to increases in borrowing net of aid loans.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Chris Elbers, Peter Lanjouw, Johan Mistiaen, Gabriel Demombynes, Jenny Lanjouw, Berk Özler
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper implements a methodology for estimating poverty in Ecuador, Madagascar and South Africa, at levels of disaggregation that to date have not generally been available. The methodology is based on a statistical procedure to combine household survey data with population census data, imputing into the latter a measure of per capita consumption from the former. The countries are very unlike each other—with different geographies, stages of development, quality and types of data, and so on. Yet the paper demonstrates that in all three countries the poverty estimates produced from census data are both plausible (in that they match well stratum-level estimates calculated directly from the household surveys) and satisfactorily precise (at a level of disaggregation far below that allowed by household surveys).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to answer the following question: If the HIPC Initiative is fully successful and managed to write-off all debt that is owed by Africa, will the debt problem be over? The answer is 'no'. This pessimist answer is arrived at by examining the historical origin of African debt and the structural problems the continent is confronted with. The literature about the origins of the African debt crisis lists a number of factors as its cause. The oil price shocks of 1973-74 and 1978-79, the expansion of the Eurodollar, a rise in public expenditure by African governments following rising commodity prices in early 1970s, the recession in industrial countries and the subsequent commodity price fall, and a rise in real world interest rate are usually mentioned as major factors. Surprisingly, almost all the literature starts its analysis either in the early 1970s or, at best, after independence in 1960s. The main argument in this paper is that one has to go beyond this period not only to adequately explain the current debt crisis but also to propose its possible solution. The conclusion that emerges from such analysis is that the African debt problem is essentially a trade problem. Thus, long-run solution to debt points to the importance of addressing trade and trade related structural problems in the continent.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Avinash Persaud
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Modern financial regulation has been about the spread of market-sensitive riskmanagement systems for banks, the spill-over of this approach to other financial institutions and the retreat of regulatory ambition. There is evidence that these trends are leading to a more fragile financial system, more prone to concentration and 'liquidity black holes'. The most glaring effects of these trends are felt in the pro-cyclicality and volatility of capital flows to risky markets. The root of the problem is that the liquidity of financial markets requires diversity, but all these trends are serving to reduce the diversity of behaviour of market participants.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Graciela Moguillansky
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This article studies the currency risk management of multinational companies with investments in Latin American countries. The analysis is centred on episodes of currency or financial shocks, searching into the behaviour of the financial management of a firm expecting a significant devaluation. This allowed us to explore the interaction and transmission mechanisms between the microeconomic behaviour and the macroeconomic impact on the foreign exchange market. The analysis was carried out interviewing financial managers of multinational companies from different sectors with headquarters in the United Kingdom and Spain, by reviewing literature on business and currency risk management, and by analysing some surveys on financial risk management in developed countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, South America, Latin America, Spain
  • Author: Elisabetta Bertero, Laura Rondi
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study examines the effect of the hardening of the budget constraint on the investment behaviour of Italian state owned enterprises (SOEs). It carries out a natural experiment that exploits the 1987 shift of budget regimes due to the pressure of European Union economic policies on the Italian government.Drawing from the theory of capital market imperfections, we apply the empirical framework for the analysis of investment-cash flow sensitivity to a panel of state-owned manufacturing firms during the period 1977-93. We parallel state firms to Anglo-Saxon public corporations which, under separation of ownership and control, are afflicted by agency problems, managerial discretion, misallocation of free cash-flow and overinvestment. We argue that, under a soft budget constraint, state firms' managerial discretion and, in particular, collusion between managers and vote-seeking politicians, lead to wasteful investment.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy