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  • Author: Neil R. Ericsson
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: This paper provides an introduction to forecast uncertainty in empirical economic modeling. Forecast uncertainty is defined, various measures of forecast uncertainty are examined, and some sources and consequences of forecast uncertainty are analyzed. Empirical illustrations with the U.S. trade balance, U.K. inflation and real national income, and the U.S./U.K. exchange rate help clarify the issues involved.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Jinill Kim, Andrew Levin, Sunghyun Henry Kim
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the welfare implications of alternative financial market structures in a two-country endowment economy model. In particular, we obtain an analytic expression for the expected lifetime utility of the representative household when sovereign bonds are the only internationally traded asset, and we compare this welfare level with that obtained under complete asset markets. The welfare cost of incomplete markets is negligible if agents are very patient and shocks are not very persistent, but this cost is dramatically larger if agents are relatively impatient and shocks are highly persistent. For realistic cases in which agents are very patient and shocks are highly persistent (that is, the discount factor and the first-order autocorrelation are both near unity), the welfare cost of incomplete markets is highly sensitive to the specific values of these parameters. Finally, using a non-linear solution algorithm, we confirm that a two-country production economy with endogenous labor supply has qualitatively similar welfare properties.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In a recent conference, trade experts identified three primary reasons the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed to launch a new trade Round at its December 1999 Ministerial. First, leading members were unable to resolve differences on critical issues prior to the gathering. In addition, many developing countries and nongovernmental organizations were more assertive than they had been at previous conferences. Finally, in recent years, the WTO has expanded the range of issues it addresses, which has made efforts to reach a consensus on any point more difficult. According to the speakers, as a result of the acrimonious Ministerial, the WTO has suffered a substantial loss of credibility, which will impair efforts to launch a new Round in the near term. There is no immediate alternative to strong US leadership, and WTO negotiations will be more complicated because developing countries and nongovernmental organizations will be more inclined to resist trade liberalization efforts that they believe do not advance their interests. Experts at the conference offered a variety of assessments regarding the course the WTO might choose to follow this year. The majority argued that if the trade body is seeking to rebuild confidence, it could continue with scheduled meetings on agriculture and services and use the time to rebuild confidence. A minority, however, held that the forum is too fractured to make progress, thus talks would only undermine the already declining prestige of the trade body. The experts identified several long-run challenges that the WTO will probably need to address to be an effective decisionmaking institution, including: Bridging the developed-developing country gap Costa Rica, Mexico, and South Africa generally support trade liberalization and have credibility among developed and developing states; thus they are in a position to meld the interests of the two sides. Enacting institutional reforms The organization's expansive agenda and large membership require that it adopt policies that facilitate decisionmaking, especially before new members such as China and Russia join. The trade body may try to increase transparency to promote greater trust in its procedures. Also, to avoid protracted and bitter selections such as the forum suffered last year, the WTO could review its procedures for electing a new director general. Managing the backlash against globalization Supporters of freer trade could launch a massive educational program to highlight the gains for all countries from expanded trade and to counter the dire assertions made by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Ann L. Owen, Murat F. Iyigun
  • Publication Date: 05-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: We show how the ability o accumulate human capital through formal education and through a learning-by-doing process that occurs on the job affects the dynamic behavior of the human capital stock under a liquidity constrained and a non-constrained case. When there are alternatives to formal schooling in the accumulation of human capital, investing resources in increasing school enrollment rates in low-income countries may not be the most efficient means of increasing the human capital stock. In addition, removal of the liquidity constraints may not be sufficient to escape a development trap.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Education, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Neil R. Ericsson, Kari H. Eika, Ragnar Nymoen
  • Publication Date: 10-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: Some recent studies have suggested constructing a Monetary Conditions Index (or MCI) to serve as an indicator of monetary policy stance. The central banks of Canada, Sweden, and Norway all construct an MCI and (to varying degrees) use it in conducting monetary policy. Empirically, an MCI is calculated as the weighted sum of changes in a short-term interest rate and the exchange rate relative to values in a baseline year. The weights aim to reflect these variables' effects on longer-term focuses of policy — economic activity and inflation. This paper derives analytical and empirical properties of MCIs in an attempt to ascertain their usefulness in monetary policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Chan Huh
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: This paper examines the dynamic relationship between changes in the finds rate and nonborrowed reserves within a reduced form framework that allows the relationship to have WO distinct patterns over time. A regime switching model a la Hamilton (1989) is estimated. On average, CPI inflation has been significantly higher in the regime and volatile changes in funds rate. Innovations in money growth are characterized by large associated with a strong anticipated inflation effect in this high inflation regime, and a moderate liquidity effect in the low inflation regime. Furthermore, an identical money innovation generates a much bigger increase in the interest rate during a transition period from the low to high inflation regime than during a steady high inflation period. This accords well with economic intuition since the transition period is when the anticipated inflation effect initially gets incorporated into the interest rate. The converse also holds. That is, the liquidity effect becomes stronger when the economy leaves a high inflation regime period and enters a low inflation regime period.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Neil R. Ericsson, Sunil Sharma
  • Publication Date: 07-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: This paper develops a constant, data-coherent, error correction model for broad money demand (M3) in Greece. This model contributes to a better understanding of the effects of monetary policy in Greece, and of the portfolio consequences of financial innovation in general. The broad monetary aggregate M3 was targeted until recently, and current monetary policy still uses such aggregates as guidelines, yet analysis of this aggregate has been dormant for over a decade.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe