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  • Author: Bertrand de la Chapelle, Paul Fehlinger
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The past 20 years have witnessed a profound change in the types of non-resident investors who provide funding to emerging market economies (EMEs) and the financial instruments through which emerging market (EM) corporations borrow from abroad. Until the beginning of the new millennium, private capital flows to EMEs were mainly intermediated by large global banks, and EMEs were subjected to massive volatility in their external payments balances, exchange rates and domestic financial systems. But since the early 2000s the role of bank-intermediated credit has declined, as the base of investors willing to take on exposure to EM corporate debt has become much larger and more diverse. These structural changes have encouraged a vast growth in flows of funds, not only from the mature economies to EMEs as a group, but also among EMEs themselves.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of four major financial sector sustainability codes of conduct, the UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, the Equator Principles and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values with regard to their impact on the sustainability of their members. The codes of conduct focus on the integration of environmental, social and governance criteria into financial decision making in lending, investment, asset management and project finance. corporate sustainability voluntary codes of conduct have a positive impact on their members. The effectiveness, however, depends on the quality and content of a code, as well as on implementation and compliance mechanisms.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, United Nations, Ethics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite, Melissa Menzies
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes, this task will be challenging. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the Climate Disclosure Task Force.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Susan Schadler
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Research on links between the level of a country’s public debt and its broader economic developments has been heatedly debated in the economic literature. Two strands of the research stand out — one linking the level of debt to a country’s GDP growth rate and the other examining the debt level as an EWI of economic crises. As a broad generalization, research at the moment favors the view that high levels of debt are not a cause, in and of themselves, of low growth nor are they particularly good predictors of impending economic or even debt crises. In principle, the empirical findings have obvious implications for policy makers confronting the question of how to fashion policies (and fiscal policy in particular) when a country has a high debt burden. The IMF, as both a contributor to the literature and an adviser concerned with preventing or dealing with debt crises, has a particularly important stake in navigating the findings. Whether in its surveillance (routine annual advice to all member countries) or the construction of its lending programs to support countries in or near crisis, the IMF must answer the question “how much does the level of debt matter?” Despite the empirical research that casts doubt on the importance of debt, the level of debt figures prominently in the algebra of debt sustainability and the IMF’s real world policy advice. This policy brief examines the nexus of the relatively strong conclusions coming from the academic research and the IMF’s policy advice. It addresses the following question: given that the broad conclusion from the academic literature is that the level of debt itself is not systematically bad for growth or stability, why does the debt level seem to figure rather prominently in the IMF’s policy advice and conditionality?
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis, GDP, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samuel Howorth, Domenico Lombardi, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Students of macroeconomics will have heard about the central role played by the so-called Phillips curve in both theoretical and empirical analyses for almost 70 years. In 1958, A. W. Phillips reported an inverse relationship between changes in wages and the unemployment rate (Phillips 1958). The progeny of his thinking led to a revolution both in policy making and in the development of theoretical links between the real and nominal macroeconomic variables. Names such as Samuelson, Solow, Phelps, Friedman, Lucas and Sargent became associated with refinements and enhancements of the core finding reported by Phillips. Indeed, all of these economists went on to become Nobel laureates in economics, although not exclusively because of their contributions to the analysis of what has since been called the Phillips curve. Indeed, the concept is so influential that it spawned several different versions of the trade-off used to guide policy makers as a menu for the choices they face when deciding whether the gains from lower inflation are offset by the economic costs of higher unemployment. Initially, expectations of individuals or firms were ignored. This briefly gave policy makers the impression that they could simply select an inflation-unemployment combination and implement the necessary policy mix to achieve the desired outcome. Once a role for expectations was incorporated, debate centred on how forward-looking individuals are. The more forward-looking, the less likely it was that policy makers would be able to “exploit” the trade-off because, unless wages rose in purchasing-power terms, the gains from lower unemployment would, at best, be temporary once workers realized that the higher inflation, at unchanged wages, actually drives real wages down. Indeed, the pendulum swung all the way to the conclusion — reached by the 1970s and early 1980s — that the Phillips curve was illusory and there was no trade-off policy makers could exploit.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, Labor Issues, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Gitlin, Brett House
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Recent international financial turmoil — most notably in Greece — has refocused attention on the risks posed by severe sovereign debt crises and weaknesses in our approaches to restructuring sovereign debt. Since early 2010, these risks have driven a range of debt-related policy proposals and actions in individual economies, across regions and at the international financial institutions. While some incremental first reform steps have been taken, these have not yet produced a more efficient, effective or resilient international framework for handling severe sovereign debt crises and effecting sovereign debt workouts. In contrast, some institutional and policy changes made in the heat of the euro-zone crisis have raised as many questions as they have resolved. Old policy ideas are also being resurrected and configured in new ways for current challenges. After years of substantial fiscal stimulus and exceptional monetary policies, high debt burdens across the advanced economies, fears of secular stagnation, signs of an imminent increase in US borrowing costs and deteriorating demographics together make a compelling case for concerted action to improve international arrangements for dealing with distressed sovereign debt.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Barry Eichengreen, Domenico Lombardi , Malcolm D. Knight, Yu Yongding, Stephen G. Cecchetti, Diane De Gramont, Şebnem Kalemli-Özcan, Phillip R. Lane, Ugo Panizza, Viral V. Acharya
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: During 1999-2007, the international balance sheets of emerging economies grew stronger through a combination of current account surpluses, a shift from debt funding to equity funding, and the stockpiling of liquid foreign reserves. This risk-mitigating strategy improved the international financial standing of many emerging economies and helped these economies withstand the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. However, a combination of domestic and external factors has led to a partial reversal of this strategy, with some emerging economies accumulating significant external debt since 2010. Previewed by the May 2013 “taper tantrum,” there has been considerable speculation that a tightening of dollar-funding conditions and a macroeconomic slowdown in emerging economies may result in financial instability in some emerging economies.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Martin, Thomas A. Bernes, Olaf Weber, Hongying Wang, Kevin Carmichael
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On November 15-16, 2015, leaders of the world's major advanced and emerging economies will meet in Antalya, Turkey for the G20 summit. In this special report, CIGI experts present their perspectives and policy analysis on the key priorities facing the G20 at Antalya. The Right Honourable Paul Martin states that the multilateral institutions created to make globalization work should be a G20 priority. Thomas A. Bernes asks whether G20 leaders and the institutions that support them can articulate a “policy upgrade” that brings more credibility than last year’s Brisbane Action Plan. Olaf Weber argues that the next step for the G20 should be the development of policies and guidelines that help to manage climate change and financial risk in a prudential way. Hongying Wang examines China's rare opportunity as it assumes the presidency of the G20 to push for collective new thinking on how to establish a less fragmented and more coherent global framework for investment governance that balances the interests of different stakeholders. Finally, Kevin Carmichael suggests that the G20 should elevate gender balance to the top of its agenda.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Governance, G20, Financial Markets, Turkey
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Susan Ariel Aaronson
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Today, information is currency; it facilitates productivity, exchange, technology and trade. Information is also the building block of the digital economy (an economy based on digital technologies — products and services that facilitate the creation, storage, analysis and sharing of data and information). Although many countries are gaining expertise and market share, one country, the United States, dominates both the global digital economy and digital trade (commerce in products and services delivered via the Internet). The United States is also the key force behind efforts to develop a system of trade rules to govern cross-border information flows.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Mass Media, Digital Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi , Kelsey Shantz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change. In this year’s survey, 31 CIGI experts conclude that international economic arrangements continue to show a level of “status quo,” averaging a score of 50% across all five areas. The 2015 survey indicates a slight improvement to the result of last year’s survey, which suggested a minimal regression overall. The experts’ assessment of progress was most promising in the area of climate change cooperation, with an average score of 57%, whereas the least promising area was macroeconomic and financial cooperation, with a score of 44%, indicating minimal regression. The remaining three areas polled all fell within the “status quo” range, with trade at 46%, development at 48% and international cooperation on financial regulation at 53%. Interestingly, in the area of cooperation on development, CIGI’s experts provided a relatively mixed assessment. Responses varied based on experts’ perception of the effectiveness of current rhetoric, from 70% (indicating some progress) to 10% (suggesting major regression). Compared to last year, climate change governance has made the greatest improvement, but the remaining three areas (with the exception of development, which was not included in the 2014 survey) have all, on average, regressed further or remained stagnant. This trend is cause for concern.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi, Kesley Shantz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Bak
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Reporting on global trade in environmental goods would provide a comprehensive lens into diversification that will be needed for the transition to low-carbon economies, help countries benchmark the shorter- and longer-term impact of policies such as regulation and fiscal stimulus targeted at green growth, as well as innovation, and strengthen the G20 leaders’ commitment to inclusive and sustainable growth by providing visibility into the pace of investments to address climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, International Trade and Finance, G20
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Penelope Hawkins, Olaf Weber
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: One of the most important and topical discussions within the global multilateral arena is the challenge of meeting the world’s climate finance needs in order to reduce carbon emissions to sustainable levels and support adaptation strategies. The mobilization of finance is key in supporting the transition away from traditional high-carbon or business-as-usual economic pathways toward low-carbon, climate-resilient economic systems. A conference, Global Sustainability, Climate Change and Finance Policy, organized by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the South African Institute for International Affairs and held in Johannesburg from July 1 to July 3, considered aspects of the debate.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jonathan Diab, Anna Klimbovskaia
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Populist uprisings often call for the renationalization or buying back of public goods that were originally privatized as a result of austerity measures established and disseminated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • Topic: Economics, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis, World Bank, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Global Focus