In this paper we characterize empirically the comovements of macro variables typically observed in middle income countries, as well as the boom-bust cycle' that has been observed during the last two decades. We find that many countries that have liberalized their financial markets, have witnessed the development of lending booms. Most of the time the boom gradually decelerates. But sometimes the boom ends in twin currency and banking crises, and is followed by a protracted credit crunch that outlives a short-lived recession. We also find that during lending booms there is a real appreciation and the nontradables (N) sector grows faster than the tradables (T) sector. Meanwhile, the opposite is true in the aftermath of crisis. We argue that these comovements are generated by the interaction of two characteristics of financing typical of middle income countries: risky currency mismatch and asymmetric financing opportunities across the N- and T-sectors.
In this paper we document three credit market imperfections prevalent in middle income countries that can help explain the boom-bust cycles as well as other macroeconomic patterns observed at higher frequencies across these countries. These imperfections are: the existence of financing constraints that affect mainly the nontradables sector, currency mismatch and systemic bailout guarantees.
Analysis and evidence of how the factors that give rise to boom-bust cycles in fast-growing developing economies also enhance long-run growth. The volatility that has hit many middle-income countries (MICs) after liberalizing their financial markets has prompted critics to call for new policies to stabilize these boom-bust cycles. But, as Aaron Tornell and Frank Westermann point out in this book, over the last two decades most of the developing countries that have experienced lending booms and busts have also exhibited the fastest growth among MICs. Countries with more stable credit growth, by contrast, have exhibited, on average, lower growth rates. Factors that contribute to financial fragility thus appear, paradoxically, to be a source of long-run growth as well. Tornell and Westermann analyze boom-bust cycles in the developing world and discuss how these cycles are generated by credit market imperfections. They explain why the financial liberalization that allows countries to overcome imperfections impeding rapid growth also generates the financial fragility that leads to greater volatility and occasional crises. The conceptual framework they present illustrates this linkage and allows Tornell and Westermann to address normative questions regarding liberalization policies.The authors also characterize key macroeconomic regularities observed across MICs, showing that credit markets play a key role not only in boom-bust episodes but in the strong "credit channel" observed during tranquil times. A theoretical framework is then presented that explains how credit market imperfections can account for these empirical patterns. Finally, Tornell and Westermann provide microeconomic evidence on the credit market imperfections that drive the results of the theoretical framework, finding that asymmetries between tradables and nontradables are key to understanding the patterns in MIC data.
In this paper, we contrast two different views in the debate on official dollarization. The Mundell (1961) framework of optimal currency areas and a model on boom-bust cycles, by Schneider and Tornell (2004), who take account of credit market imperfections prevalent in middle income countries. We highlight that the role of the exchange rate is strikingly different in the two models. While in the Mundell framework the exchange rate is expected to smooth the business cycle, the other model predicts that the exchange rate plays an amplifying role. We empirically evaluate both models for eight highly dollarized Central American economies, and find that the main benefit of official dollarization derives from avoiding a mismatch between foreign currency liabilities and domestic revenues, as well as the boom-bust episodes that are likely to follow from it. Using a new method of Cubadda (1999, 2007), we furthermore test for cyclical comovement and reject the hypothesis that the countries form an optimal currency area with the United States according to the Mundell definition.
This edited volume, with contributions by area experts, offers discussions on a range of evolving topics in economics and social development. At center are important issues central to sustainable development, economic growth, technological change, the economics of climate change, commodity markets, long wave theory, non-linear dynamic models, and boom-bust cycles. This is an excellent reference for academic and professional economists interested in emerging areas of empirical macroeconomics and finance. For policy makers and curious readers alike, it is also an outstanding introduction to the economic thinking of those who seek a holistic and all-compassing approach in economic theory and policy. Looking into new data and methodology, this book offers fresh approaches in a post-crisis environment. Set in a profound understanding of the diverse currents within the many traditions of economic thought, this book pushes the established frontiers of economic thinking. It is dedicated to a leading scholar in the areas covered in this book, Willi Semmler.
This paper takes stock of the economic performance of resource rich countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) over the past forty years. While those countries have maintained high levels of income per capita, they have performed poorly when going beyond the assessment based on standard income level measures. Resource rich countries in MENA have experienced relatively low and non inclusive economic growth as well as high levels of macroeconomic volatility. Important improvements in health and education have taken place but the quality of the provision of public goods and services remains an important source of concerns. Looking forward we argue that the success of economic reforms in MENA rests on the ability of those countries to invest boldly in building inclusive institutions as well as high levels of human capacity in public administrations.
Author: International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
Category: Business & Economics
This paper reports for uncovered interest parity (UIP) using daily data for 23 developing and developed countries during the crisis-strewn 1990s. UIP is a classic topic of international finance, a critical building block of most theoretical models, and a dismal empirical failure. UIP states that the interest differential is, on average, equal to the ex post exchange rate change. UIP may work differently for countries in crisis, whose exchange and interest rates both display considerably more volatility. This volatility raises the stakes for financial markets and central banks; it also may provide a more statistically powerful test for the UIP hypothesis. Policy-exploitable deviations from UIP are, therefore, a necessary condition for an interest rate defense. There is a considerable amount of heterogeneity in the results, which differ wildly by country.
International investors poured vast sums of money into East Asian and Latin American countries during the mid-1990s, when the emerging market boom was at its peak. Then Thailand stumbled and panic seized the markets, and boom gave way to bust. Investors suffered large financial losses, while Asian countries suddenly experienced large capital outflows and the macroeconomic pressures these wrought plunged countries that had been growing rapidly ("miraculously") into crisis. Much the same had happened in Latin America when the debt crisis broke in 1982. This book investigates what can be done to make the international capital market a constructive force in promoting development in emerging markets. John Williamson concludes that the problem of cyclicality that has undermined the value of international borrowing cannot be tackled just, or even mainly, from the supply side, but will require actions on the part of both creditors and debtors.
Using a comprehensive database on bank credit, covering 135 developing countries over the period 1960–2011, we identify, document, and compare the macro-economic dynamics of credit booms across low- and middle-income countries. The results suggest that while the duration and magnitude of credit booms is similar across country groups, macro-economic dynamics differ somewhat in low-income countries. We further find that surges in capital inflows are associated with credit booms. Moreover, credit booms associated with banking crises exhibit distinct macroeconomic dynamics, while also reflecting a potentially large deviation of credit from country fundamentals. These results suggest that low-income countries should remain mindful of the inter-linkages between financial liberalization, increased cross-border banking activities, and rapid credit growth.
Analysis of Latin America's economy focusing on development, covering the colonial roots of inequality, boom and bust cycles, labor markets, and fiscal and monetary policy. Latin America is richly endowed with natural resources, fertile land, and vibrant cultures. Yet the region remains much poorer than its neighbors to the north. Most Latin American countries have not achieved standards of living and stable institutions comparable to those found in developed countries, have experienced repeated boom-bust cycles, and remain heavily reliant on primary commodities. This book studies the historical roots of Latin America's contemporary economic and social development, focusing on poverty and income inequality dating back to colonial times. It addresses today's legacies of the market-friendly reforms that took hold in the 1980s and 1990s by examining successful stabilizations and homemade monetary and fiscal institutional reforms. It offers a detailed analysis of trade and financial liberalization, twenty–first century-growth, and the decline in poverty and income inequality. Finally, the book offers an overall analysis of inclusive growth policies for development—including gender issues and the informal sector—and the challenges that lie ahead for the region, with special attention to pressing demands by the vibrant and vocal middle class, youth unemployment, and indigenous populations.
This paper studies episodes in which aggregate bank credit contracts alongside expanding economic activity—credit reversals. Using data for 179 countries during 1960‒2017, the paper finds that reversals are a relatively common phenomenon--on average, they occur every five years. By comparison, banking crises take place every eight years on average. Credit reversals and banking crises also appear related to each other: reversals become more likely in the aftermath of banking crises, while the likelihood of crises drops following reversals. In terms of foregone economic activity, reversals are shown to be very costly, at about two-thirds of the costs of banking crises after taking into account their relative frequencies.