193 research outputs found

    Budgetary processes: a political economy perspective

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    The response to macro shocks, given the electoral structure, built in perverse incentives that influenced India's development process. The chapter selectively surveys political economic theory, Indian and other country experience to bring out the systemic incentives that affect political behaviour, government budgets, and expenditure. Conceptual categories developed are found useful in interpreting Indian experience. Overtime, conflicts between groups were handled in a way that lowered incentives for expansion of the cake, and led to a short-term focus. Price controls bred inefficiencies, especially after the oil shocks. But there are leverage points for change. Well-coordinated macro policy, including infrastructure spending, with some restraints on political-bureaucratic choices, could create incentives for rapid growth. The latter eases political adjustments. It makes longer-term sustainable re-distribution feasible, and raises returns to choices that improve human capital.perverse political incentives, macro shocks, price controls, political bureaucratic choices

    Global financial architecture: Past and present arguments, advice, action

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    In the context of the formation of G-20, the paper points out the absence of reform in the global financial architecture (GFA) after the East Asian crisis, and assesses factors that can improve the chances of real reform this time. A factual assessment of various causes advanced for the global crisis, puts the main responsibility on lax regulation. Liquidity created by current account imbalances was tiny compared to endogenous amplification of liquidity in the financial sector. Emerging markets needed reserves as self-insurance in the face of volatile cross border flows. Even so global imbalances increase risk. The paper summarizes the Chimerica debate and the blocks that have stalled progress in resolving the issue. It argues that symmetric and balanced reform, at individual country and international level, is required to remove the blocks. Deeper governance reforms will make it feasible. Potential contributions of the G-20 are outlined. It is argued that India is a useful example of flexible but managed exchange rates that allowed market deepening and export growth.Global Financial architecture, Crisis, G-20, Imbalances, Over-saving

    Macroeconomic policy and the exchange rate: working together?

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    The chapter reviews the behaviour of the Indian exchange rate over the past few years, and its interactions with the macroeconomic cycle. It examines the extent to which exchange rate policy has been able to contribute to lowering the probability of currency and banking crises, ensuring sustainable internal and external balance, and containing inflation. Given the political economy, more openness, the structural wage-price processes, the degree of backward and forward looking behavior in the Indian economy, the chapter draws out implications for macroeconomic policy. It finds that structure combined with openness actually increases the degrees of freedom and impact of monetary policy.Exchange rate, Indian macroeconomic policy, political economy

    Asian reserves and the dollar: Is gradual adjustment possible?

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    Large dollar reserves in Asian EMEs accompany large US fiscal and current account deficits. Analysis of strategic sales by Asian EMEs suggests that an attack on the dollar is not certain but is possible. A unique equilibrium where Asian EMEs sell their reserves does not exist but there are multiple Nash equilibria. Therefore action, which includes adjustment, is required to coordinate to the better equilibrium. There is evidence that more flexibility in Asian exchange rates will reduce risk for Asian EMEs, but the flexibility will have to be limited, and it depends on more flexibility in the renminbi. Moreover, limits to adjustment in wages put limits on realignments between US and Asian exchange rates. Therefore while a gradual adjustment strategy is feasible it will require both expenditure switching and expenditure reduction, with the latter moderated by the maintenance of robust global growth.multiple equilibria, coordination, collective action, real wages, expenditure switching

    Incentives from Exchange Rate Regimes in an Institutional Context

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    An open economy macromodel, calibrated to typical institutions and shocks of a populous emerging market economy, shows that a monetary stimulus preceding a supply shock can abort inflation at minimum output cost, since of the appreciation of exchange rates, accompanying a fall in interest rates and rise in output. Analytic results obtained for two periods are generalized through simulations and validated through estimation. One instrument achieves both domestic output and exchange rate objectives, partly since it creates correct incentives for foreign exchange traders. Strategic interactions imply supporting institutions are required to coordinate monetary, fiscal policy, and markets to the optimal equilibrium.Emerging Market Economy, Mundell-Fleming, Monetary Policy, FX Market, Supply Shocks

    “Incentives from Exchange Rate Regimes in an Institutional Context"

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    In a simple open EME macromodel, calibrated to the typical institutions and shocks of a densely populated emerging market economy, a monetary stimulus preceding a temporary supply shock can lower interest rates, raise output, appreciate exchange rates, and lower inflation. Simulations generalize the analytic result with regressions validating the parameter values. Under correct incentives, such as provided by a middling exchange rate regime, which imparts limited volatility to the nominal exchange rate around a trend competitive rate, forex traders support the policy. The policy is compatible with political constraints and policy objectives, but analysis of strategic interactions brings out cases where optimal policy will not be chosen. Supporting institutions are required to coordinate monetary, fiscal policy and markets to the optimal equilibrium. The analysis contributes to understanding the key issues for countries such as India and China that need to deepen markets in order to move to more flexible exchange rate regimes.exchange rate, hedging, supply shocks, EMEs, incentives, politics

    Insecurities of the old and marginalized : Inflation, Oil Shocks, Financial Crisis and Social Security

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    The paper examines the impact of recent inflation and financial shocks on the vulnerable, and explores policy design to reduce both future shocks and vulnerability to shocks. Inflation affects the typical savings cum pension portfolio and the specific consumption basket of the old, as prices of services rise compared to manufactured goods. Money illusion and habit, which tend to increase with age, aggravate the psychological trauma associated with inflation. The decline of traditional sources of social security marginalizes those without savings, in the context of sustained ruralurban and international migration. Trends determining inflationdomestic and global, institutional change, and greater openness explain why inflation has been moderate in India, compared to other emerging markets. Since the polity is averse to high inflation, and commodity price shocks are moderating, high inflation will not persist. But the shocks demonstrate the importance of food price inflation for aggregate inflation in populous South Asia. Therefore improvements in agricultural productivity, with supportive buffer stock, fiscal and monetary policy are critical to lower the level of chronic inflation. Regulatory changes to reduce excessive risktaking in financial markets and the aggravation of inflation from speculation are examined. Finally, other policy measures to improve security for the old and keep them an active, vital part of the community are drawn together.Aged, inflation, Oil shocks, financial crisis, social security

    The Political Economy of the Revenue Deficit

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    A widely accepted hypothesis is that concessions demanded by and granted to vested interests are responsible for the steady decline in the government financial position. We argue that it was rather the supply-side shocks of the seventies combined with the political objective of protecting the poor that were responsible. We support our argument by examining time series of disaggregated government budget data, and the theory of incentives under imperfect information. The latter suggests that price controls in the presence of cost shocks would lead to systematic incentives to lower quality and investment. And therefore lower tax capacity and the ability to reduce poverty in the future. We illustrate these mechanisms at work in power, telecommunications, railways, roads, education, and tax collection. The analysis is hopeful, however, because if this causal mechanism were understood, a concerted attempt to rationalise user charges and improve quality would be more acceptable. The process would be helped by macroeconomic policies that keep interest rates low and prevent exchange rate volatility, while supply side policies keep inflation low.cost shocks, user charges, public goods, quality, deficits

    The Natural Interest Rate in Emerging Markets

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    An optimizing model of a small open emerging market economy (SOEME) with dualistic labour markets and two types of consumers, is used to derive the natural interest rate, terms of trade and potential output. Shocks are classified into generic types that affect the natural interest rates. Since parameters depend on features of the labour market and on consumption inequality, the natural rates and the impact of shocks differ from those in a mature small open economy. Subsistence consumption is found to have the largest effect on the natural rates. It reduces the interest rate, raises natural output and the terms of trade. Technology and infrastructure backwardness reduce natural output. The implications for monetary policy are derived. The effect of managed exchange rates combined with different types of inflation targeting is examined through simulations. Endogenous terms of trade make the supply curve steeper in a SOEME, so partial stickiness of the real exchange rate can be beneficial. In general, domestic inflation targeting, with some weight on the output gap, delivers lower volatility. Output response is higher and volatility lower with fixed terms of trade, demonstrating the flatter supply curve. CPI inflation targeting also does well when terms of trade are credibly fixed.small open emerging market, optimal monetary policy, dualistic labour markets, natural interest rates, Terms of Trade, natural output

    Regulatory Structure for Financial Stability and Development

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    To understand the appropriate regulatory response to the crisis, we start from the basic market failures that justify regulation in financial markets. Neglecting these first principles contributed to the market and regulatory failures. Regulation that induces better outcomes through creating correct incentives for market participants is the key to reform. A combination of micro and macro prudential regulation can moderate procyclicality, information failure and market power. Better national and global coordination of regulators is also required. Global prudential standards can push financial firms to choose safe over risky strategies, by removing the moral hazard from bailouts, and assuring that a competitor is not adopting risky strategies either. Universal application of basic standards prevents regulatory arbitrage. A pure principles-based regulatory approach maybe too flexible, but principle-based rules retain sufficient operational flexibility and universality. This analysis is applied to regulation in emerging market economies (EMEs), where development of financial markets is a major regulatory goal along with stability.market failures, incentives, procyclicality, coordination, rules versus principles, development
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