Working Papers

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2024

March 15, 2024

Climate Variability and Worldwide Migration: Empirical Evidence and Projections

Description: We estimate a bilateral gravity equation for emigration rates controlling for decadal weather averages of temperature, precipitation, droughts, and extreme precipitation in origin countries. Using the parameter estimates of the gravity equation, we estimate global, regional, and country-by-country emigration flows using different population and climate scenarios. Global emigration flows are projected to increase between 73 and 91 million in 2030-2039; between 83 and 102 million in 2040-2049; between 88 and 121 in 2050-59, and between 87 and 133 million in 2060-2069. Changes in emigration flows are mainly due to population growth in the origin countries.

March 15, 2024

Efficient Economic Rent Taxation under a Global Minimum Corporate Tax

Description: The international agreement on a corporate minimum tax is a milestone in global corporate tax arrangements. The minimum tax disturbs the equivalence between otherwise equivalent forms of efficient economic rent taxation: cash-flow tax and allowance for corporate equity. The marginal effective tax rate initially declines as the statutory tax rate rises, reaching zero where the minimum tax is inapplicable, and increases thereafter. This kink occurs at a lower statutory rate under cash-flow taxation. We relax the assumption of full loss offset; provide a routine for computing effective rates under different designs; and discuss policy implications of the minimum tax.

March 15, 2024

The ECB’s Future Monetary Policy Operational Framework: Corridor or Floor?

Description: This paper reviews the trade-offs involved in the choice of the ECB’s monetary policy operational framework. As long as the ECB’s supply of reserves remains well in excess of the banks’ demand, the ECB will likely continue to employ a floor system for implementing the target interest rate in money markets. Once the supply of reserves declines and approaches the steep part of the reserves demand function, the ECB will face a choice between a corridor system and some variant of a floor system. There are distinct pros and cons associated with each option. A corridor would be consistent with a smaller ECB balance sheet size, encourage banks to manage their liquidity buffers more tightly, and facilitate greater activity in the interbank market. But it would require relatively more frequent market operations to ensure the money markets rate stays close to the policy rate and could leave the banking system vulnerable to intermittent liquidity shortages that may have financial stability implications and impair monetary transmission. The floor, on the other hand, would allow for more precise control of the overnight rate and a lower risk of liquidity shortages, but it would entail a somewhat larger ECB balance sheet, weaken the incentives for banks to manage their liquidity buffers, and discourage interbank market activity. The analysis of tradeoffs suggests that, on balance, in steady state, a hybrid system that combines the features of the “parsimonious floor” (with a minimal volume of reserves) with a lending facility or frequent short-term full-allotment lending operations priced at or very close to the deposit rate, making it a “zero (or near-zero) corridor”, would be most conducive for achieving the ECB’s monetary policy objective.

March 8, 2024

Predicting IMF-Supported Programs: A Machine Learning Approach

Description: This study applies state-of-the-art machine learning (ML) techniques to forecast IMF-supported programs, analyzes the ML prediction results relative to traditional econometric approaches, explores non-linear relationships among predictors indicative of IMF-supported programs, and evaluates model robustness with regard to different feature sets and time periods. ML models consistently outperform traditional methods in out-of-sample prediction of new IMF-supported arrangements with key predictors that align well with the literature and show consensus across different algorithms. The analysis underscores the importance of incorporating a variety of external, fiscal, real, and financial features as well as institutional factors like membership in regional financing arrangements. The findings also highlight the varying influence of data processing choices such as feature selection, sampling techniques, and missing data imputation on the performance of different ML models and therefore indicate the usefulness of a flexible, algorithm-tailored approach. Additionally, the results reveal that models that are most effective in near and medium-term predictions may tend to underperform over the long term, thus illustrating the need for regular updates or more stable – albeit potentially near-term suboptimal – models when frequent updates are impractical.

March 8, 2024

An Assessment of the 2019 and 2020 Pension Reforms in Mexico

Description: In recent years the Mexican pension system has changed significantly. In 2019 the existing means-tested social pension was made universal – covering everyone over the age of 65 – and the benefit level increased. In 2020, the main regime of the private sector was substantially reformed, increasing contribution rates for the funded defined contribution system, lowering the minimum years of contributions needed to receive an earnings-related pension, and increasing minimum pensions. This paper tries to assess the likely outcomes of those reforms, discusses design inefficiencies of the reforms and offers policy options to improve pension system design.

March 8, 2024

Strengthening Income Stabilization through Social Protection in Emerging and Developing Economies: The Brazilian Experience

Description: Social protection programs are crucial for stabilizing household income, especially during crises. Brazil's response to the pandemic, the Auxilio Emergencial (AE) program, demonstrated the value of a resilient social safety net and digital tools. This study assesses AE's effectiveness in income stabilization, poverty reduction, and inequality. Results show that the pre-pandemic social protection system would have only buffered about a quarter of income loss, with unemployment insurance more significant for higher-income households, and social safety net transfers crucial for lower-income households, especially those in informal employment. AE successfully supported lower-income households during the pandemic, but its generosity went beyond the stabilization of income, resulting in large fiscal costs.

March 8, 2024

Specialization, Market Access and Real Income

Description: This paper estimates the impact of external demand shocks on real income. We utilize a first order approximation to a wide class of small open economy models that feature sector-level gravity in trade flows, which allows us to measure foreign shocks and characterize their welfare impact in terms of reducedform elasticities. We use machine learning techniques to group 4-digit manufacturing sectors into a smaller number of clusters, and show that the cluster-level elasticities of income with respect to foreign shocks can be estimated using high-dimensional statistical techniques. Foreign demand shocks in complex intermediate and capital goods have large positive impacts on real income, whereas impacts in other sectors are negligible. We showthat the estimates imply that countries that specialize in these sectors enjoy greater gains from increased openness, and that (small) export subsidies to these sectors are welfare-improving. Finally, a calibrated multisector production and trade model with input-output linkages and external economies of scale can match the empirical estimates.

March 8, 2024

Debt Surges—Drivers, Consequences, and Policy Implications

Description: Many countries find themselves with elevated debt levels, increased debt vulnerabilities, and tight financing conditions, while also facing increased spending needs for development and transition to a greener economy. This paper aims to place the current debt landscape in a historical context and investigate the drivers of debt surges, to what degree they result in a crisis as well as examine post-surge debt trajectories and under what conditions debt follows a non-declining path. We find that fiscal policy and stock-flow adjustments play important roles in debt dynamics with the valuation effects arising from currency depreciation explaining more than half of stock flow adjustments in LICs. Debt surges are estimated to result in a financial crisis with a probability of 11–20 percent and spending-driven fiscal expansions during debt surges tend to result in a high probability of non-declining debt path.

March 8, 2024

Accounting for Climate Risks in Costing the Sustainable Development Goals

Description: This paper evaluates the additional spending needed to meet core targets of selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while accounting for the associated cost to address climate risks. The SDGs under study are those related to human and physical capital development. An additional 3.8 percent of global GDP, or US$3.4 trillion, of public and private spending will be required by 2030 to achieve a strong performance in the selected SDGs while addressing associated climate risks. This includes an increase of 0.4 percent of global GDP (US$358 billion) compared to estimates that do not account for mitigation and adaptation needs within these sectors. LIDCs and SSA experience the highest climate-related cost augmentation relative to GDP, while EMEs (driven by large Asian emerging economies) bear the largest cost in absolute terms.

March 8, 2024

Geoeconomic Fragmentation and International Diversification Benefits

Description: This paper applies the two-country open-economy model with trade in stocks and bonds of Coeurdacier et al. (2010) to quantify the loss of international diversification benefits for major advanced economies, which have a significant presence in international financial markets, under geoeconomic fragmentation. We perform counterfactual simulations under different hypothetical fragmentation scenarios in which these economies are unable to trade with geopolitically distant countries, as measured by voting disagreement on foreign policy issues at the United Nations General Assembly meetings during 2012-2021. The simulation results imply a potentially significant loss of international diversification benefits of financial openness for the considered advanced economies by limiting trading to partner countries that are geopolitical allies with highly synchronized business cycles.

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