Working Papers 2012 Abstract

 

Aid Securitization: Beyond IFFIm

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/127
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The International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm), which securitized future aid commitments by donor countries, has been successful in providing funds to immunize children in poor
countries. Since capital is likely to remain scarce, the paper evaluates the prospects of setting up
IFFIm-like mechanisms to fund a variety of objectives. Two broad conclusions emerge. First, replicating IFFIm could prove challenging because donor pledges will lack the desired credibility. Second, credit enhancements like third party guarantees, excess coverage, and channeling of pledges through a preferred creditor, could overcome this deficiency. Finally, Advance Market Commitments and
Cash on Delivery are alternatives to deliver some of the advantages of IFFIm.

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Overcoming the Technical and Political Difficulties of Using SDRs for Development Purposes

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2013/DWP/126
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This paper argues that the technical and political difficulties of using SDRs for development can be overcome. This requires an SDR-based reserve system and a fully SDR-funded IMF. The IMF would allocate SDRs counter-cyclically and treat them as deposits of countries, which could be used in lending to them. A substitution account is needed for a smooth transition from major reserve currencies to SDRs. To avoid the deficiency payments, a counterpart account – which would be credited when the substitution account is in surplus and debited when in deficit – is required. Alternatively, politically-feasible cost-sharing mechanisms could be designed.

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Innovative Development Finance:The Latin American Experience

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/124
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This paper assesses the scope and impact of innovative development finance (IDF) in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries in the 2000s. It also reports the views from the region’s relevant actors regarding IDF. The paper finds that very little IDF flowed to LAC in the 2000s, though it was significant for a few, poorer, and smaller countries, such as Haiti and Nicaragua. The views from the region suggest that LAC should fight for greater share of existing and prospective IDF, but also make better use of other available resources, such as remittances and flows through South-South cooperation.

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International Tax Cooperation and Innovative Development Finance

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/123
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Effective income and wealth taxation is a central development cooperation issue because taxation of foreign companies and their own residents’ overseas assets remain problematic for developing countries. Estimates of the scale of undeclared expatriated profits and overseas assets, and thus the income tax lost to developing countries, are large relative to other forms of innovative development finance. The international cooperation required involves information exchange between jurisdictions to allow the full application of existing tax codes. This expanded global tax base would be a more sustainable and equitable system than the traditional donor-recipient relationship.

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The international development strategy beyond 2015: taking demographic dynamics into account

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/122
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Demographic dynamics have strong repercussions for development and need to be addressed in the definition of the global development strategy for post 2015. Despite divergent trends across countries, international migration offers no definitive solution. A comprehensive approach is needed. Countries with declining and ageing workforces need to sustain or raise productivity. Countries with growing labour forces need to embark in growth patterns that are labour intensive, offer possibilities for dynamic structural change and productivity increases. Both cases require investments in education, skill formation and upgrading. The impact of population ageing on economic variables is nuanced but should not be ignored.

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From aid to global development policy

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/121
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The international community has advanced in reforming the international aid system. Such reform comes at a time when there is a renewed skepticism about aid effectiveness and when the crisis sheds new doubts about the sustainability of donors´ commitments. At the same time, the international reality has changed as a consequence of the growing heterogeneity of the developing world, the new geography of global poverty, the emergence of new powers from the developing world, the presence of new aid players and, finally, the enlargement of the sphere of international public goods. Such changes demand a deeper reform in the development cooperation system.

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Building a stable and equitable global monetary system

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/118
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This paper argues that SDRs should become a more relevant instrument of international monetary cooperation. This requires transforming them into a pure reserve asset and the IMF into a fully SDR-funded institution. SDRs would then be issued counter-cyclically and treated as deposits of countries in the IMF, which can in turn lend to countries. This approach would correct basic deficiencies of the current global monetary system. Complementary reforms include a substitution account for an orderly and smooth transition from major reserve currencies to SDRs, and the issuance of SDR-denominated bonds as an alternative to other major short-term assets.

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Should global goal setting continue, and how, in the post 20-15 era?

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/117
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The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were introduced to monitor implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration which set out a vision for inclusive and sustainable globalization based on human rights principles. This paper critically assesses the MDG experience including their policy purpose, ethical commitments, political origins, and consequences. It proposes that post-2015 goals should be based on principles of equity, sustainability and human security and address key contemporary challenges such as climate change, unemployment, inequality and global market instability.

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Learning from the past: Which of the past/current development strategies are best suited to deal with the ‘quadruple crisis’?

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/116
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During the last decade, the world economy has experienced a worsening in financial stability, food prices, income inequality and environmental conditions. Seven development strategies are evaluated to determine which could help solve ‘quadruple crisis’. These strategies are assessed using a common methodology which first documents the economic, social, environmental and food security policies adopted, and then assesses their outcomes using 11 performance indicators. The strategies are then ranked on the basis of their overall success score. While all strategies produced some positive results, the East Asian Miracle and the new Latin American development approach generated the greatest number of favourable outcomes.

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Financial sector compensation and excess risk-taking—a consideration of the issues and policy lessons

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/115
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This paper surveys the ways that the structure and magnitude of financial sector compensation can generate incentives for excessive risk taking. It also highlights the underlying economic and institutional forces that have underpinned and sustained these pay structures, including aspects of corporate governance in financial institutions, regulatory capture by financial elites, the nature of the labour market for finance professionals and the extended economic boom of the 1990s and 2000s. The measures endorsed by the Financial Stability Board and the G20 for sound compensation practices do not go far enough in several areas; a broader set of measures need consideration.

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Financing small-scale infrastructure investments in developing countries

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/114
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In most developing countries a shortage of long-term, local-currency financing for small-scale infrastructure projects impedes local economic development. Inadequate fiscal transfers, little own source revenue and low creditworthiness make it difficult for local governments to fully fund projects on their own. This paper proposes the use of project finance as a means to attract financing from domestic banks and institutional investors. Donors can play a catalytic role by providing technical assistance to develop projects and credit enhancement to attract commercial financing.

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Reason, Empathy, and Fair Play: The Climate Policy Gap

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/113
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To achieve the greatest possible human welfare, the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Climate and Regional Economics of Development (CRED) model calls for rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to keep cumulative 21st century carbon dioxide emissions below 2,000 Gt. We explain why as some other models claim very slow emission reductions are best. We make three changes to the basic assumptions of the well-known DICE model to include the most recent estimates of economic damages from climate change, express greater concern about the well-being of future generations, and expect rich countries to invest in emissions and poverty reduction in poorer countries.

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The Imprudence of Labour Market Flexibilization in a Fiscally Austere World

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/112
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This paper assesses the effects of combining fiscal austerity with flexibilization policies aimed at reducing labour costs and increasing competitiveness. Core to our analysis is a global perspective where the aggregation problem is fully taken into account. We derive a stylized macroeconomic framework of distributive and demand dynamics. We show that even in export-led regimes, after considering global feedbacks, flexibilization policies do not lead to higher income and employment. Rather, the end result is contractionary. Over time, the world economy is essentially wage-led and responds positively to coordinated Keynesian stimuli.

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Is the Distribution of Foreign Aid MDG-sensitive?

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/111
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This paper examines whether Official Development Assistance (ODA) is disproportionately allocated to countries that need to make the most progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We expect MDG-sensitive distribution of foreign aid – or a good donor-recipient match – to be guided by the principles of the Global Partnership for Development. When we apply the MDG-sensitivity criteria for aid allocation, the results indicate that ODA allocation since the Millennium Declaration has become more MDG-sensitive – ODA is given to countries that need it most. While such trends in aid disbursements are commendable, total aid flows, however, fall short of promised levels.

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Super-cycles of commodity prices since the mid-nineteenth century

  • Reference number: ST/ESA/2012/DWP/110
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Decomposition of real commodity prices suggests four super-cycles during 1865-2009 ranging between 30-40 years with amplitudes 20-40 percent higher or lower than the long-run trend. Non-oil price super-cycles follow world GDP, indicating they are essentially demand-determined; causality runs in the opposite direction for oil prices. The mean of each super-cycle of non-oil commodities is generally lower than for the previous cycle, supporting the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis. Tropical agriculture experienced the strongest and steepest long-term downward trend through the twentieth century, followed by non-tropical agriculture and metals, while real oil prices experienced a long-term upward trend, interrupted temporarily during the twentieth century.

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