International finance

Thorsten Beck, Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, Maurice Obstfeld, Andrea Presbitero, 12 April 2018

Research has shown that financial inclusion is closely linked to economic development and growth. However, more work is needed to establish the magnitude and channels of this effect and to pinpoint the types of financial services that have a stronger payoff without threatening financial stability. This column tackles these questions by presenting new evidence from a recent IMF-DFID conference on financial inclusion. It also suggests avenues for future research on the topic.

Stefan Avdjiev, Leonardo Gambacorta, Linda Goldberg, Stefano Schiaffi, 20 March 2018

The post-crisis period has seen a considerable shift in drivers of international bank lending and international bond issuance, the two main components of global liquidity. This column describes how the sensitivity of cross-border lending to global risk conditions declined substantially post-crisis, becoming similar to that of international bond issuance. This fall largely reflects a change in the composition of international lenders.

Marion Jansen, Joost Pauwelyn, Theresa Carpenter, 31 January 2018

International economic dispute settlement is under increased scrutiny. How are decisions made about the ‘fairness’ of national or foreign policies? How are damages to be paid by governments to private investors calculated? This column introduces a book with contributions from academics and practitioners that explore whether economists can be of use in addressing these and other contentious questions in international trade and investor–state disputes.

Barry Eichengreen, Arnaud Mehl, Livia Chiţu, 02 January 2018

Economists have provided detailed analyses of the economic basis of international currency status, but they have paid less attention to the geopolitical underpinnings.  This column sheds light on the geopolitical premium enjoyed by the US thanks to its security alliances and ‘dollar diplomacy’.

Marlene Amstad, Eli Remolona, Jimmy Shek, 28 October 2017

Global investors are assumed to differentiate between economies using economic fundamentals. This column uses returns on sovereign CDS contracts for 18 emerging markets and ten advanced countries to argue that fundamentals do not drive these decisions. Instead, most of the variation across sovereigns reflects whether or not the country is designated as an 'emerging market'. Investment strategies tend simply to replicate benchmark portfolios.

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