More by Antonio David
We combine state-level fiscal data with household survey data to assess the links between sub-national fiscal policy and income inequality in Brazil over the period 1995-2011. The results indicate that a tighter fiscal stance at the sub-national level is not associated with a deterioration in inequality measures. This finding contrasts with the conclusions of several papers in the burgeoning literature on the effects of fiscal consolidation on inequality using national data for OECD economies. In addition, we find that a tighter stance is typically positively associated with a measure of “shared prosperity”. Hence, our results caution against extrapolating policy implications of the literature focusing on advanced economies to other settings.
Low-income countries (LIDCs) are typically characterized by intermittent and very modest access to private external funding sources. Motivated by recent developments in private flows to LIDCs this paper makes two contributions: First, it constructs a new comprehensive dataset on gross private capital flows with special focus on non-FDI flows in LIDCs. Concentrating on LIDCs and more specifically on gross non-FDI private flows is intentionally aimed at closing a gap in existing datasets where country coverage of developing economies is limited mainly to emerging markets (EMs). Second, using the new data, it identifies several shifting patterns of gross non-FDI private inflows to LIDCs. A surprising fact emerges: since the mid 2000's periods of surges in gross non-FDI private inflows in LIDCs are broadly comparable to those of EMs. Moreover, while gross non-FDI inflows to LIDCs are on average much lower than those to EMs, we show that the LIDC top quartile gross non-FDI inflow is comparable to the EM median inflow and converging to the EM top quartile inflow.
Using a newly developed dataset this paper examines the cyclicality of private capital inflows to low-income developing countries (LIDCs) over the period 1990-2012. The empirical analysis shows that capital inflows to LIDCs are procyclical, yet considerably less procyclical than flows to more advanced economies. The analysis also suggests that flows to LIDCs are more persistent than flows to emerging markets (EMs). There is also evidence that changes in risk aversion are a significant correlate of private capital inflows with the expected sign, but LIDCs seem to be less sensitive to changes in global risk aversion than EMs. A host of robustness checks to alternative estimation methods, samples, and control variables confirm the baseline results. In terms of policy implications, these findings suggest that private capital inflows are likely to become more procyclical as LIDCs move along the development path, which could in turn raise several associated policy challenges, not the least concerning the reform of traditional monetary policy frameworks.
This paper analyzes the links between financial and trade openness and financial development in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. It is based on a panel dataset using methods that tackle slope heterogeneity, cross-sectional dependence and non-stationarity, important econometric problems that are often ignored in the literature. The results do not point to a general direct robust link between trade and capital account openness and financial development in SSA, once we control for other factors such as GDP per capita and inflation. But there is some indication that trade openness is more important for financial development in countries with better institutional quality. The findings might be due to a number of factors including distortions in domestic financial markets, relatively weak institutions and/or poor financial sector supervision. Thus, African policy makers should be cautious about expectations regarding immediate gains for financial development from greater international integration. Such gains are more likely to occur through indirect channels.
This paper presents an analysis of the public investment scaling-up strategy for Togo using a dynamic macroeconomic model that explicitly analyzes the links between public investment, economic growth, and debt sustainability. In the model, public capital is productive and complementary to private capital, generating positive medium and long-run effects to increases in public investment. The model application indicates that a very large increase in public investment would have positive macroeconomic effects in the long-run, but would require unrealistic increases in the tax burden to cover recurrent costs and ensure debt sustainability. More modest increases in public investment would require more feasible increases in the tax burden, particularly if the efficiency of tax collection is improved. The model simulations also emphasize the importance of improvements in the efficiency of public investment to reap welfare gains. However, even if the macroeconomic implications of public investment scaling-up can be favorable in the long-run under certain assumptions on rates of return and efficiency of investment, the transition period is challenging and exposes the country to increased risk of unsustainable debt dynamics. The model was also used to assess the growth projections underlying the standard Excel-based debt sustainability analysis for Togo.
Using data from three household surveys, we review whether growth in Mauritius was inclusive and discuss the incidence of public expenditures and taxes. Generally, Mauritius enjoys an even income distribution and low rates of poverty. Nevertheless, over the 2000s, despite overall progress, the benefits of growth appear to have become more skewed. Employment income is the main contributor to inequality in Mauritius. Social protection expenditures reduce poverty and inequality, but could be better targeted, particularly for pensions. Income taxes are progressive, though given their small relative weight they have a negligible impact on income distribution. The VAT appears relatively progressive compared to other developing countries, although its impact on the overall distribution is also small. With better targeting of the sizable social spending, significant further progress in poverty alleviation could be achieved.
This paper identifies the factors linked to cross-country differentials in growth performance in the aftermath of social conflict for 30 sub-Saharan African countries using panel data techniques. Our results show that changes in the terms of trade are the most important correlate of economic performance in post-conflict environments. This variable is typically associated with an increase in the marginal probability of positive economic performance by about 30 percent. Institutional quality emerges as the second most important factor. Foreign aid is shown to have very limited ability to explain differentials in growth performance, and other policy variables such as trade openness are not found to have a statistically significant effect. The results suggest that exogenous factors ("luck") are an important factor in post-conflict recovery. They also highlight the importance in post-conflict settings of policies to mitigate the macroeconomic impact of terms of trade volatility (including countercyclical macroeconomic policies and innovative financing instruments) and of policies to promote export diversification.
This paper uses multivariate dynamic panel analysis to examine the response of international financial flows to natural disasters. The models estimated for a large sample of developing countries point to differentiated responses of specific types of financial flows. The results show that remittance inflows increase significantly in response to shocks to both climatic and geological disasters. The models suggest a nuanced role for foreign aid. While the responses of aid flows to natural disaster shocks in general tend not to be statistically significant, international assistance to low income countries increases following geological disaster shocks. Furthermore, the results show that typically, other private capital flows (bank lending and equity) do not attenuate the effects of disasters and in some specifications, even amplify the negative economic effects of these events. The conclusions of the paper have implications for capital/financial account management policies. In particular, countries should take their vulnerability to natural disasters into account when considering the costs and benefits of the liberalization of private capital flows.