After more than a year of grappling with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many middle-income countries (MICs) will continue to experience health and economic dislocation for some time to come. While much of the global financial community’s attention has focused on supporting low-income countries (LICs), about 75 percent of the world’s poor are in MICs, and economic recovery in these countries will be critical to an equitable and sustainable global future.
A Decision Tree for Digital Financial Inclusion Policymaking is a comprehensive analytical framework to diagnose the factors significantly impeding improvements in digital financial inclusion in specific country settings. The methodology has been published as a CGD working paper and applied to five case studies: Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Pakistan.
These challenges notwithstanding, Latin America is beginning to benefit from a more benign global economic outlook that is anchored, among other factors, in an expansion in global demand, a resumption of capital flows to emerging markets, and a boom in commodity prices. In this context, the Committee believes that, while the social and political resistance to reforms (particularly on the fiscal side) has understandably intensified, the region must rise to the challenge and convert the expected cyclical (post-COVID) rebound into a more promising scenario for job creation.
An Analysis of the Binding Constraints on Digital Financial Inclusion in India Using a Decision Tree Methodology
The past decade has seen significant innovation and growth in the volume and value of digital payments in India. However, we find that the associated gains have been heavily concentrated in favor of wealthier and urban customers and have had less impact on lower income and rural populations. While some customers now have a far greater selection of quick, cheap, and convenient digital payments methods, as much as 65 percent of the population remains effectively excluded.
Sound Banks for Healthy Economies: Challenges for Policymakers in Latin America and the Caribbean in Times of Coronavirus
The purpose of this report is twofold: to identify and discuss a set of challenges, and to develop key recommendations. The overarching goal is to provide support to policymakers in the region who may face difficult decisions to ensure that banks play a constructive role and support families and firms through and beyond the current crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global shock that hit Latin America particularly hard.
In recent years, a large number of countries have implemented policy changes to advance financial inclusion, especially by using digital financial services (DFS). However, results are mixed.
Latin America’s economic growth has declined significantly in the last decade. Although a variety of causes can potentially explain this result, there are some structural weaknesses that distinguish Latin America from other regions in the developing world.
Mexico’s financial risks and the policies being adopted by the new administration cannot be adequately assessed without recognizing key features that characterize certain initial conditions.
A CGD Task Force assessed the implications of Basel III for EMDEs and provided recommendations for both international and local policymakers to make Basel III work for these economies. This brief summarizes the key findings and recommendations.
The report considers three different channels through which Basel III can affect financial stability and development in EMDEs: (1) effects on the volume, composition, and stability of capital flows arising from the implementation of Basel III in advanced economies; (2) effects on financial stability and a level playing field from the adoption of the Basel framework by the home countries of affiliates of foreign banks operating in EMDEs; and (3) effects on financial stability, broad access to financial services, and deepening of local financial systems from the implementation of Basel III by EMDEs themselves.
The last presidential elections in Argentina (2015) and in Brazil (2018), represent a change from populism towards more orthodox economic policies in two important countries in the region. This shift is not only economic but also reflects other fundamental changes in the electorate, in particular the growing dissatisfaction of the population with issues such as weak security and growing corruption in political institutions.
The economic impacts of Donald Trump’s trade dispute with China have so far been limited, but the countries of Latin America are nonetheless paying an early price. For a region where many economies are already constrained by weakened fiscal positions, the additional uncertainty caused by rising protectionism is especially unwelcome.
Paraguay: Is Good Macro Policy Enough to Ensure Adequate Resilience to Adverse External Shocks? How Does It Compare to Other Emerging Markets? - Working Paper 477
This paper assesses the resilience of Paraguay’s economic and financial stability to external shocks and reaches two main conclusions.
Towards the Argentine Presidency in the G20: What Macro-Financial Challenges Does the Region Face and What Are the Implications for the Debate?
After the slowdown of the Chinese economy and the sharp decrease in commodity prices, the Latin American macroeconomic outlook has worsened substantially in relation to the boom that occurred between 2003 and 2012, despite favorable external conditions characterized by significantly high liquidity in international capital markets and a strong economic recovery in developed nations.
An Index of Regulatory Practices for Financial Inclusion in Latin America: Enablers, Promoters, and Preventers - Working Paper 468
This paper constructs an index of regulatory quality for improving financial inclusion for the purpose of assessing and comparing the quality of rules and regulations in a sample of eight Latin American countries.
A rise in protectionism and increased external uncertainty may compound already existing domestic weaknesses. Latin America cannot run the risk of being unprepared for the significant potential direct and indirect effects of such a menace to its exports, capital inflows and growth.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, the IMF undertook a series of reforms to its lending facilities to manage volatility and help prevent future crises. The reforms included the adoption of two new lending instruments: the Flexible Credit Line (FCL), introduced in 2009, and the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL), introduced in 2011. They are meant to serve as precautionary measures—effectively, as insurance—for member states with a proven track economic record. Yet, the IMF’s precautionary instruments remain underutilized.