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Spillovers to Central America in Light of the Crisis: What a Difference a Year Makes

  • Andrew Swiston
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    This paper investigates Central America''s external linkages over the last fifteen years of increased integration in light of the 2008-09 global recession. Using structural VAR models, it is found that a one percent shock to U.S. growth shifts economic activity in Central America by 0.7 to 1 percent, on average. Spillovers from global shocks and the rest of the region also affect activity in some countries. Spillovers are mostly transmitted through advanced country financial conditions and fluctuations in external demand for Central American exports. Shocks to advanced economies associated with the 2008-09 financial crisis lowered economic activity in the region by 4 to 5 percent, on average, accounting for a majority of the observed slowdown. The impact was almost twice as large as elasticities estimated on pre-crisis data would have predicted. These results underscore the importance of operating credible policy frameworks that enable a countercyclical policy response to external shocks.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/35.

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    Length: 37
    Date of creation: 01 Feb 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/35
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    1. Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "Financial Integration, GDP Correlation and the Endogeneity of Optimum Currency Areas," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9857, Sciences Po.
    2. Norbert Fiess, 2007. "Business Cycle Synchronization and Regional Integration: A Case Study for Central America," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 49-72.
    3. César Calderón & Alberto E. Chong & Ernesto H. Stein, 2003. "Trade Intensity and Business Cycle Synchronization: Are Developing Countries any Different?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6501, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. World Bank, 2005. "Global Economic Prospects 2006 : Economic Implications of Remittances and Migration," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7306, September.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2008. "Capital Flow Bonanzas: An Encompassing View of the Past and Present," NBER Working Papers 14321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Imbs, Jean, 2004. "The Real Effects of Financial Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 4335, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. César Calderón & Alberto Chong & Ernesto H. Stein, 2003. "Trade Intensity and Business Cycle Synchronization: Are Developing Countries any Different?," Research Department Publications 4315, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    8. Connel Fullenkamp & Thomas F. Cosimano & Michael T. Gapen & Ralph Chami & Peter Montiel & Adolfo Barajas, 2008. "Macroeconomic Consequences of Remittances," IMF Occasional Papers 259, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Vahid, F & Engle, Robert F, 1993. "Common Trends and Common Cycles," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 341-60, Oct.-Dec..
    10. Serdar Sayan, 2006. "Business Cycles and Workers' Remittances: How Do Migrant Workers Respond to Cyclical Movements of GDP At Home?," IMF Working Papers 06/52, International Monetary Fund.
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