Working Papers

Growth Forecasts for Foreign Exchange Constrained Economies

2012: Insufficiency of foreign exchange may at times constrain the growth of small open economies which lack the domestic resources to produce import substitutes for their consumption, investment and input needs. This study explores the foreign exchange constraint in three small open Caribbean economies, using a structural model of the relationship of foreign exchange earnings and growth, and the economies’ openness to international markets. The model is used to evaluate the prospects of economic growth for these economies, based on the forecast availability of foreign exchange.

A Review of the VAT System in Barbados

2012: The paper finds that (a) the proportion of indirect taxes in total revenue remained unchanged after the introduction of the VAT; (b) the yield of the VAT relative to the rate of tax, was no higher than for the consumption tax in the period prior to its introduction; (c) the costs of administering the VAT and customs duties were about the same, relative to their yields, before and after the introduction of the VAT; and (d) the consumption taxes that preceded the VAT were more buoyant in response to changes in income, and more elastic, than was the VAT.

Competitiveness in the Caribbean and Central America

2012: This study includes measures of price and non-price competitiveness in the Caribbean. Results suggest that most countries have become more price competitive, while the smaller Caribbean islands have increased their advantage in the exports of goods and services and international finance. Preliminary estimates also provide some evidence that aggregate world demand, local investment and price competitiveness improve the growth of production in the tradable sector.