Источник
Выбор редакции
26 декабря 2013, 09:00

Growth and competitiveness as factors of Eurozone external imbalances : evidence and policy implications

  • 0

The paper assesses the contribution of key factors associated with external imbalances in the Eurozone through the estimation of a panel-data vector autoregressive model over 1975-2011. Growth fluctuations, initially associated with demand booms triggered by unusually low interest rates and later with demand contractions resulting from the crisis and policy adjustments, have been key drivers of current account fluctuations. Changes in competitiveness, measured by real exchange rates or unit labor costs, have played a less important role. Demand shocks have contributed more to current account balance dynamics in the Eurozone periphery than in the core, whereas competitiveness has been a less prominent factor in the periphery but relatively more important in the core. Changes in competitiveness are positively associated with changes in growth. Preventing imbalances from building up in a context of growing financial integration and easy finance warrants enhanced mutual surveillance of fiscal imbalances, but also better regulation of credit markets to prevent excess leverage and concentration of lending in investments prone to speculative bubbles. Coordination of fiscal policy across the Eurozone would facilitate the management of external imbalances without placing an often unwarranted burden on fiscal tightening in countries with sound fiscal positions affected by credit booms. The policies of internal devaluation implemented in the periphery, aimed at promoting external competitiveness, may have had only limited effectiveness in restoring the external balance to equilibrium.

Выбор редакции
26 декабря 2013, 09:00

In the wake of the global crisis : evidence from a new quarterly database of export competitiveness

  • 0

Over the past two decades, international trade has become a privileged engine of growth for much of the developing world. With the global economy evolving continuously and rapidly, countries must pay close attention to their positioning on the map of global trade and production. Within this framework, countries must also become aware of how they fare relative to competitors and to their past export performance. Of particular importance is the extent to which their performance is driven by exporter own supply-side capacity as opposed to external or compositional factors, including product and geographical specialization and how these trends compare across countries. This paper describes a new initiative that uses quarterly data for 2005q1-2013q1 to compute comparable indicators of export performance for 228 countries and territories. The database, the Export Competitiveness Database, reveals interesting patterns in trade performance. Export performance, stripped of compositional effects, was strongest for countries from the Asia and Pacific region, on average. Moreover, such performance was almost entirely driven by exporting country specific factors, with changes reflecting growth in volume rather than price developments. All emerging and developing regions have, on average, improved export performance. The indicators in the database trace the legacy of supply-side capacity and the overall export performance of the double-dip recession in the euro area. An illustrative set of results suggests that the paper's measure of competitiveness correlates to a country's nominal and real effective exchange rate, factors that are commonly perceived as important determinants of competitiveness.

Выбор редакции
16 декабря 2013, 09:00

Stunted growth : why don't African firms create more jobs ?

  • 0

Many countries in Africa suffer high rates of underemployment or low rates of productive employment; many also anticipate large numbers of people to enter the workforce in the near future. This paper asks the question: Are African firms creating fewer jobs than those located elsewhere? And, if so, why? One reason may be that weak business environments slow the growth of firms and distort the allocation of resources away from better-performing firms, hence reducing their potential for job creation. The paper uses data from 41,000 firms across 119 countries to examine the drivers of firm growth, with a special focus on African firms. African firms, at any age, tend to be 20-24 percent smaller than firms in other regions of the world. The poor business environment, driven by limited access to finance, and the lack of availability of electricity, land, and unskilled labor have some value in explaining this difference. Foreign ownership, the export status of the firm, and the size of the market are also significant determinants of firm size. However, even after controlling for the business environment and for characteristics of firms and markets, about 60 percent of the size gap between African and non-African firms remains unexplained.

Выбор редакции
12 декабря 2013, 09:00

The impact of high school financial education : experimental evidence from Brazil

  • 0

This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive financial education program spanning six states, 868 schools, and approximately 20,000 high school students in Brazil through a randomized control trial. The program increased student financial knowledge by a quarter of a standard deviation and led to a 1.4 percentage point increase in saving for purchases, better likelihood of financial planning, and greater participation in household financial decisions by students. "Trickle-up" impacts on parents were also significant, with improvements in parent financial knowledge, savings, and spending behavior. The study also finds evidence that the program affected students' inter-temporal preferences and attitudes.

Выбор редакции
11 декабря 2013, 09:00

Macro prudential policies from a micro prudential angle

  • 0

The standard macro(prudential) models focus on externalities and treat all prudential instruments as alternative, but equivalent, forms of Pigouvian taxes. This paper explicitly models individual banks' risk choices and shows that different prudential instruments affect banks' risk-taking incentives differently. Thus, conflicts may arise between the micro and macro prudential stance.

Выбор редакции
09 декабря 2013, 09:00

Risky business : political instability and greenfield foreign direct investment in the Arab world

  • 0

Which foreign direct investments are most affected by political instability? Analysis of quarterly greenfield investment flows into countries in the Middle East and North Africa from 2003 to 2012 shows that adverse political shocks are associated with significantly reduced investment inflows in the non-resource tradable sectors. By contrast, investments in natural resource sectors and non-tradable activities appear insensitive to such shocks. Consistent with these patterns, the significant reduction in investment inflows in Arab Spring affected economies was starkest in the non-resource manufacturing sector. Political instability is thus associated with increased reliance on non-tradables and aggravated resource dependence. Conversely, how intensified political instability affects aggregate foreign direct investment is critically contingent on the initial sector composition of these flows.

Выбор редакции
09 декабря 2013, 09:00

Size and age of establishments: evidence from developing countries

  • 0

Survey data from 120 developing countries are used to examine the relation between establishment size and age in the formal sector. Existing research suggests that manufacturing establishments in developing countries do not grow over time, most likely because of market imperfections and regulations. To the contrary, this paper finds that the average plant in developing countries that is more than 40 years old employs almost five times as many workers as the average plant that is five years old or younger. The analysis finds consistent evidence when it looks within a large country, India, based on detailed manufacturing census data over 23 years. It also finds that differences in financial development across Indian states, while substantial, have a minor effect on firm growth, consistent with inefficiency of state-owned financial systems. These results hold controlling for differences in labor regulations across states, capital intensity, labor regulations, and firms born before and after the major reforms.

Выбор редакции
09 декабря 2013, 09:00

Size and age of establishments: evidence from developing countries

  • 0

Survey data from 120 developing countries are used to examine the relation between establishment size and age in the formal sector. Existing research suggests that manufacturing establishments in developing countries do not grow over time, most likely because of market imperfections and regulations. To the contrary, this paper finds that the average plant in developing countries that is more than 40 years old employs almost five times as many workers as the average plant that is five years old or younger. The analysis finds consistent evidence when it looks within a large country, India, based on detailed manufacturing census data over 23 years. It also finds that differences in financial development across Indian states, while substantial, have a minor effect on firm growth, consistent with inefficiency of state-owned financial systems. These results hold controlling for differences in labor regulations across states, capital intensity, labor regulations, and firms born before and after the major reforms.

Выбор редакции
09 декабря 2013, 09:00

Escaping the capability trap: turning "small" development into "big" development

  • 0

The international development community has been grappling with the challenges of implementing development programs and, consequently, with the design of practical approaches to attaining program objectives. This paper contributes to the emerging discussion on addressing the implementation capacity gap in developing countries. It presents the post-conflict experience of Burundi in building the capacity of its public sector to deliver basic services and demonstrates a practical approach to implementing what has been called problem-driven iterative adaptation. The Leadership for Results approach shows that a results-focused process of learning through disciplined experimentation enables local officials and stakeholders to more willingly learn and adopt new ways of doing things. This approach can be structured to address the time inconsistency between a development program and political or electoral concerns, both of which are critical to overcome implementation challenges.

Выбор редакции
25 ноября 2013, 09:00

Exporter dynamics, firm size and growth, and partial year effects

  • 0

Two otherwise identical firms that enter the same market in different months, one in January and one in December, will report dramatically different annual sales for the first calendar year of operations. This partial year effect in annual data leads to downward biased observations of the level of activity upon entry and upward biased growth rates between the year of entry and the following year. This paper examines the implications of partial year effects using Peruvian export data. The partial year bias is very large: the average level of first-year exports of new exporters is understated by 65 percent and the average growth rate between the first and second year of exporting is overstated by 112 percentage points. This paper re-examines a number of stylized facts about firm size and growth that have motivated rapidly expanding theoretical and empirical literatures on firm export dynamics. Correcting the partial year effect eliminates unusually high growth rates in the first year of exporting, raises initial export levels, and shifts 10 percent of market entrants from below to above the median size. Revisiting an older set of facts on firm size and growth, the paper finds that correcting for partial year biases reduces the number of small firms in the firm size distribution and weakens the negative relationship between firm growth and firm size.

Выбор редакции
25 ноября 2013, 09:00

Exporter dynamics, firm size and growth, and partial year effects

  • 0

Two otherwise identical firms that enter the same market in different months, one in January and one in December, will report dramatically different annual sales for the first calendar year of operations. This partial year effect in annual data leads to downward biased observations of the level of activity upon entry and upward biased growth rates between the year of entry and the following year. This paper examines the implications of partial year effects using Peruvian export data. The partial year bias is very large: the average level of first-year exports of new exporters is understated by 65 percent and the average growth rate between the first and second year of exporting is overstated by 112 percentage points. This paper re-examines a number of stylized facts about firm size and growth that have motivated rapidly expanding theoretical and empirical literatures on firm export dynamics. Correcting the partial year effect eliminates unusually high growth rates in the first year of exporting, raises initial export levels, and shifts 10 percent of market entrants from below to above the median size. Revisiting an older set of facts on firm size and growth, the paper finds that correcting for partial year biases reduces the number of small firms in the firm size distribution and weakens the negative relationship between firm growth and firm size.

Выбор редакции
18 ноября 2013, 09:00

Starting a foreign investment across sectors

  • 0

The ease of starting a foreign investment in various sectors is a relevant consideration for investors seeking to establish an investment project abroad. Two thematic areas will be analyzed in this paper to answer the following questions: Which economies impose equity ownership restrictions on foreign investors and which procedural barriers do foreign companies face when establishing foreign-owned subsidiaries in these economies? The analysis is based on findings from the Foreign Direct Investment Regulations indicators, which measure 103 economies, on whether they restrict foreign ownership across economic sectors and on the establishment process they impose on foreign-owned companies. Nearly 80 percent of the economies covered in the Foreign Direct Investment Regulations database restrict foreign companies from entering in some sectors of their economies. In addition, establishing a foreign-owned company takes longer and requires more steps than starting a domestically-owned company in 94 percent of the economies observed. Overall, economies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and high-income OECD economies have fewer equity restrictions on foreign ownership than economies in the other regions and require the least number of additional procedures of foreign companies to establish a subsidiary. The findings are significantly correlated with inflows of foreign direct investment on a per-capita basis.