Источник
27 января 2014, 09:00

Does growth generate jobs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia ?

  • 0

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the link from growth to jobs was tenuous in the first decade of the transition, giving rise to the notion of jobless growth. Yet, European countries suffered large job losses during the recent recession, suggesting that jobs and growth are closely entwined. This study takes a new look at this issue. It provides a cross-country analysis of the employment intensity of growth over the last decade and a half in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which includes the 11 Central and Eastern European countries that joined the EU since 2004, the countries of former Yugoslavia, the Countries of Independent States and Turkey. The authors compare these findings with other regions in the world. The paper shows that the responsiveness of employment to output increased in the second decade of the transition. It also finds that in some instances employment growth increases with reforms of labor and product markets, stronger macroeconomic policy frameworks, better governance, and more economic integration and diversification.

27 января 2014, 09:00

Financial development in Asia : beyond aggregate indicators

  • 0

This paper documents the major trends in financial development in Asia since the early 1990s and the spillovers to firms. It compares Asia with advanced and emerging countries and uses both aggregate and disaggregate indicators. Financial systems in Asia remain less developed than in advanced countries but more developed than in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Bond and stock markets play a larger role and institutional investors have gained importance. Nonetheless, capital-raising activity has not expanded. A few large companies capture most of the issuances. Many secondary markets remain illiquid. The public sector captures a significant share of bond markets. The largest advancements in Asia occurred in China and India. But still in these countries, few large companies use capital markets to expand and grow, becoming much larger than nonuser firms. In sum, Asia's financial systems remain less developed than aggregate measures suggest, with few spillovers to many firms.

Выбор редакции
27 января 2014, 09:00

What goes up must come down -- cyclicality in public wage bill spending

  • 0

This paper analyzes the cyclicality of public sector wage bill spending in Europe and Central Asia and assesses the impact of wage bill spending on fiscal discipline before, during, and after the global financial crisis of 2008/09. While there are important differences across countries, the results show that public sector wage bill spending tends to behave strongly pro-cyclically, especially in transition economies. Moreover, while wage bill spending is pro-cyclical during both good and bad times, adjustments during economic downturns tend to be sharper than expansions during periods of economic booms. In addition, there is evidence of political cycles, with stronger wage bill growth in pre-election periods. Finally, the analysis reveals that while the size of the wage bill does not seem to systematically affect fiscal discipline across countries, expansions within countries over time are associated with deteriorating fiscal positions. These findings provide a strong impetus for public wage and employment policies that aim to restrain excessive growth of the wage bill during boom periods. This prospective management of the wage bill would not only reduce the need for painful adjustments during periods of fiscal consolidation, but also contribute to strengthening the overall countercyclical and stabilizing impact of fiscal policies.

Выбор редакции
23 января 2014, 09:00

Regulation and noncompliance : magnitudes and patterns for India's factories act

  • 0

Noncompliance with regulations by enterprises is said to be rife in developing countries. Yet there is limited systematic evidence of the magnitude of noncompliance at the enterprise level. Making innovative use of two complementary data sources, this paper quantifies noncompliance for India's Factories Act without the question of illegality ever being raised directly with enterprises. The paper finds that more than twice as many firms are not complying as are complying. Further, the number of noncompliant firms is much larger than the number of firms adjusting out of the regulation. Thus noncompliance with the Factories Act is a key feature of the "missing middle" in India. The paper explores the main trends and patterns of noncompliance and highlights a number of key issues for further analytical and policy research.

Выбор редакции
23 января 2014, 09:00

Housing finance across countries : new data and analysis

  • 0

This paper presents new data on the depth and penetration of mortgage markets across countries. There is a large variation across both dimensions of mortgage market development, across countries, but also -- in terms of depth -- within countries. Mortgage markets seem to develop only at relatively high levels of gross domestic product per capita. Policies associated with financial system development are also associated with mortgage market development, including price stability and the efficiency of contractual and information frameworks. The development of the insurance sector and the stock market, sources of long-term funding, is strongly associated with mortgage market development, while government subsidies and support are not. A benchmarking exercise compares the actual values of mortgage market development to values predicted by structural country factors and shows a large variation across countries and over time in the gap between predicted and actual values, related to specific policies but also mortgage boom and bust cycles.

22 января 2014, 09:00

Tapering talk : the impact of expectations of reduced federal reserve security purchases on emerging markets

  • 0

In May 2013, Federal Reserve officials first began to talk of the possibility of tapering their security purchases. This tapering talk had a sharp negative impact on emerging markets. Different countries, however, were affected very differently. This paper uses data on exchange rates, foreign reserves and equity prices between April and August 2013 to analyze who was hit and why. It finds that emerging markets that allowed the real exchange rate to appreciate and the current account deficit to widen during the prior period of quantitative easing saw the sharpest impact. Better fundamentals (the budget deficit, the public debt, the level of reserves, or the rate of economic growth) did not provide insulation. A more important determinant of the differential impact was the size of the country's financial market: countries with larger markets experienced more pressure on the exchange rate, foreign reserves, and equity prices. This is interpreted as showing that investors are better able to rebalance their portfolios when the target country has a relatively large and liquid financial market.

Выбор редакции
22 января 2014, 09:00

Ride the wild surf : an investigation of the drivers of surges in capital inflows

  • 0

Over the past 15 years, gross inflows to industrial and developing countries have enjoyed a wild ride. After reaching record highs in the run-up to the global financial crisis, they collapsed dramatically in 2008-09. As signs of global recovery reappeared, capital inflows resumed although at different speeds. The recovery in flows was faster and sharper in developing countries. This paper aims at understanding the (domestic and external) drivers of these surges in gross inflows using quarterly data for 67 countries from 1975 to 2010. It finds that domestic and external factors have significant explanatory power in driving surges of inflows. This finding holds for the sample of industrial countries whereas domestic factors play a significantly larger role in explaining surges to developing countries. Zooming into the findings shows that: (a) financial booms tend to attract massive capital inflows, (b) surges to either industrial or developing countries are driven by regional contagion, and (c) strong growth and natural resource abundance are keys to attract inflows of foreign capital into developing countries.

Выбор редакции
16 января 2014, 09:00

Financial sector policy in practice : benchmarking financial sector strategies around the world

  • 0

Policy makers use financial sector strategies to formulate a holistic policy for their national financial sectors. This paper examines and rates financial sector strategies around the world based on how well they formulate development targets, arrangements for systemic risk management, and implementation plans. The strategies are also rated on whether they consider policy trade-offs between financial development and systemic risk management. The rated strategies are then benchmarked against a wide range of country characteristics. The analysis finds that the scope and quality of national strategies for the financial sector are influenced by the country's type of legal system, its level of income and macroeconomic stability, the existing financial depth and inclusion, the share of foreign ownership in the national financial sector, and the experience of past financial crises. Giving due consideration to policy trade-offs, particularly between financial development and systemic risk management, remains the weakest part of these strategies. Countries with civil- and religious-based law and those with a higher share of foreign ownership in their financial system address the policy trade-offs more often.

16 января 2014, 09:00

Can you help someone become financially capable ? a meta-analysis of the literature

  • 0

This paper presents a systematic and comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature on financial education interventions. The analysis focuses on financial education studies designed to strengthen the financial knowledge and behaviors of consumers. The analysis identifies 188 papers and articles that present impact results of interventions designed to increase consumers' financial knowledge (financial literacy) or skills, attitudes, and behaviors (financial capability). These papers are diverse across a number of dimensions, including objectives of the program intervention, expected outcomes, intensity and duration of the intervention, delivery channel used, and type of population targeted. However, there are a few key outcome indicators where a subset of papers are comparable, including those that address savings behavior, defaults on loans, and financial skills, such as record keeping. The results from the meta analysis indicate that financial literacy and capability interventions can have a positive impact in some areas (increasing savings and promoting financial skills such as record keeping) but not in others (credit default).

Выбор редакции
15 января 2014, 09:00

Tailoring civil service pay analysis and advice to context : challenges, approaches, and the case of Lao PDR

  • 0

The adequacy of compensation for government workers and the affordability of the public sector wage bill are important concerns for many developing countries. Suitable pay is considered a necessary -- albeit far from sufficient -- condition for attracting and retaining skilled public sector staff. This paper makes the case for conducting fine-grained analysis of pay and compensation issues in order to enable an accurate assessment of the challenges faced and thereby to generate good-fit reform recommendations that are both principled and feasible. The first part of the paper focuses on prevalent challenges in pay reform, both contextual and analytical. It builds on the experiences from three very different settings: Armenia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Mongolia. The study begins by surveying some of the common difficulties in conducting granular analysis on civil service compensation. It then outlines a series of methodological approaches that can prove useful in developing comprehensive, targeted, and nuanced pay analyses and discusses how it is possible to overcome potential limitations in practice. The second half of the paper presents a case study of pay and compensation analysis in Lao PDR. The study illuminates how a number of these approaches can be combined in assessing a specific set of pay challenges and generating robust recommendations tailored to context. A brief postscript, with the benefit of hindsight on what subsequently happened on the ground in Lao PDR, reflects on the limitations of technical analysis in motivating reform implementation in practice.

Выбор редакции
14 января 2014, 09:00

Impact of export destinations on firm performance

  • 0

This paper evaluates the role of export destinations on productivity, employment, and wages of Turkish firms by comparing the performance of firms that export to low-income destinations and high-income destinations with firms that do not export. A combination of propensity score matching and difference-in-differences methods are employed on a rich set of firm observables, including sector, region, employment, total factor productivity (TFP), capital intensity, wages, support from government, ownership, and the research and development intensity of firms. Four sets of findings emerge from the analysis: i) Export entry has a positive causal effect on firm TFP and employment and this effect is strengthened as a firm continues to export. ii) In contrast, export entry has a moderate wage effect that emerges only with a lag. iii) Unlike exporting to high-income destinations, exporting to low-income destinations does not result in significantly higher firm TFP and wages. iv) The employment effect of exporting to low-income destinations is comparable to that of exporting to high-income destinations.

06 января 2014, 09:00

Triggers of contract breach : contract design, shocks, or institutions ?

  • 0

This paper constructs a large contract-level data set to examine factors that trigger breach of foreign investment contracts. Similar to the case of outright expropriation, political regime type is an important determinant of breach of contract. Furthermore, although investors' bargaining power becomes obsolete as contracts mature, contracts can be designed to mitigate the risk of breach of contract by involving multilateral organizations and creating buffers to absorb commodity price shocks. The paper examines the type of countries prone to contract breaches. After controlling for regional and sector fixed effects, less-democratic and resource-dependent governments are more likely to breach contracts, especially after large global shocks, notably natural disasters.