The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper emphasizes the importance of total factor productivity (TFP) developments in the nontradables sector to quantitatively demonstrate that the time-honored Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis does not generally apply to episodes of economic growth. Though the Balassa- Samuelson hypothesis postulates that strong economic growth should, in general, be accompanied by a real appreciation in exchange rates, this paper does not find such systematic links. This is because some growth spurts are marked by equal TFP gains in both the tradables and nontradables sectors, and others by larger TFP gains in the nontradables sector.