We shed new light on the determinants of growth by tackling the blunt and weak instrument problems in the empirical growth literature. As an instrument for each endogenous variable, we propose average values of the same variable in neighboring countries. This method has the advantage of producing variable-specific and time-varying—namely, “sharp”—and strong instruments. We find that export sophistication is the only robust determinant of growth among standard growth determinants such as human capital, trade, financial development, and institutions. Our results suggest that other growth determinants may be important to the extent they help improve export sophistication.
Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Aliona Cebotari, Xiaodan Ding, and Andras Komaromi
The paper applies a network analysis framework to analyze the regional and global
integration of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. We compare network-based
measures of trade integration to conventional measures, decomposing integration along
several dimensions to better understand the sources of trade connectivity and their impact on
growth. The paper finds that LAC countries are relatively well integrated in terms of links to
diversified markets, but the strength of those links is weak. Comparing trade integration to
predictions from gravity models, we find many LAC countries have significant scope to
improve connectivity and increase their roles in regional and world trade networks.
Global merchandise trade expanded rapidly over the last 6½ decades and its relationship
with global income has seen ebbs and flows. This paper examines the shifts in this
relationship using time series data over 1950-2014 and situates it in the current and
longer term context. The conjunctural context comes from, among other things, the “great
trade collapse” (GTC) and the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2009, and developments
since then. The longer term context comes from the relative role of “globalization” and
“technology” shocks in accounting for the short and long run variance of global exports
and income. The paper estimates trade and income elasticities using ADL models taking
account of structural breaks, and impulse response functions from structural VARs. The
estimated SVAR model provides a lens to ask whether global trade and income are in a
“new normal’ or only “back to (an old) normal” after the GTC and GFC.
Using a structural vector auto-regression (SVAR) model, this paper examines the size,
geographical sources, and transmission channels of global and regional shocks to the Armenian
economy. Results show that Armenian economic activity is strongly influenced by global
demand shocks and changes in oil prices, yet relatively immune to financial volatility.
Transmission takes place through the Russian and EU economies, remittances, and external
borrowing. The role of exports and tourism is low. Russia is key in transforming the potentially
negative impact of an increase in oil prices into a positive event, through stronger remittances
and exports. Services and construction, which depend significantly on remittances and external
borrowing, are the most affected by global and regional shocks.
Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Mehdi Hosseinkouchack, and Alexis Meyer-Cirkel
Sub-Saharan African countries are exposed to spillovers from global financial variables, but the impact on economic activity is more significant in more financially developed economies. Generalized impulse responses from a GVAR exercise demonstrate how the CBOE volatility index (VIX) and credit conditions around the globe impact a subset of sub-Saharan African economies and regions. The estimated relationships suggest that the effect of global uncertainty is more pervasive in exports, with the impact on economic and lending activities being mixed. The channels of transmission include the effects of global financial variables on commodity prices and on trading-partner’s macroeconomic and financial variables. The analysis suggests that shocks to credit conditions in the euro area and the U.S. have not significantly affected local lending conditions or economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa during 1991-2011, except perhaps in South Africa.
This paper investigates the prospects for Ireland to grow its economy against the backdrop of high indebtedness. The paper uses vector autoregressive analysis to explore the interlinkages among competitiveness, exports, economic growth, and fiscal performance. The emerging conclusion is that Ireland, which has regained cost competitiveness following the crisis-driven fall in domestic prices, is poised to return to its path of strong exports and economic growth and lower imbalances provided that it maintains competitiveness, though a pickup in external demand is critical. Three main findings underpin this conclusion. First, external demand is an important driver of exports and also the single most important determinant of Ireland’s GDP and government revenue. Second, declines in price competitiveness, featured by real effective exchange rate (REER) appreciations, restrain exports and economic growth. Third, exports boost output, which in turn enhances fiscal performance.
Mr. Abdul d Abiad, Petia Topalova, and Ms. Prachi Mishra
We analyze trade dynamics following past episodes of financial crises. Using an augmented gravity model and 179 crisis episodes from 1970-2009, we find that there is a sharp decline in a country’s imports in the year following a crisis-19 percent, on average-and this decline is persistent, with imports recovering to their gravity-predicted levels only after 10 years. In contrast, exports of the crisis country are not adversely affected, and they remain close to the predicted level in both the short and medium-term.
Tunisia’s reliance on European countries for export earnings, tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investment inflows has remained high over the last decades. Remittances and tourism receipts have been broadly stable in percent of GDP, with somewhat more fluctuations in the latter caused in part by identifiable political events that harmed tourism in the region. Tunisia’s annual growth rate appears to have become increasingly synchronized over time with the annual growth rate of its main European trading partners.