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Ruchir Agarwal, Ina Ganguli, Patrick Gaulé, and Geoff Smith
This paper studies the impact of U.S. immigration barriers on global knowledge production. We present four key findings. First, among Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medalists, migrants to the U.S. play a central role in the global knowledge network—representing 20-33% of the frontier knowledge producers. Second, using novel survey data and hand-curated life-histories of International Math Olympiad (IMO) medalists, we show that migrants to the U.S. are up to six times more productive than migrants to other countries—even after accounting for talent during one’s teenage years. Third, financing costs are a key factor preventing foreign talent from migrating abroad to pursue their dream careers, particularly for talent from developing countries. Fourth, certain ‘push’ incentives that reduce immigration barriers—by addressing financing constraints for top foreign talent—could increase the global scientific output of future cohorts by 42 percent. We concludeby discussing policy options for the U.S. and the global scientific community.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper evaluates corporate and banking sector vulnerabilities in India. The analysis shows that while corporate sector risks have subsided, debt repayment capacity remains strained, and high leverage continues to weigh on corporate resilience, which may pose further risks to banks’ asset quality. Public sector banks have stepped up recognition of nonperforming assets, but their debt recovery capacity remains weak. Simulations suggest that potential recapitalization needs, at current provisioning levels, should have a modest fiscal impact.
International Working Group on External Debt Statistics
This issue of Finance & Development examines the good and bad sides of globalization. Sebastian Mallaby notes that after decades of increasing cross-border movements of capital, goods, and people, only migration continues apace. Capital flows have collapsed, and trade has stagnated. However, rather than a sign of retreat, trade and finance may be resetting to a more sustainable level consistent with continued globalization. IMF Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld takes a closer look at trade. Ismaila Dieng profiles Leonard Wantchekon, a former activist who plans to train the next generation of African economists. Wantchekon, now a professor at Princeton University, is one of the few African economists teaching at a top US university. His research, which has received considerable attention from development economists, focuses on the political and historical roots of economic development in Africa.
Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad, Mr. Giorgio Brosio, and Mr. Vito Tanzi
There is a widespread presumption that decentralization improves public service provision. This has led to policy prescriptions that are assiduously adhered to by countries and international. This paper reviews the recent evidence from OECD countries-which is seen to be inconclusive. This suggests the need for a careful design of programs that take into account the political economy constraints and incentives, as well as more systematic and thorough evaluations of outcomes.
Ludger Schuknecht and Mr. Vito Tanzi
This paper describes the growth of public spending in industrial countries over the past century. It identifies several periods: the periods between 1870 and 1913; the period between the two World Wars; the post World War II period up to 1960; and the period after 1960. Public spending started growing during World War I but its growth accelerated after 1960. The paper outlines the reasons for this growth and speculates that recent government growth has not brought about much economic or social progress. The paper sees the future of government mainly in setting the “rules of the game,” and provides a rough blueprint for reform. It also discusses experiences with government reform in selected count les, and predicts that over the next decades, public spending as a share of GDP will fall.