Mr. Antonio David, Mr. Takuji Komatsuzaki, and Samuel Pienknagura
This paper estimates the macroeconomic effects of structural reforms in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) using the dataset constructed by Alesina et al. (2020). We find that large changes in the reform index have positive effects on GDP and employment that reach 2 percent after 5 years. Furthermore, reforms boost investment, exports, imports,
and reduce export concentration, in addition to favoring tradable sectors. Nonetheless, the results also indicate that the effects of reforms have not been uniform across different segments of the population. These findings bring to the forefront the need to consider accompanying policies to ensure that reforms promote inclusive growth. Moreover, evidence from country case studies using the synthetic control method point to heterogeneous effects of reforms on income per capita.
Industrial policy is tainted with bad reputation among policymakers and academics and is often viewed as the road to perdition for developing economies. Yet the success of the Asian Miracles with industrial policy stands as an uncomfortable story that many ignore or claim it cannot be replicated. Using a theory and empirical evidence, we argue that one can learn more from miracles than failures. We suggest three key principles behind their success: (i) the support of domestic producers in sophisticated industries, beyond the initial comparative advantage; (ii) export orientation; and (iii) the pursuit of fierce competition with strict accountability.
This study investigates the likely macroeconomic impact of various structural reforms that align the Chilean regulatory framework with international best practices. In this context, the analysis: i) presents a comparison across a large set of structural indicators; ii) identifies policy gaps with respect to OECD countries; and iii) provides quantification of the likely growth and fiscal impact of policy reforms needed to close the gaps. Chile’s economy is likely to benefit from streamlining business regulation and licensing, strengthening innovation and R&D capacity, improving labor market flexibility, and enhancing active labor market policies. Overall, the study presents a scenario in which Chile closes structural gaps with OECD’s 25th percentile over five years, with up to 6 percent higher output level and a cumulative net fiscal gain of about ½ percent of GDP.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses whether there is a more efficient way of taxing labor in Argentina that has a minimal cost in terms of foregone revenues. Social security contributions for dependent workers are generally high in Argentina, despite the plethora of different regimes and exceptions. A reform of labor taxation in Argentina would need to address these inefficiencies. Reducing the tax wedge would stimulate employment and formalization, especially if targeted to low-paid workers, as there is evidence that it’s their employment that mostly responds to tax incentives. Argentina’s tax and transfer system appears to be less progressive than the estimated optimal one. The simulations suggest that the proposed changes would have a positive impact on economic activity and formality, with a minor cost in terms of foregone revenues. Greater labor supply and wages in the formal sector push up revenue from labor taxation, compensating part of the direct cost of the reform.