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Mr. Adil Mohommad, Charlotte Sandoz, and Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon
At the macro level, productivity is driven by technology and the efficiency of resource allocation, as outcomes of firms’ decision making. The relatively high level of resource misallocation in India’s formal manufacturing sector is well documented. We build on this research to further investigate the drivers of misallocation, exploiting micro-level variation across Indian states. We find that states with less rigid labor markets have lesser misallocation. We also examine the interaction of labor market rigidities with informality which is a key feature of India’s labor markets. Our results suggest that reducing labor market rigidities in states with high informality has a net positive effect on aggregate productivity.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Summer 2017 issue of the IMF Research Bulletin highlights new research such as recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes. The Research Summaries are “Structural Reform Packages, Sequencing, and the Informal Economy (by Zsuzsa Munkacsi and Magnus Saxegaard) and “A Broken Social Contract, Not High Inequality Led to the Arab Spring” (by Shantayanan Devarajan and Elena Ianchovichina). The Q&A section features “Seven Questions on Fintech” (by Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli). The Bulletin also includes information on recommended titles from IMF Publications and the latest articles from the IMF Economic Review.
Rahul Anand and Purva Khera
This paper investigates the implications of lowering formal regulations in labor and product markets on informality and macroeconomic outcomes in India. We estimate a DSGE model with an informal sector, and rigidities in the formal labor and product markets. Along with increasing GDP and employment, deregulation also leads to lower informality and greater product market competition. Slow reallocation of resources between the formal and informal sectors leads to some adverse impacts in the short run that can be minimized by implementing a combined package of reforms. These impacts are shown to be greater in an economy with a larger informal sector.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar and Mr. Rodney Ramcharan
How important is luck in determining labor market outcomes? We address this question using a new dataset of all international test cricketers who debuted between 1950 and 1985. We present evidence that a player’s debut performance is strongly affected by an exogenous source of variation: whether the debut series is played at home or abroad. This allows us to identify the role of luck - factors unrelated to ability - in shaping future career outcomes. We find that players lucky enough to debut at home perform significantly better on debut. Moreover, debut performance has a large and persistent impact on long run career outcomes. We also make headway in empirically distinguishing between competing explanations for why exogenous initial conditions exercise a persistent impact on career performance
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Finland’s economy has made impressive strides in recent years, but will face the challenge of population aging earlier than any other country in the European Union, the IMF said in its annual economic assessment. Aided by strong productivity gains, a stable macroeconomic policy framework, low inflation, and sizable fiscal surpluses, the economy weathered the recent global slowdown relatively well, and an improved domestic and external climate is set to strengthen growth. However, structural unemployment remains high, and employment stagnant.

Ekhard Brehmer and Maxwell R. Bradford

This paper focuses on the subject of development and income distribution, and suggests a method whereby economic development can be skewed in favor of the poor. The paper underscores that improvements in the distribution of income can be achieved by applying shadow cost significantly below money cost to determine the social cost of employing members of low-income groups and to use the social consolidation strategy in the choice of technology in the physical construction of projects. The application of this method would result in the more extensive use of labor instead of capital equipment.