Advanced economies have been witnessing a pronounced slowdown of productivity growth since the global financial crisis that is accompanied in recent years by a withdrawal from trade integration processes. We study the determinants of productivity slowdown over the past two decades in four closely integrated European countries, Austria, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, based on firm-level data. Participation in global value chains appears to have affected productivity positively, including through its effect on TFP when facilitated by higher investment in intangible assets, a proxy for firm innovation. Other contributors to productivity growth in firms are workforce aging, access to finance, and skills mismatches.
Mr. Nadeem Ilahi, Mrs. Armine Khachatryan, William Lindquist, Ms. Nhu Nguyen, Ms. Faezeh Raei, and Jesmin Rahman
In the past 25 years, exports have contributed strongly to growth and economic convergence in many small open economies. However, the Western Balkan (WB) region, consisting of small emerging market economies, has not fully availed itself of this driver of growth and convergence. A lack of openness, reliance on low value products, and weak competitiveness largely explain the insignificant role of trade and exports in the region’s economic performance. This paper focuses on how the countries in the WB could lift exports through stronger integration with global value chains (GVCs) and broadening of services exports.
The experience of countries that joined the European Union in or after 2004 shows that participation in GVCs can help small economies accelerate export and income growth. WB countries are not well integrated into Europe’s vibrant GVCs. Trade within the region is also limited—it tends to be bilateral and not cluster-like. Our analysis shows that by improving infrastructure and labor skills and adopting trade policies that ensure investor protection and harmonize regulations and legal provisions, the region can greatly enhance its engagement with GVCs.
Services exports are an increasingly important part of global trade, and they offer an untapped source of growth. The magnitude of services exports from the WB region compares favorably with that of peers in Europe, particularly in travel services where several of these countries have a revealed comparative advantage. But there is significant room for growth in tourism exports and an untapped potential in business and information technology services exports that these countries can materialize through policy efforts that increase openness and enhance connectivity and labor skills. Serbia offers a good example of how decisive efforts, including education policies to ensure a sustained supply of skilled labor, can help information technology services exports to take off.
This Selected Issues paper investigates the direct and indirect exposure of the Czech Republic to these external risks. The Czech Republic is a small open economy that has become increasingly reliant on export-driven growth over the last three decades. Domestic value-added in foreign exports as a share of gross exports in the Czech Republic is higher than the average share of the European Union 28. Services have a relatively low contribution to value-added in gross exports. Given the high integration of the Czech Republic into global value chains, it is crucial to take supply chain linkages into account when assessing the impact of trade shocks. The exposure to Germany is even more pronounced at the sectoral level. Manufacturing of machinery and transportation vehicles account for a large share of exports and imports in the Czech Republic. Although the impact of the US-China trade disputes on the Czech Republic would likely be limited, a hard Brexit scenario or lower demand in Germany could have sizable effects.
Raju Huidrom, Nemanja Jovanovic, Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados, Ms. Laura Papi, Ms. Faezeh Raei, Mr. Emil Stavrev, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Europe is deeply integrated into global value chains and recent trade tensions raise the question of how European economies would be affected by the introduction of tariffs or other trade barriers. This paper estimates the impact of trade shocks and growth spillovers using value added measures to better gauge the associated costs across European countries.
Aqib Aslam, Natalija Novta, and Fabiano Rodrigues-Bastos
This paper sets out the key concepts necessary to calculate trade in value added using input-output tables. We explain the basic structure of an input-output table and the matrix algebra behind the computation of trade in value added statistics. Specifically, we compute measures of domestic value-added, foreign value added, and forward and backward linkages, as well as measures of both a country’s participation and position in global value chains. We work in detail with an example of a global input-output table for 3 countries each with 4 sectors, provided by the Eora Multi-Region Input-Output (MRIO) database. The aim is to provide an introduction to the analysis of global value chains for use in policy work. An accompanying suite of Matlab codes are provided that can be used with the full set of Eora MRIO tables.
Céline Allard, Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia, Emmanouil Kitsios, Mr. Juan P Trevino, and Ms. Wenjie Chen
This analysis of the extent of trade integration of sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries in the global economy as well as within the region over the 1995–2013 period focuses on four key concepts: (1) trade openness, captured by import and export flows; (2) the centrality in the global and regional trade network, a measure that takes into account not only the size of trade but also the number of trade partners and the respective weight of these trade partners in global trade; (3) gravity model estimates that account for country- and region-specific determinants of bilateral trade flows; and (4) global value chain (GVC) integration. Using both existing data and a newly available dataset based on multiregion input and output tables, this analysis led to several findings: (1) trade openness has increased strongly; (2) integration in the global economy has made the region more vulnerable to external shocks; (3) levels of trade flows emanating from sub-Saharan Africa are still only half the magnitude of those experienced elsewhere in the world; (4) the region still has ways to go to better integrate in GVCs; and (5) it is more critical than ever to make progress in filling the infrastructure gap by lowering tariff and nontariff barriers, improving the business climate and access to credit, and continuing to enhance education outcomes.
Mr. Kevin C Cheng, Sidra Rehman, Miss Dulani Seneviratne, and Shiny Zhang
Against the backdrop of the rise of global value chains (GVCs), particularly in Asia, this
paper documents key developments of GVCs and investigates what factors cause
economies to reap greater benefits from GVC participation. Key findings include: first,
moving toward a more upstream position in production and raising economic complexity
are associated with the country increasing its share of GVC value added. Second, fostering
GVC participation and expanding the share of the domestic value added in a value chain
require efforts to reduce trade barriers, enhance infrastructure, foster human capital
formation, support research and development, and improve institutions.
Mr. Clinton R. Shiells, Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo, Mr. Vladimir Klyuev, and Raghuram Rajan
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
This Selected Issues paper examines the effect of political instability on economic growth in Nepal. It uses publicly available data on political economy variables for 167 countries worldwide from 1970–2004 to estimate the impact of political instability on growth. The findings reveal that Nepal has witnessed higher political instability compared with other countries in the region. The paper also presents the salient features of political instability and growth for Nepal and other South Asian countries, and the econometric estimates of growth regressions to measure the effect of political instability on economic growth.
Mr. Rikhil Bhavnani, Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa, Mr. Arvind Subramanian, and Mr. David T. Coe
The failure of declining trade-related costs to be reflected in estimates of the standard gravity model of bilateral trade might be called the "missing globalization puzzle." This puzzle is most apparent in the estimated distance coefficients found in the literature, which show no evidence of declining in absolute value over time. In contrast, we find evidence of globalization, on both cross-section and panel data, reflected in a variety of measures of geography. Our estimation procedure is consistent with recent theoretical developments that emphasize the importance of relative costs for determining bilateral trade patterns. But the main reason our findings differ from previous studies is our nonlinear specification, which has a number of advantages over the standard log-linear specification.