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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper investigates the reasons for the growth pickup in Paraguay and explores the potential for sustainable future growth. It shows that the growth acceleration over the past 15 years is the combined result of a few factors: a bounce back from the crisis in the late 1990s and the subpar growth of the two decades prior; a benevolent external environment, the commodity price boom in particular; and the improved macroeconomic stability. Also in terms of its composition, growth in the past has largely been extensive, mostly coming from capital deepening and increasing labor inputs, rather than productivity increase, though total factor productivity growth has played a bigger role in the most recent years. Despite strong growth in recent years, like most of the Latin America, seen over a longer period, Paraguay has not attained significant economic convergence with advanced economies. Empirical data shows a strong linkage between the GDP per capita of a country and its score in a composite structural indicator such as the World Competitiveness Index, which Paraguay ranked poorly on. Identifying and correcting Paraguay’s structural deficiencies that may be hampering productivity growth and capital accumulation will be crucial for sustainable growth.
Bertrand Gruss
After skyrocketing over the past decade, commodity prices have remained stable or eased somewhat since mid-2011—and most projections suggest they are not likely to resume the upward trend observed in the last decade. This paper analyzes what this turn in the commodity price cycle may imply for output growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. The analysis suggests that growth in the years ahead for the average commodity exporter in the region could be significantly lower than during the commodity boom, even if commodity prices were to remain stable at their current still-high levels. Slower-than-expected growth in China represents a key downside risk. The results caution against trying to offset the current economic slowdown with demand-side stimulus and underscore the need for ambitious structural reforms to secure strong growth over the medium term.
Mr. Harm Zebregs
Since the beginning of the 1990s, foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries has increased dramatically. The distribution of FDI flows across these countries, however, is highly uneven; only a small number attract comparatively large amounts of foreign capital. This paper investigates whether the pattern of FDI flows can be explained by the standard neoclassical model or by modified versions of this model that allow for differences in production technologies across countries. The results suggest that the standard neoclassical approach is not particularly useful if we want to understand FDI flows to developing countries.
Ms. Natasha X Che
Uruguay experienced one of its biggest economic booms in history during 2004-2014. Since then, growth has come down significantly. The paper investigates the various causes of the boom and discusses the sustainability of these causes. It then compares Uruguay against high-growth countries that were once at a similar income level, across a broad set of structural indicators, to identify priority reform areas that could improve long-term growth prospect.
Ms. Natasha X Che
This paper presents a set of collaborative filtering algorithms that produce product recommendations to diversify and optimize a country's export structure in support of sustainable long-term growth. The recommendation system is able to accurately predict the historical trends in export content and structure for high-growth countries, such as China, India, Poland, and Chile, over 20-year spans. As a contemporary case study, the system is applied to Paraguay, to create recommendations for the country's export diversification strategy.