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Ms. Louise Fox, Mr. Alun H. Thomas, and Cleary Haines
This paper provides the most complete analysis of the structural transformation among low- and low-middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa to date.
Mr. Vladimir Klyuev
Thailand stands out in international comparison as a country with a high dispersion of productivity across sectors. It has especially low labor productivity in agriculture—a sector that employs a much larger share of the population than is typical for a country at Thailand’s level of income. This suggests large potential productivity gains from labor reallocation across sectors, but that process—which made a significant contribution to Thailand’s growth in the past—appears to have stalled lately. This paper establishes these facts and applies a simple model to discuss possible explanations. The reasons include a gap between the skills possessed by rural workers and those required in the modern sectors; the government’s price support programs for several agricultural commodities, particularly rice; and the uniform minimum wage. At the same time, agriculture plays a useful social and economic role as the employer of last resort. The paper makes a number of policy recommendations aimed at facilitating structural transformation in the Thai economy.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Giang Ho, and Ms. Annette J Kyobe
This paper empirically assesses the role of structural and institutional reforms in driving productivity growth across countries at different stages of development, using a distance-to-frontier framework. It gauges whether particular policies and reforms matter more for increasing productivity growth at the aggregate and sectoral levels for some emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) than others. Recognizing the possibility of time lags between reform implementation and reform payoffs, the paper also examines how productivity gains from various reforms evolve over the the short- and medium-term.
International Monetary Fund
This paper undertakes a cross-country analysis of productivity growth at both the aggregate and sectoral level. It finds that Asia's remarkable output growth over the past 40 years reflected both high investment, and rapid productivity increases. These factors were in turn supported by the region's relatively strong institutional and policy environment, which encouraged resource shifts from low- to high-productivity sectors. Looking ahead, sustaining rapid growth requires meeting a number of key challenges: (i) implementing reforms to boost productivity in the increasingly important, but currently lagging, service sectors; (ii) providing policy support for continuing the shift of resources from agriculture to industry and services; (iii) strengthening policy frameworks in late-developing countries.