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International Monetary Fund

Using official data from the Australian Bureau of Economic Statistics and a formal growth accounting framework, this paper shows that the rapid accumulation of information processing and communication technology (ICT) capital over the last two decades in Australia has played a significant role in explaining the impressive, structural acceleration of labor productivity. The following statistical data are also included: household income, expenditure and savings, labor market, fiscal indicators, credit aggregates, capital and financial account, external assets and liabilities, export by commodity group, and so on.

Ian M.D. Little, Adrian Lambertini, and Carl Dahlman

This paper discusses quantitative indicators that measure such macroeconomic variables as the growth of national product, inflation. The importance of considering several indicators in a dynamic context becomes particularly relevant during periods when needed economic and financial adjustment measures are undertaken. Rationales given for maintaining negative real interest rates in developing countries range from keeping down the cost of servicing the public sector’s debt, or of investment, to avoiding the consequences of other policies.

Alessandro Penati, Frederick Moore, Carl Dahlman, Leif E. Christoffersen, Ridley Nelson, James Blalock, and Shahid Yusuf

This paper reviews the increasing private capital flows to less developed countries. The share of developing countries in the foreign direct investment is small, perhaps less than 30 percent of the total. The effects of this decline in the volume of foreign investment and the continued problem of capital flight have been aggravated by the serious fall in commercial bank lending to developing countries as a group and by a decline in official development assistance.

Mick Silver

Unit value export and import indices compiled from returns to customs authorities are often used as surrogates for price indices in the analysis of inflation transmission, terms of trade (effects), and to deflate import and export value series to derive volume series. Their widespread use is mainly due to their low cost relative to establishment price surveys. This paper provides evidence of substantial errors and bias in their representation of such price changes. Their continued use would mislead economic analysis. The paper considers the efficacy of alternative strategies for their improvement, and argues for a move to establishment-based price surveys.

Johannes Eugster, Giang Ho, Ms. Florence Jaumotte, and Mr. Roberto Piazza

More rapid diffusion of know-how is an important benefit of globalization

Ms. Dalia S Hakura and Ms. Florence Jaumotte
Research shows that international trade is an important channel for the transfer of technology. Building on this evidence, this paper examines the effects of inter- and intraindustry trade on technology transfer. The paper develops and tests the hypothesis that intraindustry trade stimulates more technology transfer than interindustry trade because countries are likely to absorb foreign technologies more easily when their imports are from the same sectors as their production and export sectors. The results of empirical tests for 87 countries during 1970–93 support this hypothesis.
Ehsan U. Choudhri and Ms. Dalia S Hakura
The paper estimates an empirical relation based on Krugman’s ‘technological gap’ model to explore the influence of the pattern of international trade and production on the overall productivity growth of a developing country. A key result is that increased import competition in medium-growth (but not in low- or high-growth) manufacturing sectors enhances overall productivity growth. The authors also find that a production-share weighted average of (technological leaders’) sectoral productivity growth rates has a significant effect on the rate of aggregate productivity growth.
Mr. Etienne B Yehoue and Gilles J. Dufrénot
We combine some newly developed panel co-integration techniques and common factor analysis to analyze the behavior of the real exchange rate (RER) in a sample of 64 developing countries. We study the dynamic of the RER with its economic fundamentals: productivity, the terms of trade, openness, and government spending. We derive a number of common factors that explain the dynamic of the RER in our sample. We find that while some fundamentals such as productivity, terms of trade, and openness are strongly related to these common factors in low-income countries, no such link is found for the middle-income countries. We also derive the misalignment indices, which seem to reproduce recent episodes of overvaluation and undervaluation in a number of countries.