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Mr. Antonio David, Mr. Takuji Komatsuzaki, and Samuel Pienknagura
This paper estimates the macroeconomic effects of structural reforms in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) using the dataset constructed by Alesina et al. (2020). We find that large changes in the reform index have positive effects on GDP and employment that reach 2 percent after 5 years. Furthermore, reforms boost investment, exports, imports, and reduce export concentration, in addition to favoring tradable sectors. Nonetheless, the results also indicate that the effects of reforms have not been uniform across different segments of the population. These findings bring to the forefront the need to consider accompanying policies to ensure that reforms promote inclusive growth. Moreover, evidence from country case studies using the synthetic control method point to heterogeneous effects of reforms on income per capita.
Gail Cohen, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Ricardo Marto
Recent discussions of the extent of decoupling between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and real gross domestic product (GDP) provide mixed evidence and have generated much debate. We show that to get a clear picture of decoupling it is important to distinguish cycles from trends: there is an Environmental Okun's Law (a cyclical relationship between emissions and real GDP) that often obscures the trend relationship between emissions and real GDP. We show that, once the cyclical relationship is accounted for, the trends show evidence of decoupling in richer nations—particularly in European countries, but not yet in emerging markets. The picture changes somewhat, however, if we take into consideration the effects of international trade, that is, if we distinguish between production-based and consumption-based emissions. Once we add in their net emission transfers, the evidence for decoupling among the richer countries gets weaker. The good news is that countries with underlying policy frameworks more supportive of renewable energy and supportive of climate change tend to have greater decoupling between trend emissions and trend GDP, and for both production- and consumption-based emissions.
Xiaodan Ding and Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov
This study analyzes composition of goods trade in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) along four main dimensions: revealed comparative advantage, product complexity, sophistication, and diversification. After describing some key trade patterns over the last half century, it compares the findings for LAC with other regions. Second, the study investigates how infrastructure quality, education, and tariff levels affect export composition. Third, using an approach based on product proximity, it aims to predict changes in LAC’s future composition of exports. The study concludes that policies to upgrade human capital and infrastructure are essential for increasing LAC’s export share in high-skill products.
Ms. Valerie Cerra
This paper investigates the determinants of sustained accelerations in goods and services exports. Strong predictors of export takeoffs include domestic and structural indicators such as lower macroeconomic uncertainty, improved quality of institutions, a depreciated exchange rate, and agricultural reforms. Lower tariffs, participation in global value chains and diversification also contribute to initiating export accelerations. The paper also finds heterogeneity, with somewhat different triggers for Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as for goods and services. Finally, despite the lack of a robust effect on output, export surges tend to be associated with lower post-acceleration unemployment and income inequality.
Mr. John C Bluedorn, Rupa Duttagupta, Mr. Jaime Guajardo, and Miss Nkunde Mwase
Growth takeoffs in developing economies have rebounded in the past two decades. Although recent takeoffs have lasted longer than takeoffs before the 1990s, a key question is whether they could unravel like some did in the past. This paper finds that recent takeoffs are associated with stronger economic conditions, such as lower post-takeoff debt and inflation levels; more competitive real exchange rates; and better structural reforms and institutions. The chances of starting a takeoff in the 2000s was triple that before the 1990s, with domestic conditions accounting for most of the increase. The findings suggest that if today’s dynamic developing economies sustain their improved policies; they are more likely to stay on course compared to many of their predecessors.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office


This fifth Annual Report describes the activities of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) during the year to April 30, 2008. This period saw the completion of two evaluations, "Structural Conditionality in IMF-Supported Programs" smf "Governance of the IMF".

Mr. Ewe-Ghee Lim
This paper summarizes recent arguments/findings on two aspects of foreign direct investment (FDI): its correlation with economic growth and its determinants. The first part focuses on recent literature regarding positive spillovers from FDI while the second deals with the determinants of FDI. The paper finds that while substantial support exists for positive spillovers from FDI, there is no consensus on causality. On determinants, the paper finds that market size, infrastructure quality, political/economic stability, and free trade zones are important for FDI, while results are mixed regarding the importance of fiscal incentives, the business/investment climate, labor costs, and openness.