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Mr. Bas B. Bakker, Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, Alex Ho, and Vibha Nanda
In the last few decades there has been little convergence of income levels in Latin America with those in the United States, in sharp contrast with both emerging Asia and emerging Europe. This paper argues that lack of convergence was not the result of low investment. Latin America is poorer because of lower human capital levels and lower TFP—not because of a lower capital-output ratio. Cross-country differences of TFP in turn are associated with differences in human capital, governance and business climate indicators. We demonstrate that once levels of human capital and governance are taken into account, there is strong conditional cross-country convergence. Poor countries with high levels of human capital, governance or business climate indicators converge rapidly. Poor countries without those attributes do not. We show that low investment is the result of low TFP and thus GDP growth—not the cause.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A Technical Assistance (TA) Mission from the Regional Technical Assistance Center for Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, visited the city of San Salvador, El Salvador, on August 13–24, 2018, to provide TA to the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador (BCRES) on compiling annual accounts by institutional sectors (AAIS) from 2014 onwards, as part of the data series from the base year of 2005. In March 2018, the BCRES published a dataset of quarterly and annual national accounts series by economic activity; a monthly volume indicator; backcasted series from 1990–2014; and Supply and Use Tables (SUT) from 2005 and 2014, with a base year of 2005. As part of the dataset to be prepared and disseminated in the new 2005 base year, the authorities requested TA to compile annual accounts focusing on institutional sectors starting in 2014.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A Technical Assistance (TA) Mission from the Regional Technical Assistance Center for Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, visited the city of San Salvador, El Salvador, on August 13–24, 2018, to provide TA to the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador (BCRES) on compiling annual accounts by institutional sectors (AAIS) from 2014 onwards, as part of the data series from the base year of 2005. In March 2018, the BCRES published a dataset of quarterly and annual national accounts series by economic activity; a monthly volume indicator; backcasted series from 1990–2014; and Supply and Use Tables (SUT) from 2005 and 2014, with a base year of 2005. As part of the dataset to be prepared and disseminated in the new 2005 base year, the authorities requested TA to compile annual accounts focusing on institutional sectors starting in 2014.
Germán Gutiérrez, Callum Jones, and Mr. Thomas Philippon
We combine a structural model with cross-sectional micro data to identify the causes and consequences of rising concentration in the US economy. Using asset prices and industry data, we estimate realized and anticipated shocks that drive entry and concentration. We validate our approach by showing that the model-implied entry shocks correlate with independently constructed measures of entry regulations and M&As. We conclude that entry costs have risen in the U.S. over the past 20 years and have depressed capital and consumption by about seven percent.
Mariana Colacelli and Mr. Gee Hee Hong
Productivity growth in Japan, as in most advanced economies, has moderated. This paper finds supportive evidence for the important role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in explaining Japan’s modest productivity growth. Results show a substantial dispersion in firm-level productivity growth across sectors and even across firms within the same sector. SMEs, on average, exhibit lower productivity growth than non-SMEs in Japan, with smaller and older SMEs showing particularly low productivity growth. Estimates suggest that boosting productivity growth in all of the worst-performing SMEs could improve overall productivity growth by up to 1.8 percentage points. The SME credit guarantee system, SME financing constraints, demographic factors, and lack of intangible capital investment are discussed as contributors to the slow productivity growth of Japan’s small and old SMEs.
Mai Chi Dao and Chiara Maggi
Using cross-country national accounts and firm-level data, we document a broad-based trend in rising gross saving and net lending of non-financial corporates across major industrialized countries over the last two decades, though most pronounced in countries with persistent current account surpluses. We find that this trend holds consistently across major industries, and is concentrated among large firms, driven by rising profitability, lower financing costs, and reduced tax rates. At the same time, higher gross corporate saving have not supported a commensurate increase in fixed capital investment, but instead led to a build-up of liquid financial assets (cash). The determinants of corporate cash holding and saving are also broad-based across countries, with the growth in assets of large firms, R&D intensity, and lower effective tax rates accounting for most of the increase over the last 15 years.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
As part of the Switzerland State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) project, a technical assistance mission visited Jakarta, Indonesia, during January 8–12, 2018, to develop the capacity to compile integrated sectoral accounts and balance sheets data. The mission reviewed the results of the work undertaken to implement the recommendations of the September 2017 mission.