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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.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper highlights Cabo Verde’s First Review Under the Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) and Request for Modification of Targets. Performance under the PCI-supported program has been strong. All reform targets were met, with some measures put in place ahead of schedule; and all end-September 2019 quantitative targets were met, except for the floor on tax revenue, missed by a narrow margin due to lower-than-projected taxes on international trade. Economic prospects for 2020 are clouded by the expected impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), resulting from the global economic downturn and travel restrictions which adversely affect tourism flows, foreign direct investment and remittances. Coordinated support from Cabo Verde’s development partners will be needed to support the authorities’ efforts in addressing the economic and social impact of COVID-19. The medium-term outlook remains positive although risks are tilted to the downside. Growth is expected to rebound in 2021 and return to the pre-COVID-19 medium-term trajectory of about 5 percent as the global economy recovers, and the authorities maintain their structural reform efforts to improve the business environment and build the economy’s resilience to adverse shocks.
Davide Furceri, Jun Ge, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Gabriele Ciminelli
Many countries are experiencing persistent, weak medium-term growth and limited fiscal space. Against this background, economic policy agendas—in both advanced and developing economies—are focusing increasingly on structural reforms. While there is broad agreement on the economic benefits of structural reforms, the political-economy of reform is less settled. This is because reforms may generate gains only in the longer term while distributional effects may be sizable in the short run, and because governments may lack political capital to confront vocal interest groups. In these circumstances, politicians may hold back on reforms, fearing they will be penalized at the ballot box. The aim of this Staff Discussion Note is to examine whether the fear of a political cost associated with structural reforms is justified by the available evidence, and whether there are lessons from the data about how reform strategies might be designed to mitigate potential political costs. It provides a major addition to recent IMF analysis examining the output and employment effect of reforms