Antoine Berthou, John Jong-Hyun Chung, Kalina Manova, and Charlotte Sandoz
We examine the gains from globalization in the presence of firm heterogeneity and potential resource misallocation. We show theoretically that without distortions, bilateral and export liberalizations increase aggregate welfare and productivity, while import liberalization has ambiguous effects. Resource misallocation can either amplify, dampen or reverse the gains from trade. Using model-consistent measures and unique new data on 14 European countries and 20 industries in 1998-2011, we empirically establish that exogenous shocks to export demand and import competition both generate large aggregate productivity gains. Guided by theory, we provide evidence consistent with these effects operating through reallocations across firms in the presence of distortions: (i) Both export and import expansion increase average firm productivity, but the former also shifts activity towards more productive firms, while the latter acts in reverse; (ii) Both export and import exposure raise the productivity threshold for survival, but this cut-off is not a sufficient statistic for aggregate productivity; (iii) Efficient institutions, factor and product markets amplify the gains from import competition but dampen those from export access.
While there is growing evidence of persistent or even permanent output losses from financial crises, the causes remain unclear. One candidate is intangible capital – a rising driver of economic growth that, being non-pledgeable as collateral, is vulnerable to financial frictions. By sheltering intangible investment from financial shocks, counter-cyclical macroeconomic policy could strengthen longer-term growth, particularly so where strong product market competition prevents firms from self-financing their investments through rents. Using a rich cross-country firm-level dataset and exploiting heterogeneity in firm-level exposure to the sharp and unforeseen tightening of credit conditions around September 2008, we find strong support for these theoretical predictions. The quantitative implications are large, highlighting a powerful stabilizing role for macroeconomic policy through the intangible investment channel, and its complementarity with pro-competition product market deregulation.
Mr. Olumuyiwa S Adedeji, Mr. Erik Roos, Mr. Sohaib Shahid, and Ling Zhu
This paper provides empirical evidence that the size of the spillovers from U.S. monetary
policy to non-oil GDP growth in the GCC countries depends on the level of oil prices. The
potential channels through which oil prices could affect the effectiveness of monetary policy
are discussed. We find that the level of oil prices tends to dampen or amplify the growth
impact of changes in U.S. monetary policy on the non-oil economies in the GCC.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Financial System Stability Assessment paper on Thailand highlights that assets of the insurance and mutual fund sectors have doubled as a share of gross domestic product over the last decade, and capital markets are largely on par with regional peers. The report discusses significant slowdown in China and advanced economies, a sharp rise in risk premia, and entrenched low inflation would adversely impact the financial system. Stress tests results suggest that the banking sector is resilient to severe shocks and that systemic and contagion risks stemming from interlinkages are limited. Financial system oversight is generally strong, but the operational independence of supervisory agencies can be strengthened further. The operational independence of supervisory agencies can be strengthened further by reducing the involvement of the Ministry of Finance in prudential issues and ensuring that each agency has full control over decisions that lie within its areas of responsibility.