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Mr. Bas B. Bakker
In the last few decades, real GDP growth and investment in advanced countries have declined in tandem. This slowdown was not the result of weak demand (there has been no shift along the Okun curve), but of a decline in potential output growth (which has shifted the Okun curve to the left). We analyze what happens if central banks mistakenly diagnose the problem as insufficient demand, when it is actually a supply problem. We do this in a real model, in which inflation is not an issue. We show that aggressive central bank action may revive gross investment, but it will not revive net investment or growth. Moreover, low interest rates will lead to an increase in the capital output ratio, a low return on capital and high leverage. We show that these forecasts are in line with what has happened in major advanced countries.
Johannes Eugster, Giang Ho, Ms. Florence Jaumotte, and Mr. Roberto Piazza
How important is foreign knowledge for domestic innovation outcomes? How is this relation shaped by globalization and the attendant intensification of international competition? Our empirical approach extends the previous literature by analyzing a large panel comprising industries in both advanced and emerging economies over the past two decades. We find that barriers to the domestic diffusion of foreign knowledge have fallen significantly for emerging economies. For all countries, and especially for emerging economies, inflows of foreign knowledge have a growing and quantitatively important impact on domestic innovation. Controlling for the amount of domestic R&D, we find evidence that increases in international competitive pressure at the industry level had a positive effect on domestic innovation outcomes
Mr. Sami Ben Naceur, Mr. Robert Blotevogel, Mr. Mark Fischer, and Haiyan Shi
This paper examines how financial development affects the sources of growth—productivity and investment—using a sample of 145 countries for the period 1960-2011. We employ a range of econometric approaches, focusing on the CCA and MENA countries. The analysis looks beyond financial depth to capture the access, efficiency, stability, and openness dimensions of financial development. Yet even in this broad interpretation, financial development does not appear to be a magic bullet for economic growth. We cannot confirm earlier findings of an unambiguously positive relationship between financial development, investment, and productivity. The relationship is more complex. The influence of the different dimensions of financial development on the sources of growth varies across income levels and regions.
Hui He, Ms. Nan Li, and Jing Fang
This paper examines whether the rapid growing firm patenting activity in China is associated with real economic outcome by building a unique dataset uniting detailed firm balance sheet information with firm patent data for the period of 1998-2007. We find strong evidence that within-firm increases in patent stock are associated with increases in firm size, exports, and more interestingly, total factor productivity and new product revenue share. Event studies using first-time patentees as the treatment group and non-patenting firms selected based on Propensity-Score Matching method as the control group also demonstrate similar effects following initial patent application. We also find that although state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on average have lower level of productivity and are less innovative compared to their non-state-owned peers, increases in patent stock tend to be associated with higher productivity growth among SOEs, especially for patents with lower innovative content. The latter could reflect the preferential government policies enjoyed by SOEs.