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  • Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs: General x
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Marvin Cardoza, Mr. Francesco Grigoli, Mr. Nicola Pierri, and Mr. Cian Ruane
We show that domestic production networks shape worker flows between firms. Data on the universe of firm-to-firm transactions for the Dominican Republic, matched with employer-employee records, reveals that about 20 percent of workers who change firms move to a buyer or supplier of their original firm. This is a considerably larger share than would be implied by a random allocation of movers to firms. We find considerable gains associated with this form of hiring: higher worker wages, lower job separation rates, faster firm productivity growth, and faster coworker wage growth. Hiring workers from a supplier is followed by a rising share of purchases from that supplier. These findings indicate that human capital is easily transferable along the supply chain and that human capital accumulated while working at a firm is complementary with the intermediate products/services produced by that firm.
Nazim Belhocine and Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia
Italy’s labor productivity in market services has declined since 2000, underperforming manufacturing and peer European countries, especially in strongly regulated sectors. A model of monopolistic competition is used to identify which service sectors would benefit more from removing entry and/or exit barriers. Using Italian firm-level data, the paper finds that sectors with high markups, such as professional services, would primarily benefit from removing entry barriers. Sectors with a large mass of unproductive firms, such as retail, would instead benefit from removing exit barriers. Policy recommendations to improve efficiency are outlined in relation to the sectoral priorities identified in the data.
Jorge Alvarez and Mr. Cian Ruane
We assess the aggregate productivity impact of distortions arising from labor regulations in Mexico and how they interact with informality. Using employment surveys and a firm-level economic census, we document a number of novel features about informal firms in Mexico. We then construct and estimate a model of heterogeneous firms and endogenous informality to study the micro and macro impacts from various policy reforms. Some reforms may have large impacts on informal employment but small impacts on aggregate productivity.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar and Simon Voigts
We argue that in an economy with downward nominal wage rigidity, the output gap is negative on average. Because it is more difficult to cut wages than to increase them, firms reduce employment more during downturns than they increase employment during expansions. This is demonstrated in a simple New Keynesian model with asymmetric wage adjustment costs. Using the model's output gap as a benchmark, we further show that common output gap estimation methods exhibit a systematic bias because they assume a zero mean. The bias is especially large in deep recessions when potential output tends to be most severely underestimated.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Lithuania picked up steam in 2017, following two years of sluggish growth. Real GDP expanded by 3.9 percent largely because of the acceleration of investment, which benefited from credit growth and high capacity utilization. Private consumption remained the main engine of growth, though it was held back by decelerating real wages. The external current account swung to a modest surplus with exports benefiting from past investments in export capacity and improved external demand. Growth in 2018 is projected at 3.2 percent, mainly because of weaker exports after a very strong performance in 2017 and a slowdown of consumption driven by negative employment growth.