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Dongyeol Lee
Through the 2000s, Korea’s export and import linkages to advanced and emerging markets increased significantly. At the same time, the correlation of output growth between Korea and these economies rose. This paper investigates the nature of the link between trade linkages and the comovement of international business cycles (BC) using Korean industry-level domestic and international input-output data. The results suggest that, at the industry-level, higher export linkages lead to a larger positive GDP growth comovement, while higher import linkages lead to higher negative employment growth comovement. Furthermore, the decomposition of aggregate BC comovement shows that the increase in trade with China has contributed the most to aggregate BC comovement, while the impact of trade linkages on BC comovement is propagated domestically via vertical linkages. These findings suggest that the Korean economy can be significantly affected by a few countries that are highly linked through trade to Korea and/or a few industries that are highly interconnected to other industries.
Manoj Atolia, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Milton Marquis, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
This paper takes a fresh look at the current theories of structural transformation and the role of private and public fundamentals in the process. It summarizes some representative past and current experiences of various countries vis-a-vis structural transformation with a focus on the roles of manufacturing, policy, and the international environment in shaping the trajectory of structural transformation. The salient aspects of the current debate on premature deindustrialization and its relation to a middle-income trap are described as they relate to the path of structural transformation. Conclusions are drawn regarding prospective future paths for structural transformation and development policies.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recovered relative to 2016, but the momentum is weak and per capita incomes are expected to barely increase. Further, vulnerabilities have risen in many countries, adding to the urgency of implementing the fiscal consolidations planned in most countries and with stepped up efforts to strengthen growth.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recovered relative to 2016, but the momentum is weak and per capita incomes are expected to barely increase. Further, vulnerabilities have risen in many countries, adding to the urgency of implementing the fiscal consolidations planned in most countries and with stepped up efforts to strengthen growth.

International Monetary Fund
Diversification and structural transformation play important roles in influencing the macroeconomic performance of low-income countries (LICs). Increases in income per capita at early stages of development are typically accompanied by a transformation in a country’s production and export structure. This can include diversification into new products and trading partners as well as increases in the quality of existing products.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Alun H. Thomas, Mr. Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu, and Ms. Yingyuan Chen
This paper documents stylized facts on the process of structural transformation around the world and empirically analyzes its determinants using data on real value added by sector of economic activity (agriculture, manufacturing and services) for a panel of 168 countries over the period 1970-2010. The analysis points to large differences in sector shares both across and within regions as well as for countries at similar levels of economic development. Using both linear and quantile regression methods, it finds that a large proportion of the cross-country variation in sector shares can be accounted for by country characteristics, such as real GDP per capita, demographic structure, and population size. It also finds that policy and insitutional variables, such as product market reforms, openness to trade, human and physical capital, and finance improve the baseline model’s ability to account for the variation in sectoral shares across countries.
Mr. Chris Papageorgiou and Mr. Nikola Spatafora
Limited diversification is an underlying characteristic of many low-income countries (LICs). Concentration in sectors with limited scope for increases in productivity and quality may result in less broad-based and sustainable growth. Moreover, lack of diversification may increase exposure to adverse external shocks and macroeconomic instability. The SDN will have three objectives. First, to review and extend the evidence, from the existing literature and ongoing IMF work, that points to diversification as a crucial aspect of the development process. A major focus will be on cross-country and cross-regional differences in the pace of diversification. Second, to draw lessons from the experiences of those countries that have successfully diversified their economies. Third, to analyze the relationship between diversification, growth, and volatility.
Mr. Andrei A Levchenko and Mr. Julian Di Giovanni
Countries that trade more with each other exhibit higher business cycle correlation. This paper examines the mechanisms underlying this relationship using a large cross-country industry-level panel dataset of manufacturing production and trade. We show that sector pairs that experience more bilateral trade exhibit stronger comovement. Vertical linkages in production are an important explanation behind this effect: bilateral international trade increases comovement significantly more in cross-border industry pairs that use each other as intermediate inputs. Our estimates imply that these vertical production linkages account for some 30% of the total impact of bilateral trade on the business cycle correlation.
Mr. Sergio Rebelo, Ms. Piyabha Kongsamut, and Danyang Xie
Balanced growth models are commonly used in macroeconomics because they are consistent with the well-known Kaldor facts regarding economic growth. These models, however, are inconsistent with one of the most striking regularities of the growth process—the massive reallocation of labor from agriculture into manufacturing and services. This paper presents a simple model consistent with both the Kaldor facts and the dynamics of sectoral labor reallocation. The model shows that balanced growth can be consistent with structural change.
Mr. Federico Mini and Mr. Guido De Blasio
Information on seasonal frequencies can provide valuable insights for understanding economic fluctuations. This is particularly true for Italy, where the variability of production in manufacturing is extremely high and almost entirely due to seasonal factors. This paper discusses the option of exogenous seasonality resulting from changes in underlying technology and preferences, versus the possibility of endogenous seasonality arising because of synergies across agents. It then highlights the size of the seasonally-driven capacity slack and discusses its relevance from a welfare standpoint.