The staff report for the Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement on the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia highlights economic developments and policies. FYR of Macedonia’s economic performance since independence has been marked by notable achievements in macroeconomic management, as well as some disappointments in the area of structural reforms. Inflation was brought down from hyperinflation levels to the low single digits by the de facto exchange rate peg, which was sustained in spite of sometimes challenging circumstances.
We develop a model to analyze the implications of firing costs on incentives for R & D and international specialization. The key idea is that, to avoid paying firing costs, the country with a rigid labor market will tend to produce relatively secure goods, at a late stage of their product life cycle. Under international trade, an international product cycle emerges where, roughly, new goods are first produced in the low firing cost country and then move to the high firing cost country. We show that in the closed economy, an increase in firing costs does not necessarily imply a reduction in R & D; it crucially depends on the riskiness of R & D activity relative to production activity. In the open economy, however, an increase in firing cost is much more likely to reduce R & D intensity.