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Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz
Chile’s small open economy with significant mismatch between the production and consumption baskets may be represented by three stylized sectors, a commodity sector, a non-commodity tradable sector, and a non-tradable sector. This paper estimates the effect of copper price shocks on mining, manufacturing, and construction—each embodying a sector type. The empirical findings are for positive spillovers from mining to the other two sectors. However, the estimated size of the spillovers seems modest, which raises the question of the potential for mining to be better integrated with the rest of the economy.
Miss Mali Chivakul and Mr. Waikei R Lam
This paper documents and assesses the risk stemming from rising corporate indebtedness in China using a firm-level dataset of listed firms. It finds that while leverage on average is not high, there is a fat tail of highly leveraged firms accounting for a significant share of total corporate debt, mainly concentrated in the real estate and construction sector and state-owned enterprises in general. The real estate and construction firms tend to face lower borrowing costs and could withstand a modest increase of interest rate shocks despite their high leverage. The corporate sector is however vulnerable to a significant slowdown in the real estate and construction sector. Our sensitivity analysis suggests that the share of debt that would be in financial distress would rise to about a quarter of total listed firm debt in the event of a 20 percent decline in real estate and construction profits.
Mr. Bennett W Sutton, Mrs. Genevieve M Lindow, Maria Isabel Serra, Mr. Gustavo Ramirez, and Maria Fernanda Pazmino
This paper presents empirical evidence on convergence of per capita output for regions within six large middle-income Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. It explores the role played by several exogenous sectoral shocks and differences in steady states within each country. It finds that poor and rich regions within each country converged at very low rates over the past three decades. It also finds evidence of regional "convergence clubs" within Brazil and Peru- the estimated speeds of convergence for these countries more than double after controlling for different subnational levels of steady state. For the latter countries and Chile, convergence is also higher after controlling for sector-specific shocks. Finally, results show that national disparities in per capita output increased temporarily after each country pursued trade liberalization.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

When Poland began its transformation to a market economy in 1989, it was in a deep crisis and thought to be facing greater challenges than its central and eastern European neighbors. By late 1991, however, it had begun to recover and went on to register remarkably strong growth in the 1990s. In their IMF Working Paper The “Soaring Eagle”: Anatomy of the Polish Take-Off in the 1990s, authors Mark De Broeck and Vincent Koen explain Poland’s success, put its overall growth performance in perspective, and look at the country’s growth prospects over the next few years.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper highlights that cautious monetary and fiscal polices of South Africa during 1997 resulted in a return of financial investor confidence and capital inflows during 1997 and through April 1998. These policies helped the South African economy emerge successfully from the exchange market pressures of 1996 and weather the contagion from the East Asian crisis in the second half of 1997. Throughout 1997 and up until May 1998, inflation and market interest rates fell considerably, net international reserves increased, and the net open forward position of the Reserve Bank was reduced sharply.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.