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Hilary Devine, Adrian Peralta-Alva, Hoda Selim, Preya Sharma, Ludger Wocken, and Luc Eyraud
The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the tension between large development needs in infrastructure and scarce public resources. To alleviate this tension and promote a strong and job-rich recovery from the crisis, Africa needs to mobilize more financing from and to the private sector.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper quantifies the short- and medium-term growth effects of major ongoing highway and railway projects in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A standard neoclassical growth model is augmented with public capital to capture both demand and supply-side effects of public infrastructure investments. The calibrated model suggests that the four ongoing highway and railway investments of 2–3 percent of GDP annually for 2014–18 are likely to raise the growth rate of real GDP by 0.5 percentage points on average for each year in 2014–20. Enhancing public investment efficiency can increase growth effects up to 0.8 percentage points.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The September 2015 issue of the IMF Research Bulletin covers a range of research topics. The Research Summaries featured in this issue are “Lower for Longer: Neutral Rates in the United States” (Andrea Pescatori and Jarkko Turunen) and “Economic Principles for Resource Revenue Management” (Anthony J. Venables and Samuel Wills). The Q&A article looks at “Seven Questions on Financing for Development” (Amadou Sy) and the global development agenda. The issue also includes special announcements on the 2015 Annual Research Conference and the 2015 IMF Annual Report, as well as new IMF publications. Readers will also find a link to a top-viewed article from the “IMF Economic Review”—the IMF’s official research journal.
Mr. Tidiane Kinda
Using manufacturing and services firm-level data for 30 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, this paper shows that taxation is not a significant driver for the location of foreign firms in SSA, while other investment climate factors, such as infrastructure, human capital, and insitutions, are. By analyzing disaggregate FDI data, the paper establishes that, while there is considerable contrast in behavior between vertical FDI (foreign firms producing for export) and horizontal FDI (foreign firms producing for local markets), taxation is not a key determinant for either type of FDI. Horizontal FDI is attracted to areas with higher trade regulations, highlighting interest in protected markets. Furthermore, horizontal FDI is affected more by financing and human capital constraints, and less by infrastructure and institutional constraints, than is vertical FDI.
Mr. Montfort Mlachila and Ms. Misa Takebe
Despite the rapid increase in FDI flows to LICs, there have been relatively few studies that have specifically examined these flows. This paper attempts to partially fill the void by throwing light on one particularly dynamic aspect of global FDI-flows from Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs). The paper finds that official data sources undoubtedly underestimate the volume and scope of FDI flows as many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not always register their investment. As a result, while it is difficult to estimate accurately the growth impact of BRIC FDI, there is case study evidence that it is increasingly significant. Second, while initial investment, mostly by state-owned companies, has often been destined for natural resource industries, over time, investment has been spreading to agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries (e.g., telecommunications). Third, FDI from BRICs flows into many non resource-rich countries in LICs and plays a significant role in growth in those countries.
Ms. Anne Epaulard and Ms. Aude Pommeret
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the welfare gains from financial integration for developing and emerging market economies. To do so, we build a stochastic endogenous growth model for a small open economy that can (i) borrow from the rest of the world, (ii) invest in foreign assets, and (iii) receive foreign direct investment (FDI). The model is calibrated on 32 emerging market and developing economies for which we evaluate the upper bound for the welfare gain from financial integration. For plausible values of preference parameters and actual levels of financial integration, the mean welfare gain from financial integration is about 10 percent of initial wealth. Compared with financial autarky, actual levels of financial integration translate into slightly higher annual growth rates (around 0.4 percentage point per year.)
Ms. Helene Poirson Ward, Mr. Luca A Ricci, and Ms. Catherine A Pattillo
This paper investigates the channels through which debt affects growth, specifically whether debt affects growth through factor accumulation or total factor productivity growth. It also tests for the presence of nonlinearities in the effects of debt on the different sources of growth. We use a large panel dataset of 61 developing countries over the period 1969-98. Results indicate that the negative impact of high debt on growth operates both through a strong negative effect on physical capital accumulation and on total factor productivity growth. On average, for high-debt countries, doubling debt will reduce output growth by about 1 percentage point and reduce both per capita physical capital and total factor productivity growth by somewhat less than that. In terms of the contributions to growth, approximately one-third of the effect of debt on growth occurs via physical capital accumulation and two-thirds via total factor productivity growth. The results are generally robust to the use of alternative estimators to control (to different extents) for biases associated with unobserved country-specific effects and the endogeneity of several regressors, particularly the debt variables. In particular, the results are shown to be compatible with a simultaneous significant effect of growth on debt ratios, as suggested by Easterly (2001).

Abstract

Edited by Zubair Iqbal and Ravi Kanbur, this volume consists of papers presented at a joint IMF and World Bank conference on external financing for low-income countries. The primary focus was on the impact of external indebtedness on low-income countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, the HIPC Debt initiative, the determinants and role of private capital flow, policies that could be implemented to catalyze private capital flows, and the appropriate role for official finance in the period ahead.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper discusses achievement and failure of science in increasing world animal production. The paper highlights that the application of modern animal production technology is virtually confined to Western Europe, to the North American continent, to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The new technologies are not yet used in other parts of the world. Hardly more than a handful of their farmers have any knowledge or understanding of production methods commonplace in highly developed countries.