This Selected Issues paper on Papua New Guinea reports that although economic cycles have generally paralleled the many mineral sector booms and busts, the downward trend in growth rates may reflect other factors. Papua New Guinea’s economy is dominated by a large labor-intensive agricultural sector and a capital-intensive oil and minerals sector. The formal sector consists of enclave extractive industries, cash crop production, and a small, import-substituting manufacturing sector. The importance of the agriculture sector is about the same as at independence, reflecting structural impediments that have deterred more rapid growth.
This paper analyzes factors that determine recent economic growth in the low-income countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.2 The main findings are as follows: (1) productivity gains in export-oriented sectors and expansion of exports may have become the main sources of growth in five of the seven CIS-7 countries, while in the early years of transition the output recovery was mainly driven by consumption; (2) economic growth has concentrated in agriculture and the raw material sectors, and, thus, is vulnerable to changes in external conditions; and (3) structural reforms matter for growth, which is consistent with previous research on growth in transition countries.
The standard growth accounting framework, which weights various inputs by their factor shares to measure their contributions to output growth, is known to underestimate the contribution of inputs in the presence of externalities and increasing returns. This paper develops a model in which, in the absence of such departures from the standard neoclassical framework, growth can occur through either embodied technological progress or firms replication of existing technology. The standard growth accounting framework fails to distinguish between these contrasting development processes. This failure thus reveals another limitation to the use of growth accounting in identifying the processes of economic developments.