Ruchir Agarwal, Ina Ganguli, Patrick Gaulé, and Geoff Smith
This paper studies the impact of U.S. immigration barriers on global knowledge production. We present four key findings. First, among Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medalists, migrants to the U.S. play a central role in the global knowledge network—representing 20-33% of the frontier knowledge producers. Second, using novel survey data and hand-curated life-histories of International Math Olympiad (IMO) medalists, we show that migrants to the U.S. are up to six times more productive than migrants to other countries—even after accounting for talent during one’s teenage years. Third, financing costs are a key factor preventing foreign talent from migrating abroad to pursue their dream careers, particularly for talent from developing countries. Fourth, certain ‘push’ incentives that reduce immigration barriers—by addressing financing constraints for top foreign talent—could increase the global scientific output of future cohorts by 42 percent. We concludeby discussing policy options for the U.S. and the global scientific community.
Past studies on the relationship between electricity consumption and temperature have primarily focused on individual countries. Many regions are understudied as a result of data constraint. This paper studies the relationship on a global scale, overcoming the data constraint by using grid-level night light and temperature data. Mostly generated by electricity and recorded by satellites, night light has a strong linear relationship with electricity consumption and is correlated with both its extensive and intensive margins. Using night light as a proxy for electricity consumption at the grid level, we find: (1) there is a U-shaped relationship between electricity consumption and temperature; (2) the critical point of temperature for minimum electricity consumption is around 14.6°C for the world and it is higher in urban and more industrial areas; and (3) the impact of temperature on electricity consumption is persistent. Sub-Saharan African countries, while facing a large electricity deficit already, are particularly vulnerable to climate change: a 1°C increase in temperature is estimated to increase their electricity demand by 6.7% on average.
International Monetary Fund. Office of Budget and Planning
On April 27, 2020, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the IMF’s administrative and capital budgets for financial year (FY) 2021, beginning May 1, 2020, and took note of indicative budgets for FY 2022–23.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper explores policies to drive diversification for Saudi Arabia. Diversification is needed to create jobs for Saudis and to mitigate the impact of uncertainty in oil markets. Although the business climate should be improved, and remaining infrastructure gaps addressed, reforms need to go beyond these areas. Diversification in Saudi Arabia that creates jobs for nationals could be held back by the effects of relatively high wages and their impact on cost competitiveness. Creative solutions are needed to address the impact of high government wages and employment on competitiveness. Industrial policy could help overcome the incentives that encourage companies to focus on the nontradable sector, but should be handled carefully, keeping lessons from other countries’ experiences in mind. Export orientation and competition are crucial mechanisms to ensure discipline. Strengthening human capital to raise productivity and provide workers with the skills needed in the private sector will be essential to success.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Asia is expected to grow by about 5½ percent this year, accounting for nearly two-thirds of global growth, and the region remains the world’s most dynamic by a considerable margin. But despite the strong outlook, policymakers must remain vigilant. While risks around the forecast are broadly balanced for now, they are skewed firmly to the downside over the medium term. Key risks include those of further market corrections—possibly triggered by inflation surprises and/or faster-than-expected monetary tightening in advanced economies—a shift toward protectionist policies, and an increase in geopolitical tensions.
Allan Dizioli, Mr. Jaime Guajardo, Mr. Vladimir Klyuev, Rui Mano, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
After many years of rapid expansion, China’s growth is slowing to more sustainable levels and is rebalancing, with consumption becoming the main growth driver. This transition is likely to have negative effects on its trading partners in the near term. This paper studies the potential spillovers to the ASEAN-5 economies through trade, commodity prices, and financial markets. It finds that countries with closer trade linkages with China (Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand) and net commodity exporters (Indonesia and Malaysia) would suffer the largest impact, with growth falling between 0.2 and 0.5 percentage points in response to a decline in China’s growth by 1 percentage point depending on the model used and the nature of the shock. The impact could be larger if China’s slowdown and rebalancing coincides with bouts of global financial volatility. There are also opportunities from China’s rebalancing, both in merchandise and services trade, and there is preliminary evidence that some ASEAN-5 economies are already benefiting from these trends.