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Weicheng Lian, Fei Liu, Katsiaryna Svirydzenka, and Biying Zhu
While South Asia has gone a long way in diversifying their economies, there is substantial scope to do more. Some countries – India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka – can build on their existing production capabilities; others – Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives – would need to undertake a more concerted push. We identify key policies from a large set of potential determinants that explain the variation in export diversification and complexity across 189 countries from 1962 to 2018. Our analysis suggests that South Asia needs to invest in infrastructure, education, and R&D, facilitate bank credit to productive companies, and open to trade in order to diversify and move up the value chains. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, investing in digital technologies as part of the infrastructure push and improving education are of even greater importance to facilitate the ability to work remotely and assist resource reallocation away from the less viable sectors.
Dongyeol Lee and Huan Zhang
Export structure is less diversified in low-income countries (LICs) and especially small states that face resource constraints and small economic size. This paper explores the potential linkages between export structure and economic growth and its volatility in LICs and small states, using a range of indices of export concentration differing in the coverage of industries. The empirical analysis finds that export diversification may promote economic growth and reduce economic volatility in these countries. Furthermore, the analysis demonstrates that the economic benefits of export diversification differ by country size and income level—there are bigger benefits for relatively larger and poorer countries within the group of LICs and small states.
Manabu Nose
After a decade of rapid growth, industrialization has lost ground with shrinking manufacturing sector and high informality in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This paper explores how land market and labor regulations affect factor allocative efficiency and firm performance in SSA. Using pooled data on firm balance sheets for 40 countries in SSA, the results identify significant land and labor misallocations due to limited market allocation of land and inappropriate regulatory policies. Using variations in ethnic diversity and the intensity of regulatory actions to peer firms at subnational level as instrumental variables, local average treatment effects show large productivity gains from factor reallocations, especially for marginally productive firms. Panel data results for Nigerian firms confirm factor market inefficiency as a principal driver of declining productivity, while showing that the 2011 minimum wage reform increased firm size. The results imply that improving formal regulation is critical to support firm growth at the stage of weak legal capacity, while informal sector monitoring gets effective as legal capacity develops.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
"Digitalization encompasses a wide range of new applications of information technology in business models and products that are transforming the economy and social interactions. Digitalization is both an enabler and a disruptor of businesses. The lack of a generally agreed definition of the “digital economy” or “digital sector” and the lack of industry and product classification for Internet platforms and associated services are hurdles to measuring the digital economy. This paper distinguishes between the “digital sector” and the increasingly digitalized modern economy, often called the “digital economy,” and focuses on the measurement of the digital sector. The digital sector covers the core activities of digitalization, ICT goods and services, online platforms, and platform-enabled activities such as the sharing economy."
Suprabha Baniya
This paper investigates the effect of timeliness in accessing the intermediate inputs on the trade pattern. In particular, any country that has a higher ability to transport goods on time has a comparative advantage in industries that place a higher value on the timely delivery of their inputs, and this comparative advantage pattern is stronger for processed goods than for primary goods. To do this, a measure for how intensively any industry demands for the timely delivery of its intermediate inputs is constructed combining Hummels and Schaur (2013)’s calculations of the time sensitivity of products with the input-output tables.
International Monetary Fund
In the report, the Executive Board proposes that the Board of Governors adopt a Resolution: (i) noting the Report of the Executive Board and expressing regret that the timetable for completing the Fifteenth Review established under Resolution No. 71-2 is no longer within reach; (ii) calling on the Executive Board to work on the Fifteenth Review expeditiously in line with existing Executive Board understandings and the guidance provided by the IMFC on October 8, 2016 with the aim of completing the Fifteenth Review by the 2019 Spring Meetings and no later than the 2019 Annual Meetings; (iii) requesting that the Executive Board report on progress on the Fifteenth Review to the Board of Governors semiannually, with a first report by the 2017 Annual Meetings; and (iv) urging the remaining members who have not yet consented to their quota increases under the Fourteenth General Review of Quotas to do so without further delay and urging the members who have consented to their quota increases to make their quota payments in a timely manner.
International Monetary Fund
In completing the Fourteenth General Review of Quotas (hereafter the “Fourteenth Review”) and approving the proposed Amendment on the Reform of the Executive Board (hereafter the “Board Reform Amendment”), the Board of Governors requested the Executive Board to bring forward the timetable for completion of the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (hereafter the “Fifteenth Review”) to January 2014.
Rahul Anand, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, and Mr. Saurabh Mishra
Structural transformation depends not only on how much countries export but also on what they export and with whom they trade. This paper breaks new ground in analyzing India’s exports by the technological content, quality, sophistication, and complexity of the export basket. We identify five priority areas for policies: (1) reduction of trade costs, at and behind the border; (2) further liberalization of FDI including through simplification of regulations and procedures; (3) improving infrastructure including in urban areas to enhance manufacturing and services in cities; (4) preparing labor resources (skills) and markets (flexibility) for the technological progress that will shape jobs in the years ahead; and (5) creating an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to draw the economy into higher productivity activities.