This Selected Issues paper employs a suite of models to determine the main drivers of inflation in Poland. Inflation in Poland has stayed below the lower bound of the target band for about two years with external shocks adding to downward pressure during 2014. The paper provides a range of inflation forecasts to assess the likelihood of protracted low inflation. The paper considers the main factors underlying recent inflation developments and assesses the importance of first-round indirect and second-round effects of external shocks for headline inflation. Using a variety of models, the paper also provides possible forecast paths for inflation in Poland.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the assessment of economic activity in Togo in absence of quarterly GDP series. Togo collects about 40 macroeconomic indicators monthly that span a wide range of sectors of the economy. The selection of the variables for the economic activity index is conducted by finding the combination of variables. The indicators are aggregated into an index using a methodology used by the Conference Board. Then an economic activity index is constructed that effectively replicates the historical growth rates of real GDP in Togo. The selected index minimizes the deviations between the growth rates of the indicator and actual real GDP growth over 2002–13.
In this paper, the IMF's new Global Economy Model (GEM) is used to estimate the contribution of unbalanced growth to the decline in the share of goods production in Australia and New Zealand. The simulation results suggest that faster productivity growth in the tradable goods sector in Australia, New Zealand, and their major trading partners accounts for a significant portion of the relative decline in the importance of goods production. Over the 1995 to 2004 period, unbalanced growth explains more than 80 percent of the decline in goods production in both countries.
Mr. Serhan Cevik, Jan Gottschalk, Mr. Eric Hutton, Laura Jaramillo, Pooja Karnane, and Moussé Sow
Structural transformation has resulted in an increasing share of services in aggregate value-added in advanced and developing countries across the world. We analyze the impact of this shift into services on countries’ efficiency in collecting the value-added tax (VAT). The analysis is based on two alternative measures of VAT efficiency: (1) the VAT C-efficiency, using a broad panel of 134 countries over the period 1970-2014; and (2) the VAT gap using a more granular, proprietary dataset that draws on the results of IMF’s Revenue Administraion-Gap Analysis Program covering 24 countries over the period 2004-2016. We find that a higher share of services in aggregate value-added reduces the VAT efficiency, and that this adverse effect is mainly a result of a rise of non-tradable services, which in turn contributes to a narrowing of the VAT base.
Manoj Atolia, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Milton Marquis, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
This paper takes a fresh look at the current theories of structural transformation and the role of
private and public fundamentals in the process. It summarizes some representative past and
current experiences of various countries vis-a-vis structural transformation with a focus on the
roles of manufacturing, policy, and the international environment in shaping the trajectory of
structural transformation. The salient aspects of the current debate on premature
deindustrialization and its relation to a middle-income trap are described as they relate to the
path of structural transformation. Conclusions are drawn regarding prospective future paths for
structural transformation and development policies.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Alun H. Thomas, Mr. Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu, and Ms. Yingyuan Chen
This paper documents stylized facts on the process of structural transformation around the world and empirically analyzes its determinants using data on real value added by sector of economic activity (agriculture, manufacturing and services) for a panel of 168 countries over the period 1970-2010. The analysis points to large differences in sector shares both across and within regions as well as for countries at similar levels of economic development. Using both linear and quantile regression methods, it finds that a large proportion of the cross-country variation in sector shares can be accounted for by country characteristics, such as real GDP per capita, demographic structure, and population size. It also finds that policy and insitutional variables, such as product market reforms, openness to trade, human and physical capital, and finance improve the baseline model’s ability to account for the variation in sectoral shares across countries.
Evidence that the automation of routine tasks has contributed to the polarization of labor markets has
been documented for many developed economies, but little is known about its incidence in developing
economies. We propose a measure of the exposure to routinization—that is, the risk of the displacement
of labor by information technology—and assemble several facts that link the exposure to routinization
with the prospects of polarization. Drawing on exposures for about 85 countries since 1990, we establish
that: (1) developing economies are significantly less exposed to routinization than their developed
counterparts; (2) the initial exposure to routinization is a strong predictor of the long-run exposure; and
(3) among countries with high initial exposures to routinization, polarization dynamics have been strong
and subsequent exposures have fallen; while among those with low initial exposure, the globalization of
trade and structural transformation have prevailed and routine exposures have risen. Although we find
little evidence of polarization in developing countries thus far, with rapidly rising exposures to
routinization, the risks of future labor market polarization have escalated with potentially significant
consequences for productivity, growth and distribution.
The paper shows that commercial banks’ ability to lower deposit interest rates (market power) can increase deposit mobilization. Interest expenses saved can subsidize and lower fees on checking and branching services and thus help attract deposits. United States data illustrates the financial deepening effect of this market power. Commercial banks’ ability to lower deposit interest rates diminishes when their deposits become closer substitutes to nonbank liabilities requiring greater interest rate competition. Lack of bank deposit market power, including through capital account mobility, may lessen financial deepening.