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  • Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth: General x
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Mr. Philippe Beaugrand
The paper reviews the “stylized facts” on economic growth gathered by Easterly and Levine in their 2001 joint paper and illustrates some of the points made on the basis of data from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook on real growth and per capita GDP since 1970. The data show that the growth performance of many poor countries has been disappointing: most of the “developing” world, especially sub-Saharan Africa, has been getting poorer while the advanced economies have been getting richer. To reverse this trend requires finding ways to raise total factor productivity in poor countries; in turn, this implies letting entrepreneurs innovate—in the Schumpeterian sense—in order to bring about structural changes in the economy. The conclusion highlights several essential steps in creating a favorable environment for innovation and growth.
Mr. Vito Tanzi and Mr. Howell H Zee
This paper discusses in a systematic and comprehensive way the existing literature on the relationship between the growth of countries’ economies and various public finance instruments, such as tax policy, expenditure policy, and overall budgetary policy, from the perspectives of allocative efficiency, macroeconomic stability, and income distribution. It reviews both the conceptual linkages between each of the instruments and growth and the empirical evidence on such relationships. It broadly concludes that fiscal policy could play a fundamental role in affecting the long-run growth performance of countries.
Mr. A. Salehizadeh, Mr. Peter Berezin, and Mr. Elcior Santana
It is typically assumed that countries in the Caribbean suffer from a lack of output and export diversification. Contrary to this popular perception, we find no evidence that output variability is higher in Caribbean countries than in larger, more diversified, developing economies. In addition, we find no evidence that export earnings are more volatile in the Caribbean economies than elsewhere. In fact, export earnings are quite stable in the Caribbean, reflecting the fact the region is rather unique in that most of its export earnings are generated from service exports, which tend to be considerably less volatile than goods exports.
Mr. Ewe-Ghee Lim
This paper summarizes recent arguments/findings on two aspects of foreign direct investment (FDI): its correlation with economic growth and its determinants. The first part focuses on recent literature regarding positive spillovers from FDI while the second deals with the determinants of FDI. The paper finds that while substantial support exists for positive spillovers from FDI, there is no consensus on causality. On determinants, the paper finds that market size, infrastructure quality, political/economic stability, and free trade zones are important for FDI, while results are mixed regarding the importance of fiscal incentives, the business/investment climate, labor costs, and openness.
Rimjhim Aggarwal, Piergiorgio M Carapella, Tewodaj Mogues, and Julieth C Pico-Mejia
This paper evaluates the additional spending needed to meet core targets of selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while accounting for the associated cost to address climate risks. The SDGs under study are those related to human and physical capital development. An additional 3.8 percent of global GDP, or US$3.4 trillion, of public and private spending will be required by 2030 to achieve a strong performance in the selected SDGs while addressing associated climate risks. This includes an increase of 0.4 percent of global GDP (US$358 billion) compared to estimates that do not account for mitigation and adaptation needs within these sectors. LIDCs and SSA experience the highest climate-related cost augmentation relative to GDP, while EMEs (driven by large Asian emerging economies) bear the largest cost in absolute terms.
Reda Cherif, Marc Engher, and Fuad Hasanov
The debate among economists about an optimal growth recipe has been the subject of competing “narratives.” We identify four major growth narratives using the text analytics of IMF country reports over 1978-2019. The narrative “Economic Structure”—services, manufacturing, and agriculture—has been on a secular decline overshadowed by the “Structural Reforms”—competitiveness, transparency, and governance. We observe the rise and fall of the “Washington Consensus”—privatization and liberalization— and the rise to dominance of the “Washington Constellation,” a collection of many disparate terms such as productivity, tourism, and inequality. Growth theory concepts such as innovation, technology, and export policy have been marginal while industrial policy, which was once perceived positively, is making a comeback.
Mehmet Cangul
Low-income economies face negative shocks whose frequency and disproportionate impact overcome growth trajectories, producing a negative drift. COVID-19 was the latest such episode. To escape this negative drift, and build a durable recovery, there is a need for a counter-balancing force: to construct a positive shock. Growth is realized through decisions that fall under two categories, routine and non-linear. While routine decisions modify existing economic behavior along the same path, non-linear decisions describe riskier options that involve transformation. Option pricing theory can be useful to describe the latter, and construct the positive shock required to escape the negative drift.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Still emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have been hit by a sluggish global economy, worldwide inflation, high borrowing costs, and a cost-of-living crisis. As a result, growth in 2023 is expected to fall for the second year in a row to 3.3 percent from 4.0 percent last year. But a long-awaited rebound is on the horizon. Inflation is falling, public finances are stabilizing, and growth is poised to increase to 4.0 percent next year. Still, even though the outlook is less ominous, it is too early to celebrate. In many cases, inflation is still too high, borrowing costs are still elevated, exchange-rate pressures persist, and political instability is an ongoing concern. To ensure that the coming rebound is more than just a transitory glimpse of sunshine, it is important for authorities to guard against a premature relaxation of stabilization policies, while also focusing on reforms to both claw back lost ground from the four-year crisis and also to create new space to address the region’s pressing development needs.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Still emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in sub-Saharan Africa have been hit by a sluggish global economy, worldwide inflation, high borrowing costs, and a cost-of-living crisis. In many cases, inflation is still too high, borrowing costs are still elevated, exchange-rate pressures persist, and political instability is an ongoing concern. To ensure that the coming rebound is more than just a transitory glimpse of sunshine, it is important for authorities to guard against a premature relaxation of stabilization policies, while also focusing on reforms to both claw back lost ground from the four-year crisis and also to create new space to address the region’s pressing development needs.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Still emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in sub-Saharan Africa have been hit by a sluggish global economy, worldwide inflation, high borrowing costs, and a cost-of-living crisis. In many cases, inflation is still too high, borrowing costs are still elevated, exchange-rate pressures persist, and political instability is an ongoing concern. To ensure that the coming rebound is more than just a transitory glimpse of sunshine, it is important for authorities to guard against a premature relaxation of stabilization policies, while also focusing on reforms to both claw back lost ground from the four-year crisis and also to create new space to address the region’s pressing development needs.