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Mitchell A. Seligson and John T. Passé-Smith

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Mumtaz Mirza

When Pakistan became an independent country a serious obstacle to rapid industrialization was an almost complete lack of industrial accountants. The author tells how a small group of men set out to create—with valuable aid from Canada—a new profession.

Manfred Reichardt

In a period when external financial aid to developing countries is increasing less rapidly than before, one question emerges ever more sharply: how can developing countries mobilize all possible domestic resources for financing their industrialization?

Mr. Jean-Claude Berthélemy and Mr. Ludvig Söderling
This paper examines past African growth experience and attempts to simulate future ones. In addition to more commonly used determinants of total factor productivity, a measure of the effect of labor reallocation and an index of economic diversification are constructed and included as factors for long-term growth. A simple model is constructed for the purpose of simulating growth scenarios up to the year 2020 for Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, and Uganda. Even if one makes relatively optimistic assumptions, Africa is not likely to reach "Asian tiger" levels of growth. The results also suggest that growth will depend, to a large extent, on educational investments and productivity gains in agriculture.
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.