Analyzing and projecting the behavior of macroeconomic variables in new EU member states presents special challenges, owing to limited time series of the available data. This paper presents an analysis of investment in Poland based on an underexplored sectoral data set. The determinants of investment are found to include lagged investment, lead production, relative unit labor costs, EU demand, corporate profitability, and greenfield FDI (foreign direct investment) inflows. Dynamic in-sample simulations indicate some overinvestment in 1997 compared with what the model would suggest, and a substantial underinvestment during 2000-2004. The model is then used to project future investment: while rapid investment growth is likely, it remains uncertain whether investment as a share of GDP will reach its peak levels on the late 1990s.
Mr. Bas B. Bakker, Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, Alex Ho, and Vibha Nanda
In the last few decades there has been little convergence of income levels in Latin America with those in the United States, in sharp contrast with both emerging Asia and emerging Europe. This paper argues that lack of convergence was not the result of low investment. Latin America is poorer because of lower human capital levels and lower TFP—not because of a lower capital-output ratio. Cross-country differences of TFP in turn are associated with differences in human capital, governance and business climate indicators. We demonstrate that once levels of human capital and governance are taken into account, there is strong conditional cross-country convergence. Poor countries with high levels of human capital, governance or business climate indicators converge rapidly. Poor countries without those attributes do not. We show that low investment is the result of low TFP and thus GDP growth—not the cause.