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Mr. Michel Lazare, Mr. Philippe Callier, Wabel Khanjar, and Taline Abdallah

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix deals with the issue of low growth in Algeria. A growth-accounting exercise indicates that negative total factor productivity growth explains Algeria’s low growth rates. This paper highlights the sources of this low growth that mainly consist of incomplete structural reforms and the weaknesses of Algeria’s institutions. It describes policy recommendations, focusing on the institutional reforms required to improve the business environment. The paper also analyzes Algeria’s monetary policy in the context of volatile hydrocarbon revenues.

Mr. Ralph Chami and Connel Fullenkamp

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.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper for Chile describes the postcrisis recovery experience. The recovery from the 2008–2009 global crisis has been markedly different both among advanced and emerging economies. The steady improvement in the labor wedge-distortions related to the consumption leisure decision helped support the recovery. In Chile, the growth generated by this improvement, was sufficient to overcome the relatively weak performance of efficiency (TFP). Chile’s recovery has been characterized by strong investment growth, 0.8 percentage points higher than the precrisis trend. The establishment of the Financial Stability Council in 2011 is an important step to ensure close coordination among the institutions involved in Chile’s financial prudential framework.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper assesses the implications of a significant increase in the flow of external financing and grants on real GDP growth in Ethiopia. The paper presents an analysis of the sources of growth during 1991/92–2003/04, as well as an assessment of potential GDP growth. The paper also seeks to assess the historical relationship between foreign aid and the performance of the external sector in Ethiopia to establish whether foreign aid inflows have had an adverse effect on the tradable goods sector in the past.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper examines the sources of real growth in Guinea. It identifies and quantifies the impact on real GDP growth of both the exogenous shocks and the policy changes that have occurred since 2000. The paper offers, first, some empirical evidence on real GDP growth in Guinea and then analyzes the sources of growth using the standard framework of growth accounting. The paper also analyzes and quantifies the effect that some exogenous shocks and policy changes have had on growth.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
Mr. Christian A Johnson
Potential Output is a key factor for debt sustaintability analysis and for developing strategies for growth, but unfortunately it is an unobservable variable. Using three methodologies (production function, switching, and state-space), this paper computes potential output for CAPDR countries using annual data. Main findings are: i) CAPDR potential growth is about 4.4 percent while output gap volatility is about 1.9 percent; ii) The highest-potential growth country is Panama (6.5 percent) while the lowest-growth country is El Salvador (2.6 percent); iii) CAPDR business cycle is about eigth years.
Frederic Lambert, Mr. Andrea Pescatori, and Mr. Frederik G Toscani
Labor market informality is a pervasive feature of most developing economies. Motivated by the empirical regularity that the labor informality rate falls with GDP per capita, both at business cycle frequency and in a cross-section of countries, and that the Okun's coefficient falls with the level of labor informality, we build a small open-economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with two sectors, formal and informal, which can replicate these key stylized facts. The model is calibrated to Colombia. The results show that labor market and tax reforms play an important role in changing the informality rate but also caution against over-optimism - with low GDP per capita, informality will always be relatively high as there is insufficient demand for formal goods. Quantitatively we find that higher productivity in the formal sector is key in explaining the difference between Colombia and countries with significantly lower informality. We use the model to study how labor informality and labor market frictions mediate the cyclical response of the economy to shocks, including commodity price shocks which are particularly relevant in Latin America. Informality is shown to play an important role as a shock absorber with the informal-formal margin limiting movements in the employed-unemployed margin.