This paper examines the role of removing obstacles to competition in product markets in raising growth and productivity. Using firm-level data from Italy during 2003–13 and OECD measures of product market regulation, we estimate the effect of deregulation in network sectors on value added and productivity of firms in these sectors, as well as firms using these intermediates in their production processes. We find evidence of a significant positive impact. These effects are more pronounced in Italian provinces with more efficient public administration, underscoring the complementarities of advancing public administration and product market reforms simultaneously.
Mr. Nikoloz Gigineishvili, Mr. Paolo Mauro, and Ke Wang
Is rapid economic growth experienced by the East African Community during the past decade built on solid foundations? To gain some clues, we use a variety of newly-collected and existing data sources to analyze the structural transformation of output and exports, as well as indicators of their quality and sophistication. The move from agriculture to a wide range of other sectors—bodes well for continued growth, as do gradual improvements in quality. Yet, no clear winners on the production side seem to have emerged, to embed a durable comparative advantage in international markets. These observations may instill a note of caution against projecting rapid growth into the distant future.
This paper shows that exchange rate variability promotes agglomeration of economic activity. Under flexible rates, firms located in large markets have lower variability of sales, reinforcing concentration of firms there. Empirical evidence on OECD countries demonstrates (1) that the negative effect of country size on variability of industrial production is stronger after the 1973 collapse of fixed rates and (2) for small (large) countries, exchange rates variability has a long-run negative (positive) effect on net inward FDI flows. Two implications arise: creating a currency area fosters agglomeration in the area, and a two-stage EMU may exacerbate the current uneven regional development.
This paper finds a negative relationship between the employment share of the service sector and the volatility of aggregate output in the OECD—after controlling for the level of financial development. This result reflects volatility differentials across sectors: labor productivity is more volatile in agriculture and manufacturing than in services. Aggregate output would therefore become less volatile as labor moves away from agriculture and manufacturing and toward the service sector. I examine the quantitative role of these labor shifts—termed structural transformation—on the volatility of aggregate output in OECD countries. I first calibrate to the U.S. economy an indivisible labor model in which the reallocation of labor across sectors emerges endogenously from sectoral labor productivity growth differentials. The setup is then used to generate the time path of labor shares in agriculture, manufacturing and services in individual countries. Finally, I perform a set of counterfactual analyzes in which the reallocation of labor across sectors is constrained endogenously. I find that the secular shift of labor towards the service sector was volatility-reducing in OECD countries during 1970–2006.
In a dynamic theoretical framework, commercial banks compete for customers by setting acceptance criteria for granting loans, taking regulatory requirements into account. By easing its acceptance criteria a bank faces a trade-off between attracting more demand for loans, thus making higher per period profits, and a deterioration of the quality of its loan portfolio, thus tolerating a higher risk of failure. Our main results state that more stringent capital adequacy requirements lead banks to set stricter acceptance criteria, and that increased competition in the banking industry leads to riskier bank behavior. In an extension of our basic model, we show that it may be beneficial for a bank to hold more equity than prescribed by the regulator, even though holding equity is more expensive than attracting deposits.
Some see India’s corporate sector as the fundamental driver of recent and future prosperity. Others see it as a source of excessive market power, personal enrichment, and influence over the State, with an ultimately distorting influence. To inform this debate, this paper analyses the correlates of profitability of firms listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, covering a dynamic period-in terms of firm entry and growth-from the early 1990s to the late 2000s. Overall, the results do not provide support for the systematic exercise of market power via the product market. At least for this period, the story is more consistent with a competitive and dynamic business sector, despite the continued dominance of business houses and public sector firms in terms of sales and assets. Those with opposing views can, with justification, argue that our analysis does not cover influences, such as corporate governance and state-corporate relations, which may paint a less flattering picture of the corporate sector’s role. Those broader themes deserve further attention.
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.
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.
This paper investigates the relationship between the nominal exchange rate regime and the volatility of relative commodity prices. The analysis shows that the relationship depends upon both the market structure and the economic agent’s perception about future exchange rate movements. When the markets for manufactured goods are less competitive than the markets for primary commodities, the volatility of relative commodity prices rises when exchange rate uncertainty increases. If demand for manufactured goods is intertemporally dependent, even a small increase in exchange rate uncertainty can result in potentially large costs in terms of increased relative commodity price instability.
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.