In the December 2013 IMF Research Bulletin, the Research Summaries look at “Reforming Dual Labor Markets in Advanced Economies” (Giovanni Ganelli) and “Rating Through-The-Cycle: What Does the Concept Imply for Rating Stability Accuracy” (John Kiff, Michael Kisser, and Liliana Schumacher). The Q&A discusses Seven Questions on Financial Crises (Stijn Claessens, M. Ayhan Kose, Luc Laeven, and Fabián Valencia). This issue also includes a listing of recent IMF Working Papers and IMF Staff Discussion Notes, as well as Recommended Readings from the IMF Bookstore. The top-viewed articles from recent of issues of “IMF Economic Review” are featured.
We show in the context of a new economic geography model that when labor is heterogenous trade liberalization may lead to industrial agglomeration and interregional trade. Labor heterogeneity gives local monopoly power to firms but also introduces variations in the quality of the job match. Matches are likely to be better when there are more firms and workers in the local market, giving rise to an agglomeration force that can offset the forces against trade costs and the erosion of monopoly power. We derive analytically a robust agglomeration equilibrium and illustrate its properties with numerical simulations.
Barbados has a stable political system, and there is long-standing public consensus on key economic policies, including a fixed exchange rate with the U.S. dollar supported by prudent fiscal and wage policies. Owing to job creation mainly in the private sector, particularly construction, the unemployment rate continued to decline, reaching 9.8 percent at the end of 1999, 2 percentage points lower than a year before. The authorities' medium-term strategy aims at stabilizing and restructuring the economy to address ongoing trade liberalization.