This study, another in the series focusing on special issues in transition, reviews the experience of output decline and recovery in the 25 countries of eastern and central Europe and the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Although these countries began the process of economic transformation with similar circumstances of output decline, the extent of decline, its duration, and the sustainability of recovery in growth varied considerably. The authors explore the factors behind this variation and find that the most important policies promoting early and sustained recovery were ones that supported financial stabilization and structural reforms in key areas such as private sector development, the tax system, economic liberalization, and secure property rights.
The transition from predominantly socialist ownership and central planning to a market economy with private ownership is a complex process involving profound changes in the political, economic, institutional, legal, and social domains. While there may not be a simple unifying theme to capture this complexity, the quest for economic recovery and sustained growth is certainly an important common thread for all the transition countries. This paper reviews the record of growth performance in 25 countries, comprising central and eastern Europe (CEE) and the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union (BRO).
A revival of interest in economic growth in the mid-1980s led to the development of a new wave of models that established a synthesis now known as endogenous growth theory, which has produced a large volume of empirical studies of growth. The first element of this synthesis is the earlier prevailing doctrine on economic growth, the “neoclassical” model of Solow-Swan and Cass-Koopmans from the 1950–60s, which attributed growth to the expansion of capital and labor, augmented by exogenous technological progress. Simple factor input and factor productivity calculations of the sources of growth are based on this paradigm and continue to be used widely, including in many IMF background studies.
The 25 countries of CEE and the BRO4 have been undergoing a process of transition from a centrally planned to a market-oriented economy for the better part of a decade. While this transition has been dependenl in all cases on major changes in the political system, particularly during 1989–91, there have been considerable differences across countries in the speed with which the old system of planning has been dismantled and market-oriented reforms have been introduced. In a few countries, such as Hungary and Poland, a number of market-oriented reforms were well under way long before 1989, and in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia a relatively high degree of market liberalization had existed for some time. In some countries, such as Belarus, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, comprehensive market-oriented reforms have hardly yet begun.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes growth and recovery in Mongolia during transition. The paper describes the major sources of economic growth in Mongolia since the early 1980s in the context of a basic growth accounting framework. It discusses Mongolia’s post-transition growth performance relative to other transition countries. This paper also summarizes the main weaknesses of the existing national accounts statistics and reviews the recent developments and prospects for the main components of GDP.
This is the first issue of IMF Staff Papers published under a special partnership between the IMF and Palgrave Macmillan. Very little will change with regard to the journal's visual appearance, though significant service quality enhancements (e.g., an on-line interactive edition) will rollout before the end of 2007. For more information and regular updates, please access http://www.palgrave-journals.com/imfsp/index.html.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Florian Misch, Mr. Duncan Cleary, and Munawer Khwaja
Tax compliance costs tend to be disproportionately higher for small and young businesses. This paper examines how the quality of tax administration affects firm performance for a large sample of firms in emerging market and developing economies. We construct a novel, internationally comparable, and multidimensional index of tax administration quality (the TAQI) using information from the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool. We show that better tax administration attenuates the productivity gap of small and young firms relative to larger and older firms, a result that is robust to controlling for other aspects of tax policy and of economic governance, alternative definitions of small and young firms, and measures of the quality of tax administration. From a policy perspective, we provide evidence that countries can reap growth and productivity dividends from improvements in tax administration that lower compliance costs faced by firms.
This paper analyzes factors that determine recent economic growth in the low-income countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.2 The main findings are as follows: (1) productivity gains in export-oriented sectors and expansion of exports may have become the main sources of growth in five of the seven CIS-7 countries, while in the early years of transition the output recovery was mainly driven by consumption; (2) economic growth has concentrated in agriculture and the raw material sectors, and, thus, is vulnerable to changes in external conditions; and (3) structural reforms matter for growth, which is consistent with previous research on growth in transition countries.
Mishel Ghassibe, Maximiliano Appendino, and Samir Elsadek Mahmoudi
This paper offers empirical evidence that greater financial inclusion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can promote higher economic growth and employment, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia regions. First, we show that countries with higher SME financial inclusion exhibit more effective monetary policy transmission and tax collection. Second, we find substantial employment and labor productivity growth gains at the firm level from access to credit, gains that are higher for SMEs. We also obtain evidence of a substantial positive impact on SME employment and labor productivity growth from improved credit bureau coverage and insolvency regimes. Finally, cross-country aggregate evidence confirms the employment and growth gains from SME financial inclusion, which appear larger in the Middle East and Central Asia than in other regions.
This paper estimates the neutral interest rate in the Kyrgyz Republic using a range of methodologies. Results indicate that the real neutral rate is about 4 percent based on an average of models and 3.7 percent based on a Quarterly Projection Model. This is higher than in many emerging markets and is likely explained by higher public debt and an elevated risk premium, low creditor rights and contractual enforcement, and low domestic savings. The use of an estimate of the neutral interest rate provides useful guidance to monetary policy and enhances transparency and independence of the central bank. Our estimate provides a quantitative benchmark for the monetary policy stance in the context of a central bank that is building analytical capacity, integrating additional insights in its decision-making process, and working to improve its communication. Strengthening the monetary transmission mechanism will be critical to enhance the effectiveness of monetary policy, including by allowing more exchange rate flexibility to support the transition to a full-fledged inflation targeting regime, and reducing excess liquidity to enhance the credit channel, reducing dollarization and high interest rate spreads that adversely affect the transmission of the policy rate to the economy.