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Mr. Serhan Cevik and João Tovar Jalles
Climate change is the defining challenge of our time with complex and evolving dynamics. The effects of climate change on economic output and financial stability have received considerable attention, but there has been much less focus on the relationship between climate change and income inequality. In this paper, we provide new evidence on the association between climate change and income inequality, using a large panel of 158 countries during the period 1955–2019. We find that an increase in climate change vulnerability is positively associated with rising income inequality. More interestingly, splitting the sample into country groups reveals a considerable contrast in the impact of climate change on income inequality. While climate change vulnerability has no statistically significant effect on income distribution in advanced economies, the coefficient on climate change vulnerability is seven times greater and statistically highly significant in the case of developing countries due largely to weaker capacity for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Ms. Natasha X Che and Xuege Zhang
This paper studies the relationship between export structure and growth performance. We design an export recommendation system using a collaborative filtering algorithm based on countries' revealed comparative advantages. The system is used to produce export portfolio recommendations covering over 190 economies and over 30 years. We find that economies with their export structure more aligned with the recommended export structure achieve better growth performance, in terms of both higher GDP growth rate and lower growth volatility. These findings demonstrate that export structure matters for obtaining high and stable growth. Our recommendation system can serve as a practical tool for policymakers seeking actionable insights on their countries’ export potential and diversification strategies that may be complex and hard to quantify.
Ms. Monique Newiak, Mr. Abdoul A Wane, and Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo

Abstract

Governance and corruption issues have taken the center stage in international discussions, especially after the adoption by the IMF in 2018 of a new framework for engagement on governance and corruption. Sound institutions that guarantee integrity in the management of public affairs are critical on the path toward higher and more inclusive growth. Corruption undermines the quality of institutions, weakens the effectiveness of government programs, and compromises social trust in government policies. Indeed, countries around the world that improved their governance systems are reaping a “governance dividend,” and governance-enhancing reformist countries in sub-Saharan Africa include Botswana, Rwanda, and Seychelles. In addition, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola demonstrate that important reforms are possible, including in fragile environments. The importance of good governance has acquired even more importance as countries try to introduce policies to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Special attention to governance in an emergency context, including situations associated with conflict, other health crises and natural disasters, is therefore essential. Innovation and new technologies are critical instruments that policymakers can use in their efforts to improve governance and transparency.

Pierre Mandon
This paper employs a meta-regression analysis of 473 estimates from 15 studies to take stock of the empirical literature on Chinese aid effectiveness. After accommodating publication selection bias, we find that, on average, Beijing’s foreign assistance has had a positive impact on economic and social outcomes in recipient countries but an opposite effect on governance, albeit negligible in size. We also show that (i) studies that fail to uncover statistically significant effects are less likely to be submitted to journals, or accepted for publication; and (ii) results are not driven by authors’ institutional affiliation. Differences in study characteristics such as the type of development outcome considered, how the Chinese aid variable is measured, the geographic region under study, and publication outlet explain the heterogeneity among Chinese aid effectiveness estimates reported in the literature.