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Mariya Brussevich
This study examines the socio-economic impact of special economic zones (SEZs) in Cambodia---a prominent place-based policy established in 2005. The paper employs a database on existing and future SEZs in Cambodia with matched household surveys at the district level and documents stylized facts on SEZs in a low-income country setting. To identify causal effects of the SEZ program, the paper (i) constructs an alternative control group including future SEZ program participants and districts adjacent to SEZ hosts; and (ii) employs a propensity score weighting technique. The study finds that entry of SEZs disproportionately benefits female workers and leads to a decline of income inequality at a district level. However, the findings also suggest that land values in SEZ districts tend to rise while wage levels remain largely unchanged relative to other districts. In addition, the paper tests for socio-economic spillovers to surrounding areas and for agglomeration effects associated with clusters of multiple SEZs.
Mariya Brussevich

This study examines the socio-economic impact of special economic zones (SEZs) in Cambodia---a prominent place-based policy established in 2005. The paper employs a database on existing and future SEZs in Cambodia with matched household surveys at the district level and documents stylized facts on SEZs in a low-income country setting. To identify causal effects of the SEZ program, the paper (i) constructs an alternative control group including future SEZ program participants and districts adjacent to SEZ hosts; and (ii) employs a propensity score weighting technique. The study finds that entry of SEZs disproportionately benefits female workers and leads to a decline of income inequality at a district level. However, the findings also suggest that land values in SEZ districts tend to rise while wage levels remain largely unchanged relative to other districts. In addition, the paper tests for socio-economic spillovers to surrounding areas and for agglomeration effects associated with clusters of multiple SEZs.

Mariya Brussevich and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
Mariya Brussevich and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris

This paper examines gender inequality in the context of structural transformation and rebalancing in China. We document declining women's relative wages and labor force participation in China during the last two decades, despite rapid growth and expansion of the service sector. Using household data, we provide evidence consistent with a U-shaped relationship between economic development and women's labor market outcomes. Using a model of structural transformation, we show that labor market barriers for women have increased over time. Model counterfactuals suggest that removing these barriers and increasing service sector productivity can boost both gender equality and economic growth in China.

Mariya Brussevich and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
This paper examines gender inequality in the context of structural transformation and rebalancing in China. We document declining women's relative wages and labor force participation in China during the last two decades, despite rapid growth and expansion of the service sector. Using household data, we provide evidence consistent with a U-shaped relationship between economic development and women's labor market outcomes. Using a model of structural transformation, we show that labor market barriers for women have increased over time. Model counterfactuals suggest that removing these barriers and increasing service sector productivity can boost both gender equality and economic growth in China.
Mariya Brussevich, Shihui Liu, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
The paper extends the work of Deaton (2021) by exploring the period of post-crisis recovery in 2021-2024. The paper documents per-capita income divergence during the period of post-shock recovery, with countries at the bottom of the income distribution falling significantly behind. Findings suggest that higher COVID-19 vaccination rates and targeted virus containment measures are associated with faster recovery in per-capita incomes in the medium term. Evidence on the effectiveness of economic support policies for reducing cross-country income inequality, including fiscal and monetary policies, is mixed especially in the case of developing countries.
Mariya Brussevich, Shihui Liu, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou

The paper extends the work of Deaton (2021) by exploring the period of post-crisis recovery in 2021-2024. The paper documents per-capita income divergence during the period of post-shock recovery, with countries at the bottom of the income distribution falling significantly behind. Findings suggest that higher COVID-19 vaccination rates and targeted virus containment measures are associated with faster recovery in per-capita incomes in the medium term. Evidence on the effectiveness of economic support policies for reducing cross-country income inequality, including fiscal and monetary policies, is mixed especially in the case of developing countries.

Mariya Brussevich, Shihui Liu, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
Mariya Brussevich, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Pauline Wibaux

This paper uses granular customs data from France to investigate propagation of the COVID-19 shock along the supply chains in 2020. It quantifies the effect of the COVID-19 shock on trade adjustment and identifies mitigating and amplifying factors contributing to French firms’ heterogeneous adjustment paths. Early in the pandemic, firms mainly responded to global lockdowns and spread of the virus by reducing trade volumes (intensive margin) as opposed to exiting from import and export markets (ex-tensive margin). However, adjustment along the extensive margin played a more important role in trade with developing countries. It is shown that the impact of lockdowns was stronger for final consumer goods and the trade recovery was predominantly demand-driven. More automated, inventory-intensive, older, and medium-sized firms were more insulated from the shock, whereas firms’ reliance on air transportation for shipping goods amplified the shock. Trade bans and promotion measures implemented by governments in response to the pandemic had little impact on aggregate trade flows.