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International Monetary Fund

particular, the trade reform index is positively correlated with GDPPC growth, suggesting that freer trade tends to promote growth through higher TFP growth. 18 Table 3. Australia: Structural Reform Indicators for 15 OECD Countries International Trade Product Market Labor Market 1975 1985 2001 1975 1985 1998 1975 1985 1998 Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Australia 0.11 15 0.32 15 0.69 15 0

Davide Furceri, Jun Ge, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Gabriele Ciminelli
Many countries are experiencing persistent, weak medium-term growth and limited fiscal space. Against this background, economic policy agendas—in both advanced and developing economies—are focusing increasingly on structural reforms. While there is broad agreement on the economic benefits of structural reforms, the political-economy of reform is less settled. This is because reforms may generate gains only in the longer term while distributional effects may be sizable in the short run, and because governments may lack political capital to confront vocal interest groups. In these circumstances, politicians may hold back on reforms, fearing they will be penalized at the ballot box. The aim of this Staff Discussion Note is to examine whether the fear of a political cost associated with structural reforms is justified by the available evidence, and whether there are lessons from the data about how reform strategies might be designed to mitigate potential political costs. It provides a major addition to recent IMF analysis examining the output and employment effect of reforms
Mr. Antonio David, Mr. Takuji Komatsuzaki, and Samuel Pienknagura

that is imprecisely measured for the total reform index (the confidence interval is wide). Nevertheless, when we focus on the trade reform index, the positive effects are statistically significant after two years, reaching about 1 percent after 5 years. Figure 7. Effects of Structural Reforms on Total Factor Productivity Shaded area is 90 percent confidence interval for Driscoll-Kraay standard errors. Overall, we find that structural reforms that move towards greater liberalization can have positive effects on output and employment for countries in LAC

Mr. Antonio David, Mr. Takuji Komatsuzaki, and Samuel Pienknagura
This paper estimates the macroeconomic effects of structural reforms in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) using the dataset constructed by Alesina et al. (2020). We find that large changes in the reform index have positive effects on GDP and employment that reach 2 percent after 5 years. Furthermore, reforms boost investment, exports, imports, and reduce export concentration, in addition to favoring tradable sectors. Nonetheless, the results also indicate that the effects of reforms have not been uniform across different segments of the population. These findings bring to the forefront the need to consider accompanying policies to ensure that reforms promote inclusive growth. Moreover, evidence from country case studies using the synthetic control method point to heterogeneous effects of reforms on income per capita.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Australia highlights the dynamics of the Australian real exchange rate and its impact on Australia’s trade. The main findings are that the Australian real exchange rate is largely driven by world commodity prices and that it adjusts relatively rapidly to large shocks, with an estimated half-life of 16 months. The real exchange rate is a significant determinant of Australian imports, with an elasticity of one, but does not appear to have a significant impact on Australian exports.
Gabriele Ciminelli, Davide Furceri, Jun Ge, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
The aim of this SDN is to examine whether fear of a political cost associated with economic reforms is justified by the available evidence, and whether there are lessons from how economic policies might be adjusted to mitigate any political cost. The paper will be based on a new comprehensive database on structural reforms developed by RES, which covers a broad sample of advanced and developing economies over four decades, and incorporates regulations related to the real sector (labor, product markets, trade and the current account), and the financial sector (banking, securities markets and the capital account). The paper will address three questions. First, do reforms reduce the probability of a government getting reelected? Second, for which reforms are political costs particularly high? And third, can fiscal stimulus or other policies “sweeten the pill,” and would favorable economic conditions or greater reform ownership raise the odds for reelection?
Ms. Nada Mora, Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, and Mr. Pietro Garibaldi
Between 1991 and 1999, capital flows to 25 transition economies in Europe and the former Soviet Union differed widely in terms of overall levels and the share and composition of private flows. With some exceptions (notably Russia), the main form of private inflows was foreign direct investment. Portfolio investment was volatile and concentrated in a handful of countries. Regressions show that direct investment can be well explained in terms of economic fundamentals, whereas the presence of a financial market infrastructure and a property-rights indicator are the only explanatory variables that seem to have had a robust effect on portfolio investment.
International Monetary Fund
Structural policies have become a prominent feature of today’s macroeconomic policy discussion. For many countries, lackluster economic growth and high unemployment cloud the outlook. With fewer traditional policy options, policymakers are increasingly focused on the complementary role of structural policies in promoting more durable job-rich growth. In particular, the G20 has emphasized the essential role of structural reforms in ensuring strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Against this backdrop, the 2014 Triennial Surveillance Review (TSR) called for further work to enhance the Fund’s ability to selectively provide more expert analysis and advice on structural issues, particularly where there is broad interest among member countries. The purpose of this paper is to engage the Board on staff’s post-TSR work toward strengthening the Fund’s capacity to analyze and, where relevant, offer policy advice on macro-relevant structural issues.
Mr. Richard D Haas, Mr. Oleh Havrylyshyn, and Ms. Ratna Sahay
This chapter is the collection of eight papers on different aspects of the first 10 years of economic transition. Transition issues have appeared initially quite controversial. There have been controversies on the speed of reforms, privatization methods, the role and organization of government, the kind of financial system needed, etc. Although these controversies often have been ideological, they also reflect to a large extent the initial ignorance and unpreparedness of the economics profession with respect to the large. Resident representatives in transforming economies have had a unique opportunity to witness and participate in one of the most interesting and challenging events of the economics profession in the past 50 years: the transformation of centrally planned economies into market-based systems. The job is intellectually fascinating, frequently extremely rewarding, occasionally frustrating, however, never boring. The decline in cash revenue in Russia has been the key macroeconomic policy failure of the transition. This paper argues that the fall in cash compliance emerged when money printing was replaced with a method of budget financing that did not, in the short run, compromise the government's goals of low inflation, a stable exchange rate, and low interest rates, but which ultimately has led the government into a low cash revenue trap.