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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Mexico is an open economy with strong real and financial links to the rest of the world with risks of spillovers from global turbulence. Recent gains in market share in the U.S. manufacturing market are owed to improved relative unit labor costs and reemergence of a location advantage. Mexico’s current fiscal framework requires measures to offset the emerging challenges of a decline in oil revenues and the projected increase in health- and pensions-related spending. The sustained increase of bank credit after the global crisis has been reversed. The effects of migration depend on labor reform.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This special issue on exchange rates is drawn from the Eighth Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference held at the International Monetary Fund in Washington in November 2007. The Mundell-Fleming Lecture by Stanley Fischer focuses on exchange rate systems, surveillance, and advice. Jeffrey Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei examine the techniques for estimating de facto exchange rate regimes, while J. Lawrence Broz, Jeffry Frieden, and Stephen Weymouth review survey data to discern exchange rate policy attitudes. In a paper entitled "Fear of Declaring", Adolfo Barajas, Lennart Erickson, and Roberto Steiner try to determine the extent to which markets care about what countries say regarding their exchange rate policies.
Ajit Singh, Mr. Rudolph Matthias, and Mr. Jack D. Glen
This large empirical study of corporate profitability in emerging markets during the 1980s and 1990s measures the intensity of competition. Data on corporate rates of return, profit margins, and output-capital ratios reveal that the recent liberalization has been associated with reduced corporate profit margins and improved capital utilization efficiency. The paper also analyzes persistency in corporate profitability and finds that competitiveness was no less intense in developing countries than in advanced countries. Although the paper is not directly concerned with the Asian crisis, it provides evidence on important structural hypotheses about the crisis.
Mr. Carlos M. Asilis and Luis Rivera-Batiz
This paper presents a geographical theory of location and interregional trade. Location is treated as an endogenous variable by firms, consumers and perfectly mobile workers in a two-sector economy. Space plays a central role owing to transportation costs, market access, and distance from polluting industrial centers. The model is used to examine: (1) aspects of a compensating-differential theory of regional unevenness, (2) the theoretical formulation of a gravity theory of trade patterns, (3) the geographic basis for industrial and environmental policy, and (4) the interaction between reductions in transportation costs, location patterns, and technological improvements.