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Jean-Marc Natal and Nicolas Stoffels
We argue that strong globalization forces have been an important determinant of global real interest rates over the last five decades, as they have been key drivers of changes in the natural real interest rate—i.e. the interest rate consistent with output at its potential and constant inflation. An important implication of our analysis is that increased competition in goods and labor market since the 1970s can help explain both the large increase in real interest rates up to the mid-1980s and—as globalization forces mature and may even go into reverse, leading to incrementally rising market power—its subsequent and protracted decline accompanied by lower inflation. The analysis has important implications for monetary policy and the optimal pace of normalization.
Ms. Faezeh Raei and Anna Ignatenko
Over the last two decades, world trade and production have become increasingly organized around global value chains (GVC). Recent theoretical work has shown that countries can benefit from participation in GVCs through multiple channels. However, little is known empirically about the economic importance of supply chains. We use the Eora MRIO database to compute different measures of GVC participation for 189 countries and illustrate global patterns of supply chains as well as their evolution over time in order to contribute to this topic. We find that GVC-related trade, rather than conventional trade, has a positive impact on income per capita and productivity, however there is large heterogeneity and the gains appear more signifcant for upper-middle and high-income countries. We document that “moving up” to more high-tech sectors while participating in major supply chains does take place but is not universal, suggesting other factors matter. We confirm the findings of the standard gravity literature for GVC trade; highlighting the key role of institutional features such as contract enforcement and the quality of infrastructure as determinants of GVC participation.
Mai Dao, Ms. Mitali Das, Zsoka Koczan, and Weicheng Lian
This paper documents the downward trend in the labor share of global income since the early 1990s, as well as its heterogeneous evolution across countries, industries and worker skill groups, using a newly assembled dataset, and analyzes the drivers behind it. Technological progress, along with varying exposure to routine occupations, explains about half the overall decline in advanced economies, with a larger negative impact on middle-skilled workers. In emerging markets, the labor share evolution is explained predominantly by global integration, particularly the expansion of global value chains that contributed to raising the overall capital intensity in production.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Global economic activity is picking up with a long-awaited cyclical recovery in investment, manufacturing, and trade, according to Chapter 1 of this World Economic Outlook. World growth is expected to rise from 3.1 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018. Stronger activity, expectations of more robust global demand, reduced deflationary pressures, and optimistic financial markets are all upside developments. But structural impediments to a stronger recovery and a balance of risks that remains tilted to the downside, especially over the medium term, remain important challenges. Chapter 2 examines how changes in external conditions may affect the pace of income convergence between advanced and emerging market and developing economies. Chapter 3 looks at the declining share of income that goes to labor, including the root causes and how the trend affects inequality. Overall, this report stresses the need for credible strategies in advanced economies and in those whose markets are emerging and developing to tackle a number of common challenges in an integrated global economy.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper focuses on concerns over wages, jobs, and future prospects are real and pressing for those who are not well equipped to thrive in this new world. History clearly tells us that closing borders or increasing protectionism is not the way to go. Many countries have tried this route, and just as many have failed. Instead, we need to pursue policies that extend the benefits of openness and integration while alleviating their side effects. Emerging and developing economies have been the prime beneficiaries of economic openness. According to the World Bank, trade has helped reduce by half the pro¬portion of the global population living in extreme poverty. China, for instance, saw a phenomenal drop in its extreme poverty rate—from 36 percent at the end of the 1990s to 6 percent in 2011. Another example is Vietnam, which—in a single generation—moved from being one of the world’s poorest nations to middle-in¬come status—which has allowed for increased investments in health and education.

Mr. David A Lipton

Abstract

This paper explores how poor countries might take advantage of globalization to raise their living standards and converge toward the advanced economies. The poor country, which has cheap labor and inadequate capital, acquires the supe¬rior technology that the rich country has. With everyone rationally expecting greater things in the poor country, investment there takes off. People in the rich country save more to invest and take advantage of the new higher returns in the poor country. The poor country runs a substantial current account deficit and imports needed capital that the rich country happily, and profit¬ably, provides. The developing countries showed limited willingness and capacity to open up to competition. They had only a limited ability to attract foreign investment. The IMF ended up studying why some members failed to progress despite prolonged use of IMF resources. The Philippines, for example, had about 20 nearly consecutive IMF lending programs.

Mr. Kevin C Cheng, Sidra Rehman, and Shiny Zhang
Against the backdrop of the rise of global value chains (GVCs), particularly in Asia, this paper documents key developments of GVCs and investigates what factors cause economies to reap greater benefits from GVC participation. Key findings include: first, moving toward a more upstream position in production and raising economic complexity are associated with the country increasing its share of GVC value added. Second, fostering GVC participation and expanding the share of the domestic value added in a value chain require efforts to reduce trade barriers, enhance infrastructure, foster human capital formation, support research and development, and improve institutions.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The sharp decline in oil and other commodity prices have adversely impacted sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, the region is projected to register another year of solid economic performance. In South Africa, however, growth is expected to remain lackluster, while in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone the Ebola outbreak continues to exact a heavy economic and social toll. This report also considers how sub-Saharan Africa can harness the demographic dividend from an unprecedented increase in the working age population, as well as the strength of the region's integration into global value chains.

International Monetary Fund
In March 2009, the Fund established a new Framework Administered Account to administer external financial resources for selected Fund activities (the “SFA Instrument”).1 The financing of activities under the terms of the SFA Instrument is implemented through the establishment and operation of a subaccount within the SFA. This paper requests Executive Board approval to establish the Africa Training Institute Subaccount for Selected Fund Activities (the “Subaccount”) under the terms of the SFA Instrument.
International Monetary Fund
In March 2009, the Fund established a new Framework Administered Account to administer external financial resources for selected Fund activities (the “SFA Instrument”). The financing of activities under the terms of the SFA Instrument is implemented through the establishment and operation of a subaccount within the SFA. This paper requests Executive Board approval to establish the IMF-Middle East Center for Economics and Finance Subaccount for Selected Fund Activities (the “Subaccount”) under the terms of the SFA Instrument.