Business and Economics > Production and Operations Management

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Mr. Adil Mohommad, Charlotte Sandoz, and Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon
At the macro level, productivity is driven by technology and the efficiency of resource allocation, as outcomes of firms’ decision making. The relatively high level of resource misallocation in India’s formal manufacturing sector is well documented. We build on this research to further investigate the drivers of misallocation, exploiting micro-level variation across Indian states. We find that states with less rigid labor markets have lesser misallocation. We also examine the interaction of labor market rigidities with informality which is a key feature of India’s labor markets. Our results suggest that reducing labor market rigidities in states with high informality has a net positive effect on aggregate productivity.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper investigates skills mismatch and active labor market policy in Lithuania. Wage flexibility is underpinned by one of the lowest densities of trade union and employer organization and the rare occurrence of collective bargaining. Thus, wage setting largely happens at the firm level. Real wages and productivity have been traditionally closely linked and temporary deviations have been self-correcting. In contrast, structural unemployment has been traditionally high, although it appears to be gradually falling. Large structural unemployment can have a significant long-term impact on potential growth and, therefore, on employment. Lithuania suffers from relative labor shortage for high-skilled workers and surplus of low- and medium-skilled workers. Thus, there are labor shortages in skill-intensive sectors. Lithuania has shown a sharp rise in skills mismatch for the country in the aftermath of the crisis. Vacancy rates and wage growth by sectors also suggest an excess supply of lower skilled workers and shortage of high-skilled ones.
Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov
This study investigates the likely macroeconomic impact of various structural reforms that align the Chilean regulatory framework with international best practices. In this context, the analysis: i) presents a comparison across a large set of structural indicators; ii) identifies policy gaps with respect to OECD countries; and iii) provides quantification of the likely growth and fiscal impact of policy reforms needed to close the gaps. Chile’s economy is likely to benefit from streamlining business regulation and licensing, strengthening innovation and R&D capacity, improving labor market flexibility, and enhancing active labor market policies. Overall, the study presents a scenario in which Chile closes structural gaps with OECD’s 25th percentile over five years, with up to 6 percent higher output level and a cumulative net fiscal gain of about ½ percent of GDP.
Nina Biljanovska and Mr. Damiano Sandri
Over the last few decades, Brazil has experienced relatively weak economic growth due to stagnant productivity. To boost productivity, Brazil should embark on an ambitious structural reform process. In doing so, it is crucial that authorities select a few reform priorities to avoid dispersing political capital on an overly broad reform agenda. The paper aims to identify Brazil’s reform priorities in two steps. First, it estimates the impact that different reforms have on Brazil’s productivity. Second, it analyzes survey data to assess the extent of public support for reforms. The results show that banking sector reforms would generate the largest productivity gains and have the highest level of public support. Moreover, they would also be relatively easy to legislate and generate significant fiscal savings.
Manabu Nose
After a decade of rapid growth, industrialization has lost ground with shrinking manufacturing sector and high informality in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This paper explores how land market and labor regulations affect factor allocative efficiency and firm performance in SSA. Using pooled data on firm balance sheets for 40 countries in SSA, the results identify significant land and labor misallocations due to limited market allocation of land and inappropriate regulatory policies. Using variations in ethnic diversity and the intensity of regulatory actions to peer firms at subnational level as instrumental variables, local average treatment effects show large productivity gains from factor reallocations, especially for marginally productive firms. Panel data results for Nigerian firms confirm factor market inefficiency as a principal driver of declining productivity, while showing that the 2011 minimum wage reform increased firm size. The results imply that improving formal regulation is critical to support firm growth at the stage of weak legal capacity, while informal sector monitoring gets effective as legal capacity develops.
Ms. Lusine Lusinyan
The paper uses a supply-side framework based on a production function approach to assess the role of structural reforms in boosting long-term GDP growth in Argentina. The impact of product, labor, trade, and tax reforms on each supply-side channel—capital accumulation, labor utilization, and total factor productivity, proxied with an efficiency estimate—is assessed separately and then combined to derive the total impact on growth. The largest effect of structural reforms, involving regulatory changes that promote competition and facilitate flexible forms of employment, comes through the productivity/efficiency channel. Pro-competition regulation also improves labor utilization, while lower entry barriers and trade tariffs are important for capital accumulation. Structural reforms could have substantial effects on Argentina’s long-term GDP growth; for example, an ambitious reform effort to improve business regulatory environment would add 1–1½ percent to average annual growth of GDP.
Luiza Antoun de Almeida and Vybhavi Balasundharam
This paper analyzes the effects of selected structural reforms on output and employment in the short and medium term. It uses a comprehensive cross-country firm-level dataset covering both advanced and emerging market economies over the period 2003-2014. In line with previous studies, it finds that structural reforms have in general a positive impact on output and employment in the medium term. Furthermore, the paper also assesses whether the impact of structural reforms varies with firm-specific characteristics, such as size, leverage, profitability, and sector. We find evidence that firm characteristics do influence the effectiveness of structural reforms. These findings have relevant policy implications as they help policymakers tailor the design of structural reforms to maximize their payoffs, taking into account their heterogeneous impact on firms.
International Monetary Fund
This note responds to a request from the G20 for IMF assistance in helping develop priorities and guiding principles for structural reforms. Structural reforms have long been a central element of the G20’s strategy of achieving job-rich growth, and G20 countries have made over 1,000 structural policy commitments in their national growth strategies. However, implementation of these commitments has been relatively weak so far. Faster progress on structural reforms is therefore needed to support growth in the near term and bolster potential growth in the medium term—and more generally to make economies more innovative, flexible, and resilient.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues Paper presents an analysis of Belarus-specific conditions and cross-country research, and proposes a roadmap for real-sector reforms. It highlights distortions resulting from the government’s interference in the economy, and presents an overview of economic benefits of deregulation, labor market liberalization, and enterprise reform. The paper also provides estimates of potential gains for Belarus from conducting structural reforms, and offers a blueprint for restructuring while minimizing the risks of resource dislocation.