Business and Economics > Production and Operations Management

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Konrad Adler, Mr. JaeBin Ahn, and Mai Dao
We document a broad-based trend in rising cash holdings of firms across major industrialized countries over the last two decades, a trend that is most pronounced for firms engaged strongly in R&D activities. Our contributions to the literature are twofold. First, we develop a simple model that brings together the insights from modern trade theory (Melitz, 2003) with those of contract theory in corporate finance (Holmström and Tirole, 1998) to show that increased openness to trade can result in rising returns to innovation and in turn greater demand for cash as firms insure against innovation-induced liquidity risk. Second, we derive sharp empirical predictions and find supporting evidence for them using firm-level data across major G7 countries during 1995-2014, a period that saw an unprecedented rise in globalization and business innovation.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper seeks to assess how this transformation has affected its growth potential. Employing a range of methodologies, the analysis concludes that Vietnam’s medium-term growth potential has increased from 6.2 percent estimated in 2014 to 6.5 percent. Acceleration of reforms that have generated productivity gains in the last decade, including the implementation of agreed free trade agreements, could further boost growth potential. The four methodologies provide a range of estimates for Vietnam’s potential output. On balance, we assess the potential growth estimate in Vietnam to be at 6.5 percent in 2017, higher than previous staff estimates of 6.2. The output gap is estimated at 0.4 percent in 2017. This analysis will be extended further in a forthcoming paper. The production function estimates can be further improved by explicitly incorporating the effect of structural transformation due to labor reallocation into the model, and by better accounting for the impact of the quality of human capital accumulation by taking the quality of education into account. Improvements in data quality, for example, on real estate prices, quarterly gross domestic product, unemployment rate and labor force in the informal sector, and capacity utilization, could further enhance the analysis.
Mr. Waikei R Lam, Mr. Alfred Schipke, Yuyan Tan, and Zhibo Tan
Nonviable “zombie” firms have become a key concern in China. Using novel firm-level industrial survey data, this paper illustrates the central role of zombies and their strong linkages with stateowned enterprises (SOEs) in contributing to debt vulnerabilities and low productivity. As a group, zombie firms and SOEs account for an outsized share of corporate debt, contribute to much of the rise in debt, and face weak fundamentals. Empirical results also show that resolving these weak firms can generate significant gains of 0.7–1.2 percentage points in long-term growth per year. These results also shed light on the ongoing government strategy to tackle these issues by evaluating the effects of different restructuring options. In particular, deleveraging, reducing government subsidies, as well as operational restructuring through divestment and reducing redundancy have significant benefits in restoring corporate performance for zombie firms.
Mr. Jongsoon Shin
This paper describes issues in Korea’s corporate sector, the need for restructuring, and the authorities’ initiatives and challenges. It then identifies lessons from other countries’ experience and conducts an econometric analysis based on cross-country aggregate data, compared with previous studies which mostly use firm-level data. This analysis finds that restructuring episodes, while sometimes challenging in the short term, have typically been associated with more rapid economic growth afterward. Corporate restructuring could have a negative effect on the labor and the financial markets in the short term, but is associated with positive growth through increased investment and capital productivity in the medium term, outpacing the negative effects.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
This paper discusses St. Kitts and Nevis’ Ex Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access Under the 2011 Stand-by Arrangement. The program focused on (1) an ambitious fiscal consolidation, (2) a comprehensive debt restructuring, and (3) a further strengthening of the financial sector. These goals aimed to address the key issues behind the debt crisis, and the potential financial sector outcomes of the restructuring. The program had many successes. The debt reduction was one of the largest in recent times, the headline fiscal and current account balances improved substantially, important tax and public financial management reforms were enacted, and sovereign risk was removed from the banks. Robust growth also resumed.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes Spain’s sustainable growth rate. It sheds some light on Spain’s medium-term growth prospects by looking into the key factors driving potential growth, both in the past and likely in the future, and international experience of countries in the aftermath of financial crisis. The paper suggests Spain is likely to face a long period of moderate growth (about 1½–2 percent) and high unemployment, but policy action—especially that directed toward reducing structural unemployment and raising productivity—could lead to much better outcomes.
Ila Patnaik and Ajay Shah
The literature on the investment technology of foreign versus domestic investors has inconclusive results. This paper revisits the question, with a focus on decomposing portfolio performance into asset allocation and security selection. We document signicant differences in exposure to systematic asset pricing factors between foreign and domestic investors. A quasi-experimental strategy is introduced, for comparing security selection after controlling for diferences in asset allocation. Our results show that foreign investors in India do remarkably poorly at security selection.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues Paper focuses on the economic and financial ties between Poland and the euro area and analyzes the associated spillovers. It documents stylized facts about trade, vertical integration, foreign direct investment, and banking system linkages between Poland and core euro area countries. The impact of shocks originating from the euro area on economic developments in Poland is quantified using two methods, namely a vector auto-regression model and a small-open-economy quarterly projection model.