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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper provides a systematic assessment of Moldova’s governance and institutional frameworks. It follows guidelines approved by the IMF executive board, which were developed to deliver systematic and even-handed analysis on macroeconomically critical governance and institutional vulnerabilities. This paper also focuses on seven key areas for IMF engagement: corruption, rule of law, regulatory framework, fiscal governance, financial sector oversight, anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism, and central bank governance. The analysis is based on internationally comparable data, diagnosis from IMF technical assistance reports, as well as other expert assessments. Strengthening the judiciary and rule of law and accelerating state-owned enterprises (SOE) reform are clear priorities. The widespread nature of governance vulnerabilities and institutional weaknesses in Moldova, combined with capacity constraints, creates challenges for policy formulation and prioritization. Policy efforts should therefore focus on strengthening rule of law and reforming Moldova’s judiciary system, as well as building capacity and increasing the autonomy of key institutions. Steadfast SOE reform would foster competition, investment, and productivity, while reducing fiscal risks.
Mr. Balazs Csonto, Yuxuan Huang, and Mr. Camilo E Tovar Mora
This paper examines the extent to which digitalization—measured by a new proxy based on IP addresses allocations per country—has influenced inflation dynamics in a sample of 36 advanced and emerging economies over 2000-2017. Phillips curve estimates show that digitalization has a statistically significant negative effect on inflation in the short run. Its economic impact is not large but has increased since 2012 and mainly operates through a cost/competition channel. Principal components and cointegration analysis further suggest digitalization is a key driver of lower trend inflation.
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.
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.
Mr. Manmohan S. Kumar and Mr. Dennis P. Quinn
This paper analyzes the extent to which the degree of international economic integration, both financial and trade, affects corporate tax rates. It explores this issue in the context of strategic behavior by countries, taking into account other global and domestic political economy factors. Tax rates are analyzed using a unique tax dataset for advanced and developing economies extending over five decades. We report a number of novel results: there is no general negative relationship between financial globalization and corporate tax rates and revenues—results vary according to country grouping with OECD countries showing a positive relationship; the United States exhibits a “Stackelberg” type of leadership on other countries; trade integration is inversely correlated with tax rates; and public sentiment and ideology affect tax rates. The policy implications of these findings, particularly given budgetary pressures in the aftermath of the global crisis, are noted.
Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo
Research summaries on (1) globalization and macroeconomic volatility (by M. Ayhan Kose), and (2) international financial integration and domestic financial systems (by Thierry Tressel); country study on Germany (by Stephan Danninger); book summary of China and India--Learning from Each Other; listing of contents of Vol. 54, Issue No. 1 of IMF Staff Papers; listing of recent external publications by IMF staff; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; and listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during September 2006-April 2007
Mr. Clinton R. Shiells, Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo, Mr. Vladimir Klyuev, and Raghuram Rajan
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper provides a preliminary view on Afghanistan’s external competitiveness through a review of some macroeconomic, microeconomic, and institutional indicators. It discusses the rebuilding of domestic revenue, and analyzes the macroeconomic impact of the drug economy and the counternarcotics efforts. The paper provides, whenever available, statistical information on the real, fiscal, monetary, and external sectors. It also contains a list of state-owned enterprises and an updated summary of the tax system as of end-December 2005.
Mr. George T. Abed and Mr. Hamid R Davoodi

Abstract

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is an economically diverse region. Despite undertaking economic reforms in many countries, and having considerable success in avoiding crises and achieving macroeconomic stability, the region’s economic performance in the past 30 years has been below potential. This paper takes stock of the region’s relatively weak performance, explores the reasons for this out come, and proposes an agenda for urgent reforms.

Ms. Valerie Cerra and Mr. Jarkko Soikkeli
Ireland has had significant competitiveness gains in the 1990s on the basis of the standard manufacturing unit labor cost-based measure of the real effective exchange rate. A handful of sectors mostly dominated by multinational companies have accounted for the bulk of value added in production. Their productivity gains have greatly contributed to Ireland's exceptional growth performance in the 1990s, which has earned it the nickname of "Celtic Tiger." However, these sectors represent a disproportionately smaller share of manufacturing employment, and competitiveness in employment-intensive sectors has been much weaker. This paper thus explores Irish competitiveness from the viewpoint of risks to employment.