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Jorge Alvarez and Claudia Berg
A large share of cross-country differences in productivity is explained by differences in agricultural productivity. Using a combination of sub-national agricultural statistics and geospatial datasets on crop-specific potential yields, we study the main drivers of this variation from a macroeconomic perspective. We find that differences in geographically-induced crop-specific comparative advantages can explain a substantial share of the variation in yields across the world. Data reveal substantial gaps between potential and observed yields in most countries. When decomposing these within country gaps, we find that crop selection gaps are on average larger than those induced by input usage alone. The results highlight the importance of understanding the interaction of geography and crop selection drivers in assessing aggregate agricultural productivity differences.
Nina Biljanovska and Alexis Meyer-Cirkel
The paper examines the transmission of business cycle fluctuations and credit conditions from advanced and emerging market economies to Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs), using a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) framework and related countryspecific error correction models. We compile a dataset on bank credit, exports, output, and real effective exchange rate for 24 LIDCs and 16 Advanced and Emerging Markets, accounting for 74 percent of World GDP, from 1990Q1 to 2013Q4. Impulse response analyses show that business cycles in oil- and commodity-exporting, as well as frontier LIDCs are more synchronized with those in emerging market economies. Furthermore, credit conditions in the US seem to have a significant impact on exports and real economic activity in LIDCs, while these variables are basically unresponsive to credit availability in emerging markets or economies in other parts of the world.
Anna Ter-Martirosyan, Ms. Sally Chen, Mr. Lawrence Dwight, Ms. Mwanza Nkusu, Mr. Mehdi Raissi, and Ms. Ashleigh Watson
External Assessments in Special Cases presents the pilot External Balances Assessment methodology developed by IMF staff for estimating current account and exchange rate gaps for a group of advanced and emerging market economies, and discusses modifications to take account of special cases. Different approaches to external assessments for countries with special circumstances are evaluated, and some tools presented that could be used to inform sound judgment on the part of those conducting such assessments.
International Monetary Fund
This paper analyzes the efforts taken to create fiscal space for the implementation of the fifth national development plan and the risk associated with it, examines the role of monetary policy in determining inflation, and discusses policy options to achieve low inflation. It also identifies areas where reform strategy needs more attention and suggests that reforms of financial system regulation need to be accelerated to ensure stability of the system. It analyzes traditional reserve adequacy measures, and finds looming power crisis as an obstacle to growth.