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Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov
We provide an overview of the theories and empricial evidence on the complex relationship among innovation, competition, and inclusive growth. Competition and innovation-led growth are critical to drive productivity gains and support broad-based growth. However, new technologies and trends in market concentration are stifling future innovation while contributing to the marked increase in inequality. Beyond consumer welfare in a narrow market, competition policy should adapt to this new reality by considering the spillover and dynamic effects of market power, especially on firm entry, innovation, and inequality. Innovation policies should tackle not only government failures but also market failures.
Sophia Chen and Dongyeol Lee
We provide broad-based evidence of a firm size premium of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in Europe after the Global Financial Crisis. The TFP growth of smaller firms was more adversely affected and diverged from their larger counterparts after the crisis. The impact was progressively larger for medium, small, and micro firms relative to large firms. It was also disproportionally larger for firms with limited credit market access. Moreover, smaller firms were less likely to have access to safer banks: those that were better capitalized banks and with a presence in the credit default swap market. Horseraces suggest that firm size may be a more important and robust vulnerability indicator than balance sheet characteristics. Our results imply that the tightening of credit market conditions during the crisis, coupled with limited credit market access especially among micro, small, and medium firms, may have contributed to the large and persistent drop in aggregate TFP.
Mr. Andrew J Tiffin
In Italy, price-based competitiveness measures are not always an accurate predictor of trade outcomes. This paper offers a more comprehensive assessment of Italian competitiveness, focusing on the role of innovation and the evolution of Italy’s export market share. Overall, Italy maintains a high-quality export mix, and the adaptability of small-scale specialized firms is still a source of strength. But, small firm size is becoming less of an asset, and even the most innovative sectors are weighed down by the structural barriers that have depressed productivity more broadly. Italy’s future competitiveness will depend on full implementation of a comprehensive structural-reform agenda.
Ms. Anna Ilyina and Roberto M. Samaniego
The benefits from financial development are known to vary across industries. However, no systematic effort has been made to determine the technological characteristics that are shared by industries that tend to grow relatively faster in more financially developed countries. This paper explores a range of technological characteristics that might underpin differences across industries in the need or the ability to raise external funding. The main finding is that industries that grow faster in more financially developed countries tend to display greater R&D intensity or investment lumpiness, indicating that well-functioning financial markets direct resources towards industries that grow by performing R&D.
Tehmina S. Khan
Total factor productivity (TFP) of 14 manufacturing sectors in France has kept up with that of the United States during 1980-2002 and remained well above that of the United Kingdom. Estimates using a dynamic panel equilibrium correction model indicate that sectors further behind the technological frontier experience faster productivity growth and that spending on research and development and trade with technologically advanced economies positively influences TFP growth, but not the speed of convergence. Conversely, TFP growth is negatively related to some key labor market variables, namely the replacement ratio and the ratio of the minimum wage to the median wage.
Mr. Rodolfo Luzio, Mr. Steven V Dunaway, and Mr. Martin D Kaufman
This paper presents a simple framework that illustrates the link between skill-based wage differentiation and human capital acquisition given skill-biased technical progress. The analysis points to the economic costs resulting from labor market and income redistribution policies that prevent the skill premium from playing its role in fostering human capital accumulation and the adoption of new technologies. The study compares key economic indicators among Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Differences in wage differen-tiation and investment in new technologies among these countries could be related to policies affecting labor markets; such practices may reflect social choices.
Ms. Dalia S Hakura
While the Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek (HOV) theorem has been a dominant paradigm in trade theory, the empirical evidence to support it has been weak. This paper develops a modified HOV model that allows technologies to differ across countries. The revised model significantly improves the theory’s accuracy in predicting trade flows in contrast to the traditional model. The paper also illustrates that, since countries have different technologies, measures of factor contents of trade in final goods using direct and domestically produced indirect input requirements are more accurate and yield more consistent predictions than do traditional measures.
Ms. Jahanara Zaman
This paper examines the extent to which a dynamic international general equilibrium model can account for observed movements in real interest rates and interest rate differentials. Using data for Group of Seven, the study finds that measured real interest rates are countercyclical in a single country and that the contemporaneous cross-correlations between international real interest differentials and output growth spreads are negative. Predictions of the baseline model are, however, inconsistent with the data. Extending the benchmark model to include habit persistence in consumption improves the match between theory and data.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes the IMF’s activities in developing countries. The paper highlights that there are several instances in which the Articles of Agreement require a member to consult on its policies with the IMF. Other actions by a member concerning the exchange rate of its currency, or its exchange regime generally require the IMF’s prior approval or concurrence. Under the IMF’s policy, a member also discusses with the IMF changes in its financial programs in support of which the use of the IMF’s resources has been pledged.