We evaluate the direct employment effect of the public investment in key infrastructure—electricity, roads, schools and hospitals, and water and sanitation. Using rich firm-level panel data from 41 countries over 19 years, we estimate that US$1 million of public spending in infrastructure create 3–7 jobs in advanced economies, 10–17 jobs in emerging market economies, and 16–30 jobs in low-income developing countries. As a comparison, US$1 million public spending on R&D yields 5–11 jobs in R&D in OECD countries. Green investment and investment with a larger R&D component deliver higher employment effect. Overall, we estimate that one percent of global GDP in public investment can create more than seven million jobs worldwide through its direct employment effects alone.
The paper examines the evolution and drivers of labor force participation in European regions, focusing on the effects of trade and technology. As in the United States, rural regions within European countries saw more pronounced declines (or smaller increases) in participation than urban regions. Unlike in the United States, however, trade and technology, captured here using novel measures of initial exposures to routinization and offshoring, did not result in detachment from the workforce in European regions. Instead, regions with high initial exposures to routinization and offshoring experienced so-far larger increases in participation, likely driven by an added second worker effect.
We study the effect of external financing constraint on job creation in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDC) at the firm level by looking at a specific transmission channel - the working capital channel. We develop a simple model to illustrate how the need for working capital financing of a firm affects the link between financial constraint and the firm's job creation. We show that the effect of relaxing financial constraint on job creation is greater the smaller the firm scale and the more labor-intensive its production structure. We use the World Bank Enterprise Surveys data to test the main predictions of the model, and find strong evidence for the working capital channel of external finance on firm employment.
Ms. Elva Bova, João Tovar Jalles, and Ms. Christina Kolerus
This paper explores conditions and policies that could affect the matching between labor demand and supply. We identify shifts in the Beveridge curves for 12 OECD countries between 2000Q1 and 2013Q4 using three complementary methodologies and analyze the short-run determinants of these shifts by means of limited-dependent variable models. We find that labor force growth as well as employment protection legislation reduce the likelihood of an outward shift in the Beveridge curve,. Our findings also show that the matching process is more difficult the higher the share of employees with intermediate levels of education in the labor force and when long-term unemployment is more pronounced. Policies which could facilitate labor market matching include active labor market policies, such as incentives for start-up and job sharing programs. Passive labor market policies, such as unemployment benefits, as well as labor taxation render matching signficantly more difficult.
This Selected Issues paper assesses recent trends in Hungary’s potential growth and medium-term growth prospects. It analyzes to what extent the recent moderation of GDP growth reflects structural factors. The paper lays out some stylized facts about the Hungarian economy that could explain the growth slowdown observed in recent years. It provides estimates of potential growth using various methods, identifies the sources of the growth slowdown, and offers forecasts of potential growth over the medium-term under the baseline scenario. A model-based approach is also employed to estimate potential growth over the medium term under a reform scenario.
The two legs that have held up the forint in recent years—a strong “EU accession effect” and positive sentiment toward emerging markets—may no longer be strong enough to offset Hungary’s weak fundamentals. Fiscal consolidation efforts should be supported by stronger budget controls and greater transparency and accountability. This paper is an effort to shed light on Hungary’s employment dynamics, placed in the European Union (EU) context. Hungary’s employment generation has been relatively strong, partly owing to the country’s favorable initial employment distribution across sectors.
Mr. Philippe Egoume Bossogo, Mr. Jerald A Schiff, Ms. Miho Ihara, Mr. Tetsuya Konuki, and Ms. Kornelia Krajnyak
More than a decade after the start of the transition process, unemployment rates remain in the double digits in a number of Central and Eastern European countries. That unemployment rates have failed to decline, even in countries experiencing good growth, is puzzling. In this paper the authors examine three interrelated questions: How has the transition from central planning to market economies affected labor market performance? How have labor market institutions and policies influenced developments? Why have regional differences in unemployment persisted? The authors take an eclectic methodological approach: construction of a new data set and a simple analytical model; econometric estimation; and case studies. They find that faster-performing countries have better unemployment records; that labor market policies have some, but not dominant, influence over labor market outcomes; that policies not typically viewed as labor market policies can nevertheless significantly affect labor markets; and that market processes cannot be relied on to eliminate regional differences in unemployment.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes current developments and outlook for inflation in the Czech Republic. Inflation in the Czech Republic has fallen substantially since peaking in the double digits in 1998. The crisis-led depreciation of the koruna in mid-1997 pushed year-over-year inflation to more than 13 percent. The paper presents the IMF staff analysis that shows that without interest rate increases, inflation is likely to begin to rise above the midpoint of the Czech National Bank’s target in mid-2005. The paper also analyzes the Czech labor market in a cross-country perspective.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the use of fiscal rules in Poland and also suggests improvements. The study reviews the income tax reforms, developments in the polish tax system, and discusses the need and scope for public expenditure reform, employment, and the role of reforms of labor market institutions in reducing the unemployment rate. The paper highlights the trend in the saving-investment balance, the major determinants of private saving, and presents the results of a simple econometric analysis based on a panel dataset of selected transition economies.
This paper examines the impact of the opening up of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union on Western Europe. The analysis suggests that given reasonable (yet necessarily imprecise) assumptions on the likely developments in the previously centrally planned economies (PCPEs) over the next ten years, West European capital markets are likely to experience only a mild squeeze from their concerted efforts to provide external financing to the East. Most macroeconomic aggregates are likely to suffer shocks significantly smaller than would be expected from a typical business cycle.