Western Hemisphere > St. Kitts and Nevis

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Dongyeol Lee
In the last two decades, manufacturing industries in Korea have become more concentrated, and interconnectedness across industries and to foreign countries has risen via vertical relationships and trade linkages. This paper investigates the transmission of economic shocks in such a highly concentrated and interconnected structure, focusing on the role of vertical and trade linkages and using the industry-level international input-output data. The results suggest that, first, the role of vertical and trade linkages in propagating growth shocks from both domestic sources and external sources is important. Second, the growth impact of a few key sources of economic shocks is relatively large. These findings highlight that economic shocks in a few key industries and/or major trading partners that are transmitted through vertical and trade linkages can lead to large swings in the overall economy. This paper contributes to the understanding of the potential interactions between the industrial structure and economic growth and stability.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues papers review factors that drive wage growth in Poland and studies structural characteristics and firm-level total factor productivity (TFP) in Poland and Emerging Europe. The increase in real unit labor costs (RULC) occurred alongside an unprecedently tight labor market. The study highlights that the more subdued RULC dynamics compared with the pre-crisis period, despite the now-lower unemployment rate, may reflect the recent influx of foreign workers. In order to more systematically identify the long- and short-term drivers of Polish wages, an Error-correction model has been used. Analyses presented in the paper using both Statistics Poland and Orbis data show that foreign-owned firms are associated with strong TFP performance through above-average TFP levels and growth rates. The findings suggest the need to create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship by reducing barriers to entry and ensuring a level playing field between state owned and private firms, while also avoiding barriers to scaling up businesses while encouraging investments in innovation and research and development.
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.
Gareth Anderson and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
Productivity growth in Italy has been persistently anemic and has lagged that of the euro area over the period 1999-2015, while the indebtedness of its corporate sector has increased. Using the ORBIS firm-level database, this paper studies the long-term impact of persistent corporate-debt accumulation on the productivity growth of Italian firms and investigates whether total factor productivity growth varies with the level of corporate indebtedness. We employ a novel estimation technique proposed by Chudik, Mohaddes, Pesaran, and Raissi (2017) to account for dynamics, bi-directional feedback effects, cross-firm heterogeneity, and cross-sectional dependence arising from unobserved common factors (for example, oil price shocks, labor and product market frictions, and stance of global financial cycle). Filtering out the effects of unobserved common factors and controlling for firmspecific characteristics, we find significant negative effects of persistent corporate debt build-up on total factor productivity growth, and weak evidence of a threshold level of corporate debt, beyond which productivity growth drops off significantly. Our results have strong policy implications, for example the design of the tax system should discourage persistent corporate debt accumulation, and effective and timely frameworks to reduce corporate debt overhangs are essential.
Jorge Alvarez
A key feature of developing economies is that wages in agriculture are significantly below those of other sectors. Using Brazilian household surveys and administrative panel data, I use information on workers who switch sectors to decompose the drivers of this gap. I find that most of the gap is explained by differences in worker composition. The evidence speaks against the existence of large short-term gains from reallocating workers out of agriculture and favors recently proposed Roy models of inter-sector sorting. A calibrated sorting model of structural transformation can account for the wage gap level observed and its decline as the economy transitioned out of agriculture.