Western Hemisphere > Mexico

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Florian Misch and Christian Saborowski
This paper explores the role for specific structural distortions in explaining Mexico’s weak productivity growth through the resource misallocation channel. The paper makes two contributions. First, we validate the approach of measuring misallocation indirectly (Hsieh and Klenow, 2009) by illustrating a close correlation between misallocation and per capita incomes across Mexican states. Second, we exploit the large variation in resource misallocation within industries and across states together with unusually rich data at the firm, local, and industry level to shed light on its determinants. We identify several well-defined distortions that have a statistically and economically meaningful effect on productivity via resource misallocation.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept., International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Research Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, and Review Department
This paper proposes the adoption of a framework that would supplement the 1997 Fund’s Guidance Note on the Role of the Fund in Governance Issues, adopted by the Executive Board (the “1997 Governance Policy”). While the 1997 Governance Policy remains an appropriate basis for the Fund’s work in this area, further guidance from the Executive Board is needed to ensure that the objectives of that policy are achieved. Experience over the past 20 years has underscored the critical impact that governance issues can have on the Fund’s work. In particular, there is evidence that corruption can have a pernicious effect on a country’s ability to achieve sustainable, inclusive economic growth. As requested by the Executive Board, the proposed Framework for Enhanced Engagement by the Fund (“Framework for Enhanced Fund Engagement”) is designed to promote more systematic, effective, and candid engagement with member countries regarding those governance vulnerabilities, including corruption, that are judged to be macroeconomically critical. Perhaps most importantly, the application of the Framework for Enhanced Fund Engagement to all members on a systematic basis will enhance evenhandedness. Finally, the Framework is designed to strengthen the global fight against corruption by promoting governmental measures that prevent private actors from offering bribes or providing services that enable the proceeds of corrupt acts to be concealed, particularly in the transnational context.
Mr. Muthukumara Mani and Mr. Per G. Fredriksson
This paper seeks to contribute to the unresolved issue of the effect of economic integration on environmental policy. In particular, we discuss the joint impact of trade openness and political uncertainty. Our theory predicts that the effect of trade integreation on the environment is conditional on the degree of political uncertainty. Trade integration raises the stringency of environmental policies, but the effect is reduced when the degree of political uncertainty is great. Political uncertainty has a positive effect on environmental policy as it reduces lobbying efforts. Applying our model to a unique data set of primarily developing countries, the empirical findings support the theory and are robust under alterntive specifications.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Since it began operations in 1946, the IMF has steadily evolved in response to changes in the world economy. What steps is it taking to meet the new challenges posed by the Asian crisis?