The paper uses a supply-side framework based on a production function approach to assess the role of structural reforms in boosting long-term GDP growth in Argentina. The impact of product, labor, trade, and tax reforms on each supply-side channel—capital accumulation, labor utilization, and total factor productivity, proxied with an efficiency estimate—is assessed separately and then combined to derive the total impact on growth. The largest effect of structural reforms, involving regulatory changes that promote competition and facilitate flexible forms of employment, comes through the productivity/efficiency channel. Pro-competition regulation also improves labor utilization, while lower entry barriers and trade tariffs are important for capital accumulation. Structural reforms could have substantial effects on Argentina’s long-term GDP growth; for example, an ambitious reform effort to improve business regulatory environment would add 1–1½ percent to average annual growth of GDP.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses prospects for potential growth, house prices, household debt, and financial stability risks, and tax policy reforms in New Zealand. Despite having world-class institutions and strong policy framework, income levels remain low relative to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. During 1980–2014, per capita income levels have remained about 20 percent below the OECD's average income. Longstanding structural issues need to be addressed to boost potential growth. House prices and household debt have increased rapidly in New Zealand over the past two decades. New Zealand's low national saving rate is a source of vulnerability and likely contributes to the relatively high interest rates needed to attract foreign capital.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the housing prices in Australia. Housing prices in Australia have increased strongly over the past two decades, including by comparison internationally. Thus housing prices are often argued to be overvalued. Many counter-arguments have been put forward for why such measures are flawed. This paper argues that housing prices are moderately stronger than consistent with current economic fundamentals, but less than a comparison to historical or international averages would suggest. International comparisons of price-to-income ratios suggest that Australia is broadly in line with comparator countries, although significant data comparability issues make inference difficult.
Emerging economies are characterized by higher consumption and real wage variability relative to output and a strongly countercyclical current account. A real business cycle model of a small open economy that embeds a Mortensen-Pissarides type of search-matching frictions and countercyclical interest rate shocks can jointly account for these regularities. In the face of countercyclical interest rate shocks, search-matching frictions increase future employment uncertainty, improving workers’ incentive to save and generating a greater response of consumption and the current account. Higher consumption response in turn feeds into larger fluctuations in the workers’ bargaining power while the interest rates shocks lead to variations in the firms’ willingness to hire; both of which contribute to a highly variable real wage.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
The Selected Issues paper on the Russian Federation discusses the economic growth and future growth potential of the country. After almost a decade of impressive growth performance, Russia suffered a sharp contraction in 2009 with GDP falling by 8 percent. This paper gives an overview of the conceptual issues regarding potential growth and the analytical framework based on an exogenous growth model; growth accounting results for Russia in the past decade; and importance of structural reforms to achieve sustained high growth.
Using a production function method, this paper assesses the impact of the global crisis on the potential growth of Australia and New Zealand. The two countries have not been hit hard by the global crisis, but have large net external liabilities. The paper finds that the main negative impact of the global crisis is likely to come through higher costs of capital, offset partly by a higher return to capital from strong demand for commodities by emerging Asia. It estimates medium-term potential growth of about 3 percent for Australia and 2. percent for New Zealand, higher than that of many other advanced economies.
Noteworthy among the six papers appearing in this latest issue of the IMF's peer-reviewed journal is another installment in the Special Data Section. Anthony Pellechio and John Cady from the IMF's Statistics Department take a close look at differences in IMF data; how and when they could occur; and what the implications of such differences might be for end-users of the IMF's data.
This paper investigates the main postulations of the R&D based growth models that innovation is created in the R&D sectors and it enables sustainable economic growth, provided that there are constant returns to innovation in terms of R&D. The analysis employs various panel data techniques and uses patent and R&D data for 20 OECD and 10 Non-OECD countries for the period 1981–97. The results suggest a positive relationship between per capita GDP and innovation in both OECD and non-OECD countries, while the effect of R&D stock on innovation is significant only in the OECD countries with large markets. Although these results provide support for endogenous growth models, there is no evidence for constant returns to innovation in terms of R&D, implying that innovation does not lead to permanent increases in economic growth. However, these results do not necessarily suggest a rejection of R&D based growth models, given that neither patent nor R&D data capture the full range of innovation and R&D activities.
This Selected Issues paper first explains the recent increase in trend growth and then discusses how labor market and tax policies could best sustain it. This study calculates French trend growth estimating simultaneously a Cobb–Douglas production technology and total factor productivity. The main conclusion is that French trend growth indeed increased during the second half of the 1990s to an average annual rate of 2.1 percent, from 1.8 percent in 1993. This was not owing to a recovery of total factor productivity growth.