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Carlos Góes
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century puts forth a logically consistent explanation for changes in income and wealth inequality patterns. However, while rich in data, the book provides no formal empirical testing for its theoretical causal chain. In this paper, I build a set of Panel SVAR models to check if inequality and capital share in the national income move up as the r-g gap grows. Using a sample of 19 advanced economies spanning over 30 years, I find no empirical evidence that dynamics move in the way Piketty suggests. Results are robust to several alternative estimates of r-g.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper discusses Bhutan’s Technical Assistance Evaluation report. Participation in the statistical projects financed by the Japanese government in national accounts, prices, government finance, and balance-of-payments statistics is having a major effect on Bhutan’s statistical development. The statistical compilers were well informed about the donor as the source of funding. The method of combining regional workshops and multiple missions was considered to be particularly suitable. Cross-sectoral data consistency and coordination are increasingly recognized as important. Computerized accounting systems for the budgetary central government have been introduced, namely the Multi-Year Rolling Budget and the Public Expenditure Management System.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The key issue facing Congo is how to use oil and mineral resources effectively in support of inclusive growth. Economic conditions are supportive--macroeconomic stability is in place, the terms of trade are favorable, and the external position is strong. External risks are mitigated by membership in CEMAC, under which all members benefit from the French convertibility guarantee, and large fiscal buffers. Yet, growth has not been inclusive. Over half of the population lives in poverty and a labor skills mismatch results in high unemployment and underemployment, especially among youth. The difficult business climate holds back diversification. On March 4, 2012 a munitions depot exploded in Brazzaville causing death and destruction; near-term policies focus on reconstruction and addressing the humanitarian crisis.
Mr. Michael Sarel
This study examines the nature of the growth process in the ASEAN countries, and particularly whether it has been generated primarily by more inputs or by productivity gains. It uses internationally comparable data and explores an alternative method for estimating the capital and labor factor shares. The results, contradicting some previous studies, indicate a very impressive growth rate of TFP in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, a relatively strong rate for Indonesia, and a negative rate for the Philippines. This study argues that the results of previous studies were driven mainly by the fact that they relied on national accounts data for measures of various variables and, in particular, the factor income shares of capital and labor.
Mr. Hamid Faruqee and Mr. Aasim M. Husain
This paper investigates the long-run pattern of private saving in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. These countries have not only maintained saving levels that are currently among the highest in the world but have also experienced a sustained increase in their rate of private saving over the past twenty years. Using a cointegration approach, this paper empirically examines the economic determinants underlying the saving trends in this group and the extent to which these countries share a common experience with respect to the factors accounting for their strong saving performance. The findings suggest that demographic shifts have been an important factor underlying regional saving trends with a similar long-run impact in each country, except for Indonesia where the effects of demographics have been even more pronounced.