This paper studies the impact of U.S. immigration barriers on global knowledge production. We present four key findings. First, among Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medalists, migrants to the U.S. play a central role in the global knowledge network—representing 20-33% of the frontier knowledge producers. Second, using novel survey data and hand-curated life-histories of International Math Olympiad (IMO) medalists, we show that migrants to the U.S. are up to six times more productive than migrants to other countries—even after accounting for talent during one’s teenage years. Third, financing costs are a key factor preventing foreign talent from migrating abroad to pursue their dream careers, particularly for talent from developing countries. Fourth, certain ‘push’ incentives that reduce immigration barriers—by addressing financing constraints for top foreign talent—could increase the global scientific output of future cohorts by 42 percent. We concludeby discussing policy options for the U.S. and the global scientific community.
This paper discusses the robust growth that continues in most Central and Southeastern European economies as well as in Turkey. Accommodative macroeconomic policies, improving financial intermediation, and rising real wages have been behind the region’s mostly consumption-driven rebound, while private investment remained subdued. In the near-term, strong domestic demand is expected to continue supporting growth amid continued low or negative inflation. The Russian economy went through a sharp contraction last year amid plunging oil prices and sanctions. Other CIS countries were hurt by domestic political and financial woes, as well as by weak demand from Russia. In 2016, output contraction is projected to moderate to around 1½ percent from 4¼ percent in 2015 as the shocks that hit the CIS economies gradually reverberate less and activity stabilizes. In the baseline, a combination of supportive monetary policy and medium-term fiscal consolidation remains valid for many economies in the region.
This Selected Issues paper examines the prospects for Latvia continuing to rapidly reduce its distance from the productivity frontier. It looks at the empirical record of countries that have in the past attained a similar relative level of income to that of Latvia at present, to gauge the plausibility of the forecast for Latvia’s medium term GDP growth of about 4 percent per year. It highlights that more than one-third of the countries reaching a similar stage of development managed to sustain higher subsequent growth. The paper also confirms the importance of investment and structural reforms for Latvia’s future convergence, using a sector-level analysis.
This Selected Issues paper examines migration patterns in Norway and their implications for estimates of potential output. It applies a new methodology proposed by Borio and others (2013) to estimate potential output by drawing on information about immigration and oil price movements. The paper also provides an overview of the recent trend in immigration in Norway and discusses various estimates of potential output using standard approaches. The results indicate that immigration plays a small but statistically significant role in the estimation of potential output for Norway. The data show that immigration inflows into Norway vary across source countries. The largest share of immigrants is from Poland, accounting for 15 percent of the total in 2012. Immigration patterns in Norway contain both cyclical and structural elements, but the latter seems dominant at least for now. Empirical results also suggest that immigration plays some role in determining potential output, however, its impact is quite small, consistent with the view that the recent immigration patterns are structural.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the growth prospects of the Greek economy. It is estimated that exceptional factors boosted growth by 1 percentage point per year in recent years and, under current trends and policies, growth is likely to drop to about 3 percent by the end of the decade. The paper places the recent strong growth performance of the Greek economy in a historical and international context. It also assesses the impact of exceptional factors on growth, and presents statistical estimates of potential growth.
This Selected Issues paper examines the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the recent acceleration of labor productivity growth in the United States. The analysis reveals that the increase of total factor productivity (TFP) growth is a broad phenomenon that encompasses non-ICT producing sectors, consistent with the view that ICT is a “general purpose technology.” The paper investigates whether the productivity boom may have dampened employment in recent years. It also assesses the contribution of immigrants to the United State economy.
This Selected Issues paper presents an empirical comparison of New Zealand’s growth performance with that of Australia during the post-reform period. The paper shows that most of the divergence in income per capita between the two countries has been the result of lower accumulation of capital per hour worked, and to a lesser extent, lower efficiency in utilizing resources in New Zealand. The paper also examines how migration has affected the income and welfare of New Zealand nationals.
This paper analyzes economic developments in El Salvador during 1990–97. The paper assesses the prospects of the Salvadoran economy in facing the new challenges coming from its reinsertion into the global economy. The paper describes the evolution of trade competitiveness and evaluates the divergence from equilibrium of the real effective exchange rate. It concludes that the exchange rate behavior in the last decade appears to have followed roughly the path predicted by a long-term equilibrium exchange rate model consistent with a current account deficit of about 2 percent of GDP.