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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.
Wilfried A. Kouamé and Mr. Sampawende J Tapsoba
This paper assesses the effects of structural reforms on firm-level productivity for 37 developing countries from 2006 to 2014 period. It takes advantage of the IMF Monitoring of Fund Arrangements dataset for reform indexes and the World Bank Enterprise Surveys for firm-level productivity. The paper highlights the following results. Structural reforms such as financial, fiscal, real sector, and trade reforms, significantly improve firm-level productivity. Interestingly, real sector reforms have the most sizeable effects on firm-level productivity. The relationship between structural reforms and firm-level productivity is nonlinear and shaped by some firms’ characteristics such as the financial access, the distortionary environment, and the size of firms. The pace of structural reforms matters since being a “strong reformer” is associated with a clear productivity dividend for firms. Finally, except for financial and trade reforms, all structural reforms under consideration are bilaterally complementary in improving firm-level productivity. These findings are robust to several sensitivity checks.
International Monetary Fund
Fund staff use indicators developed by other organizations as input into analysis in surveillance and, to a lesser extent, in program work. While the Fund has been able to rely on data and statistics provided by member countries and compiled internally, continued efforts to foster global economic and financial stability require staff to work with indicators drawn from numerous third-party compilers. These indicators of varied qualities are used to measure concepts such as business environment, competitiveness, and quality of governance. It is anticipated that staff will continue to draw on other institutions’ expertise and estimates. This practice is consistent with the Executive Board’s guidance in areas where internal expertise is lacking or limited. It also puts a premium on staff’s understanding of the third-party indicators (TPIs) used to add analytical value, avoid flawed conclusions and presentation, and support traction with the membership. This paper outlines a framework to promote best practice with respect to use of TPIs in Fund reports. The framework will apply to all documents that are subject to the Fund’s Transparency Policy. Staff are encouraged to follow similar guidelines for other Fund documents. It draws on lessons from the current practice in the Fund and other selected international organizations (IOs), and insights from the application of an adapted data quality assessment framework (DQAF) to a subset of TPIs commonly used by Fund staff. Common good practices across IOs include the emphasis on staff judgment, review, and consultation with stakeholders.
International Monetary Fund
Following the request of the IMFC, this paper represents a first step in reassessing the Fund’s approach to tackling governance issues, the guidelines for which are contained in a 1997 Guidance Note. The paper examines the record of implementation of these guidelines in the period since the last such review was conducted in 2004, focusing on the handling of issues relating to corruption.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Algeria analyzes the potential economic impact of Algeria’s Association Agreement with the European Union (AAEU). The paper lays out the major elements of Algeria’s AAEU and makes a comparison with other AAEUs. It discusses the potential economic implications (costs and benefits) of the agreement, and elaborates economic policy issues and challenges. The paper also takes stock of Algeria’s business climate as the authorities consider the use of the fiscal space created by higher hydrocarbon revenues to tackle Algeria’s jobs challenge.