Western Hemisphere > Venezuela

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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on Venezuelan migration and the labor market. Over 2 million migrants have crossed the border from Venezuela and continue to join Colombia’s labor market—which remains weak overall with rising unemployment and falling participation. There is so far little evidence of displacement effects on account of immigration, however, as the Colombian informal sector has capably absorbed most of the migrant inflow. A more granular view of Colombia’s local labor markets does not show weaker employment outcomes in those that have received the most migrants. However, with many of these workers being highly skilled and attached to the informal sector, evidence of labor misallocation highlights the need to continue integration policies. The government is conducting efforts to accelerate the validation of Venezuelan degrees for easing the integration of professional migrants and high-school educated migrants who wish to continue their university studies in Colombia.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines the export growth in Colombia. Colombian exports are heavily concentrated in commodities but the large real depreciation since 2015 offers an opportunity to grow nontraditional exports substantially. Colombia’s comparative advantage in noncommodity products was weak in 2013-15, and export diversification was low, partly owing to the commodity price boom. Exports grew moderately in recent years but in line with historical relationships given fundamentals. The export outlook is positive. Given global growth assumptions, the IMF staff’s models predict acceleration in export growth. The historical experience of commodity exporters suffers large real depreciations also paints a positive picture.
Mr. Francesco Grigoli, Alexander Herman, and Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel
This paper analyzes saving patterns and determinants in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), including key policy variables and regimes. The review of previous empirical studies on LAC saving reveals contradictions and omissions. This paper presents empirical results of an extensive search of determinants of private and public saving rates, adding previously neglected variables (including different measures of key external prices and macroeconomic policy regimes), in linear form and in interactions with other saving determinants. It analyzes statistical differences in saving determinants between LAC and the rest of the world in a nested econometric framework, and discusses differences across three country subgroups within LAC. The results highlight commonalities and differences in saving behavior between LAC and other world regions, as well as within LAC, identifying the role of key policy variables and regimes.
Mr. Shankha Chakraborty and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
This paper develops a growth model with specialized goods where inefficient and corrupt bureaucracies interact with the provision of public investment services in affecting the productivity of private capital, specialization, and growth. The model provides potential explanations for the contradictory empirical results on the effects of public investment found in the literature as well as for the role of the quality of public infrastructure investment in creating a gap between rich and poor countries. From a policy perspective, the paper suggests that the link between public investment and growth depends critically on the quality and efficiency of public capital.