Maria Borga, Achille Pegoue, Mr. Gregory M Legoff, Alberto Sanchez Rodelgo, Dmitrii Entaltsev, and Kenneth Egesa
This paper presents estimates of the carbon emissions of FDI from capital formation funded by FDI and the production of foreign-controlled firms. The carbon intensity of capital formation financed by FDI has trended down, driven by reductions in the carbon intensity of electricity generation. Carbon emissions from the operations of foreign-controlled firms are greater than those from their capital formation. High emission intensities were accompanied by high export intensities in mining, transport, and manufacturing. Home country policies to incentivize firms to meet strict emissions standards in both their domestic and foreign operations could be important to reducing emissions globally.
Manoj Atolia, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Milton Marquis, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
This paper takes a fresh look at the current theories of structural transformation and the role of private and public fundamentals in the process. It summarizes some representative past and current experiences of various countries vis-a-vis structural transformation with a focus on the roles of manufacturing, policy, and the international environment in shaping the trajectory of structural transformation. The salient aspects of the current debate on premature deindustrialization and its relation to a middle-income trap are described as they relate to the path of structural transformation. Conclusions are drawn regarding prospective future paths for structural transformation and development policies.
Mr. Koshy Mathai, Mr. Geoff Gottlieb, Mr. Gee Hee Hong, Sung Eun Jung, Jochen M. Schmittmann, and Jiangyan Yu
China’s trade patterns are evolving. While it started in light manufacturing and the assembly of more sophisticated products as part of global supply chains, China is now moving up the value chain, “onshoring” the production of higher-value-added upstream products and moving into more sophisticated downstream products as well. At the same time, with its wages rising, it has started to exit some lower-end, more labor-intensive sectors. These changes are taking place in the broader context of China’s rebalancing—away from exports and toward domestic demand, and within the latter, away from investment and toward consumption—and as a consequence, demand for some commodity imports is slowing, while consumption imports are slowly rising.
The evolution of Chinese trade, investment, and consumption patterns offers opportunities and challenges to low-wage, low-income countries, including China’s neighbors in the Mekong region. Cambodia, Lao P.D.R., Myanmar, and Vietnam (the CLMV) are all open economies that are highly integrated with China. Rebalancing in China may mean less of a role for commodity exports from the region, but at the same time, the CLMV’s low labor costs suggest that manufacturing assembly for export could take off as China becomes less competitive, and as China itself demands more consumption items.
Labor costs, however, are only part of the story. The CLMV will need to strengthen their infrastructure, education, governance, and trade regimes, and also run sound macro policies in order to capitalize fully on the opportunities presented by China’s transformation. With such policy efforts, the CLMV could see their trade and integration with global supply chains grow dramatically in the coming years.
Diversification and structural transformation play important roles in influencing the macroeconomic performance of low-income countries (LICs). Increases in income per capita at early stages of development are typically accompanied by a transformation in a country’s production and export structure. This can include diversification into new products and trading partners as well as increases in the quality of existing products.
Christian Henn, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Mr. Nikola Spatafora
This paper develops new, far more extensive estimates of export quality, covering 178 countries and hundreds of products over 1962–2010. Quality upgrading is particularly rapid during the early stages of development, with quality convergence largely completed as a country reaches upper middle-income status. There is significant cross-country heterogeneity in quality growth rates. Within any given product line, quality converges both conditionally and unconditionally to the world frontier; increases in institutional quality and human capital are associated with faster quality upgrading. In turn, faster growth in quality is associated with more rapid output growth. The evidence suggests that quality upgrading is best encouraged through a broadly conducive domestic environment, rather than sector-specific policies. Diversification is important to create new upgrading opportunities.
Limited diversification is an underlying characteristic of many low-income countries (LICs). Concentration in sectors with limited scope for increases in productivity and quality may result in less broad-based and sustainable growth. Moreover, lack of diversification may increase exposure to adverse external shocks and macroeconomic instability. The SDN will have three objectives. First, to review and extend the evidence, from the existing literature and ongoing IMF work, that points to diversification as a crucial aspect of the development process. A major focus will be on cross-country and cross-regional differences in the pace of diversification. Second, to draw lessons from the experiences of those countries that have successfully diversified their economies. Third, to analyze the relationship between diversification, growth, and volatility.