Thursday, November 15, 2007

This and That from World Bank

“Fiscal Space”—or Fiscal Policy under Constraints?

The Research Digest

Democracy by Other Means? Legalizing Demand for Social and Economic Rights in the Developing World

Finance for All? Policies and Pitfalls in Expanding Access

More growth or fewer collapses ? a new look at long run growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Fiscal rules, public investment, and growth

Fear of appreciation
In recent years the term "fear of floating" has been used to describe exchange rate regimes that, while officially flexible, in practice intervene heavily to avoid sudden or large depreciations. However, the data reveals that in most cases (and increasingly so in the 2000s) intervention has been aimed at limiting appreciations rather than depreciations, often motivated by the neo-mercantilist view of a depreciated real exchange rate as protection for domestic industries. As a first step to address the broader question of whether this view delivers on its promise, the authors examine whether this "fear of appreciation" has a positive impact on growth performance in developing economies. The authors show that depreciated exchange rates appear to induce higher growth, but that the effect, rather than through import substitution or export booms as argued by the mercantilist view, works largely through the deepening of domestic savings and capital accumulation

Global growth and distribution : are China and India reshaping the world?
Over the past 20 years, aggregate measures of global inequality have changed little even if significant structural changes have been observed. High growth rates of China and India lifted millions out of poverty, while the stagnation in many African countries caused them to fall behind. Using the World Bank's LINKAGE global general equilibrium model and the newly developed Global Income Distribution Dynamics (GIDD) tool, this paper assesses the distribution and poverty effects of a scenario where these trends continue in the future. Even by anticipating a deceleration, growth in China and India is a key force behind the expected convergence of per-capita incomes at the global level. Millions of Chinese and Indian consumers will enter into a rapidly emerging global middle class-a group of people who can afford, and demand access to, the standards of living previously reserved mainly for the residents of developed countries. Notwithstanding these positive developments, fast growth is often characterized by high urbanization and growing demand for skills, both of which result in widening of income distribution within countries. These opposing distributional effects highlight the importance of analyzing global disparities by taking into account - as the GIDD does - income dynamics between and within countries.

The incidence of graft on developing-country firms

Patterns of long term growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Riots, coups and civil war : revisiting the greed and grievance debate

Growth diagnostics for a resource-rich transition economy : the case of Mongolia
This paper uses a growth diagnostics approach à la Hausmann, Rodrik, and Velasco (HRV) to identify the most 'binding' constraints to private sector growth in Mongolia - a small, low-income, mineral-rich, transition economy. The approach of applying the HRV methodology is useful in those cases where a lack of data prevents us from estimating shadow prices to identify the most 'binding' constraint to growth. We find that although Mongolia is not liquidity constrained and has grown rapidly in recent years, economic growth has been narrowly based. Investment has flowed mainly into a small number of firms operating in mining and construction. The low level of private investment in sectors outside mining and construction has been due to low returns - a result of costly and unreliable transportation services; lengthy and complex transit procedures, including customs and trade rules; distortionary taxes; coordination failures, at both domestic and international levels; and growing corruption. Poor financial intermediation is also a problem that has kept the cost of finance high, although lower than in previous years. Alleviating these binding constraints will ensure that Mongolia maintains the path towards sustained, broad-based growth.

1 comment:

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