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  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Eujiin Jung, Tyler Moran, Martin Vieiro
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Hufbauer and colleagues critically evaluate the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s ambitious multipart project titled Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which contains 15 "Actions" to prevent multinational corporations (MNCs) from escaping their "fair share" of the tax burden. Spurred by G-20 finance ministers, the OECD recommends changes in national legislation, revision of existing bilateral tax treaties, and a new multilateral agreement for participating countries. The proposition that MNCs need to pay more tax enjoys considerable political resonance as government budgets are strained, the world economy is struggling, income inequality is rising, and the news media have publicized instances of corporations legally lowering their global tax burdens by reporting income in low-tax jurisdictions and expenses in high-tax jurisdictions. Given that the US system taxes MNCs more heavily than other advanced countries and provides fewer tax incentives for research and development (R&D), implementation of the BEPS Actions would drive many MNCs to relocate their headquarters to tax-friendly countries and others to offshore significant amounts of R&D activity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Barbara Kotschwar
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In Latin America, inadequate transportation infrastructure has been identified as an increasingly important impediment to the region's further integration in global trade and a significant factor preventing countries from properly taking advantage of the multitude of regional, plurilateral, and bilateral trade agreements signed in the past decade and a half. This paper examines transport and communications infrastructure initiatives in Latin American and Asian regional trade arrangements and finds several lessons Asia can teach Latin America.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Communications, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Joseph E. Gagnon
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Over the past 10 years, central banks and governments throughout the developing world have accumulated foreign exchange reserves and other official assets at an unprecedented rate. This paper shows that this official asset accumulation has driven a substantial portion of the recent large global current account imbalances. These net official capital flows have become large relative to the size of the industrial economies, and they are a significant factor contributing to the weakness of the economic recovery in the major industrial economies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo, Prachi Mishra
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of China's exchange rate changes on exports of competitor countries in third markets, known as the "spillover effect." Recent theory is used to develop an identification strategy in which competition between China and its developing country competitors in specific products and destinations plays a key role. The variation is used—afforded by disaggregated trade data—across exporters, importers, product, and time to estimate this spillover effect. The results show robust evidence of a statistically and quantitatively significant spillover effect. Estimates suggest that, on average, a 10 percent appreciation of China's real exchange rate boosts a developing country's exports of a typical 4-digit Harmonized System (HS) product category to third markets by about 1.5 to 2 percent. The magnitude of the spillover effect varies systematically with product characteristics as implied by theory.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Samuel Reynard
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Financial crises have been followed by different inflation paths which are related to monetary policy and money creation by the banking sector during those crises. Accounting for equilibrium changes and non-linearity issues, the empirical relationship between money and subsequent inflation developments has remained stable and similar in crisis and normal times. This analysis can explain why the financial crisis in Argentina in the early 2000s was followed by increasing inflation, whereas Japan experienced deflation in the 1990s and 2000s despite quantitative easing. Current quantitative easing policies should lead to increasing and persistent inflation over the next years.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Donghyun Park, Kwanho Shin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: There is a widespread perception that Korea's services sector lags behind its dynamic world-class manufacturing sector. This paper empirically analyzes the past performance of Korea's services sector in order to assess its prospects as an engine of growth. The analysis resoundingly confirms the conventional wisdom of an underperforming service sector. In light of Korea's high income and development level, the poor performance of modern services is of particular concern. The authors identify a number of factors underlying the poor performance and set forth policy recommendations for addressing them. Overall, Korea faces a challenging but navigable road ahead in developing a high value-added services sector.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Israel, Korea
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Martin Kessler
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A country's rise to economic dominance tends to be accompanied by its currency becoming a reference point, with other currencies tracking it implicitly or explicitly. For a sample comprising emerging market economies, we show that in the last two years, the renminbi has increasingly become a reference currency which we define as one which exhibits a high degree of co-movement (CMC) with other currencies. In East Asia, there is already a renminbi bloc, because the renminbi has become the dominant reference currency, eclipsing the dollar, which is a historic development. In this region, 7 currencies out of 10 co-move more closely with the renminbi than with the dollar, with the average value of the CMC relative to the renminbi being 40 percent greater than that for the dollar. We find that co-movements with a reference currency, especially for the renminbi, are associated with trade integration. We draw some lessons for the prospects for the renminbi bloc to move beyond Asia based on a comparison of the renminbi's situation today and that of the Japanese yen in the early 1990s. If trade were the sole driver, a more global renminbi bloc could emerge by the mid-2030s but complementary reforms of the financial and external sector could considerably expedite the process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Donghyun Park
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The maturing of the manufacturing sector in many Asian countries, combined with the relative backwardness of its services sector, has made services sector development a top priority for developing Asia. The authors' central objective is to broadly survey and analyze the current landscape of the region's services sector so as to assess its potential to serve as an engine for inclusive economic growth. Their analysis indicates that services are already an important source of output, growth, and jobs in the region. However, its productivity greatly lags that of the advanced economies, which implies ample room for further growth. The impact of the services sector on poverty reduction is less clear but the authors do find some limited evidence of a poverty reduction effect. One key challenge for all Asian countries is to improve the quality of services sector data. Overall, while services sector development is a long and challenging process, creating more competitive services markets by removing a wide range of internal and external policy distortions is vital for improving services sector productivity. As important as such policy reforms are, complementary investments in physical infrastructure and human capital will also be necessary to achieve a strong services sector.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott, Julia Muir, Minsoo Lee
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Trade and investment in services are difficult to measure, and the regulatory barriers that inhibit the free flow of services are hard to quantify. As a result, very little attention has been paid to dismantling barriers to services trade and investment. Rather, free trade negotiations tend to focus on liberalizing merchandise trade. This paper examines what has been achieved in both regional and multilateral compacts by surveying international precedents involving Asian countries in which services reforms have been included in bilateral and regional trade pacts. The authors then assess the prospects for services trade negotiations and explore how services trade negotiations could be pursued over the next decade through two distinct channels: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a plurilateral approach among groups of WTO countries. The authors find that in the case of developing Asia, free trade agreements have largely excluded services or have only committed to "lock in" current practices in a narrow subset of service sectors. This is also the case in agreements negotiated between developing countries, which have produced less substantial commitments to liberalize services than those negotiated between developing and developed countries. Multilateral negotiations on services have also underperformed, as substantive negotiations on services in the Doha Round never really got underway. To that end, the authors advocate a stronger effort by developing Asian countries to prioritize services negotiations in their regional arrangements and to expand coverage of services in those pacts to a broad range of infrastructure services that are included in other FTAs in force or under construction in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: C. Randall Henning
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the exchange rate regimes of East Asian countries since the initial shift by China to a controlled appreciation in July 2005, testing econometrically the weights of key currencies in the implicit baskets that appear to be targeted by East Asian monetary authorities. It finds, first, that Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines have formed a loose but effective “renminbi bloc” with China, and that South Korea has participated tentatively since the global financial crisis. Second, the emergence of the renminbi bloc in terms of the exchange rate has been facilitated by the continued dominance of the US dollar as a trade, investment, and reserve currency. Third, exchange rate stabilization is explained by the economic strategies of these countries, which rely heavily on export development and financial repression, and the economic rise of China. Fourth, analysts should specify the exchange rate preferences of these emerging market countries carefully before drawing inferences about Chinese influence within the region.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Asia, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand
  • Author: Olivier Jeanne
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper presents a simple model of how a small open economy can undervalue its real exchange rate using its capital account policies. The paper presents several properties of such policies, and proposes a rule of thumb to assess their welfare cost. The model is applied to an analysis of Chinese capital account policies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Carmen M. Reinhart, Nicolas E. Magud, Kenneth S. Rogoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The literature on capital controls has (at least) four very serious apples-to-oranges problems: (i) There is no unified theoretical framework to analyze the macroeconomic consequences of controls; (ii) there is significant heterogeneity across countries and time in the control measures implemented; (iii) there are multiple definitions of what constitutes a "success" and (iv) the empirical studies lack a common methodology-furthermore these are significantly "overweighted" by a couple of country cases (Chile and Malaysia). In this paper, we attempt to address some of these shortcomings by: being very explicit about what measures are construed as capital controls. Also, given that success is measured so differently across studies, we sought to "standardize" the results of over 30 empirical studies we summarize in this paper. The standardization was done by constructing two indices of capital controls: Capital Controls Effectiveness Index (CCE Index), and Weighted Capital Control Effectiveness Index (WCCE Index). The difference between them lies in that the WCCE controls for the differentiated degree of methodological rigor applied to draw conclusions in each of the considered papers. Inasmuch as possible, we bring to bear the experiences of less well known episodes than those of Chile and Malaysia. Then, using a portfolio balance approach we model the effects of imposing capital controls on short-term flows. We find that there should exist country-specific characteristics for capital controls to be effective. From this simple perspective, this rationalizes why some capital controls were effective and some were not. We also show that the equivalence in effects of price- vs. quantity-capital control are conditional on the level of short-term capital flows.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy, Patrick Douglass
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Despite an erosion of consensus on its benefits, capital account convertibility remains a long-term goal of China. This paper identifies three major preconditions for convertibility in China: a strong domestic banking system, relatively developed domestic financial markets, and an equilibrium exchange rate. The authors examine each of these in turn and find that, in significant respects, China does not yet meet any of the conditions necessary for convertibility. They then evaluate China's progress to date on capital account liberalization, including recent efforts to promote renminbi internationalization and greater use of the renminbi in trade settlement. The paper concludes with an overview of remaining obstacles to convertibility and policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Trevor Houser, Jason Selfe
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: At the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun in 2010, the United States joined other developed countries in pledging to mobilize $100 billion in public and private sector funding to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a warmer world. With a challenging US fiscal outlook and the failure of cap-and-trade legislation in the US Congress, America's ability to meet this pledge is increasingly in doubt. This paper identifies, quantifies, and assesses the politics of a range of potential US sources of climate finance. It finds that raising new public funds for climate finance will be extremely challenging in the current fiscal environment and that many of the politically attractive alternatives are not realistically available absent a domestic cap-and-trade program or other regime for pricing carbon. Washington's best hope is to use limited public funds to leverage private sector investment through bilateral credit agencies and multilateral development banks.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Politics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, United Nations
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Utsav Kumar
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper marks the first attempt at examining the growth performance across Indian states for the 2000s, a period also marked by the global financial crisis. Four key findings are reported. First, consistent with the fact that the 2000s was the best ever decade for Indian macroeconomic performance, growth increased across almost all major states in 2001–09 compared to 1993–2001. Second, nevertheless, there is a continued phenomenon of divergence or rising inequality across states: On average the richer states in 2001 grew faster in 2001–09. Third, during the crisis years of 2008 and 2009, states with the highest growth in 2001–07 suffered the largest deceleration. Since states with the highest growth were also the most open, it seems that openness creates dynamism and vulnerability. Finally, although the demographic dividend—a young population boosting economic dynamism—was evident before 2000, there is little evidence that there was any dividend in the 2000s. Demography alone cannot be counted on for future economic growth.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: C. Randall Henning, Mohsin S. Khan
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Currently, Asia's influence in global financial governance is not consistent with its weight in the world economy. This paper examines the role of Asia in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Group of Twenty (G-20). It looks in particular at how the relationship between East Asian countries and the IMF has evolved since the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 and outlines how Asian regional arrangements for crisis financing and economic surveillance could constructively interact with the IMF in the future. It also considers ways to enhance the effectiveness of Asian countries in the G-20 process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence, Lawrence Edwards
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Concerns that growth in developing countries could worsen the US terms of trade and that increased US trade with developing countries will increase US wage inequality both implicitly reflect the assumption that goods produced in the United States and developing countries are close substitutes and that specialization is incomplete. In this paper we show on the contrary that there are distinctive patterns of international specialization and that developed and developing countries export fundamentally different products, especially those classified as high tech. Judged by export shares, the United States and developing countries specialize in quite different product categories that, for the most part, do not overlap. Moreover, even when exports are classified in the same category, there are large and systematic differences in unit values that suggest the products made by developed and developing countries are not very close substitutes—developed country products are far more sophisticated.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The state is often conceptualized as playing an enabling role in a country's economic development—providing public goods, such as the legal protection of property rights, while the political economy of reform is conceived in terms of bargaining over policy among elites or special interest groups. We document a case that turns this perspective on its head: efficiency-enhancing institutional and behavioral changes arising not out of a conscious, top-down program of reform, but rather as unintended (and in some respects, unwanted) by-products of state failure. Responses from a survey of North Korean refugees demonstrate that the North Korean economy marketized in response to state failure with the onset of famine in the 1990s, and subsequent reforms and retrenchments appear to have had remarkably little impact on some significant share of the population. There is strong evidence of powerful social changes, including increasing inequality, corruption, and changed attitudes about the most effective pathways to higher social status and income. These assessments appear to be remarkably uniform across demographic groups. While the survey sample marginally overweights demographic groups with less favorable assessments of the regime, even counterfactually recalibrating the sample to match the underlying resident population suggests widespread dissatisfaction with the North Korean regime.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: John Williamson
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The paper summarizes the current theory of how a floating exchange rate is determined, dividing the subject into what determines the steady state and what determines the transition to steady state. The inadequacies of this model are examined, and an alternative “behavioral” model, which recognizes that the foreign exchange market is populated by both fundamentalists and chartists is presented. It is argued that the main importance of understanding the foreign exchange market for development strategy is to permit a correct appraisal of the dangers of Dutch disease. Empirically it seems that from the standpoint of promoting development it is preferable to have a mildly undervalued rate. The paper concludes by examining implications for exchange rate regimes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Lori G. Kletzer, J . Bradford Jensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: While the uproar over offshoring has largely subsided since the 2004 presidential campaign, there continues to be concern and anxiety regarding the potential impact of offshoring in general and services offshoring in particular. With the economy softening and potentially headed for a recession in the midst of the current presidential campaign, worries about jobs and globalization seem likely to reemerge.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Howard F. Rosen
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In 1962, when the United States was running a trade surplus, imports were barely noticeable, and manufacturing employment was increasing, Congress made a commitment to assist American workers, firms, and communities hurt by international trade, by establishing the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. This commitment was based on an appreciation that despite their large benefits, widely distributed throughout the economy, international trade and investment could also be associated with severe economic dislocations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In the first decade of the 21st century the International Monetary Fund (IMF) faced crises of legitimacy, relevance, and budgetary finance. It now confronts what likely will be the worst global recession since World War II, potentially huge demands for its financial assistance with limited resources, and calls for it to play a more central role in the international financial and regulatory systems. At the same time, the incoming Barack Obama administration must decide what to do about the modest package of IMF reforms that was completed in the spring of 2008. The package requires US congressional approval to go into effect. This paper reviews the recent, slow progress on IMF reform and makes recommendations to the Obama administration against the background of that record, the emerging global recession, and continuing financial turmoil. I recommend that the IMF package be reopened to include a doubling of IMF quotas and an amendment that will permit the Fund to swap special drawing rights (SDR) with major central banks to finance its short-term lending facility. I also recommend a special allocation of 50 billion SDR. If these proposals are turned down by the G-20 at its meeting in April 2009, I reluctantly recommend that the Obama administration seek congressional approval of the IMF package as it now stands because a failure to do so would seriously undermine the Fund as a central multilateral institution.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Global Recession
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Fabricius
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Since their inception at the end of the Second World War, the sister organizations of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have aimed to consistently speak with one voice vis-à-vis their member governments. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that they often do not speak in one voice. Fabricius draws on field research conducted in Ghana, Pakistan, Peru, and Vietnam to identify the conditions that determine whether or not the organizations are indeed on the same page and to address whether their traditional plea for consistency is always desirable. He recommends which measures seem crucial to ensure Bank-Fund consistency. At the same time he argues that under certain conditions, this consistency may lead to policy choices that are only second-best. He proposes that the Bank and the Fund pursue a case-specific approach in deciding whether they should take the same stance. A more flexible approach may increase not only the ownership of borrowing countries but also the sustainability of policy choices.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Vietnam, Peru, Ghana
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland, Yoonok Chang
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Results from a survey of more than 1,300 North Korean refugees in China provide insight into changing economic conditions in North Korea. There is modest evidence of slightly more positive assessments among those who exited the country following the initiation of reforms in 2002. Education breeds skepticism; higher levels of education were associated with more negative perceptions of economic conditions and reform efforts. Other demographic markers such as gender or provincial origin are not robustly correlated with attitudes. Instead, personal experiences appear to be central: A significant number of the respondents were unaware of the humanitarian aid program and the ones who knew of it almost universally did not believe that they were beneficiaries. This group's evaluation of the regime, its intentions, and accomplishments is overwhelmingly negative—even more so than those of respondents who report having had experienced incarceration in political detention facilities—and attests to the powerful role that the famine experience continues to play in the political economy of the country.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This working paper assesses the progress made in improving China's exchange rate policies over the past five years (that is, since 2002). I first discuss four indicators of progress on China's external imbalance and its exchange rate policies—namely, the change in (and level of) China's global current account position, movements in the real effective exchange rate of the renminbi (RMB), the role of market forces in the determination of the RMB, and China's compliance with its obligations on exchange rate policy as a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I then discuss why the lack of progress in improving China's exchange rate policies matters for the economies of the China and the United States and for the international monetary and trading system. I also argue that several popular arguments and excuses for why more cannot be accomplished on removing the large undervaluation of the RMB are unpersuasive. Finally, I consider what can and should be done by China, the United States, and the IMF to accelerate progress over the next year or two.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Japan faces significant challenges in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Attempts to formally model past industrial policy interventions uniformly uncover little, if any, positive impact on productivity, growth, or welfare. The evidence indicates that most resource flows went to large, politically influential “backward” sectors, suggesting that political economy considerations may be central to the apparent ineffectiveness of Japanese industrial policy.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Exchange, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This working paper evaluates the validity of available data on and the extent of the impact of offshoring on service-sector labor markets in the United States, EU-15, and Japan. A three-tier data validity hierarchy is identified. The impact of offshoring on employment in the three regions is found to be limited. Correspondingly, developing Asia is unlikely to experience large employment gains as a destination region. The paper highlights the case of the Indian IT industry, where the majority of job creation has been in local Indian companies rather than foreign multinationals. Domestic entrepreneurs have played a crucial role in the growth of the Indian IT-related service industry. However, increased tradability of services and associated skill bias in favor of higher skilled workers could have an uneven employment impact on developing Asia. Some high-skilled groups are benefiting and will continue to benefit dramatically from new employment opportunities and rising wage levels. Meanwhile, the same skill bias may eliminate many employment opportunities for unskilled or low-skilled groups in the region. Developing Asian countries therefore face a double educational challenge in the coming years: the need to simultaneously improve both primary and higher education.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia
  • Author: Adam S. Posen
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On January 13, Germany's new chancellor, Angela Merkel, will have her first official visit with US President George W. Bush. Washington, or at least the part of Washington that still pays attention to transatlantic issues, not just the Bush administration, will be glad to see her given that she is not her US-bashing predecessor Gerhard Schroeder. Though this change in atmosphere is welcome, no one should make too much of it. It is unlikely to make much difference on security issues, where Iran's own actions are forcing the United States and Germany to come together, where German public opinion will keep the governments apart on Iraq, and where neither country is prepared to make major changes to defense budgets and approaches. The Masri case will certainly limit Merkel's interest in appearing too chummy with Bush on security matters.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran, Washington, Germany
  • Author: Dean A. DeRosa, John P. Gilbert
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the historical record of eight recent free trade agreements (FTAs). It also investigates the predictive power of two popular quantitative world trade models—the single-equation gravity model and the multiequation computable general equilibrium (CGE) model—as applied to three major trade liberalization agreements adopted during the 1990s: Mercosur, NAFTA, and the Uruguay Round Agreement, using the Rose gravity model and the GTAP general equilibrium model. Both models are found accurate in some instances, but intervening influences in the wake of trade liberalization episodes confound the challenge of drawing a strong conclusion in favor of one modeling approach over the other. Between the "naïve" gravity model and "naïve" CGE model predictions, we find that the former tends to overpredict intrabloc trade expansion (especially over horizons of five years and less) while the latter tends to underpredict. CGE models remain favored for ex post analysis of welfare impacts and the direct and indirect linkages between policy reforms and the numerous other economic variables of concern to policymakers and the public at large.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Catherine L. Mann, Katharina Plück
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The paper prepares new estimates for the elasticity of US trade flows using bilateral, commodity-detailed trade data for 31 countries, using measures of expenditure and trade prices matched to commodity groups, and including a commodity-and-country specific proxy for global supply-cum-variety. Using the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade) we construct bilateral trade flows for 31 countries in four categories of goods based on the Bureau of Economic Analysis's "end-use" classification system--autos, industrial supplies and materials-excluding energy, consumer goods, and capital goods. We find that using expenditure matched to commodity category yields more plausible values for the demand elasticities than does using GDP as the measure of demand that drives trade flows. Controlling for country and commodity fixed effects, we find that industrial and developing countries have demand elasticities that are statistically significant and that generally differ between development groups and across product categories. Relative prices for the industrial countries have plausible parameter values, are statistically significant and differ across product groups, but the relative prices for developing countries are poorly estimated. We find that variety is an important variable for the behavior of capital goods trade. Because the commodity composition of trade and of trading partners has changed dramatically, particularly for imports, we find that the demand elasticity for imports is not constant. Comparing the in-sample performance of the disaggregated model against a benchmark that uses aggregated data and GDP as the expenditure variable, our disaggregated model predicts exports better in-sample but does not predict imports as well as the benchmark model.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Halving the US current account deficit as a share of GDP is likely to impose a burden of $2,350 per capita on the United States, which explains why US policymakers want to postpone adjustment. The rest of the world relies on the economic stimulus of a widening US external deficit, which explains why they are not eager to see global adjustment. The paper examines three scenarios of exchange rate adjustments, calls on the Federal Reserve to take more account of the external deficit in its words and policy actions, and familiarly notes the need for US fiscal adjustment as part of an efficient adjustment process. Complementary policies are required in the rest of the world. The paper discusses the pattern of recent international capital flows and proposes an international reserve diversification standard to remove some of the uncertainty about the management of foreign exchange reserves.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anna Gelpern
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Financial collapse usually triggers a flurry of market, academic, and policy innovation. The Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s produced the Brady Bonds and led to the rise of today's emerging markets. In the late 1990s, crises in Pakistan, Ecuador, and Ukraine helped teach the markets how to restructure international sovereign bonds. Crises in Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and throughout East Asia raised doubts about the international system's ability to manage vast and rapid capital flows, and prompted a big-picture reassessment under the rubric “international financial architecture.” This included most famously the sovereign bankruptcy proposals discussed elsewhere in this volume.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, East Asia, Brazil, South America, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Anna Gelpern
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Argentina has completed the largest and most complex sovereign bond restructuring in history. Before the debt exchange, it owed about $82 billion in principal and $20 billion in past due interest. Hundreds of thousands of creditors held 150 kinds of defaulted instruments issued in six currencies under the laws of eight jurisdictions. Creditors owed just over 76% of the total, or $62 billion, got $35 billion in new performing bonds. Other performing debt includes $40 billion in domestic and about $30 billion in multi-lateral obligations. Argentina left behind almost $25 billion in defaulted principal and interest.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: My reflections on the new operating procedures that were adopted by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on October 6, 1979, derive from my responsibilities at the Federal Reserve Board at the time. Those responsibilities included preparation of the international component of the staff forecast, analysis of economic and financial developments in other countries, and assisting the Chairman and members of the Board (primarily Henry C. Wallich) with international responsibilities in connection with their attendance at international meetings. Therefore, mine was and is an international perspective. I was not involved in the design of the new operating procedures, although I was informed that the project was under way.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This note addresses three topics: (1) Do the recent musings by Dooley, Folkerts-Landau, and Garber (DFG), in particular their argument that the world is operating under a revived Bretton Woods system (BW2), provide a useful framework for thinking about international economic and financial developments and prospects? (2) What does the DFG framework imply for the euro area, and are those implications reasonable? (3) What does the DFG framework imply for the United States, and are those implications reasonable?
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Catherine L. Mann
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Global imbalances have continued, indeed deepened, far longer than both researchers and pundits would have thought. On the US side, the current account deficit at about $630 billion (2004q1-3, AR) and 5.5 percent of GDP (2004q3) falls outside the oft-quoted range of 4-5 percent after which, research on industrial countries suggests, economic forces tend to narrow the imbalance. There is some-what less research on the persistence of global imbalances from the standpoint of the rest of the world, in part because individually most of those imbalances are not so notable. Clearly though, collectively growth in the rest of the world has come to be co-dependent on US demand patterns.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sacha Wunsch-Vincent
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Although much of the early Internet hype has faded, e-commerce continues to grow and spread around the world. In recent years, the potential and importance of e-commerce to the economies and industries of the developing world has become particularly evident. Yet as e-commerce develops into a global phenomenon, the need for rules and principles facilitating e-commerce has become increasingly evident, too.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Uruguay
  • Author: Adam S. Posen
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Japan's recovery is strong. Real GDP growth will exceed 4 percent this year and likely be 3 percent or higher in 2005 and perhaps even 2006. The Japanese economy has been growing solidly for the last five quarters (average real 3.2 percent annualized rate), and the pace is sustainable, given Japan's underlying potential growth rate (which has risen to 2 to 2.5 percent per year) and the combination of catch-up growth closing the current output gap and some reforms that will raise the growth rate for quarters to come (though not permanently). Indicators of domestic demand beyond capital investment are increasingly positive, including housing starts bottoming out, inventories drawing down, and diminished deflation. Moreover, on the external side, while China was the main source of export growth in 2003, the composition of exports has become more balanced this year and is widening beyond that seen in other recoveries. Just as in the United States and other developed economies, a sharp slowdown in Chinese growth and a sustained further increase in energy prices represent the primary risks to the outlook.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to determine whether conditions amenable to successful selective interventions to capture cross-industry externalities are likely to be fulfilled in practice. Three criteria are proposed for good candidates for industrial promotion: that they have strong interindustry links to the rest of the economy, that they lead the rest of the economy in a causal sense, and that they be characterized by a high s hare of industry-specific innovations in output growth. According to these criteria, likely candidates for successful intervention are identified in the Korean data. It is found that, with one exception, none of the sectors promoted by the heavy and chemical industry (HCI) policy fulfills all three criteria.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia, Korea
  • Author: Yifan Hu
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A growing number of countries have anchored their monetary policy to an explicit numerical rate or range of inflation since such an inflation targeting framework was first adopted by New Zealand in 1989. This paper empirically investigates issues associated with inflation targeting using a dataset of 66 countries for the 1980–2000 period.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: New Zealand
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The Korean peninsula has entered a period of considerable change and uncertainty. This paper attempts to sketch out how internal and external forces may shape outcomes in North Korea over the next several years. The range of plausible outcomes is huge, and the paper identifies four possible end states: successful reform and engagement, “muddling through,” elite conflict that could affect the nature of the state, if not the regime, and finally, mass mobilization that could threaten the regime itself. This analysis proceeds under a number of assumptions.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Catherine L. Mann
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Electronic commerce and its related activities over the internet can be the engines that improve domestic economic well-being through liberalization of domestic services, more rapid integration into globalization of production, and leap-frogging of available technology. Since electronic commerce integrates the domestic and global markets from its very inception, negotiating on trade issues related to electronic commerce will, even more than trade negotiations have in the past, demand self-inspection of key domestic policies, particularly in telecommunications, financial services, and distribution and delivery. Because these sectors are fundamental to the workings of a modern economy, liberalization here will rebound to greater economic well-being than comparable liberalization in more narrowly focussed sectors. Thus, the desire to be part of the e-commerce wave can be a powerful force to erode domestic vested interests that have slowed the liberalization of these sectors.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy