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  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the US economy has been plagued by sluggish wage growth and rising income inequality. The debate over inequality in the 1980s and 1990s focused on the growing disparity between the earnings of skilled and unskilled workers and the earnings of the super-rich. Growing inequality between capital and labor income has now been added to these concerns. Remarkably, the growth in real GDP per worker over the decade of the 2000s, which averaged 1.7 percent annually, was actually more rapid than in the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s, yet in the 2000s workers saw almost no increase in their take-home pay. Consistent with this gap between labor productivity and wage growth was a pronounced decline in the share of US national income earned by workers. As labor's share has declined, the share of capital has risen and has been especially concentrated in corporate profits. As profits are far less equally distributed than wages, this increase has contributed to rising income inequality. There are several plausible reasons for this development—globalization, automation, weak bargaining power of labor, political capture, higher markups—but the natural starting point for explaining factor income shares is the neoclassical theory of the functional distribution of income enumerated by John Hicks and Joan Robinson in the 1930s. In this framework there are two possible explanations for labor's recent declining share. The first is that capital and labor are gross substitutes, and the second is that capital and labor are gross complements. Several papers have explained the recent decline in labor's share in income by claiming that capital has been substituted for labor. Lawrence puts forward the alternative "gross complements" explanation for the declining US labor share. He shows that despite a rise in measured capital-labor ratios, labor-augmenting technical change in the United States has been sufficiently rapid that effective capital-labor ratios have actually fallen in the sectors and industries that account for the largest portion of the declining labor share in income since 1980. In combination with estimates that corroborate the consensus in the literature that the elasticity of substitution is less than 1, these declines in the effective capital-labor ratio can account for much of the recent fall in labor's share in US income at both the aggregate and industry level. Paradoxically, these results also suggest that increased capital formation, ideally achieved through a progressive consumption tax, would raise labor's share in income.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper traces the evolution of the Federal Reserve and its engagement with the global economy over the last three decades of the 20th century: 1970 to 2000. The paper examines the Federal Reserve's role in international economic and financial policy and analysis covering four areas: the emergence and taming of the great inflation, developments in US external accounts, foreign exchange analysis and activities, and external financial crises. It concludes that during this period the US central bank emerged to become the closest the world has to a global central bank.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William R. Cline, Jared Nolan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper applies time series analysis to distinguish between cyclical and demographic causes of the decline of the labor force participation rate. Some public discussions suggest that the decline of US unemployment from its 2009 peak of 10 percent to about 6 percent by mid-2014 grossly exaggerates recovery because most of the decline reflects the exit of discouraged workers from the labor force. This study finds instead that one-half to two-thirds of the decline in labor force participation by about 3 percentage points from late 2007 to early 2014 is attributable to aging of the population. Although about one-third is found attributable to the lagged influence of high, and especially long-term, unemployment, going forward the potential rebound in the participation rate from recovery is projected to be approximately offset by further aging of the population.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Labor Issues, Population
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David G. Blanchflower, David N. F. Bell
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: One of the factors that may inhibit reductions in unemployment as the economy recovers is the extent to which existing workers would like to work more hours and employers may prefer to let them work longer hours before making new hires. This phenomenon suggests that the unemployment rate does not capture the full extent of excess capacity in the labor market. But how should it be measured? In this paper we argue that the United States does not have the necessary statistical tools to calibrate this form of underemployment. We describe an index that captures the joint effects of unemployment and underemployment and provides a more complete picture of labor market excess capacity. We show how this index can be implemented using British data and describe its evolution over the Great Recession. Comparisons of our index with unemployment rates suggest that unemployment rates understate differences in labor market excess capacity by age group and overstate differences by gender. We also show that being unable to work the hours that one desires has a negative effect on well-being. Finally, we recommend that the Current Population Survey conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics might be extended to enable the construction of an equivalent US index.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In this paper Kirkegaard presents new micro-level data consisting of individual greenfield investment projects and mergers and acquisitions as a source for detailed analysis of services sector cross-border investment flows among the Asian Development Bank (ADB) regional membership in Asia. The new transactional foreign direct investment (FDI) data are methodologically distinct from traditional BPM5-compliant FDI data but found to yield generally comparable aggregates, when compared with the latest available International Monetary Fund (IMF) data from the Comprehensive Direct Investment Survey for the ADB regional membership. The services sectors are found to receive considerably larger amounts of foreign investment, when compared with the Asian region's manufacturing and raw materials sectors. OECD countries account for roughly three-quarters of total recorded inward services sector FDI of about $2 trillion, relatively evenly split between the United States, the EU-27, and regional OECD-level-income countries. The presence of sizable regional "upward flowing" services sector investments into OECD-level-income economies is verified. Kirkegaard draws preliminary policy conclusions based on the new transactional FDI data results concerning prospects for regional services sector liberalization, threshold income levels for inward services sector FDI, upward-flowing regional services FDI, and preferred modes of services sector investments.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Olivier Jeanne
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Has the US dollar delivered the benefit that the rest of the world is expecting from its holdings of international liquidity? US government debt has been liquid and safe, and it is supplied in sufficient quantity. But it has given a low return to the countries that accumulated the most reserves, especially when those returns are measured in terms of the countries' own consumption. Jeanne argues that countries that accumulate the most reserves should expect a low return in terms of their own consumption and that international monetary reform can do little to change that fact.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Danxia Xie
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the long-run relationship between economic growth and labor's share in national income, based on a comprehensive panel data set for 123 countries from 1950 to 2004. Xie's primary finding is that labor's share follows a cubic relationship with real GDP per capita over the long process of development. At the beginning of the modern economic growth process, the share of labor in national income first decreases until an initial threshold is reached. After that, labor's share keeps increasing until the country's GDP per capita reaches a second threshold before falling again. Xie argues that these dynamics apply not only to the less developed countries in the postwar years, but also to the advanced countries like the United States and the United Kingdom during their early economic take-offs, starting in the late 18th and 19th century, respectively. Finally, he proposes a two-sector constant elasticity of substitution (CES)-type growth model and simulate the model to replicate and explain the possible mechanism behind such a nonlinear pattern of movements in labor's share.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Morris Goldstein, Nicolas Véron
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Although the United States and the European Union were both seriously impacted by the financial crisis of 2007, resulting policy debates and regulatory responses have differed considerably on the two sides of the Atlantic. In this paper the authors examine the debates on the problem posed by "too big to fail" financial institutions. They identify variations in historical experiences, financial system structures, and political institutions that help one understand the differences of approaches between the United States, EU member states, and the EU institutions in addressing this problem. The authors then turn to possible remedies and how they may be differentially implemented in America and Europe. They conclude on which policy developments are likely in the near future.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Theodore H. Moran
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: What is the relationship between foreign manufacturing multinational corporations (MNCs) and the expansion of indigenous technological and managerial technological capabilities among Chinese firms? China has been remarkably successful in designing industrial policies, joint venture requirements, and technology transfer pressures to use FDI to create indigenous national champions in a handful of prominent sectors: high speed rail transport, information technology, auto assembly, and an emerging civil aviation sector. But what is striking in the aggregate data is how relatively thin the layer of horizontal and vertical spillovers from foreign manufacturing multinationals to indigenous Chinese firms has proven to be. Despite the large size of manufacturing FDI inflows, the impact of multinational corporate investment in China has been largely confined to building plants that incorporate capital, technology, and managerial expertise controlled by the foreigner. As the skill-intensity of exports increases, the percentage of the value of the final product that derives from imported components rises sharply. China has remained a low value-added assembler of more sophisticated inputs imported from abroad—a “workbench” economy. Where do the gains from FDI in China end up? While manufacturing MNCs may build plants in China, the largest impact from deployment of worldwide earnings is to bolster production, employment, R, and local purchases in their home markets. For the United States the most recent data show that US-headquartered MNCs have 70 percent of their operations, make 89 percent of their purchases, spend 87 percent of their R dollars, and locate more than half of their workforce within the US economy—this is where most of the earnings from FDI in China are delivered.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel
  • Author: Carmen M. Reinhart
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Historically, periods of high indebtedness have been associated with a rising incidence of default or restructuring of public and private debts. A subtle type of debt restructuring takes the form of "financial repression." Financial repression includes directed lending to government by captive domestic audiences (such as pension funds), explicit or implicit caps on interest rates, regulation of cross-border capital movements, and (generally) a tighter connection between government and banks. In this paper, the authors describe some of the regulatory measures and policy actions that characterized the heyday of the financial repression era. In the heavily regulated financial markets of the Bretton Woods system, several restrictions facilitated a sharp and rapid reduction in public debt/GDP ratios from the late 1940s to the 1970s. Low nominal interest rates help reduce debt servicing costs while a high incidence of negative real interest rates liquidates or erodes the real value of government debt. Thus, financial repression is most successful in liquidating debts when accompanied by a steady dose of inflation. Inflation need not take market participants entirely by surprise and, in effect, it need not be very high (by historical standards). For the advanced economies in Reinhart and Sbrancia's sample, real interest rates were negative roughly half of the time during 1945–80. For the United States and the United Kingdom, their estimates of the annual liquidation of debt via negative real interest rates amounted on average to 3 to 4 percent of GDP a year. For Australia and Italy, which recorded higher inflation rates, the liquidation effect was larger (around 5 percent per annum).
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Against the backdrop of the recent financial crisis and the ongoing rapid changes in the world economy, the fate of the dollar as the premier international reserve currency is under scrutiny. This paper attempts to answer whether the Chinese renminbi will eclipse the dollar, what will be the timing of, and the prerequisites for this transition, and which of the two countries controls the outcome. The key finding, based on analyzing the last 110 years, is that the size of an economy—measured not just in terms of GDP but also trade and the strength of the external financial position—is the key fundamental correlate of reserve currency status. Further, the conventional view that sterling persisted well beyond the strength of the UK economy is overstated. Although the United States overtook the United Kingdom in terms of GDP in the 1870s, it became dominant in a broader sense encompassing trade and finance only at the end of World War I. And since the dollar overtook sterling in the mid-1920s, the lag between currency dominance and economic dominance was about 10 years rather than the 60-plus years traditionally believed. Applying these findings to the current context suggests that the renminbi could become the premier reserve currency by the end of this decade, or early next decade. But China needs to fulfill a number of conditions—making the reniminbi convertible and opening up its financial system to create deep and liquid markets—to realize renminbi preeminence. China seems to be moving steadily in that direction, and renminbi convertibility will proceed apace not least because it offers China's policymakers a political exit out of its mercantilist growth strategy. The United States cannot in any serious way prevent China from moving in that direction.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, 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: J. Bradford Jensen, Andrew B. Bernard, Peter K. Schott, Stephen J. Redding
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: International trade models typically assume that producers in one country trade directly with final consumers in another. In reality, of course, trade can involve long chains of potentially independent actors who move goods through wholesale and retail distribution networks. These networks likely affect the magnitude and nature of trade frictions and hence both the pattern of trade and its welfare gains. To promote further understanding of the means by which goods move across borders, this paper examines the extent to which US exports and imports flow through wholesalers and retailers versus producing and consuming firms.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence, Lawrence Edwards
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Conventional trade theory, which combines the Heckscher-Ohlin theory and the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, implies that expanded trade between developed and developing countries will increase wage equality in the former. This theory is widely applied. It serves as the basis for estimating the impact of trade on wages using two-sector simulation models and the net factor content of trade. It leads naturally to the presumption that the rapid growth and declining relative prices of US manufactured imports from developing countries since the 1990s have been a powerful source of increased US wage inequality.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Theory, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Adam S. Posen
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Japan's Great Recession was the result of a series of macroeconomic and financial policy mistakes. Thus, it was largely avoidable once the initial shock from the bubble bursting had passed. The aberration in Japan's recession was not the behaviour of growth, which is best seen as a series of recoveries aborted by policy errors. Rather, the surprise was the persistent steadiness of limited deflation, even after recovery took place. This is a more fundamental challenge to our basic macroeconomic understanding than is commonly recognized. The UK and US economies are at low risk of having recurrent recessions through macroeconomic policy mistakes—but deflation itself cannot be ruled out. The United Kingdom worryingly combines a couple of financial parallels to Japan with far less room for fiscal action to compensate for them than Japan had. Also, Japan did not face poor prospects for external demand and the need to reallocate productive resources across export sectors during its Great Recession. Many economies do now face this challenge simultaneously, which may limit the pace of, and their share in, the global recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, United Kingdom
  • Author: J. Bradford Jensen, Andrew B. Bernard, Peter K. Schott, Stephen J. Redding
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Recent research in international trade emphasizes the importance of firms' extensive margins for understanding overall patterns of trade as well as how firms respond to specific events such as trade liberalization. In this paper, we use detailed US trade statistics to provide a broad overview of how the margins of trade contribute to variation in US imports and exports across trading partners, types of trade (i.e., arm's length versus related party) and both short and long time horizons. Among other results, we highlight the differential behavior of related-party and arm's-length trade in response to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: J. Bradford Jensen, Andrew B. Bernard, Peter K. Schott, Stephen J. Redding
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of intra-firm trade in US imports using detailed country-product data. We create a new measure of product contractibility based on the degree of intermediation in international trade for the product. We find important roles for the interaction of country and product characteristics in determining intra-firm trade shares. Intra-firm trade is high for products with low levels of contractibility sourced from countries with weak governance, for skill-intensive products from skill-scarce countries, and for capital-intensive products from capital-abundant countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Olivier Jeanne, Anton Korinek
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: We study a dynamic model in which the interaction between debt accumulation and asset prices magnifies credit booms and busts. We find that borrowers do not internalize these feedback effects and therefore suffer from excessively large booms and busts in both credit flows and asset prices. We show that a Pigouvian tax on borrowing may induce borrowers to internalize these externalities and increase welfare. We calibrate the model with reference to (1) the US small and medium-sized enterprise sector and (2) the household sector and find the optimal tax to be countercy - clical in both cases, dropping to zero in busts and rising to approximately half a percentage point of the amount of debt outstanding during booms.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jared C. Woollacott
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This study covers the history of Sino-US trade relations with a particular focus on the past decade, during which time each has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Providing a brief history of 19th and 20th century economic relations, this paper examines in detail the trade disputes that have arisen between China and the United States over the past decade, giving dollar estimates for the trade flows at issue. Each country has partaken in their share of protectionist measures, however, US measures have been characteristically defensive, protecting declining industries, while Chinese measures have been characteristically offensive, promoting nascent industries. We also cover administrative and legislation actions within each country that have yet to be the subject of formal complaint at the WTO. This includes an original and comprehensive quantitative summary of US Section 337 intellectual property rights cases. While we view the frictions in Sino-US trade a logical consequence of the rapid increase in flows between the two countries, we caution that each country work within the WTO framework and respect any adverse decisions it delivers so that a protracted protectionist conflict does not emerge. We see the current currency battle as one potential catalyst for such conflict if US and Chinese policymakers fail to manage it judiciously.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Mohsin S. Khan
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The creation of a monetary union has been the primary objective of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members since the early 1980s. Significant progress has already been made in regional economic integration: The GCC countries have largely unrestricted intraregional mobility of goods, labor, and capital; regulation of the banking sector is being harmonized; and in 2008 the countries established a common market. Further, most of the convergence criteria established for entry into a monetary union have already been achieved. In establishing a monetary union, however, the GCC countries must decide on the exchange rate regime for the single currency. The countries' use of a US dollar peg as an external anchor for monetary policy has so far served them well, but rising inflation and differing economic cycles from the United States in recent years have raised the question of whether the dollar peg remains the best policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Th is paper expands on the methodology of Groshen and Potter (2003) for studying cyclical and structural changes in the US economy and analyzes the net structural and cyclical employment trends in the US economy during the last 10 trough-to-trough business cycles from 1949 to the present. It illustrates that the US manufacturing sector and an increasing number of services sectors, including parts of the fi nancial services sector, are experiencing structural employment declines. Structural employment gains in the US labor market are increasingly concentrated in the healthcare, education, food, and professional and technical services sectors and in the occupations related to these industries. Th e paper concludes that the improved operation of the US labor market during the 1990s has reversed itself in the 2000s, with negative long-term economic eff ects for the United States.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Theodore H. Moran
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The 2008 election rekindled debate about whether US multinationals shift technology across borders and relocate production in ways that might harm workers and communities at home. President Obama now pledges to end tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas. The preoccupation about the behavior of American multinationals takes three forms: (1) that US-based multinational corporations may follow a strategy that leads them to abandon the home economy, leaving the workers and communities to cope on their own with few appealing alternatives after the multinationals have left; (2) worse, that US-based multinational corporations may not just abandon home sites but drain off capital, substitute production abroad for exports, and “hollow out” the domestic economy in a zero-sum process that damages those left behind; and (3) worst, that US-based multinational corporations may deploy a rent-gathering apparatus that switches from sharing supranormal profits and externalities with US workers and communities to extracting rents from the United States. Each of these concerns contains a hypothetical outcome that can be compared with contemporary evidence from the United States and other home countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper sets forth a new methodology for obtaining a consistent set of exchange rate realignments needed to accomplish international adjustment in current account imbalances to reach fundamental equilibrium exchange rates (FEERs). The approach is named the symmetric matrix inversion method (SMIM). It is symmetric in that ir treats all countries considered equally rather than seeking exact adjustment for the United States and obtaining other adjustments residually. Country-specific impact parameters based on assumed trade elasticities are applied to a target set of changes in current accounts as percentages of GDP to obtain a corresponding set of target changes in real effective (trade-weighted) exchange rates. A matrix inversion technique is then applied to identify the corresponding set of changes in bilateral exchange rates against the dollar needed to approach as closely as possible the target set of effective exchange rate changes.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthew Adler, Gary Clyde Hufbauer
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Over the last three decades the global economy has expanded in a remarkable fashion. While nominal world GDP has increased four times, world bilateral trade flows have grown more than six-fold, and the stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown by roughly 20 times since 1980. The sources of global trade and investment growth are well known—general economic expansion, policy liberalization, and better communications and technology—but the impact of each source is unclear. In this paper we attempt to uncover the contribution of policy liberalization to the rising ratios of US inward and outward FDI stocks to GDP over the last three decades.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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: Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A fundamental shift is taking place in the world economy to which the multilateral trading system has failed to adapt. The Doha process focused on issues of limited significance while the burning issues of the day were not even on the negotiating agenda. The paper advances five propositions: (1) the traditional negotiating dynamic, driven by private-sector interests largely in the rich countries, is running out of steam; (2) the world economy is moving broadly from conditions of relative abundance to relative scarcity, and so economic security has become a paramount concern for consumers, workers, and ordinary citizens; (3) international economic integration can contribute to enhanced security; (4) addressing these new concerns-relating to food, energy, and economic security-requires a wider agenda of multilateral cooperation, involving not just the World Trade Organization but other multilateral institutions as well; and (5) despite shifts in economic power across countries, the commonality of interests and scope for give-and-take on these new issues make multilateral cooperation worth attempting.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates the statistical strengths and weaknesses of available data on US computer and information services trade and estimates the scope of delivery through GATS modes 1, 3, and 4. Trade values are estimated using a new methodology that adheres, to the greatest extent possible, to the definitions of modes of supply in the 2002 Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services. This paper finds that US trade (particularly exports) in computer and information services are overwhelmingly and increasingly delivered through mode 3. The United States is found to have experienced declining overall revealed comparative advantage (RCA) in traditional mode 1 cross-border computer and information services trade from 1986 to 2006, while having a stable, positive RCA in mode-3 trade. A new methodology for tentatively estimating US imports of computer and information services in GATS mode 4 suggests that the IT services sector dominates US mode-4 imports, and that these are several times larger than US traditional mode-1, cross-border imports of computer and information services.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Randall Henning
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The controversy within the United States over Chinese exchange rate policy has generated a series of legislative proposals to restrict the discretion of the Treasury Department in determining currency manipulation and to reform the department's accountability to Congress. This paper reviews Treasury's reports to Congress on exchange rate policy—introduced by the 1988 Trade Act—and Congress's treatment of them. It finds that the accountability process has often not worked well in practice: The reports provide only a partial basis for effective congressional oversight. For its part, Congress held hearings on less than half of the reports and overlooked some important substantive issues. Several recommendations can improve guidance to the Treasury, standards for assessment, and congressional oversight. These include (1) refining the criteria used to determine currency manipulation and writing them into law, (2) explicitly harnessing US decisions on manipulation to the International Monetary Fund's rules on exchange rates, (3) clarifying the general objectives of US exchange rate policy, (4) reaffirming the mandate to seek international macroeconomic and currency cooperation, (5) requiring Treasury to lead an executivewide policy review, and (6) institutionalizing multicommittee oversight of exchange rate policy by Congress. Legislators should strengthen reporting and oversight of broader exchange rate policy in addition to strengthening the provisions targeting manipulation.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Anna Wong
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes international reserve diversification by examining changes in quantity shares of currencies held in foreign exchange reserves. It discusses alternative methodologies for constructing quantity shares and applies the preferred methodology to three sets of data on the currency composition of foreign exchange reserves: quarterly aggregate International Monetary Fund's Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves (IMF COFER) data, quarterly IMF COFER data for industrial- and developing-country groups, and annual data for 23 individual countries that disclose the currency composition of their foreign exchange reserve holdings. What can one infer from available data about the diversification of foreign exchange reserves since 1999? The analysis suggests four conclusions: (1) The behavior of the quantity shares of the US dollar and the euro in total reserves is consistent with net stabilizing intervention; their quantity shares tend to rise when these currencies are declining and vice versa. (2) The principal driver of this stabilizing diversification over the period 1999Q1–2005Q4 is Japan. (3) The industrial countries as a group but excluding Japan do not indicate stabilizing diversification. (4) The nonindustrial countries as a group display stabilizing diversification over short periods of only a few quarters. In summary, the aggregate data conceal much diversity in the practices of individual countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia
  • 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: 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: J. Bradford Jensen, Andrew B. Bernard
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Plant shutdowns shape industry productivity, the dynamics of employment, and industrial restructuring. Plant closures account for more than half of gross job destruction in US manufacturing. This paper examines the effects of firm structure on US manufacturing plant closures. Plants belonging to multi-plant firms and those owned by US multinationals are less likely to exit. However, the superior survival chances are due to the characteristics of the plants rather than the nature of the firms. Controlling for plant and industry attributes, we find that plants owned by multi-unit firms and US multinationals are much more likely to close.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Yee Wong
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Frustrated with lackluster momentum in the WTO Doha Round and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and mindful of free trade agreement (FTA) networks centered on the United States and Europe, Asian countries have joined the FTA game. By 2005, Asian countries (excluding China) had ratified 14 bilateral and regional FTAs and had negotiated but not implemented another seven. Asian nations are also actively negotiating some 23 bilateral and regional FTAs, many with non-Asian partners, including Australia, Canada, Chile, the European Union, India, and Qatar. China has been particularly active since 2000. It has completed three bilateral FTAs—Thailand in 2003 and Hong Kong and Macao in 2004—and is initiating another 17 bilateral and regional FTAs. However, a regional Asian economic bloc led by China seems distant, even though China accounts for about 30 percent of regional GDP. As in Europe and the Western Hemisphere, many Asian countries are pursuing FTAs with countries outside the region. On present evidence, the FTA process embraced with some enthusiasm in Asia, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere more closely resembles fingers reaching idiosycratically around the globe rather than politico-economic blocs centered respectively on Beijing, Brussels, and Washington.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Washington, Canada, India, Beijing, Asia, Australia, Qatar, Chile, Hong Kong, Brussels, Macao
  • 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: J. Bradford Jensen, Peter K. Schott, Andrew B. Bernard
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper provides an integrated view of globally engaged US firms by exploring a newly developed dataset that links US international trade transactions to longitudinal data on US enterprises. These data permit examination of a number of new dimensions of firm activity, including how many products firms trade, how many countries firms trade with, the characteristics of those countries, the concentration of trade across firms, whether firms transact at arm's length or with related parties, and whether firms import as well as export. Firms that trade goods play an important role in the United States, employing more than a third of the US workforce. We find that the most globally engaged US firms, i.e. those that both export to and import from related parties, dominate US trade flows and employment at trading firms. We also find that firms that begin trading between 1993 and 2000 experience especially rapid employment growth and are a major force in overall job creation.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Morris Goldstein, Anna Wong
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the following question: If a financial crisis affecting a group of emerging economies were to take place sometime over the next three years, where would the crisis likely originate, how could it be transmitted to other economies, and which economies would be most affected by particular transmission or contagion mechanisms? A set of indicators is presented to gauge the vulnerability of individual emerging economies to various shocks, including a slowdown in import demand in both China and the United States, a fall in primary commodity prices, increased costs and lower availability of external financing, alternative patterns of exchange rate changes, and pressures operating on monetary and fiscal policies in emerging economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of American public attitudes toward foreign countries on the volume of trade. The issue is whether popular attitudes, as elicited in these surveys, convey any information about trust, risk, or transactions costs beyond what can be explained through standard economic models. The results of this paper suggest that they do, with a one standard deviation increase in warmth of feeling associated with a 20 to 31 percent larger trade volume when evaluated at the sample means. These public attitudes are in turn correlated with indices of cultural affinity and political ideology. A one standard deviation increase in the democracy score is associated with a 5 to 7 percent increase in trade. There might be additional secondary effects if democratization was associated with an increased likelihood of the removal of sanctions or the initiation of preferential trade relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Fred Bergsten
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The dollar has been the dominant currency of the world economy for almost a century for a single overwhelming reason: It had no competition. No other economy came close to the size of the United States. Hence no currency could acquire the network externalities, economies of scale and scope, and public goods benefits necessary to rival the dollar at the global level. A similar situation for the United Kingdom explains sterling's dominance in the 19th century.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Martin Neil Baily, Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Oil prices have risen and are expected to remain high. Slow job and wage growth result in slow income growth. Low interest rates kept housing and auto sales strong after 2000 – borrowing future growth. No new stimulus from monetary or fiscal policy. The Iraq war and the terrorism threat may be a drag on confidence. Because 9/11 did not have significant macroeconomic effects, the impact of the war and terrorism seems to be mostly on oil prices No new stimulus from monetary or fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Michael Mussa
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: After surging to the highest growth rate in a generation, world real GDP is set to slow from a rate of just over 5 percent for 2004 to about 4 percent for 2005 and a tad slower for 2006. The economic slowdowns in several important economies in the second half of last year, including much of continental Europe and Japan, already make it clear that year-over-year growth will slow for 2005. But the continued strong growth of domestic demand in other countries, most notably the United States and China, virtually assures that global growth this year will not fall below potential.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy, Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: According to a popular argument put forward by three Deutsche Bank economists (Dooley, Folkerts-Landau, and Garber, here after DFG), one needn't worry about the sustainability of either the large US current account deficit or the undervalued exchange rates of a group of Asian economies (Dooley, Folkerts-Landau, and Garber 2003, 2004a, 2004b, 2004c; Folkerts-Landau 2004). In their view, the United States and the Asian economies have entered into an implicit contract—the so-called revived Bretton Woods system (hereafter BW2)—that can comfortably carry on for another decade or two, with significant net benefits to both parties.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: John Williamson
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: International economic policy coordination is an idea that is not nowadays at the top of the international agenda. The usual idea these days is that if each country pursues its own national interests, then the world will do as well as possible: There are no exploitable bargains of the type "it will pay [both][all] of us to change policies simultaneously even though if one of us made the change individually we would suffer" available. Even if there are no opportunities of that type (let us call them type A) available, there might still in principle be the chance of gaining by subscribing to a set of rules: Country X might expect to gain more over time from countries Y and Z respecting the rules than it would lose at other times from being obliged to modify its behavior according to the rules. Let us call these type B gains.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia
  • 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: John Browne
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: It is great to be in Washington again and a privilege to be invited to speak here for the first time. You asked me to talk about energy security, and I think the basic question is whether, to use the words of one of your recent papers, there is "a gathering storm" around energy supply, and what, if anything, should and could be done to avert that storm.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Some time ago, Fred Bergsten and I were talking about the fact that, if trade liberalization is to move forward and retrogression is to be prevented, the focus of the policy community and the public on the benefits of trade-in the full sense, including imports-and on the issues around trade needs to increase. The adverse effects trade has on some people are very keenly felt and often lead to vociferous opposition, while the benefits of trade for a far greater number of people are diffuse and usually little if at all understood-for example, by consumers-and seldom generate political activity on behalf of trade.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance
  • 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: Globalization, always a contentious issue, has become even more so with media reports of U.S. service-sector jobs being outsourced to emerging-market economies, such as call center operations to Ireland or programming jobs to India. Traditionally, these jobs have been considered “nontradable” and therefore safe from the competitive forces of international trade and investment. But increasingly, technological advances are making it easier to buy services from other companies, even those in developing countries, where savings in the cost of labor or the opportunity to use the 24- hour clock to speed product develop- ment can be irresistible.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Ireland
  • 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: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, Yee Wong
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The NAFTA agreement on agricultural trade consists of three bilateral agreements—between the United States and Mexico, the United States and Cana da, and Canada and Mexico. The US-Canada agreement largely carried into NAFTA the tariff and nontariff barrier rules that had been adopted in the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA). Under CUSFTA, most agriculture tariffs between the United States and Canada were to be phased out by January 1998, and this schedule was adopted by NAFTA for US-Canada agricultural trade. However, Canada was allowed to maintain permanent tariff-rate-quota (TRQ) restrictions on imports of dairy, poultry, and eggs; and the United States was allowed to maintain TRQs on imports of sugar, dairy products, and peanuts from Canada (see table 1). Although a tariff snapback provision remains in effect until 2008, it has rarely been used by Canada. Agricultural trade between Mexico and Canada was limited by virtually the same restrictions. As might be expected, some agriculture trade associations favored NAFTA and others opposed. Box 1 summarizes the lineup of important trade associations.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, Yee Wong
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Building on the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA), the NAFTA contains dispute settlement provisions in six separate areas. NAFTA Chapter 11 is designed to resolve investor-state disputes over property rights; Chapter 14 creates special provisions for handling disputes in the financial sector via the Chapter 20 dispute settlement process (DSP); Chapter 19 establishes a review mechanism to determine whether final antidumping and countervailing duty decisions made in domestic tribunals are consistent with national laws; and Chapter 20 provides government-to-government consultation, at the ministerial level, to resolve high-level disputes. In addition, the NAFTA partners created interstate dispute mechanisms regarding domestic environmental and labor laws under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), respectively. This chapter examines the first four dispute settlement systems; the NAAEC and NAALC systems are evaluated in the environment and labor chapters of this book.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • 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: Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: During the past year, there has been considerable debate about, and much international criticism of, China's exchange rate and its currency regime. Yes, criticism of China in the United States would likely be more muted if the ongoing recovery were not so “jobless,” if employment in the US manufacturing sector had not (mainly for other reasons) declined so much in the three-year run-up to this presidential elect ion year, if so much attention were not focused on the very large bilateral US trade deficit with China instead of China's economically—more meaningful overall balance-of-payments position, and if the United States had not done such a poor job of improving its saving-investment imbalance—particularly in the public sector.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Catherine L. Mann
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This essay considers the implications for sustainability of the US current account of widespread uptake of new economy services around the world. The main contribution of this paper is to estimate new income elasticities for US exports and imports of services that have become increasingly internationally tradable on account of the networked information technologies characteristic of the new economy. These elasticity estimates are then incorporated into a simple model of the US current account. Assumptions on the increase in global growth coming from widespread uptake of new economy services around the world are taken from other sources. The new estimates of income elasticities and the assumptions on global growth yield a trajectory for the US current account deficit that is compared to a base case without increased integration of new economy services in international trade and around the world. The paper concludes that although new economy services reduce the asymmetry in estimated income elasticities and contribute to raising global growth, reasonable estimates of these two structural improvements are not sufficient to stabilize the US current account deficit, in part because the share of new economy services in trade is still small.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: C. Fred Bergsten
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The United States and Japan are the two largest national economies in the world. Since the early 1990s, they have been moving in opposite directions. The United States enjoyed an expansion of record duration from the end of the Gulf War in 1991 until early 2001, growing much faster than any other G-7 country and much faster than it had at any time since the Second World War. Japan's economy, by contrast, has been virtually stagnant since its financial bubble burst in the early 1990s and has clearly experienced its worst performance since its recovery from the ravages of the Pacific War.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Gary Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Drawing on the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) extended dispute settlement provisions to cover more ground. In fact, within NAFTA there are six dispute settlement systems. NAFTA Chapter 11 is designed to resolve investor-state disputes over property rights; Chapter 14 creates special provisions for handling disputes in the financial sector via the Chapter 20 dispute settlement process (DSP); Chapter 19 establishes a review mechanism to determine whether final antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) decisions made in domestic tribunals are consistent with national laws; and Chapter 20 provides government-to-government consultation, at the ministerial level, to resolve high-level disputes. In addition, the NAFTA partners created interstate dispute mechanisms regarding domestic environmental and labor laws under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAAL C), respectively. This chapter examines the first four dispute settlement systems; the NAAEC and NAALC systems are evaluated elsewhere in this book.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: J. Bradford Jensen, Andrew B. Bernard, Peter K. Schott
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the role of international trade in the reallocation of U.S. manufacturing activity within and across industries from 1977 to 1997. It introduces a new measure of industry exposure to international trade, motivated by the Heckscher-Ohlin model, which focuses on where imports originate rather than their overall level. Results demonstrate that plant survival as well as output and employment growth are negatively associated with the share of industry imports sourced from the world's lowest-wage countries. Within industries, activity is reallocated towards capital-intensive plants. Plants are also more likely to alter their product mix (i.e. switch industries) in response to trade with low-wage countries. Plants altering their product mix switch to industries that are more capital-and skill-intensive.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: J. Bradford Jensen, Andrew B. Bernard, Peter K. Schott
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the response of industries and firms to changes in trade costs. Several new firm-level models of international trade with heterogeneous firms predict that industry productivity will rise as trade costs fall due to the reallocation of activity across plants within an industry. Using disaggregated U.S. import data, we create a new measure of trade costs over time and industries. As the models predict, productivity growth is faster in industries with falling trade costs. We also find evidence supporting the major hypotheses of the heterogenous- firm models. Plants in industries with falling trade costs are more likely to die or become exporters. Existing exporters increase their shipments abroad. The results do not apply equally across all sectors but are strongest for industries most likely to be producing horizontally-differentiated tradeable goods.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Edward M. Graham
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This working paper examines, from an economic perspective, the treatment of takings (property rights) under NAFTA Chapter 11. To be more precise, the paper examines the treatment of takings as environmental groups fear might be established as the result of investor dispute settlement under this chapter; as of the date of this writing, most of the cases that have the potential to be precedent-setting have not been finally decided, albeit one—the Metalclad case—has been decided in a way that is unsettling to environmentalists. The author attempts to determine whether requiring public compensation of private investors for diminishment of value resulting from government regulatory action has the potential of achieving anything close to an “optimal” outcome from a societal cost-benefit point of view (defined below). This determination makes use of tools of economic analysis and, in particular, Coase's theorem regarding achieving optimal outcomes where negative externalities are present. The overall conclusion is that, although Coase's theorem can be invoked to argue that such an outcome can be achieved either via a “polluter pays” approach or a “public pays” (or “public must compensate”) approach, as a matter of practical application, the first approach is preferable to the second for a number of reasons, including government “fiscal illusion” and “moral hazard.”
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Catherine L. Mann, Ellen E. Meade
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper brings together the literature on determination of home bias in equity holdings and the portfolio balance model of exchange rates to consider whether the dollar might be affected by a change in transactions costs that alters international portfolio allocations. Our empirical findings lend support to the view that transactions costs have a significant influence on US portfolio holdings, even after accounting for float market share. In addition, new survey evidence on the equity holdings of European firms indicates home bias for European investors, and points to a reduction in the magnitude of this home bias since 1997.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Marcus Miller, Paul Weller, Lei Zhang
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: When the risk premium in the US stock market fell far below its historic level, Shiller (2000) attributed this to a bubble driven by psychological factors. As an alternative explanation, we point out that the observed risk premium may be reduced by one-sided intervention policy on the part of the Federal Reserve, which leads investors into the erroneous belief that they are insured against downside risk. By allowing for partial credibility and state dependent risk aversion, we show that this 'insurance'—referred to as the Greenspan put—is consistent with the observation that implied volatility rises as the market falls. Our bubble, like Shiller's, involves market psychology, but what we describe is not so much 'irrational exuberance' as exaggerated faith in the stabilizing power of Mr. Greenspan.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Adam S. Posen
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In the postwar era, US-Japan economic relations have been characterized by substantial tensions, yet this has not damaged the underlying security relationship or critically harmed the multilateral economic framework. In fact, these two economies have become more integrated over time even as these tensions played out. These tensions, however, have required an enormous expenditure of political capital and officials' time on both sides of the Pacific and have led to foregone opportunities for institution building and policy coordination. They have deepened since Japan “caught up” with the United States around 1980, and Japanese and US firms began increasingly to compete for profits and market share in the same sectors. Moreover, as both the US and Japanese economies continue to mature – both in terms of the age of their populations and their industrial mix – they will likely face even greater tensions between them over allocating the management and costs of industrial adjustment.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Edward M. Graham, Erika Wada
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: By almost all accounts, foreign direct investment (FDI) in China has been one of the major success stories of the past 10 years. Starting from a base of less than $19 billion in 1990, the stock of FDI in China rose to over $300 billion at the end of 1999. Ranked by the stock of inward FDI, China thus has become the leader among all developing nations and second among the APEC nations (only the United States holds a larger stock of inward FDI). China's FDI consists largely of greenfield investment, while inward FDI in the United States by contrast has been generated more by takeover of existing enterprises than by new establishment, a point developed later in this paper. The majority of FDI in China has originated from elsewhere in developing Asia (i.e., not including Japan). Hong Kong, now a largely self-governing “special autonomous region” of China itself, has been the largest source of record. The dominance of Hong Kong, however, is somewhat illusory in that much FDI nominally from Hong Kong in reality is from elsewhere. Some of what is listed as Hong Kong-source FDI in China is, in fact, investment by domestic Chinese that is “round-tripped” through Hong Kong. Other FDI in China listed as Hong Kong in origin is in reality from various western nations and Taiwan that is placed into China via Hong Kong intermediaries. Alas, no published records exist to indicate exactly how much FDI in China that is nominally from Hong Kong is in fact attributable to other nations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia, Hong Kong
  • Author: Catherine L. Mann
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The global and dynamic e-commerce marketplace will increasingly impact the nature of national and international economic and government relations. This paper highlights three areas where the United States and European Union (EU) governments differ in their approaches as to how best to serve their domestic constituencies: treatment of trade flows, approach to tax regimes, manner of protecting personal data. Because the Internet marketplace is global but policy jurisdictions remain local, policy conflicts can develop. Policymakers on both sides need to harness technology and promote incentives for the private sector to help solve problems caused by the jurisdictional overlap. In addition to cross-border jurisdictional overlap, problems within a country can develop from issue convergence and policy overlap. That is, because the e-commerce marketplace is so integrated, the policy toward handling one issue, even within the national context, has implications for the policy set that is available to policymakers on other issues. Therefore, policies within a country must be more carefully meshed with each other with an eye toward consistency in the face of the forces of electronic commerce..
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Adam S. Posen, Kenneth N. Kuttner
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Short-term volatility in G3 bilateral exchange rates has been a fact of life since the beginning of the post-Bretton Woods float. It has been established, surprisingly, that this volatility is not only disproportionately large relative to the variation in relative macroeconomic fundamentals of Germany, Japan, and the United States, but is in fact largely unrelated to them. The apparent disconnect between fundamentals and dollar-yen and dollar-euro exchange rate fluctuations has led to perennial complaints about persistent exchange rate “misalignments,” and their real effects on the G3 (and other) economies, giving rise in turn to recurring proposals for government policies to limit this volatility. The idea that volatility reflects nothing more than the (perhaps rational, certainly profit-seeking) behavior of foreign exchange traders seems to give justification for a policy response. Yet, the disjunction between macroeconomic expectations and the volatility seems to indicate as well that some deviation from domestic monetary policy goals would be necessary to intervene against exchange rate swings.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Germany
  • Author: Richard M. Goodman, John M. Frost
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: International agreements, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), generally aim to facilitate the free flow of goods and services among nations. The U.S. Supreme Court has developed a jurisprudence similarly aiming to facilitate the free flow of goods and services among the several states. That jurisprudence has developed from litigation challenging the constitutionality of state actions on the basis of the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses of the Constitution (art. I, § 8, cl. 3, and art. VI, cl. 2). In some subject areas, Commerce Clause decisions closely align with international agreements. In other areas, either or both fall short of achieving economic integration.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, North America