nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2007‒06‒02
29 papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee
Towson University

  1. Give and Take: Political Competition, Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America By Aidt, T.S.; Eterovic, D.S.
  2. Poverty targeting in public programs-- A comparison of some nonparametric tests and their application to Indian microfinance. By Isha Dewan; Rohini Somanathan
  3. Fertility in Developing Countries By T. Paul Schultz
  4. Population Policies, Fertility, Women's Human Capital, and Child Quality By T. Paul Schultz
  5. Health Economics for Low-Income Countries By Germano Mwabu
  6. A Politico-Economic Model of Aging, Technology Adoption and Growth By Giovanni Prarolo; Francesco Lancia
  7. Gender Issue and Water Management in the Mediterranean Basin, Middle East and North Africa By Giulia Minoia
  8. Corporate Governance and Firm in Latin America By Alberto Chong; Florencio López-de-Silanes
  9. Corporate Governance and Firm Value in Mexico By Alberto Chong; Florencio López-de-Silanes
  10. Foreign Aid, Income Inequality, and Poverty By María Cecilia Calderón; Alberto Chong; Mark Gradstein
  11. Institutional Enforcement, Labor-Market Rigidities, and Economic Performance By Alberto Chong; César Caldeón; Gianmarco León
  12. Assessing Competitiveness After Conflict: The Case of the Central African Republic By Said Bakhache; Kadima D. Kalonji; Mark Lewis; Jean-Claude Nachega
  13. Role of Debt Maturity Structure on Firm Fixed Assets During Sudden Stop Episodes: Evidence from Thailand By Hanan Morsy; Akiko Terada-Hagiwara; Maria Pia Iannariello
  14. What Should Macroeconomists Know about Health Care Policy? By Peter S. Heller
  15. Lucas vs. Lucas: On Inequality and Growth By Juan Carlos Cordoba; Genevieve Verdier
  16. Building Supervisory Structures in Sub-Saharan Africa--An Analytical Framework By Marc Quintyn; Michael Taylor
  17. The CFA Arrangements--More than Just an Aid Substitute? By Etienne B. Yehoue
  18. Public Expenditure in Latin America: Trends and Key Policy Issues By Christopher Faircloth; Benedict J. Clements; Marijn Verhoeven
  19. Are Workers' Remittances a Hedge Against Macroeconomic Shocks? The Case of Sri Lanka By Erik Lueth; Marta Ruiz-Arranz
  20. SAFTA: Living in a World of Regional Trade Agreements By Jose Daniel Rodríguez-Delgado
  21. Collateral Damage: Exchange Controls and International Trade By Zhiwei Zhang; Shang-Jin Wei
  22. The Prospects for Sustained Growth in Africa: Benchmarking the Constraints By Simon Johnson; Jonathan D. Ostry; Arvind Subramanian
  23. South Africa’s School Infrastructure Performance Indicator System By Jeremy Gibberd
  24. Regional Development in China: Interregional Transportation Infrastructure and Regional Comparative Advantage By Lining He; Faye Duchin
  25. A framework for thinking about enterprise formalization policies in developing countries By Kenyon, Thomas
  26. The Mexican pension annuity market By Impavido, Gregorio
  27. Export structure and growth : a detailed analysis for Argentina By Torrado, Monica Parra; Parks, James; Guerson, Alejandro
  28. Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid By Amegashie, J.; Ouattara, B.; Strobl, E.
  29. Realizing the Demographic Dividend: Is Africa any different? By David E. Bloom; David Canning; Günther Fink; Jocelyn Finlay

  1. By: Aidt, T.S.; Eterovic, D.S.
    Abstract: Rational choice models predict that political competition and political participation have opposite effects on the size of government. We investigate these theories using data from a panel of 18 Latin American countries during the 20th century. Our research builds evidence for the prediction that reforms enhancing political competition tend to limit the size of government, while reforms increasing political participation tend to increase the size of government. Furthermore, we find that reforms which remove literacy requirements from franchise laws are associated with governmental expansion, while changes in women.s su¤rage laws have no impact on the size of government. Our findings demonstrate the empirical relevance of the distinction between political competition and participation.
    Keywords: Political competition, political participation, the extension of the franchise, women.s su¤rage, literacy requirements; size of government; school enrollment.
    JEL: D7 H11
    Date: 2007–04
  2. By: Isha Dewan (Indian Statistical Institute); Rohini Somanathan (Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: Many popular social programs have limited coverage among households at the very bottom of the income and wealth distribution. If a program reaches the poor, but neglects the destitute, the (pre-program) income distribution of participants and non-participants will cross. We are interested in the statis-tical methods that can be used to test for this particular pattern of program participation. Our numerical simulations suggest that recently developed tests for distribution crossing are powerful even when the two distributions under study are fairly similar and they can be usefully combined with more stan-dard quantile tests to characterize program participation among the very poor. We apply this approach to data on household expenditures and membership of micro-credit groups in India and find that participation among the poorest households in the study area was lower than that of slightly richer households.
    Date: 2007–05
  3. By: T. Paul Schultz (Yale University)
    Abstract: The associations between fertility and outcomes in the family and society have been treated as causal, but this is inaccurate if fertility is a choice coordinated by families with other life-cycle decisions, including labour supply of mothers and children, child human capital, and savings. Estimating how exogenous changes in fertility that are uncorrelated with preferences or constraints affect others depends on our specifying a valid instrumental variable for fertility. Twins have served as such an instrument and confirm that the cross-effects of fertility estimated on the basis of this instrument are smaller in absolute value than their associations.
    Keywords: Fertility Determination, Malthus,Household Demands, Fertility Effects
    JEL: D13 J13 N30 O15
    Date: 2007–05
  4. By: T. Paul Schultz (Yale University)
    Abstract: Population policies are defined here as voluntary programs which help people control their fertility and expect to improve their lives. There are few studies of the long-run effects of policy-induced changes in fertility on the welfare of women, such as policies that subsidize the diffusion and use of best practice birth control technologies. Evaluation of the consequences of such family planning programs almost never assess their long-run consequences, such as on labor supply, savings, or investment in the human capital of children, although they occasionally estimate the short-run association with the adoption of contraception or age-specific fertility. The dearth of long-run family planning experiments has led economists to consider instrumental variables as a substitute for policy interventions which not only determine variation in fertility but are arguably independent of the reproductive preferences of parents or unobserved constraints that might influence family life cycle behaviors. Using these instrumental variables to estimate the effect of this exogenous variation in fertility on family outcomes, economists discover these Across effects@ of fertility on family welfare outcomes tend to be substantially smaller in absolute magnitude than the OLS estimates of partial correlations referred to in the literature as evidence of the beneficial social externalities associated with the policies that reduce fertility. The paper summarizes critically the empirical literature on fertility and development and proposes an agenda for research on the topic.
    Keywords: Consequences of Fertility Decline, Child Quality, Evaluation of Population Policies
    JEL: J13 J24 O15
    Date: 2007–05
  5. By: Germano Mwabu (University of Nairobi and Yale University)
    Abstract: Good health is a determinant of economic growth and a component of well-being. This paper discusses and synthesizes economic models of individual and household behavior, showing how they may be used to illuminate health policy making in low-income countries. The models could help address questions such as: How can the health of the poor be improved, and what are the economic consequences of better health? What policies would improve intra-household distribution of health outcomes? An extensive literature on health human capital and household models, and on related field experiments is reviewed in an attempt to answer these questions. It is found that there are large returns to health improvements in low-income countries. Moreover, health improvements in poor nations can be achieved through implementation of simple interventions such as dietary supplements, control of parasitic diseases, and pro-poor social expenditures. The paper concludes with a discussion of these policy options.
    Keywords: Health Production, Health Care Markets, Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation, Health Economics, Low-income countries
    JEL: I12 I11 D13 O12
    Date: 2007–05
  6. By: Giovanni Prarolo (University of Bologna and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Francesco Lancia (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: Over the past century, all OECD countries have been characterized by a dramatic increase in economic conditions, life expectancy and educational attainment. This paper provides a positive theory that explains how an economy might evolve when the longevity of its citizens both influences and is influenced by the process of economic development. We propose a three periods OLG model where agents, during their lifetime, cover different economic roles characterized by different incentive schemes and time horizon. Agents’ decisions embrace two dimensions: the private choice about education and the public one upon innovation policy. The theory focuses on the crucial role played by heterogeneous interests in determining innovation policies, which are one of the keys to the growth process: the economy can be discontinuously innovation-oriented due to the different incentives of individuals and different schemes of political aggregation of preferences. The model produces multiple development regimes associated with different predictions about life expectancy evolution, educational investment dynamics, and technology adoption policies. Transitions between these regimes depend on initial conditions and parameter values.
    Keywords: Growth, Life Expectancy, Human Capital, Systemic Innovation, Majority Voting
    JEL: D70 J10 O14 O31 O43
    Date: 2007–04
  7. By: Giulia Minoia (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
    Abstract: This article aims to investigate some aspects of the social process related to water resources management and gender relations. Given that gender and water management are interrelated issues exposed to a growing attention at the international level, it is therefore necessary to identify relations between the academic literature, the institutional framework and the field-based research. This document has been inspired by the Nostrum DSS project (Network on Governance, Science and Technology for Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Mediterranean), a Co-ordination Action funded by the European Commission, which involves eighteen partners from the North and South shores of the basin. As the scope of the project is to disseminate Best Practice Guidelines for the design and implementation of Decision Support System tools (DSS) to identify optimal water resources management regimes, this article is proposing an analysis of a particular geographical and social frame related to the social actors involved in the project, but there are no connections between the paper and the project itself. To create a network between science, policy and civil society is one of the main objectives of the project in order to reach an improved governance and planning in the field of sustainable water management. Therefore, to investigate gender sensitivity in some areas of the basin shall provide a clue. This overview of academic and institutional background refers to a particular geographical and cultural area, the Middle Eastern and North African region. In the first section lies the theoretical background, that has been extrapolated from international organisations guidelines and scholars’ publications. The second section is specifically focused on the Egyptian geographical context. The first paragraph presents a review of the guidelines suggested by international organisations related to policies on gender and water, as parts of the changes that the global scenario has recently been facing, with the shift from the micro level to the macro level. The second paragraph then describes the side effects of these overspread trends, which are identified in their missing relations with the social context of the intervention. The third and fourth paragraphs introduce the issue of women’s role in water management in the Middle Eastern and North African Regions, while highlighting relations between women’s involvement in the public sphere and the role they cover in local communities organisations. The proportion of the political representation faced by women in this region is also discussed, tackling their overspread participation in agriculture and their unrecognised working status. The fifth paragraph of this paper will discuss a case study in Egypt, concerning an initiative promoted by international donors and the government aimed at increasing community participation in the design and management of irrigation canals. The case study gives a concrete sample to discuss plusses and problems of women’s participation in water users organisations, synthesising many of the theoretical issues that have been raised in the first three parts of this article.
    Keywords: Irrigation, Gender, Regional Development Policy
    JEL: J16 Z13
    Date: 2007–04
  8. By: Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank); Florencio López-de-Silanes (University of Amsterdam and National Bureau of Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes recent trends of Latin America’s institutional development regarding investor protection. In spite of the underdevelopment of the region’s financial markets, there is slow movement towards legal reforms intended to protect investors and make regional markets more attractive to investors; current inadequacies in the region’s legal institution’s generate high levels of ownership concentration, poor access to external equity financing, and narrow equity markets. The evidence in this paper, based on firm-level data for six countries, shows that, like legal protection of investors, appropriate firm-level corporate governance is linked to lower costs for capital, better valuation, performance, and dividend payments across countries. Firms can compensate for their countries’ legal deficiencies by distinguishing themselves through improved corporate governance practices, thus increasing transparency and limiting potential conflict between large and minority shareholders. Firms can additionally look for capital by issuing ADRs, as they have in recent years, although this practice undermines local capital markets. In the end, firms and regulators must improve their governance structures and shareholder protections if they are to meet the improved benchmarks of developed nations brought about by Asian, European, and U.S. scandals in recent years.
    Keywords: Corporate governance; Investor protection; Corporate valuation
    JEL: G32 L22
    Date: 2007–03
  9. By: Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank); Florencio López-de-Silanes (Ecole Normal Superieur, University of Amsterdam and National Bureau of Economic Research)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is twofold. On one hand, we undertake an analysis of the recent evolution of capital markets and their effect on the availability of external financing in Mexico in the last two decades. On the other hand, based on a newly assembled firm-level data set on corporate governance and firm performance, we show that better firm-level corporate governance practices are linked to higher valuations, better performance and more dividends disbursed to investors. These results hold after controlling for endogeneity. Overall, the evidence shows that the Mexican legal environment poses serious problems for access to capital.
    Date: 2006–07
  10. By: María Cecilia Calderón (University of Pennsylvania); Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank); Mark Gradstein (Ben Gurion University)
    Abstract: This paper’s goal is to examine the effect of foreign aid on income inequality and poverty reduction for the period 1971-2002. Since simple cross-country regressions cannot be taken as “true” time series findings we focus on dynamic panel data techniques, which allow accounting for potential simultaneity and heterogeneity problems. We find some weak evidence that foreign aid is conducive to the improvement of the distribution of income when the quality of institutions is taken into account, however, this result is not robust. This finding is consistent with recent empirical research on aid ineffectiveness in achieving economic growth or promoting democratic institutions.
    Keywords: Inequality; Poverty; Foreign Aid; Panel Data; Governance
    JEL: I3 O1
    Date: 2006–03
  11. By: Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank); César Caldeón (The World Bank); Gianmarco León (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper study the issue of institutional enforcement of regulations by focusing on labor-market policies and their potential link to economic performance. It test the different impacts of enforceable and non-enforceable labor regulations by proxying non-enforceable labor rigidity measures using data on conventions from the International Labor Organization (ILO). It has been argued that non-enforceable conventions -that is, those that exist on paper and are simply de jure regulations -appear to be more distortionary and tend to be the least enforced in practice (Squire and Suthiwart-Narueput, 1997). According to Freeman (1993), these conventions reflect the ideal regulatory framework from an institutionalist perspective and cover a variety of labor market issues, from child labor to placement agencies. Whereas in theory, a country's ratification of ILO conventions gives the country legal status and thus supersedes domestic regulations relating to those issues, in practice the degree of labor-market rigidity depends on how the conventions are enforced. It is the outcome of the regulations that matters, rather than their number.
    Keywords: Institutions; Enforcement; Labor Rigidities; Growth; GMM-IV
    JEL: O10 E60 J08 O40
    Date: 2006–10
  12. By: Said Bakhache; Kadima D. Kalonji; Mark Lewis; Jean-Claude Nachega
    Abstract: This paper assesses competitiveness in the case of the Central African Republic, a postconflict country. The paper presents several conventional techniques for assessing competitiveness, namely the real exchange rate and recent trade performance. Several other measures are considered, in particular transport costs and governance measures, which may be more effective in capturing the obstacles to competitiveness posed by the poor security environment and weak institutions common to many post-conflict situations. The real exchange measure and trade measures suggest some mild erosion of competitiveness in recent years, while the other measures indicate that the competitiveness challenges faced by the Central African Republic are much deeper.
    Keywords: Competition , Central African Republic , Foreign exchange , Trade , Transport , Governance ,
    Date: 2007–01–17
  13. By: Hanan Morsy; Akiko Terada-Hagiwara; Maria Pia Iannariello
    Abstract: This paper studies the detrimental effect of sudden stops on the growth of Thai firms' fixed assets. We focus on the fixed assets adjustment that firms undertake at times of financial constraints. We derive our results from balance sheet data for 284 nonfinancial Thai listed firms. Our data demonstrate that Thai firms faced severe declines in the growth of their fixed assets starting in 1996. Regression results demonstrate, after controlling for firms' characteristics and lagged dependent variables, that holding longer-term debt maturity structure is the factor that works in the firms' favor during sudden stop episodes, while it is their profitability that matters during tranquil periods.
    Keywords: Financial crisis , Thailand , Private sector , Capital , Debt burden , Debt management , Asia ,
    Date: 2007–01–23
  14. By: Peter S. Heller
    Abstract: This primer aims to provide IMF macroeconomists with the essential information they need to address issues concerning health sector policy, particularly when they have significant macroeconomic implications. Such issues can also affect equity and growth and are fundamental to any strategy of poverty reduction. The primer highlights the appropriate roles for the state and market in health care financing and provision. It also suggests situations in which macroeconomists should engage health sector specialists in policy formulation exercises. Finally, it reviews the different health policy issues that confront countries at alternative stages of economic development and the range of appropriate policy options.
    Keywords: Health care , Government expenditures , Economic policy , Social policy , Poverty reduction ,
    Date: 2007–01–25
  15. By: Juan Carlos Cordoba; Genevieve Verdier
    Abstract: Lucas (2004) asserts that "Of the tendencies that are harmful to sound economics, the most seductive, and in my opinion the most poisonous, is to focus on questions of distribution... The potential for improving the lives of poor people by finding different ways of distributing current production is nothing compared to the apparently limitless potential of increasing production." In this paper we evaluate this claim using an extended version of Lucas' (1987) welfare-evaluation framework. Surprisingly, we find that the welfare costs of inequality outweigh the benefits of growth in most cases. These calculations support the case for a research agenda that treats not only growth but also inequality as a priority.
    Keywords: Poverty , Economic growth , Business cycles ,
    Date: 2007–01–31
  16. By: Marc Quintyn; Michael Taylor
    Abstract: Current trends in financial sector development in sub-Saharan Africa are prompting policymakers to focus on the design of appropriate supervisory structures. Against the backdrop of worldwide efforts to remodel supervisory structures, this paper develops an analytical framework for designing a regulatory strategy that could assist in prioritizing the needs for regulation and supervision over time. Such a strategy should facilitate the design of a supervisory structure suitable for an individual country's current and future needs. The paper emphasizes that in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, any such strategy is constrained by the reality of capacity limitations and should take into account the need to keep the central bank involved in the process. Building on the framework, the paper identifies a number of supervisory structures that could meet sub-Saharan Africa's needs.
    Keywords: Bank supervision , Sub-Saharan Africa , Financial sector , Absorptive capacity ,
    Date: 2007–01–31
  17. By: Etienne B. Yehoue
    Abstract: The CFA franc zone has had one of the longest experiences with a fixed exchange rate for a convertible currency and regional integration of any group of developing countries. France, the anchor country, provides aid to support the zone. This paper asks whether the arrangements are more than just an aid substitute. The paper addresses this issue by evaluating the overall performance of the zone over the period 1960-2004. The analysis reveals that when the zone is hit by a negative shock, France increases its aid, thereby acting as a shock absorber. However, it also finds that the zone displays strong performance in two areas-price stability and fiscal policy. Thus the paper concludes that the arrangements are not an aid substitute; they have real macroeconomic value for the zone and complement aid.
    Keywords: Monetary unions , Africa , Risk management , Development assistance , Fiscal policy , Price stabilization , International cooperation ,
    Date: 2007–02–01
  18. By: Christopher Faircloth; Benedict J. Clements; Marijn Verhoeven
    Abstract: This paper examines trends in government spending in Latin America from the mid-1990s to 2006. It also examines key policy issues, including the cyclicality of spending, public investment, public employment, and social expenditures. It finds that primary expenditures have trended upward for the past ten years as a share of GDP, driven by increases in current spending, in particular for social expenditures. Fluctuations in real spending have continued to follow a procyclical pattern. The paper finds that there is substantial scope to improve the efficiency of public investment, public employment, and social spending.
    Keywords: Government expenditures , Latin America , Fiscal policy ,
    Date: 2007–02–02
  19. By: Erik Lueth; Marta Ruiz-Arranz
    Abstract: We estimate a vector error correction (VEC) model for Sri Lanka to determine the response of remittance receipts to macroeconomic shocks. This is the first attempt of its kind in the literature. We find that remittance receipts are procyclical and decline when the island's currency weakens, undermining their usefulness as shock absorber. On the other hand, remittances increase in response to oil price shocks, reflecting the fact that most overseas. Sri Lankan are employed in the Gulf states. The procyclicality of remittances calls into question the notion that remittances are largely motivated by altruism.
    Keywords: Workers remittances , Sri Lanka , Business cycles , Economic conditions , Economic models ,
    Date: 2007–02–02
  20. By: Jose Daniel Rodríguez-Delgado
    Abstract: The paper evaluates the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) within the global structure of overlapping regional trade agreements (RTAs) using a modified gravity equation. First, it examines the effects of the Trade Liberalization Program which started in 2006. SAFTA would have a minor effect on regional trade flows and the impact on custom duties would be a manageable fiscal shock for most members. Second, the paper ranks the trade effects of other potential RTAs for individual South Asian countries and SAFTA: RTAs with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the European Union (EU) dominate one with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
    Keywords: International trade agreements , Asia , Trade liberalization , Economic models ,
    Date: 2007–02–05
  21. By: Zhiwei Zhang; Shang-Jin Wei
    Abstract: While new conventional wisdom warns that developing countries should be aware of the risks of premature capital account liberalization, the costs of not removing exchange controls have received much less attention. This paper investigates the negative effects of exchange controls on trade. To minimize evasion of controls, countries often intensify inspections at the border and increase documentation requirements. Thus, the cost of conducting trade rises. The paper finds that a one standard-deviation increase in the controls on trade payment has the same negative effect on trade as an increase in tariff by about 14 percentage points. A one standard-deviation increase in the controls on FX transactions reduces trade by the same amount as a rise in tariff by 11 percentage points. Therefore, the collateral damage in terms of foregone trade is sizable.
    Keywords: Capital controls , Capital account liberalization , International trade , Nontariff barriers ,
    Date: 2007–01–18
  22. By: Simon Johnson; Jonathan D. Ostry; Arvind Subramanian
    Abstract: A dozen countries had weak institutions in 1960 and yet sustained high rates of growth subsequently. We use data on their characteristics early in the growth process to create benchmarks with which to evaluate potential constraints on sustained growth for sub-Saharan Africa. This analysis suggests that what are usually regarded as first-order problems -- broad institutions, macroeconomic stability, trade openness, education, and inequality -- may not nowbe binding constraints in Africa, although the extent of ill-health, internal conflict, and societal fractionalization do stand out as problems in contemporary Africa. A key question is to what extent Africa can rely on manufactured exports as a mode of "escape from underdevelopment," a strategy successfully deployed by almost all the benchmark countries. The benchmarking comparison specifically raises two key concerns as far as a development strategy based on expanding exports of manufactures is concerned: micro-level institutions that affect the costs of exporting, and the level of the real exchange rate -- especially the need to avoid overvaluation.
    JEL: O10 O11 O43 O55
    Date: 2007–05
  23. By: Jeremy Gibberd
    Abstract: While some South African schools have excellent infrastructure, others lack basic services such as water and sanitation. The school infrastructure performance indicator system (SIPIS) project offers an approach that can address both the urgent provision of basic services as well as support the development of more sophisticated and more effective education environments over time.
    Keywords: evaluation, learning environment, educational buildings, school infrastructure
    Date: 2007–05
  24. By: Lining He (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180-3590, USA); Faye Duchin (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180-3590, USA)
    Abstract: Significant economic disparities among China's Eastern, Central, and Western regions pose unequivocal challenges to social equality and political stability in the country. A major impediment to economic development, especially in the poor, remote Western region, is the shortage of transportation infrastructure. The Chinese government has committed to substantial investment for improving the accessibility of this vast, land-locked region as a mechanism for promoting its development. The paper examines the impacts of the intended transportation infrastructure buildup on the Western region's comparative advantage and its interregional trade. The World Trade Model is extended to represent this investment and applied to determine interregional trade in China based on region-specific technologies, factor endowments and prices, and consumption patterns as well as the capacities and costs of carrying goods among regions using the interregional transportation infrastructure in place in the base year of 1997 and that planned for 2010 and 2020. The model is implemented for 3 regions, 27 sectors, and 7 factors. The results indicate that the planned infrastructure buildup will be cost-effective, will increase benefits especially for the Western region, and that it can conserve energy overall at given levels of demand but substitute oil for coal. Based on these and other model results, some recommendations are offered about strategies for regional development in China.
    JEL: L98 O53 C61 C67 O18
    Date: 2007–05
  25. By: Kenyon, Thomas
    Abstract: What policies encourage firms to become formal? The standard approach emphasizes reducing the costs of compliance with government regulation. This is unlikely to be sufficient. Instead we need to understand compliance as a function not only of firm-level costs and benefits but also in terms of the interaction between the firm and its competitors and between the firm and the state. This paper emphasizes the coordination and credibility issues involved in promoting formalization and discusses po ssible institutional solutions, among them business associations that make the benefits of membership dependent on compliance, information sharing arrangements among government agencies and improvements in the quality of public management.
    Keywords: Microfinance,Small Scale Enterprise,Public Sector Economics & Finance,Economic Theory & Research,Public Sector Regulation
    Date: 2007–05–01
  26. By: Impavido, Gregorio
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the performance and development of the Mexican pension annuity market established as a consequence of the 1997 pension reform. The Mexican experience displays interesting characteristics providing lessons for other countries that still need to design the decumulation phase of their newly established second pillars. At the same, time it raises some technical and policy concerns that need addressing as they could hamper, in the future, the healthy development of the market. The paper concludes that: 1) general life insurance companies may better hedge longevity risk than specialized annuity companies; 2) competition should be based on prices rather than additional products; 3) better disclosure of options under the 1973 and 1997 social security laws should be given to disability and life annuitants; and 4) various measures should be taken to improve asset liability management including allowing companies to trade over the counter derivatives and substituting over time the regulatory asset liability management framework with an economic asset liability management framework.
    Keywords: Insurance & Risk Mitigation,Markets and Market Access,Economic Theory & Research,Non Bank Financial Institutions,Pensions & Retirement Systems
    Date: 2007–05–01
  27. By: Torrado, Monica Parra; Parks, James; Guerson, Alejandro
    Abstract: This paper examines recent changes in the structure of Argentine exports and the implications for future growth. The authors find that the current export structure of Argentina is not conducive to future growth because it is dominated by low-productivity goods that tend to be exported by low-income countries. The productivity content of Argentine exports has increased recently although, as of 2004, these changes have been rela tively minor. The authors identify products with characteristics similar to those currently exported by Argentina and which are more likely to foster growth because they would shift the structure of exports more the efficiency frontier. Those products include chemicals and primary products with some degree of value added, including partly processed meat, fish and grains. If economic growth is to be fostered by developing new export products and by increasing the value added of existing exports, there will be a need for sector-specific analysis to address possible market failures. The analysis should focus on issues such as the provision of public goods needed for production (including infrastructure, but also complex intangibles such as sector-specific legislation), possible impediments to effective coordination, sector-specific and economy wide externalities, or barriers to information. This last source of potential market failure is critical to a successful policy framework for exports and growth.
    Keywords: Economic Theory & Research,Transport Economics Policy & Planning,Tax Law,Water and Industry,Agribusiness & Markets
    Date: 2007–05–01
  28. By: Amegashie, J.; Ouattara, B.; Strobl, E.
    Date: 2007
  29. By: David E. Bloom; David Canning; Günther Fink; Jocelyn Finlay (Harvard School of Public Health)
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to test whether the determinants of growth in general, and the effects of demography in particular, are different in Africa than for the rest of the world. We show that most Sub-Saharan countries have the potential to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend, but that solid institutional settings will be imperative for its realization.
    Keywords: growth, Africa, Demographic Dividend, demography, sub-saharan.
    Date: 2007–05

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