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Income inequality, life expectancy and cause-specific mortality in 43 European countries, 1987–2008: a fixed effects study

Hu, Yannan; van Lenthe, Frank J.; Mackenbach, Johan P.
Fonte: Springer Netherlands Publicador: Springer Netherlands
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Português
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56.01%
Whether income inequality is related to population health is still open to debate. We aimed to critically assess the relationship between income inequality and mortality in 43 European countries using comparable data between 1987 and 2008, controlling for time-invariant and time-variant country-level confounding factors. Annual data on income inequality, expressed as Gini index based on net household income, were extracted from the Standardizing the World Income Inequality Database. Data on life expectancy at birth and age-standardized mortality by cause of death were obtained from the Human Lifetable Database and the World Health Organization European Health for All Database. Data on infant mortality were obtained from the United Nations World Population Prospects Database. The relationships between income inequality and mortality indicators were studied using country fixed effects models, adjusted for time trends and country characteristics. Significant associations between income inequality and many mortality indicators were found in pooled cross-sectional regressions, indicating higher mortality in countries with larger income inequalities. Once the country fixed effects were added, all associations between income inequality and mortality indicators became insignificant...

An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of Climate Variables on National Level Economic Growth

Brown, Casey; Meeks, Robyn; Ghile, Yonas; Hunu, Kenneth
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
Português
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55.8%
The influence of climate on economic growth is a topic of growing interest. Few studies have investigated the potential role that climate hazards and their cumulative effects have on the growth prospects for a country. Due to the relatively stationary spatial patterns of global climate, some regions and countries are more prone to climate hazards and climate variability than others. This study uses a precipitation index that preserves the spatial and temporal variability of precipitation and differentiates between precipitation maximums (such as floods) and minimums (such as droughts). The authors develop a year and country fixed effects regression model to test the influence of climate variables on measures of economic growth and activity. The results indicate that precipitation extremes (floods and droughts) are the dominant climate influence on economic growth and that the effects are significant and negative. The drought index is associated with a highly significant negative influence on growth of growth domestic product...

Corruption and Productivity : Firm-level Evidence from the BEEPS Survey

De Rosa, Donato; Gooroochurn, Nishaal; Gorg, Holger
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
Português
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45.99%
Using enterprise data for the economies of Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS, this study examines the effects of corruption on productivity. Corruption is narrowly defined as the occurrence of informal payments to government officials to ease the day-to-day operation of firms. The effects of this "bribe tax" on productivity are compared to the consequences of red tape, which may be understood as imposing a "time tax" on firms. When testing effects in the full sample, only the bribe tax appears to have a negative impact on firm-level productivity, while the effect of the time tax is insignificant. At the same time, unlike similar studies using country-level data, firm level analysis allows a direct test of the "efficient grease" hypothesis by investigating whether corruption may increase productivity by helping reduce the time tax on firms. Results provide no evidence of a trade-off between the time and the bribe taxes, implying that bribing does not emerge as a second-best option to achieve higher productivity by helping circumvent cumbersome bureaucratic requirements. When controlling for EU membership the effects of the bribe tax are more harmful in non-EU countries. This suggests that the surrounding environment influences the way in which firm behaviour affects firm performance. In particular...

Do Migrants Really Foster Trade? The Trade-Migration Nexus, a Panel Approach 1960-2000

Parsons, Christopher R.
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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56%
Despite the burgeoning empirical literature providing evidence of a strong and robust positive correlation between trade and migration, doubts persist as to unobserved factors which may be driving this relationship. This paper re-examines the trade-migration nexus using a panel spanning several decades, which comprises the majority of world trade and migration in every decade. First the findings common to the literature are reproduced. Country-pair fixed effects are then used to account for unobserved bilateral factors, the implementation of which removes all of the positive impact of migration on trade. In other words the unobserved factors, a leading candidate for which it is argued is international bilateral ties, are on average strongly and positively correlated with migrant networks. Dividing the world into the relatively affluent North and poorer South, the results show that migrants from either region only affect Northern exports to the South. This is intuitive since in general countries of the North export more differentiated products and information barriers between these regions are greatest. A country-level analysis further shows that migrants may both create and divert trade. Taken as a whole...

Reform and Inequality During the Transition : An Analysis Using Panel Household Survey Data, 1990-2005

Milanovic, Branko; Ersado, Lire
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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65.97%
Using for the first time household survey data from 26 post-Communist countries, covering the period 1990-2005, this paper examines correlates of unprecedented increases in inequality registered by most of the economies. The analysis shows, after controlling for country fixed effects and type of survey used, that economic reform is strongly negatively associated with the income share of the bottom decile, and positively with the income shares of the top two deciles. However, breaking economic reform into its component parts, the picture is more nuanced. Large-scale privatization and infrastructure reform (mostly consisting of privatization and higher fees) are responsible for the pro-inequality effect; small-scale privatization tends to raise the income shares of the bottom deciles. Acceleration in growth is also pro-rich. But democratization is strongly pro-poor, as is lower inflation. Somewhat surprisingly, the analysis finds no evidence that greater government spending as share of gross domestic income reduces inequality.

Trade Policy, Trade Costs, and Developing Country Trade

Hoekman, Bernard; Nicita, Alessandro
Fonte: Washington, DC: World Bank Publicador: Washington, DC: World Bank
Português
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55.92%
This paper briefly reviews new indices of trade restrictiveness and trade facilitation that have been developed at the World Bank. The paper also compares the trade impact of different types of trade restrictions applied at the border with the effects of domestic policies that affect trade costs. Based on a gravity regression framework, the analysis suggests that tariffs and non-tariff measures continue to be a significant source of trade restrictiveness for low-income countries despite preferential access programs. This is because the value of trade preferences is quite limited: a new measure of the relative preference margin developed in the paper reveals that this is very low for most country-pairs. Most countries with very good (duty-free) access to a market generally have competitors that have the same degree of access. The empirical analysis suggests that measures to improve logistics performance and facilitate trade are likely to have the greatest positive effects in expanding developing country trade...

Financial Inclusion and the Role of the Post Office

Anson, Jose; Berthaud, Alexandre; Klapper, Leora; Singer, Dorothe
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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65.82%
Given their widespread presence in rural and poor areas, post offices can play a leading role in advancing financial inclusion. Yet little is known about the type of clients that post offices reach through their financial service offerings as compared with clients of traditional financial institutions (such as commercial banks). This paper documents and analyzes account ownership patterns at post offices in comparison with traditional financial institutions, using the Global Financial Inclusion Indicators (Global Findex) database, which collects data on account ownership at post offices in 60 countries where postal accounts are offered. Controlling for a host of individual characteristics and country fixed effects, the paper finds that post offices are relatively more likely than traditional financial institutions to provide accounts to individuals who are most likely to be from financially vulnerable groups, such as the poor, less educated, and those out of the labor force. The paper also uses data from the Universal Postal Union to explore the degree to which different postal business models and the size of the postal network help explain differences in account ownership patterns. The results suggest that post offices can boost account ownership by acting as cash-merchants for transactional financial services...

Finance and Macroeconomic Volatility

Denizer, Cevdet; Iyigun, Murat F.; Owen, Ann L.
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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46.06%
Countries with more developed financial sectors, experience fewer fluctuations in real per capita output, consumption, and investment growth. But the manner in which the financial sector develops matters. The relative importance of banks in the financial system is important in explaining consumption, and investment volatility. The proportion of credit provided to the private sector, best explains volatility of consumption, and output. The authors generate their main results using fixed-effects estimates with panel data from seventy countries for the years 1956-98. Their general findings suggest that the risk management, and information processing provided by banks, maybe especially important in reducing consumption, and investment volatility. The simple availability of credit to the private sector, probably helps smooth consumption, and GDP.

Technical Measures to Trade in Central America : Incidence, Price Effects, and Consumer Welfare

Kelleher, Sinead; Reyes, Jose-Daniel
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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55.83%
Despite the widespread tariff reductions sparked by the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, borders in the region remain thick, with many hurdles standing in the way of regional trade. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that nontariff measures raise trade costs and inhibit trade in the region, little is known about the magnitude of these economic effects. This paper uses a newly collected data set to quantify the incidence of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade in the region and benchmarks it with other parts of the world. The results indicate that the Central American region has the lowest prevalence of technical nontariff measures in the world. However, there is significant heterogeneity of trade-related regulations in Central America; for instance, 48 percent of Salvadoran imports are subject to at least one nontariff measure, compared with just 16 percent of Honduran imports. The paper estimates the impact of these technical measures on border prices and finds that the price impact of sanitary and phytosanitary measures is equivalent to an ad-valorem tariff of 11.6 percent. This price-rising effect is further investigated by looking in detail at the impact of sanitary and phytosanitary measures on the prices of beef...

Structural Reforms and Labor Market Outcomes : International Panel Data Evidence

Hollweg, Claire H.; Lederman, Daniel; Mitra, Devashish
Fonte: World Bank Group, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank Group, Washington, DC
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56.03%
This paper explores the impact of structural reforms on a comprehensive set of macro-level labor-market outcomes, including the unemployment rate, the average wage index, and overall and female employment levels and labor force participation rates. Together these outcome variables capture the overall health of the labor market and the aggregate welfare of workers. Yet, there seems to be no other comprehensive empirical investigation in the existing literature of the impact of structural reforms at the cross-country macro level on labor-market outcomes other than the unemployment rate. Data were collected from a variety of sources, including the World Bank World Development Indicators, the International Monetary Fund International Financial Statistics, and the International Labor Organization Key Indicators of the Labor Market. The resulting dataset covers up to 88 countries, the majority being developing, for 10 years on either side of structural reforms that took place between 1960 and 2001. After documenting the average trends across countries in the labor-market outcomes up to 10 years on either side of each country s structural reform year...

Effects of Income Inequality on Aggregate Output

Brueckner, Markus; Lederman, Daniel
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Trabalho em Andamento
Português
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55.9%
This paper estimates the effect of income inequality on real gross domestic product per capita using a panel of 104 countries during the period 1970–2010. The empirical analysis addresses endogeneity issues by using instrumental variables estimation and controlling for country and time fixed effects. The analysis finds that, on average, income inequality has a significant negative effect on transitional gross domestic product per capita growth and the long-run level of gross domestic product per capita. However, the impact varies by the level of economic development, so much so that in poor countries income inequality has a significant positive effect on gross domestic product per capita.

Robust investment climate effects on alternative firm-level productivity measures

Escribano, Álvaro; Guasch, J. Luis
Fonte: Universidade Carlos III de Madrid Publicador: Universidade Carlos III de Madrid
Tipo: info:eu-repo/semantics/draft; info:eu-repo/semantics/workingPaper Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /01/2012 Português
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55.86%
Developing countries are increasingly concerned about improving country competitiveness and productivity, as they face the increasing pressures of globalization and attempt to improve economic growth and reduce poverty. Among such countries, Investment Climate surveys (ICs) at the firm level, have become the standard way for the World Bank to identify key obstacles to country competitiveness, in order to prioritize policy reforms for enhancing competitiveness. Given the surveys objectives and the nature and limitations of the data collected, this paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using different total factor productivity (TFP) measures. The main objective is to develop a methodology to generate robust investment climate impacts (elasticities) on TFP under alternative measures. The paper applies it to the data collected for ICs in four developing countries: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Observations on logarithms of the production function variables are pooled across three countries (Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua). Endogeneity of the production function inputs and of the investment climate variables is addressed by using observable firm level information, a variant of the control function approach...

Exporter Behavior, Country Size and Stage of Development; Evidence from the Exporter Dynamics Database

Fernandes, Ana M.; Freund, Caroline; Pierola, Martha Denisse
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Working Paper; Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
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55.94%
This paper presents new data on the micro structure of the export sector for 45 countries and studies how exporter behavior varies with country size and stage of development. Larger countries and more developed countries have more exporters, larger exporters, and a greater share of exports controlled by the top 5 percent. The extensive margin (more firms) plays a greater role than the intensive margin (average size) in supporting exports of larger countries. In contrast, the intensive margin is relatively more important in explaining the exports of richer countries. Exporter entry and exit rates are higher and entrant survival is lower at an early stage of development. The paper discusses the results in light of trade theories with heterogeneous firms and the empirical literature on resource allocation, firm size, and development. An implication from the findings is that developing countries export less because the top of the firm-size distribution is truncated.

Are Natural Resources Cursed? An Investigation of the Dynamic Effects of Resource Dependence on Institutional Quality

De Rosa, Donato; Iootty, Mariana
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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55.92%
This paper examines whether natural resource dependence has a negative influence on various indicators of institutional quality when controlling for the potential effects of other geographic, economic and cultural initial conditions. Analysis of a panel of countries from 1996 to 2010 indicates that a high degree of resource dependence, measured as the share of mineral fuel exports in a country's total exports, is associated with worse government effectiveness, as well as with reduced levels of competition across the economy. Furthermore, estimation of long-run elasticities suggests that government effectiveness and the intensity of domestic competition decrease over time as the dependence on natural resources increases. An illustration of the Russian case shows that the negative effects accumulate in the long run, leading to a worse deterioration of government effectiveness in Russia than in Canada, a country with a comparable resource endowment but far better overall institutional quality. This result is corroborated by a significant negative correlation found between regional resource dependence and an indicator of regulatory capture in Russian regions...

Distortions to Agriculture and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Anderson, Kym; Brückner, Markus
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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56.07%
To what extent has Sub-Saharan Africa's slow economic growth over the past five decades been due to price and trade policies that discouraged production of agricultural relative to non-agricultural tradables? This paper uses a new set of estimates of policy induced distortions to relative agricultural prices to address this question econometrically. First, the authors test if these policy distortions respond to economic growth, using rainfall and international commodity price shocks as instrumental variables. They find that on impact there is no significant response of relative agricultural price distortions to changes in real GDP per capita growth. Then, the authors test the reverse proposition and find a statistically significant and sizable negative effect of relative agricultural price distortions on the growth rate of Sub-Saharan African countries. The fixed effects estimates yield that, during the 1960-2005 period, a ten percentage points increase in distortions to relative agricultural prices decreased the region's real GDP per capita growth rate by about half a percentage point per annum.

What Matters to African Firms? The Relevance of Perceptions Data

Gelb, Alan; Ramachandran, Vijaya; Shah, Manju Kedia; Turner, Ginger
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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56.01%
Can perceptions data help us understand investment climate constraints facing the private sector? Or do firms simply complain about everything? In this paper, the authors provide a picture of how firms' views on constraints differ across countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys database, they find that reported constraints reflect country characteristics and vary systematically by level of income-the most elemental constraints to doing business (power, access to finance, ability to plan ahead) appear to be most binding at low levels of income. As countries develop and these elemental constraints are relaxed, governance-related constraints become more problematic. As countries move further up the income scale and the state becomes more capable, labor regulation is perceived to be more of a problem-business is just one among several important constituencies. The authors also consider whether firm-level characteristics-such as size, ownership, exporter status, and firms' own experience-affect firms' views on the severity of constraints. They find that...

Informality among Formal Firms : Firm-level, Cross-country Evidence on tax Compliance and Access to Credit

Gatti, Roberta; Honorati, Maddalena
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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55.77%
The authors use firm-level, cross-county data from Investment Climate surveys in 49 developing countries to investigate an important channel through which informality can affect productivity: access to credit and external finance. Informality is measured as self-reported lack of tax compliance in a sample of registered firms that also answered questions on a large set of other characteristics. The authors find that more tax compliance is significantly associated with more access to credit both in OLS and in country fixed effects estimates. In particular, the link between credit and formality is stronger in high-formality countries. This suggests that firms' balance sheets are relatively more informative for financial institutions in environments where signal extraction is a less noisy process. The authors' results are robust to the inclusion of a wide array of correlates and to two-stage estimation.

Spillover Effects of Exchange Rates : A Study of the Renminbi

Mattoo, Aaditya; Mishra, Prachi; Subramanian, Arvind
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper
Português
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55.96%
This paper estimates how changes in China's exchange rates would affect exports from competitor countries in third-country markets -- in other words, the "spillover effect." The authors use recent theory to develop an identification strategy, with a key role for the competition between China and its developing country competitors in specific products and export destinations. Using disaggregated trade data, they estimate the spillover effect by exploiting the variation across different exporters, importers, products, and time periods. They find a spillover effect that is statistically and quantitatively significant. Their estimates suggest that a 10-percent appreciation of China's real exchange rate boosts a developing country's exports of a typical four-digit Harmonized System product category to third markets by about 1.5 to 2 percent on average. The magnitude of the spillover effect varies systematically with the characteristics of products, such as the extent to which they are differentiated.

Developing Economies and International Investors : Do Investment Promotion Agencies Bring them Together?

Harding, Torfinn; Javorcik, Beata Smarzynska
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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46.04%
Many countries spend significant resources on investment promotion agencies in the hope of attracting inflows of foreign direct investment. Despite the importance of this question for public policy choices, little is known about the effectiveness of investment promotion efforts. This study uses newly collected data on national investment promotion agencies in 109 countries to examine the effects of investment promotion on foreign direct investment inflows. The empirical analysis follows two approaches. First, it tests whether sectors explicitly targeted by investment promotion agencies receive more foreign direct investment in the post-targeting period relative to the pre-targeting period and non-targeted sectors. Second, it examines whether the existence of an investment promotion agency is correlated with higher foreign direct investment inflows. Results from both approaches point to the same conclusion. Investment promotion efforts appear to increase foreign direct investment inflows to developing countries. Moreover...

The Effects of Volatility, Fiscal Policy Cyclicality and Financial Development on Growth; Evidence for the Eastern Caribbean

Brüeckner, Markus; Carneiro, Francisco
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Working Paper; Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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This paper presents estimates of the effects that terms of trade volatility has on growth of real gross domestic product per capita. Based on five-year non-overlapping panel data comprising 175 countries during 1980–2010, the paper finds that: (i) in model specifications that do not include country fixed effects, terms of trade volatility has a significant negative average effect on economic growth; (ii) once country fixed effects are included in the model, the average effect of terms of trade volatility on economic growth is not significantly different from zero; (iii) robust to the inclusion of country fixed effects, terms of trade volatility has significantly adverse effects on economic growth in countries with pro-cyclical fiscal policy; and (iv) in model specifications that do not include country fixed effects, financial development is a significant mediating factor with regard to the effect that terms of trade volatility has on economic growth, however, the significance of this effect vanishes once country fixed effects are included in the model. The paper also explores these relationships for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States region. A key conclusion from the research is that countercyclical fiscal policy and deeper financial markets will have particularly high payoffs in reducing the adverse growth effects of terms of trade volatility in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States region.