The ‘manufacturing matters’ movement has gained prominence on the policy agenda even as the nature of manufacturing continues to morph. This column discusses new research showing that opening service sectors to competition and foreign direct investment can be a powerful conduit for productivity gains in manufacturing. The gains depend on both the types of reforms and the specific services sectors in which these are implemented.
Increasing agricultural productivity and expanding the agribusiness industry in sub-Saharan Africa is critical for poverty reduction, food security and economic growth. Numerous recent national, regional and G20-level programmes have been initiated to that effect. This column discusses new research showing that political economy forces have a major bearing on the success or failure of agricultural reform programmes. To be successful, policymakers must bear in mind the extent to which existing elites are affected by the redistribution associated with increasing returns for rural producers.
The positive spillovers from multinationals to the productivity of their host-country suppliers are empirically well established. Usually, it is assumed that multinationals aid their suppliers by voluntarily sharing knowledge and cooperating with them. This column argues the spillovers might rather result from blunt pressure by the multinationals, forcing their suppliers to adopt new practices and to adapt to new standards.
Is there too much financial development, or too little? Can economists even measure it well? This column argues that commonly used measures of financial development are poor proxies of what the financial system actually does, presenting a new worldwide database that aims to fill some of the gaps. There needs to be a stronger link between the theory and measurement of financial development.
Reducing gender inequity will require a wide range of policies. This column describes a framework for quantifying the growth effects of gender policies in developing economies and, by applying an overlapping generations model to Brazil, shows that gender policy is likely to produce tangible economic results, but only in the long term.
Other Recent Articles:
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- The need for a second round of ‘look east’ policies in south Asia
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- Growth dynamics and policy choices facing Indonesia
- Commodity prices and growth: A changing relationship?
- Highway to success in India
- Ethnic inequality
- China and the end of extrapolation
- Diversifying Russia
- Small and medium enterprise financing and growth: Evidence from Latin America
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