Mexico's financial vulnerability: then and now
Financial turmoil dots Mexico?s recent economic history. Between 1975 and 1995, the nation experienced recurrent currency, debt and banking crises with devastating effects on real economic activity. ; In Mexico, election years often heighten the risk of financial instability. Debt defaults or massive devaluations?or both?have accompanied three of the past five presidential elections. Given that history, it?s not surprising that questions about Mexico?s financial vulnerability have arisen with the approach of July?s presidential election. ; While the concerns may be understandable, Mexico has ...
How much will the global financial storm hurt Mexico?
The credibility earned by prudent policymaking over the past decade should help Mexico weather the current financial storm without devastating effects on real economic activity.
Raising the bar for models of turnover
It is well known that turnover rates fall with employee tenure and employer size. We document a new empirical fact about turnover: Among surviving employers, separation rates are positively related to industry-level exit rates, even after controlling for tenure and size. Specifically, in a dataset with over 13 million matched employee-employer observations for France, we find that, all else equal, a 1 percentage point increase in exit rates raises separation rates by 1/2 percentage point on average. Among current year hires, the average effect is twice as large. This relationship between exit ...
Growing old together: firm survival and employee turnover
Labor market outcomes such as turnover and earnings are correlated with employer characteristics, even after controlling for observable differences in worker characteristics. We argue that this systematic relationship constitutes strong evidence in favor of models where workers choose how much to invest in future productivity. Because employer characteristics are correlated with firm survival, returns to these investments vary across firm types. We describe a dynamic general equilibrium model where workers employed in firms more likely to survive choose to devote more time to productivity ...
Firm specific human capital vs. job matching: a new test
We use a unique data set on employee turnover by industry in Arizona to test competing theories of turnover. We find that industries with lower establishment survival rates have more employee turnover, even after controlling for differences in the distribution of employee tenure. This result is consistent with a model of turnover where employees choose how much firm specific human capital to accumulate, but it is inconsistent with job matching models.
Limited enforcement and the organization of production
This paper describes a dynamic, general equilibrium model designed to assess whether contractual imperfections in the form of limited enforcement can account for international differences in the organization of production. In the model, limited enforcement constrains agents to operate establishments below their optimal scale. As a result, economies where contracts are enforced more efficiently tend to be richer and emphasize large scale production. Calibrated simulations of the model reveal that these effects can be large and account for a sizeable part of the observed differences in the size ...
The poor, the rich and the enforcer: institutional choice and growth
We study economies where improving the quality of institutions ? modeled as improving contract enforcement ? requires resources, but enables trade that raises output by reducing the dispersion of marginal products of capital. We find that in this type of environment it is optimal to combine institutional building with endowment redistribution, and that more ex-ante dispersion in marginal products increases the incentives to invest in enforcement. In addition, we show that institutional investments lead over time to a progressive reduction in inequality. Finally, the framework we describe ...
Are labor markets segmented in Argentina? a semiparametric approach
We use data from Argentina?s household survey to evaluate the hypothesis that informal workers would expect higher wages in the formal sector. Using various definitions of informal employment we find that, on average, formal wages are higher than informal wages. Parametric tests suggest that a formal premium remains after controlling for individual and establishment characteristics. However, this approach suffers from several econometric problems, which we address with semiparametric methods. The resulting formal premium estimates prove either small and insignificant, or negative. Neither do ...
The real impact of financial crises
Output falls precipitously in most emerging nations that experience financial crises. The authors conjecture that a significant part of the real impact of financial crises is due to the fact that during turbulent times firms choose to leave a large fraction of productive resources idle until business conditions improve. In the case of Mexicos 199495 crisis, they calculate that capital utilization could account for as much as half the drop in standard measures of total factor productivity. Capital utilization matters much more during financial crises than during other periods, they argue, ...
Mexico's export woes not all China-induced