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Jel Classification:O11 

Working Paper
Structural Change in Labor Supply and Cross-Country Differences in Hours Worked

This paper studies how structural change in labor supply along the development spectrum shapes cross-country differences in hours worked. We emphasize two main forces: sectoralreallocation from self-employment to wage work, and declining fixed costs of wage work. We show that these forces are crucial for understanding how the extensive margin (the employment rate) and intensive margin (hours per worker) of aggregate hours worked vary with income per capita. To do so we build and estimate a quantitative model of labor supply featuring a traditional self-employment sector and a modern ...
Working Papers , Paper 2022-006

Working Paper
Modernization and Discrete Measures of Democracy

We reassess the empirical evidence for a positive relationship between income and democracy, commonly known as the ?modernization hypothesis,? using discrete democracy measures. While discrete measures have been advocated in the literature, they pose estimation problems under fixed effects due to incidental parameter issues. We use two methods to address these issues, the bias-correction method of Fernandez-Val, which directly computes the marginal effects, and the parameterized Wooldridge method. Estimation under the Fernandez-Val method consistently indicates a statistically and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2014-1

Working Paper
Technology and the Task Content of Jobs across the Development Spectrum

The tasks workers perform on the job are informative about the direction and the impact of technological change. We harmonize occupational task content measures between two worker-level surveys, which separately cover developing and developed countries. Developing countries use routine-cognitive tasks and routine-manual tasks more intensively than developed countries, but less intensively use non-routine analytical tasks and non-routine interpersonal tasks. This is partly because developing countries have more workers in occupations with high routine contents and fewer workers in occupations ...
Working Papers , Paper 2022-035

Newer need not be better: evaluating the Penn World Tables and the World Development Indicators using nighttime lights

Nighttime lights data are a measure of economic activity whose measurement error is plausibly independent of the errors of most conventional indicators. Therefore, we can use nighttime lights as an independent benchmark to assess existing measures of economic activity (Pinkovskiy and Sala-i-Martin 2016). We employ this insight to find out which vintages of the Penn World Tables (PWT) and of the World Development Indicators (WDI) better estimate true income per capita. We find that revisions of the PWT do not necessarily dominate their predecessors in terms of explaining nighttime lights (and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 778

Working Paper
A Tale of Two Sectors : Why is Misallocation Higher in Services than in Manufacturing?

Recent empirical studies document that the level of resource misallocation in the service sector is significantly higher than in the manufacturing sector. We quantify the importance of this difference and study its sources. Conservative estimates for Portugal (2008) show that closing this gap, by reducing misallocation in the service sector to manufacturing levels, would boost aggregate gross output by around 12 percent and aggregate value added by around 31 percent. Differences in the effect and size of productivity shocks explain most of the gap in misallocation between manufacturing and ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1229

Working Paper
Deindustrialization and Industry Polarization

We add to recent evidence on deindustrialization and document a new pattern: increasing industry polarization over time. We assess whether these new features of structural change can be explained by a dynamic open economy model with two primary driving forces, sector-biased productivity growth and sectoral trade integration. We calibrate the model to the same countries used to document our patterns. We find that sector-biased productivity growth is important for deindustrialization by reducing the relative price of manufacturing to services, and sectoral trade integration is important for ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2022-44

The Interaction and Sequencing of Policy Reforms

In what order should a developing country adopt policy reforms? Do some policies complement each other? Do others substitute for each other? To address these questions, we develop a two-country dynamic general equilibrium model with entry and exit of firms that are monopolistic competitors. Distortions in the model include barriers to entry of firms, barriers to international trade, and barriers to contract enforcement. We find that a reform that reduces one of these distortions has different effects depending on the other distortions present. In particular, reforms to trade barriers and ...
Staff Report , Paper 521

Working Paper
Externalities, Endogenous Productivity, and Poverty Traps

We present a version of the neoclassical model with an endogenous industry structure. We construct a distribution of firms? productivity that implies multiple steady-state equilibria even with an arbitrarily small degree of increasing returns to scale. While the most productive firms operate across all the steady states, in a poverty trap less productive firms operate as well. This results in lower average firm productivity and total factor productivity. The distributions of employment by firm size across steady states are consistent with the empirical observation that poor countries have a ...
Working Papers , Paper 2008-023

Working Paper
Interest Rate Volatility and Sudden Stops : An Empirical Investigation

Using a multi-country regime-switching vector autoregressive (VAR) model we document the existence of two regimes in the volatility of interest rates at which emerging economies borrow from international financial markets, and study the statistical relationship of such regimes with episodes of sudden stops. Periods of high volatility tend to be persistent and are associated with high interest rates, the occurrence of sudden stops in external financing, and large declines in economic activity. Most strikingly, we show that regime switches drive the countercyclicality of interest rates in ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1209

Working Paper
Trade Risk and Food Security

We study the role of international trade risk for food security, the patterns of production and trade across sectors, and its implications for policy. We document that food import dependence across countries is associated with higher food insecurity, particularly in low-income countries. We provide causal evidence on the role of trade risk for food security by exploiting the exogeneity of the Ukraine-Russia war as a major trade disruption limiting access to imports of critical food products. Using micro-level data from Ethiopia, we empirically show that districts relatively more exposed to ...
Working Papers , Paper 2024-004


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Sposi, Michael 8 items

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