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Productivity spillovers from services firms in low- and middle-income countries: What is the role of firm characteristics and services liberalization?
By Deborah Winkler. Posted November 14, 2018
It has been widely acknowledged that services play an important role for other industries, in particular manufacturing. A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds that services represent at least 30% of the value added in manufacturing exports (OECD 2014). Another study by the World Bank suggests that countries with a higher services content in their downstream economies are also those producing more complex goods (Saez et al. 2015).
The recent global economic crisis, with its peak in 2008, resulted in a decline in global gross domestic product. It led to unstable financial markets and a lag in private sector demand (World Bank 2010). Its consequences, especially for the labor market, have been most unfortunate. In many countries, workers lost their jobs, wage earnings declined, and work hours shortened (World Bank 2011).
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has reformed and opened up its economy for 4 decades. However, accompanying the country’s fast-growing gross domestic product (GDP) and trade sector, environmental degradation, such as deteriorating water quality, land deforestation, pollution, and frequent haze plagues, has attracted a great deal of attention.
By Ulrich Volz. Posted August 8, 2018
To place the Asian economies onto a sustainable development pathway requires an unprecedented shift in investment away from industries relying intensively on greenhouse gases, fossil fuels, and natural resources toward more resource-efficient technologies and business models. The finance sector will have to play a central role in this green transformation. Important aspects of green finance are sustainable investment and banking, where investment and lending decisions are taken based on environmental screening and risk assessment to meet sustainability standards, as well as insurance services that cover environmental and climate risk.
To meet obligations under the Paris Agreement, major investments in renewable energy production and infrastructure are necessary. However, as public budgets are tight and because of Basel capital requirements, major public investments are unlikely to provide sufficient liquidity. Since most renewable energy projects are considered risky, many financiers are reluctant to lend to them or they lend at high interest rates. This lack of financing has to be overcome.
For many years, cities have been the engines of economic growth in Asia. However, this growth has brought the immense challenge of the daily generation of millions of tons of solid waste, especially in mega cities. The amount of solid waste being generated in Asia is drastically increasing as 44 million people are being added to city populations every year, and many cities are placing burdens on municipal as well as central governments. By 2050, 50% of the world’s population will live in the Asia and Pacific region (ADB, 2011).
By Shreyas P. Bharule. Posted June 14, 2018
In 1969, Professor Edward Norton Lorenz coined the term “butterfly effect” to state that subtle changes in conditions can influence or cause seemingly unrelated results elsewhere. The flutter of a butterfly’s wings at place A can eventually develop into a hurricane at place B even though A and B are not related. Almost two decades after the term was coined, Japan National Railways (JNR) was privatized and split into several corporations, and now JR East manages the largest network of railway lines in Japan.
Energy, especially from oil and its derivatives, is a key factor of production in an economy and is widely used in different sectors—including transportation, agriculture, and industry—in households, and as a raw material in the production of petrochemical products. As such, energy has great value and affects other commodity prices. Since the first oil price shock of 1973, examining the effects of changes in energy prices, especially of oil, on macro and microeconomic levels has become one of the most fundamental issues of energy economics (Taghizadeh-Hesary et al. 2013).
By Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian. Posted June 4, 2018
The appropriate degree of government intervention in private contractual relationships, particularly in employment law, remains a fraught public policy issue. In arguing the detrimental effects of laws that prevent employers from terminating labor contracts with employees, flexible labor market conditions in the United States (US)—exemplified by the common-law “employment-at-will” doctrine—are often contrasted with the rigidities engendered by employment protection provisions in several European countries.
By Danilo Valerio Mascia. Posted May 20, 2018
It is widely accepted that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent the backbone of most economies. Not surprisingly, the story is mostly the same across the globe. For instance, Yoshino and Taghizadeh-Hesary (2014) report that SMEs account for almost 98% of all enterprises in Asia, offering jobs to around 66% of the workforce. In the European Union, the data offer a similar picture. In fact, SMEs represent 99% of all non-financial enterprises and account, on average, for 67% of total employment (European Commission 2017). Overall, such figures undoubtedly highlight how pivotal SMEs are for the functioning of the real economy.
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