Journal Issue: World Bank Economic Review, Volume 15, Issue 3

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Deposit Insurance around the World
(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-09) Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli ; Sobaci, Tolga
In the past two decades, in a series of banking crises around the world, banks have become systematically insolvent. These crises have occurred in developed and developing economies alike. To make such financial system breakdowns less likely and to limit their costs if they occur, policymakers feel the need for financial safety nets. These include such policies as implicit or explicit deposit insurance, a lender of last resort function of the central bank, bank insolvency resolution procedures, and bank regulation and supervision. Of these policies, explicit deposit insurance has been gaining popularity in recent years. Since the 1980s the number of countries with explicit deposit insurance schemes almost tripled, with most OECD countries and an increasing number of developing economies adopting some form of explicit depositor protection. In 1994 deposit insurance became the standard for the newly created single banking market of the European Union. Establishing an explicit deposit insurance scheme became part of the generally accepted best practice advice given to developing economies.
Capital Account Liberalization : What Do Cross-Country Studies Tell Us?
(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-09) Eichengreen, Barry
Capital account liberalization, it is fair to say, remains one of the most controversial and least understood policies of our day. One reason is that different theoretical perspectives have very different implications for the desirability of liberalizing capital flows. Another is that empirical analysis has failed to yield conclusive results. The answer, another influential strand of thought contends, is that this efficient-markets paradigm is fundamentally misleading when applied to capital flows. Limits on capital movements are a distortion. It is an implication of the theory of the second best that removing one distortion need not be welfare enhancing when other distortions are present.
Where Has All the Education Gone?
(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-09) Pritchett, Lant
Cross-national data show no association between increases in human capital attributable to the rising educational attainment of the labor force and the rate of growth of output per worker. This implies that the association of educational capital growth with conventional measures of total factor production is large, strongly statistically significant, and negative. These are 'on average' results, derived from imposing a constant coefficient. However, the development impact of education varied widely across countries and has fallen short of expectations for three possible reasons. First, the institutional/governance environment could have been sufficiently perverse that the accumulation of educational capital lowered economic growth. Second, marginal returns to education could have fallen rapidly as the supply of educated labor expanded while demand remained stagnant. Third, educational quality could have been so low that years of schooling created no human capital. The extent and mix of these three phenomena vary from country to country in explaining the actual economic impact of education, or the lack thereof.
Ownership and Growth
(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-09) Gylfason, Thorvaldur ; Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor ; Zoega, Gylfi
This article suggests how state enterprises can be incorporated into the theoretical and empirical growth literature. Specifically, it shows that if state enterprises are less efficient than private firms, invest less, employ less skilled labor, and are less eager to adopt new technology, then a large state enterprise sector tends to be associated with slow economic growth, all else remaining the same. The empirical evidence for 1978-92 indicates that, through a mixture of these channels, an increase in the share of state enterprises in employment by one standard deviation could reduce per capita growth by one to two percentage points a year from one country to another.
Measuring the Dynamics Gains from Trade
(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-09) Wacziarg, Romain
This article investigates the links between trade policy and economic growth in a panel of 57 countries between 1970 and 1989. It develops a new measure of trade policy openness based on the policy component of trade shares, using it in a simultaneous equations system to identify the effect of trade policy on several determinants of growth. The result suggests a positive impact of openness on economic growth, with the accelerated accumulation of physical capital accounting for more than half the total effect; for smaller effects. This decomposition is robust with respect to alternative specifications and time periods. The article also successfully tests whether the model exhaustively captures the effects of trade policy on growth.
Infrastructure, Geographical Disadvantage, Transport Costs, and Trade
(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-09) Limão, Nuno ; Venables, Anthony J.
The authors use different data sets to investigate the dependence of transport costs on geography and infrastructure. Infrastructure is an important determinant of transport costs, especially for landlocked countries. Analysis of bilateral trade data confirms the importance of infrastructure and gives an estimate of the elasticity of trade flows with respect to the trade cost factor of around-3. A deterioration of infrastructure from the median to the 75th percentile raises transport costs by 12 percentage points and reduces trade volumes by 28 percent. Analysis of African trade flows indicates that their relatively low level is largely due to poor infrastructure.