Iacovone, Leonardo

Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, The World Bank
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Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Citations 182 Scopus

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    Trade Integration, FDI, and Productivity
    (World Bank, Jakarta, 2015-04) Javorcik, Beata ; Iacovone, Leonardo ; Fitrani, Fitria
    Policy attitude towards trade integration and foreign direct investment (FDI) is often a controversial yet popular subject. This note presents evidences from recent policy researches that arguing that engaging in an open trade and investment regime have brought productivity gains which is key factor for sustaining increase in income per-capita. Evidence from Indonesia also suggests that foreign owned plants have become increasingly important, generating a significant share of exports and overall output, as well as more productive and more export intensive than domestic plants, and to spend more on RD and training. FDI also have positive impact on firms in the same sector, through competition and demonstration effects, and in upstream sectors, as suppliers to foreign-owned plants improve the quality of their own products to meet their clients more exacting needs. Evidence also suggests a positive impact from import competition in improving allocative efficiency across manufacturing plants which is a key element in driving productivity in manufacturing sector.
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    Financing Small and Medium Enterprises in the Republic of South Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011) Fuchs, Michael ; Iacovone, Leonardo ; Jaeggi, Thomas ; Napier, Mark ; Pearson, Roland ; Pellegrini, Giulia ; Villegas Sanchez, Carolina
    Numerous studies worldwide have highlighted the important contribution made by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to employment, income and economic growth. In a study of 76 developed and developing economies, Ayyagari and others (2007) found that SMEs account for more than 60 percent of total manufacturing employment and that SMEs contributed significant proportions of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). SME growth requires external financing, but constraints to accessing credit, consistently rated as some of the greatest barriers to the operation and growth of firms, affect SMEs more severely than large firms (Beck and Demirguc-Kunt 2006; Beck and others 2006). The purposes of this report are to: a) analyze the availability of bank finance to SMEs in South Africa and how availability might be enhanced in the context of the economic downturn; and b) offer concrete policy recommendations on how to lessen obstacles to bank SME financing and reduce the negative effects of the economic downturn (or of a similar downturn in future) on access to finance. The report is structured in 5 sections: section two provides a short overview of existing studies and data on SME finance in South Africa. Section three presents the main results of the surveys. Section four provides policy considerations. Section five concludes.
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    Productivity Performance in Indonesia's Manufacturing Sector
    (World Bank, Jakarta, 2012-09) Javorcik, Beata ; Fitriani, Fitria ; Iacovone, Leonardo ; Varela, Gonzalo ; Duggan, Victor
    Relying on firm-level data from Statistik Industri this note analyzes the evolution of productivity dynamics of Indonesian firms over the past 20 years (1990-2009). Economy-wide and sectoral productivity changes are decomposed into their two main components: changes due to the evolution of average productivity and changes due to 'allocative efficiency'. This decomposition shows that while during the 20 years both components have increased, the changes in allocative efficiency have been mainly driven by average productivity growth and less by increases in allocative efficiency, even if the latter has also improved during the period under analysis. Interestingly, the note shows that both average Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth and allocative efficiency improvements are especially driven by a few sectors: electronics, machinery and instruments, and textiles, clothing and footwear. Limited improvements in both allocative efficiency and average TFP have occurred instead in natural-resource-based sectors, sectors characterized by more limited competition and higher rents. This note emphasizes the importance of 'allocative efficiency' for productivity evolution because, in a context where firms are very different in their productivity, it becomes crucial how resources are allocated in the economy. This series of policy notes suggests that regulatory reforms, exposure to foreign competition and access to imported intermediate inputs are important determinants of allocative efficiency. The problem of a 'missing middle' is closely related to that of sub-optimal allocation of resources across firms: a strong feature of Indonesian firm-size distribution. Going further, the note suggests that burdensome regulations and imperfect financial markets are two important causes of this missing middle. To complement the focus on productivity, the note also analyzes firm-level job dynamics and points to the crucial role of 'start-ups' and new companies as a key driver of job creation. This finding suggests that the focus of policymakers on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) may be misplaced and that this focus should start realigning towards supporting more dynamic 'start-ups' rather than SMEs.