Person:
Maloney, William

Office of the Chief Economist Latin America and the Caribbean Region
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Innovation, Labor Economics, Trade, Productivity, Private Sector Development, Financial Sector, Spatial economics
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Office of the Chief Economist Latin America and the Caribbean Region
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Last updated: October 3, 2023
Biography
William F. Maloney is Chief Economist for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Mr. Maloney, a U.S. national, joined the Bank in 1998 as Senior Economist for the Latin America and Caribbean Region. He held various positions including Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America, Lead Economist in the Development Economics Research Group, Chief Economist for Trade and Competitiveness and Global Lead on Innovation and Productivity. He was most recently Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) Vice Presidency. From 2011 to 2014 he was Visiting Professor at the University of the Andes and worked closely with the Colombian government on innovation and firm upgrading issues. Mr. Maloney received his PhD in Economics from the University of California Berkeley (1990), his BA from Harvard University (1981), and studied at the University of the Andes in Bogota, Colombia (1982-83). His research activities and publications have focused on issues related to international trade and finance, developing country labor markets, and innovation and growth, including several flagship publications about Latin America and the Caribbean.He has published in academic journals on issues related to international trade and finance, developing country labor markets, and innovation and growth as well as several flagship publications of the Latin American division of the Bank, including Informality: Exit and Exclusion;  Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny and Lessons from NAFTA, Does What you Export Matter: In Search of Empirical Guidance for Industrial Policy. Most recently, he published The innovation paradox: Developing Country Capabilities the Unrealized Potential of Technological Catch-Up and Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture as part of the World Bank Productivity Project.  
Citations 202 Scopus

Publication Search Results

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Proximity to the Frontier, Markups, and the Response of Innovation to Foreign Competition: Evidence from Matched Production-Innovation Surveys in Chile

2021-08, Cusolito, Ana Paula, Maloney, William F.

This paper employs a matched firm production/innovation panel data set from Chile to explore the response of firm innovation to the increased competition arising from the China shock. In addition to covering a wider range of innovation inputs and outputs than previously possible, the data allow generating measures of markups and efficiency (physical total factor productivity) that correspond more closely to the concepts of rents and technological leadership envisaged in the Schumpeterian literature. Except for the 10 percent most productive plants, increased competition depresses most measures of innovation. Falling rents exacerbate declines among laggards, while rising rents further increase innovation among leaders.

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Chilean Growth through East Asian Eyes

2008, Kharas, Homi, Leipziger, Danny, Maloney, William, Thillainathan, R., Hesse, Heiko

Chile could well have space to increase its growth potential by 2 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year. To do this, it would need to pay more attention to new sources of growth in natural resources, manufacturing, and services. In an increasingly globalized world, first-mover advantages have become more numerous and larger. Chile risks losing out, as a few recent high-profile cases suggest. Chile's total factor productivity growth can be raised by driving within-firm technological change closer to the global best-practice frontier more rapidly, especially in manufacturing. This would encourage the diversification of exports and boost Chile's supply response to global demand changes. Chile confronts obstacles in its processes of innovation, human capital accumulation, and investment. To overcome them, deep institutional changes are needed to develop a national innovation system, stronger and more equitable educational achievement, more flexible labor markets, and focused public investments that crowd in private business. Such an inclusive growth strategy is likely to yield better social outcomes than a strategy that attempts to confront social inequities head-on through more equitable access to public services without paying adequate attention to the demand for labor and generation of income. Chile could also try a new policy towards innovation, but it would need to be bolder in terms of the institutional design to maximize the chances of success.

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How Comparable are Labor Demand Elasticities across Countries?

2001-08, Fajnzylber, Pablo, Maloney, William F.

The authors present the first comparable dynamic panel estimates of labor demand elasticity, using data from Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. They examine the benefits, and limits of the Arellano, and Bond GMM in differences estimator, and the Blundell, and Bond GMM system estimator. They also explore the limitations of such measures for diagnosing flexibility in the labor market. Even accounting for the large variance induced by different estimation techniques, one probably cannot say much about the flexibility of different labor markets based on comparisons of the estimated elasticity of demand. Colombia, for example, which has severe restrictions on firing workers, has much higher long-run wage elasticity than Chile, which has no such restrictions. Three factors make such comparisons difficult: 1) Elasticity differ greatly across industries, so the composition of industry in each country probably affects the aggregate elasticity. Estimates are extremely dependent on the estimation approach, and specification. 2) Even for specific industries, the elasticity of labor demand differs greatly across countries. And the authors find no common pattern of country rankings across industries, which suggests that those differences cannot be attributed solely to systematic characteristics of the countries' labor markets. 3) Estimates for Chile over fifteen years, suggest substantial, and significant variations in elasticity over time. So comparisons across countries depend not only on the industries involved, but also on the sample periods of time used. Estimates change greatly, if not secularly, with sample period.