Are Budget Rigidities a Source of Fiscal Distress and a Constraint for Fiscal Consolidation?

High shares of rigid components of public spending contribute to countries getting into fiscal distress and are a constraint for fiscal consolidation.

What Determines the Size of Public Employment? An Empirical Investigation

This paper explores the determinants of public employment across the world and finds that it is negatively associated with country size (by population) and positively associated with the income level. The findings show that a country's openness to trade is positively associated with public employment in low- and middle-income countries, but inversely related in high-income countries. The estimated models are used to predict the expected public employment for a country given its income, population, and openness to trade, and to compare the actual levels with the predicted ones. In general, public employment in Latin American countries is below the predicted levels, except for Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Rep├║blica Bolivariana de Venezuela. Public employment in the Middle East and North Africa is above the predicted levels, particularly in the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Islamic Republic of Iran. East Asian and Pacific countries' public employment is significantly below the predicted levels, particularly in Hong Kong SAR, China; Japan; the Republic of Korea; and Mongolia. Countries in Europe and Central Asia show higher than predicted public employment, mostly in Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Armenia, and Belorussia. Public employment in Sub-Saharan Africa appears to be below the predicted levels, with the notable exceptions of Botswana and South Africa. The deviations from predicted levels are positively correlated with the union density rate, which is negatively associated with private employment rates. Finally, the study finds no statistical association between public and private employment, suggesting the absence of crowding-out in the employment levels.

Unit Nonresponse Bias in the Current Population Survey

We replicate and extend Korinek, Mistiaen, and Ravallion 2007.

Inequality in Latin America: Learning from matched employer-employee data

Inequality is a between-firm phenomenon with the commodities and manufacturing sectors having diverging trends.

Forecast Combination for Oil Prices: Application and Evaluation of Methodologies

We conduct an exhaustive out-of-sample forecasting evaluation exercise for the monthly price of crude oil between 1992 and 2011.

Oil Prices: Geopolitical Tensions and Supply Events

We analyze how much of the daily returns are explained by supply events and geopolitical tensions.

Long Term Interest Rates and Fiscal Policy

We estimate a panel data model of the long-term interest rate for the period 1990-2009.