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Mr. Philippe Beaugrand
The paper reviews the “stylized facts” on economic growth gathered by Easterly and Levine in their 2001 joint paper and illustrates some of the points made on the basis of data from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook on real growth and per capita GDP since 1970. The data show that the growth performance of many poor countries has been disappointing: most of the “developing” world, especially sub-Saharan Africa, has been getting poorer while the advanced economies have been getting richer. To reverse this trend requires finding ways to raise total factor productivity in poor countries; in turn, this implies letting entrepreneurs innovate—in the Schumpeterian sense—in order to bring about structural changes in the economy. The conclusion highlights several essential steps in creating a favorable environment for innovation and growth.
Ms. Pritha Mitra, Amr Hosny, Gohar Abajyan, and Mr. Mark Fischer
The Middle East and Central Asia’s economic growth potential is slowing faster than in other emerging and developing regions, dampening hopes for reducing persistent unemployment and improving the region’s generally low living standards. Why? And is it possible to alter this course? This paper addresses these questions by estimating potential growth, examining its supply-side drivers, and assessing which of them could be most effective in raising potential growth. The analysis reveals that the region’s potential growth is expected to slow by ¾ of a percentage point more than the EMDC average over the next five years. The reasons behind this slowdown differ across the region. Lower productivity growth drives the slowdown in the Caucasus and Central Asia and is also weighing on growth across the Middle East (MENAP); while a lower labor contribution to potential growth is the main driver in MENAP. Moving forward, given some natural constraints on labor, total factor productivity growth is key to unlocking the region’s higher growth potential. For oil importers, raising physical capital accumulation through greater investment will also play an important role.
Ms. Carmen Reinhart and Mr. Rodrigo O. Valdes


GUILLERMO ORTIZ: So let me begin with you, Carmen. In your very distinguished academic career, you have focused on several subjects, but you have been really a student, an analyzer of Latin American economics and politics, and you are an expert on financial crises.

Guillermo Ortiz Martínez


Let me welcome you all to this Per Jacobsson panel. This is the last of the IMF-sponsored events in this very fruitful week. We just had a board meeting of the Foundation, and the Vice Chairman of the Foundation and the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, David Lipton, gave us a reflection. I had asked him a question: How do you feel leaving the meetings as opposed to when you had just come into the meetings? And he said, well, the IMF put out all these documents prior to the meeting. We were told that day that we were a little bit pessimistic, that we were a little bit somber. But then, he said, last night they went to a panel sponsored by Citi, and Willem Buiter, who is, as you know, the chief economist for Citi, said that the IMF had been extremely optimistic. So he leaves it somewhere in between, and that’s a good place to be.