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Oliver E. Williamson, Mr. Paul Streeten, W. W. Rostow, Robert Ayres, Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Bahram Nowzad, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, M.S. Daoudi, Tahir Dajani, Anand G. Chandavarkar, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Ann Duncan

The global trade negotiations and use of fiscal measures to stimulate savings in developing countries are discussed. The four main elements of the global trading system likely to be at issue in the new round include nondiscrimination and the distinction between border and nonborder measures. Capital markets in developing countries are small, and the scope for diversification of financial institutions and financial instruments or assets is limited. The distinction between border and nonborder measures is blurred in the increased international concern with so-called unfair trade practices.

Celia Goldman

Abstract

Established in 1994,1 the International Monetary Fund Administrative Tribunal (“IMFAT” or “Tribunal”) serves as an independent judicial forum for the resolution of employment disputes arising between the International Monetary Fund (“IMF” or “Fund”) and its staff members.2 An Applicant may challenge the legality of an “individual” or “regulatory” decision of the Fund by which he has been “adversely affect[ed].”3 In the case of challenges to “individual” decisions, an Application may be filed only after the Applicant has exhausted all available channels of administrative review.4 The Judgments of the Tribunal are final and without appeal.5

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes that although demands for political transformation commanded the world’s attention, those calls were largely motivated by unresolved socioeconomic issues. Demonstrators in the streets of Cairo and Tunis demanding bread, dignity, and social justice expressed widely held aspirations for basic economic rights, along with greater prosperity and equity. Almost seven years later, notable progress has been achieved in terms of public finance reforms. However, these reforms still have a long way to go to reduce disparities in the distribution of wealth within most countries of the region or narrow the development gaps between them. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa now face a stark choice between short-term retrenchment and resolute pursuit of the long-term reforms needed to secure their future economic prosperity. Forsaking important economic adjustments needed to strengthen inclusive growth and modernize the state and private sectors would set the region back, possibly for decades.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses the recommendations of the Sixth Post-program Monitoring Discussions with Iceland. Iceland recently updated its capital account liberalization strategy. The strategy takes a staged approach, starting with steps to address the balance-of-payments overhang of the old bank estates—prioritizing a cooperative approach with incentives—in a manner consistent with maintaining stability. Growth is accelerating in 2015 and is expected to reach 4.1 percent, backed by significant investment, wage- and debt relief-fueled consumption, and booming tourism. The general government is projected to record a surplus of 0.8 percent of GDP in 2015, helped by large one-offs. Small deficits are also expected over 2016–20.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Estonia examines impact of assessing competitiveness and exposure to shocks integrating global value chains (GVCs). This paper strengthens the analytical underpinnings of competitiveness assessments and exposure to shocks by incorporating GVCs. Standard real effective exchange rates (REER) indexes assume trade is only in final goods. However, like most European economies, Estonia is highly integrated into GVCs. This implies that assessments of competitiveness should consider trade in value added. Based on a structural model, the paper assesses competitiveness and exposure to trade shocks accounting for the GVC participation in Estonia. The analysis using a REER index considering the GVC architecture suggests potential competitiveness problems in Estonia. The paper also estimates the impact of overvaluation (and appreciation) of the GVC related REER measure on value added export and real GDP growth and finds observable effects. Further, trade tension induced tariff hikes may have important costs for value added produced in Estonia.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper identifies episodes of large and sustained current account surpluses in advanced economies (AEs) and compares Germany’s ongoing surplus with those episodes. In doing so, the paper aims to put Germany’s external position in a historical and cross-country context drawing from 55 years of data across 20 AEs. The comparison shows that the real growth of all domestic demand components, particularly of private investment, was remarkably weak during the latest sustained surplus episode in Germany in comparison with both “normal times” and other AE surplus episodes. Neither Germany’s nor a typical AE surplus episode has been accompanied by visible, broad-based competitiveness or terms of trade gains.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Montenegro, IMF membership, Peru loan, Lebanon, Murilo Portugal interview, IMF technical assistance (TA), Vietnam and WTO, Colombia, foreign direct investment, gender and economics, Arab economies, France and 35-hour week.
Romina Kazandjian, Ms. Lisa L Kolovich, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, and Ms. Monique Newiak
We show that gender inequality decreases the variety of goods countries produce and export, in particular in low-income and developing countries. We argue that this happens through at least two channels: first, gender gaps in opportunity, such as lower educational enrollment rates for girls than for boys, harm diversification by constraining the potential pool of human capital available in an economy. Second, gender gaps in the labor market impede the development of new ideas by decreasing the efficiency of the labor force. Our empirical estimates support these hypotheses, providing evidence that gender-friendly policies could help countries diversify their economies.