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Mr. Mustapha K. Nabli and Mr. Rabah Arezki
This paper takes stock of the economic performance of resource rich countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) over the past forty years. While those countries have maintained high levels of income per capita, they have performed poorly when going beyond the assessment based on standard income level measures. Resource rich countries in MENA have experienced relatively low and non inclusive economic growth as well as high levels of macroeconomic volatility. Important improvements in health and education have taken place but the quality of the provision of public goods and services remains an important source of concerns. Looking forward we argue that the success of economic reforms in MENA rests on the ability of those countries to invest boldly in building inclusive institutions as well as high levels of human capacity in public administrations.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Entretien avec Antoinette Sayeh; le FMI précise son rôle dans la surveillance; la Géorgie; entretien avec Olivier Blanchard; secteur financier en Afrique; ralentissement dans l'UEM; les transferts de l'UE aux PECO; principes pour les fonds souverains; Royaume-Uni; Uruguay; Arabie Saoudite; l’actualité en bref.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Entrevista a Antoinette Sayeh; El FMI define la función de supervisión; Georgia; Entrevista a Blanchard; Sector financiero africano; La UEM frente a la desaceleración; Mayor convergencia gracias a la UE; Fondos soberanos de inversión; Shock para el Reino Unido; Política monetaria uruguaya; Bonanza petrolera en Arabia Saudita; Notas breves.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Antoinette Sayeh interview, IMF clarifies surveillance process, Georgia loan, Olivier Blanchard interview, Africa's financial sector, EMU slowdown, EU transfers, sovereign wealth fund principles, United Kingdom outlook, Uruguay's financial issues, Saudi Arabia's oil bonanza, news briefs.
Mr. Ghiath Shabsigh and Mr. Nadeem Ilahi
Oil funds have become increasingly popular in oil exporting countries during the recent surge in oil prices. However, the literature on the contribution is small, tends to focus narrowly on their fiscal benefits, and concludes that they are redundant of such funds-in other words, that well designed fiscal management and policy are adequate substitutes for oil funds. This paper argues that a broader focus is needed in judging the effectiveness of such funds. We test whether oil funds help reduce macroeconomic volatility. The econometric estimation results from a 30-year panel data set of 15 countries with and without oil funds suggest that oil funds are associated with reduced volatility of broad money and prices and lower inflation. However, there is a statistically weak negative association between the presence of an oil fund and volatility of the real exchange rate.
Mr. R. G Gelos, Mr. Guido M Sandleris, and Ms. Ratna Sahay
What determines the ability of governments from developing countries to access international credit markets? We examine this question using detailed data on sovereign bond issuances and public syndicated bank loans since 1982. We find that traditional measures of a country’s links with the rest of the world (such as trade openness) and traditional liquidity and macroeconomic indicators do not help much in explaining market access. However, a country’s vulnerability to shocks and the perceived quality of its policies and institutions appear to be important determinants of its government’s ability to tap the markets. We are unable to detect strong punishment of defaulting countries by credit markets.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Eduardo Aninat assumed the office of IMF Deputy Managing Director on December 14, 1999. Before coming to the IMF, Aninat, a native of Chile, had served as Finance Minister of Chile from 1994 and chaired the Board of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank in 1995-96. Previously, he worked in the private sector and as a consultant for the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Aninat recently met with editors of the IMF Survey to talk about his experience with the IMF and his hopes and plans for the future.
Mr. George Kopits

Abstract

Following a severe balance of payments crisis in the late 1970s, in January 1980 Turkey embarked on a far reaching stabilization and structural adjustment program.