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LARRY D. SIMPSON

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 highlights that agreement on an important package of reforms of vital significance to the future of the international monetary system was reached at a meeting of the Interim Committee of the Board of Governors of the IMF on the International Monetary System in Kingston, Jamaica, on January 7–8, 1976. The reforms include a substantial quota increase for almost all members, as well as an increase in access to the IMF’s resources for all member countries in the period prior to implementation of the increase in their IMF quotas, and some other amendments.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper discusses the appointment of A. W. Clausen as the new World Bank president. Mr. Clausen, 57, joined the Bank of America in 1949 as a trainee just out of the University of Minnesota law school and rose to become president of the San Francisco-based institution 21 years later. His career at the Bank of America spanned 31 years, and he played an important role in the bank’s expansion in the United States and overseas. Mr. Clausen has been bestowed many honors, including the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that despite severe limitations of resources, developing countries have made substantial progress during the past three decades in sending more children to school and in generally improving their education systems. Enrollment of children in schools at all levels has expanded at unprecedented rates. There has been a significant decline in the proportion of adults who are illiterate—from 44 percent in 1950 to 32 percent in 1975. Public expenditures for education have increased steadily in developing countries to reach roughly the same share of national product as in industrialized countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that in the first quarter of 1979, the IMF took further steps to enhance its ability to promote orderly world economic growth with reasonable price stability as a means of achieving a stable system of exchange rates. It adopted several measures designed to make the special drawing right the principal reserve asset in the world monetary system. The Interim Committee reaffirmed these aims, expressing broad support for measures that the IMF’s Executive Board has adopted, or is actively considering, in furthering these goals.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper reviews the speech delivered by Mr. Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank in Geneva in an address to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations on July 23, 1979. In McNamara’s opinion, the “massive disparities” of living standards in the world are likely to continue. For his address, Mr. McNamara drew on projections and analyses from the World Development Report, 1979, of the World Bank. Mr. McNamara also emphasized the interdependence of the developed and developing countries.

Pushpa Nand Schwartz

This paper highlights that 1977 was an eventful year for the IMF. Drawing on the IMF’s resources during 1977 totaled more than SDR 3.4 billion. These were accompanied by a record volume of repurchases, which reduced the total net drawings for the year to SDR 427 million. At the end of 1977, total net drawings on the IMF since its inception were equivalent to about SDR 15.5 billion. In 1977, the IMF also carried out its gold sales to members at SDR 35 per ounce under the IMF’s “restitution” program.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the fight against worldwide inflation was the main theme of the Finance Ministers and central bank Governors from 138 member countries that participated in the 1979 Annual Meeting of the IMF’s Board of Governors in Belgrade in October 1979. Unlike the agenda for the 1978 Meeting, which contained a number of single issues, such as quota increases and special drawing rights allocations, requiring specific decisions and action, the 1979 Meeting was devoted principally to a wide-ranging discussion of the world’s economic problems.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper examines some dimensions of the problem of income inequality. The conventional approach to income inequality is to define the problem in purely relative terms. A familiar technique for this purpose is to measure inequality by the extent to which the income share of groups of individuals or households differs from their population share. The paper examines the problem in terms of income shares of the lowest 40 percent, the middle 40 percent, and the top 20 percent of households ordinally ranked by income.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper reviews the influence of the tropical climate on economic development. The paper highlights that the effect of climate is clearly not the only ruling constraint on economic development. It is claimed that climatic factors severely hamper development through their impact on both human beings and their agriculture. Human economic activity is directly and adversely affected through the widespread extent and impact of diseases; and tropical agriculture suffers in the quality of its soils, its rainfall, and its multiplicity of pests and diseases.