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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Finance and Development, September 2017
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper focuses on the United States and the United Kingdom that were the main architects of the post-1945 order, with the creation of the United Nations systems, but they now appear to be pioneers in the reverse direction—steering an erratic, inconsistent, and domestically controversial course away from multilateralism. Other countries, meanwhile, for various reasons are incapable of assuming that global leadership and the rest of the world likely would not support a new hegemon in any event. The postwar system created at the BrettonWoods, New Hampshire, conference in 1944 should be credited with economic growth, a reduction in poverty, and the absence of destructive trade wars. It built a comity that encourages to this day cooperation on issues as diverse as taxation, financial regulation, climate change policy, and terrorism financing. The central postwar concern was international financial stability. The United States and the newly created International Monetary Fund were at the center of a system that sought to maintain that stability by linking exchange rates to the dollar, with the IMF the arbiter of any changes.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This article profiles iconoclastic economist Dani Rodrik, the Harvard professor whose warnings about the downsides of globalization proved prescient. Rodrik has spent most of his professional life at Ivy League institutions. He has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and master’s and PhD degrees from Princeton, followed by a teaching career at Harvard and Columbia. Rodrik’s warnings that the benefits of free trade were more apparent to economists than to others were prescient. His skepticism about the benefits of unfettered flows of capital across national boundaries is now conventional wisdom. His successful attack on the so-called Washington Consensus of policies to generate economic growth has made governments and international organizations like the IMF and the World Bank admit that there are many policy recipes that can generate growth. Rodrik’s caution about financial globalization is now widely shared, including at the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that one of the most dramatic developments in the 20th century was the entry of women into economic and political spheres previously occupied almost exclusively by men. Although women are making progress in eliminating gender disparities, they still lag men in the workplace and in the halls of government. These gaps are found throughout the world, but are particularly pronounced in developing economies. So far, the greatest success has been in reducing education and health disparities and the least in increasing women’s economic and political influence.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the efficiency of public spending on health and education in Hungary, with a view to identifying potential efficiency gains and areas for reforms so as to lock in such gains. The paper finds potentially large room for efficiency gains over the medium term, particularly in the health sector. A frontier analysis using data envelopment methodology, suggests that savings from efficiency gains in the health and education sectors could amount up to about 3 percentage points of GDP over the medium term, of which 90 percent could be achieved from efficiency gains in the health sector.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper examines how surges in global financial market volatility spill over to emerging market economies (EMs) including India. The results suggest that a surge in global financial market volatility is transmitted very strongly to key macroeconomic and financial variables of EMs, and the extent of its pass-through increases with the depth of external balance-sheet linkages between advanced countries and EMs. The paper also looks at food inflation, which has often been singled out as a key driver of India’s high and persistent inflation.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes mobilization of tax revenues in Nigeria. Low non-oil revenue mobilization is affecting the government’s objectives to expand growth-enhancing expenditure priorities, foster higher growth, and comply with its fiscal rule which limits the federal government deficit to no more than 3 percent of GDP. There is significant revenue potential from structural tax measures. A broad-based and comprehensive tax reform program is needed in the short and medium term to address these objectives and generate sustainable revenue growth by broadening the bases of income and consumption taxes, closing loopholes and leakage created by corporate tax holidays and the widespread use of other associated tax expenditures, as well as creating incentives for the subnational tiers of government to raise their own source revenues.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

With Dubai hosting the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings this year, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has received particular attention. Its economic performance and strategies to reignite growth were the theme of a pre-meeting IMF Economic Forum (see page 285). There were also press briefings on the region’s economies and on the West Bank and Gaza and Afghanistan. In addition, several seminars looked in greater detail at several high-profile issues, notably jobs for the region’s burgeoning workforce, greater integration of women in the labor force, the role of oil stabilization funds, and Islamic banking.