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PREM C. GARG and SAMIR EL-KHOURI

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

This Selected Issues paper for The Bahamas reports that the largest portion of tourism expenditure in The Bahamas comes from stayover visitors, and total tourism spending has been stagnant. The Bahamas is a small open economy highly dependent on tourism and the offshore financial sector. Private consumption expenditure in the country or countries of origin is the most important determinant of tourism in The Bahamas.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the IMF, as Trustee for the Trust Fund, held the first of its series of gold auctions on June 2, 1976, with the sale of 780,000 ounces of gold—the total amount offered—at a common price of US$126.00 a fine ounce. The first gold auction was a success from the point of view of both the market and the IMF. In all, a total of 25 million ounces of gold from the IMF’s holdings will be sold at auction over a four-year period.

Martin Shivnan

This paper discusses the 1966 Annual Meetings of the IMF and of the World Bank and its affiliates, the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Finance Corporation. The annual meetings were held in September in Washington. The widespread shortage of capital and rising interest rates were described as posing problems for the Bank’s own borrowings as well as for developing countries. Mr. George D. Woods, the President, stressed the allied problem of the urgent need for a substantial replenishment of the resources available to IDA.

Cyril H. Davies

“The question is not whether development will happen. It will. Rather, the choice is between slow, halting growth in an environment of desperation with declining levels of assistance and embittered international relations, or growth as part of a positive, concerted campaign to accelerate and smooth the absorption of the technological revolution in the poorer countries, with a reasonable chance that the spirit of shared concern and effort will reduce the frictions and the dangers, and facilitate and expedite positive results.”

Cyril H. Davies

This paper describes problems and prospects associated with urbanization. The paper sees the rapid urbanization in the less developed world not as a crisis that can be “dealt with” by urgent measures but as a major historical phenomenon that calls for analytical study as well as current action in the hope that it can be influenced to play a positive role in economic development. The paper also analyzes the exchange rates at the beginning of the 1970s.

Joseph C. Wheeler

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.

Pierre A. Simonet

The sustained economic growth and financial stability of Thailand are often quoted as an example of successful development. This article comments upon some of the cultural, sociological, and economic factors underlying this harmonious development and shows how effectively foreign aid has been fitted into the process.

Axel Dreher and Steffen Lohmann
This paper brings the aid effectiveness debate to the sub-national level. We hypothesize the nonrobust results regarding the effects of aid on development in the previous literature to arise due to the effects of aid being insufficiently large to measurably affect aggregate outcomes. Using geocoded data for World Bank aid to a maximum of 2,221 first-level administrative regions (ADM1) and 54,167 second-level administrative regions (ADM2) in 130 countries over the 2000-2011 period, we test whether aid affects development, measured as nighttime light growth. Our preferred identification strategy exploits variation arising from interacting a variable that indicates whether or not a country has passed the threshold for receiving IDA's concessional aid with a recipient region's probability to receive aid, in a sample of 478 ADM1 regions and almost 8,400 ADM2 regions from 21 countries. Controlling for the levels of the interacted variables, the interaction provides a powerful and excludable instrument. Overall, we find significant correlations between aid and growth in ADM2 regions, but no causal effects.
Jeffrey D. Sachs

This paper describes the importance of luck, timing, and political institutions in beating inflation. The paper highlights that countries experiencing high inflation typically make several disinflation attempts, some of which succeed only temporarily. If a country trying to stabilize prices and wages is unlucky enough to be exposed to severe external shocks—for example, a decline in demand for its exports—during its disinflation, the likelihood of failure is increased. A shock such as an increase in U.S. interest rates makes failure more likely for a country with an open capital account.