This chapter presents several papers included in the Bretton Woods conference. The Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 had left many issues of development finance unresolved. In fact, very early, the World Bank took a different direction from that envisaged by its founders. The IMF came into existence on December 27, 1945. The eventual growth in the Fund's activities led to the disappearance of the nonresident Executive Director. A teleological approach in the examination of the IMF’s authority was inspired not only by the principle that the Fund must be effective in the pursuit of its purposes but also by the belief that the Articles, and especially the provisions on the par value system, constituted an international monetary system. In the 1950s, the Bank made an important contribution to helping countries cope with the external debt problems left over from the 1930s. Moreover now it is trying, in cooperation with the IMF, to help countries make necessary adjustments on a case-by-case basis.
This is the fourth in our series of articles commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference. Edward Bernstein is eminently qualified to write on this topic. He was a participant at Bretton Woods as a member of the U.S. delegation, after having played a leading role in the technical elaboration of the White Plan—the U.S. proposal for the Fund—as Assistant Director of Monetary Research at the U.S. Treasury. In 1946, he became the Director of the Fund’s Research Department, a post he held for 12 years. As architect and builder, he had a profound influence on the institution and its staff in the formative years. After leaving the Fund in 1958, he established the consulting firm of EMB Ltd. and became its President. Among many other activities, he was Chairman of the U.S. government-appointed Review Commission for Balance of Payments Statistics and a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee on International Monetary Arrangements. Since 1982, he has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. In this essay, he addresses a question that has been on the minds of many in recent years.
The Fund came into existence on December 27, 1945. I joined the staff on October 21, 1946. My remarks will relate largely to the period of the magistracy of Camille Gutt, Ivar Rooth, and Per Jacobsson, the first three Managing Directors. The period came to an end with the death of Per Jacobsson on May 5, 1963.
Public expenditure policy, together with efforts to raise revenue,is at the core of efficient and equitable adjustment. Public expenditureproductivity has critical implications for fiscal adjustment, particularly as the competition for limited public resources intensifies.By providing a framework for defining and analyzing public expenditureproductivity and unproductive expenditures, this pamphlet discusseshow economic policymakers may approach these issues.
This pamphlet discusses how economic policymakers may approach the question of the productivity of public expenditure. The discussion is aimed at those in charge of fiscal and budgetary policies. These policymakers rely on sectoral experts for detailed analysis, but they should be in a position to raise relevant questions and receive appropriate answers about the key features in the design and execution of sectoral programs. The pamphlet argues that improving public expenditure productivity is not only a microeconomic but also a macroeconomic issue. Therefore, macroeconomic policymakers have a major role to play in improving the productivity of public expenditure.