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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

A recent IMF Working Paper examined how differences in economic choices between men and women may lead to different outcomes for the macroeconomy and thus have implications for desirable fiscal and monetary policies. Gender-based differences in economic behavior have long been integrated into models of economic development and in the fields of labor economics and public finance. However, in the past two decades, researchers have studied the macroeconomic implications of gender-based differences. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals have explicitly linked economic progress to the equalization of opportunities for women. These goals thus recognize the importance not only of raising the status of women, but also of narrowing disparities between women and men. These gender disparities are often greatest in the poorest countries.

Ms. Laura Wallace

The World Bank’s proposed action plan on achieving the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015 calls for a new development compact. The idea is that governments would demonstrate their commitment to education through efforts to radically transform their education systems, and external partners would provide financial and technical support in a transparent, predictable, and flexible manner. The plan also calls for “fast-tracking” some 10 countries for quick and incremental support.

Mr. Peter S. Heller

At the meeting of High-Level Women in International Finance, Economics, and Development (also see box, page 302) held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on September 20, Peter Heller (Deputy Director in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department) discussed how the IMF can help promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that address gender equality. His speech is summarized below.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
El Boletín del FMI aborda de manera específica el trabajo del FMI y los grandes temas macroeconómicos y financieros internacionales y ofrece análisis sobre la evolución en los distintos países y regiones y en el mundo; información sobre las operaciones, políticas, reformas y asistencia técnica del FMI; síntesis de las principales investigaciones económicas mundiales; datos fundamentales que no suelen estar disponibles en otras fuentes, e informes sobre debates económicos y financieros que tienen lugar dentro y fuera del FMI. Este boletín de 16 páginas, publicado 12 veces al año, está orientado a una vasta audiencia, que incluye autoridades de política económica, analistas, profesionales del mundo académico y de los medios de difusión y estudiantes. Disponible en inglés, español y francés.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Montenegro, IMF membership, Peru loan, Lebanon, Murilo Portugal interview, IMF technical assistance (TA), Vietnam and WTO, Colombia, foreign direct investment, gender and economics, Arab economies, France and 35-hour week.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
En mettant l’accent sur le travail du FMI et sur les grandes questions macroéconomiques et financières internationales, le Bulletin du FMI présente une analyse des développements nationaux, régionaux et mondiaux, des informations sur le travail, les politiques, les réformes et les activités d'assistance technique du FMI, les conclusions d'études de calibre mondial, des données essentielles qui ne sont souvent pas disponibles ailleurs, ainsi que des rapports sur les discussions économiques et financières au sein du FMI et ailleurs. Publié douze fois par an, ce bulletin de seize pages s'adresse à un large public : dirigeants, analystes, chercheurs, étudiants et journalistes. Disponible en anglais, français et espagnol.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Canadian female labor participation has risen impressively during the past decade. With policymakers in many industrial countries seeking to encourage female participation in the labor market as a way to boost growth and mitigate the effects of population aging, the Canadian example is an interesting case. A recent IMF Working Paper analyzes this experience and finds that tax and benefit system reforms in the mid-1990s account for at least one-third of the observed increase during 1995–2001. It also concludes that policies similar to Canada’s family-friendly initiatives could help policymakers elsewhere meet the challenges of population aging.

Sabina Bhatia

More than 150 government officials, civil society representatives, parliamentarians, and academics gathered in Phnom Penh October 16–18 to share their experiences on poverty reduction strategies. The Second East Asia and Pacific Regional Conference—sponsored by the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank—focused on developments in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (P.D.R.), Mongolia, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. It also offered practical advice on broadening participation, decentralization, “localizing” efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and addressing gender issues.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

World poverty can be significantly decreased by 2015 if developing and industrial countries implement their commitments to attack its root causes, according to a report released on June 26. The report, entitled A Better World for All, was prepared jointly by the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, the IMF, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).