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NORMAN LOAYZA, HUMBERTO LOPEZ, and ANGEL UBIDE

This paper analyzes common economic patterns across countries and economic sectors in Latin America, East Asia, and Europe for the period 1970-94 by means of an error-components model that decomposes real value-added growth in each country into common international effects, sector-specific effects, and country-specific effects. We find significant comovements in the European and East Asian samples. In the Latin American sample, however, we find country-specific components to be more important than common patterns. These results are robust to different sub-sample time spans and different sub-sample country groups.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Group of 20 was established in September 1999, as a new mechanism for ongoing consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system. Paul Martin, Minister of Finance of Canada, was appointed by the Group of Seven as Chairman for a two-year term. In his statement to the Interim Committee during the 1999 Annual Meetings, Martin described the proposed functions and objectives of the new group. Following is an edited extract. The full text of Martin’s statement is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).

EDUARDO BORENSZTEIN,, DIMITRI G. DEMEKAS, and JONATHAN D. OSTRY*

The declines in economic activity experienced by Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, and Romania in the period since market-oriented reforms were initiated are analyzed. After reviewing developments in these three countries, the paper empirically investigates two questions that are central to an interpretation of the output decline. First, to what extent does the output fall reflect “structural change,” or a reallocation of resources across sectors, rather than a conventional macroeconomic recession? Second, to what extent have demand-side or supply-side forces been dominant in generating the output decline?