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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper surveys the foreign exchange markets, money and secondary government security markets, and stock exchanges in 107 smaller economy countries. The underdevelopment of these markets impedes risk transfer, monetary policy, corporate financing, and the capacity to absorb capital inflows. This study marks a first step toward formulating policies to develop essential smaller economy financial markets by documenting the stylized facts and presenting a framework for assessing the policy issues.

Mr. George T. Abed and Mr. Hamid R Davoodi

Abstract

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is an economically diverse region. Despite undertaking economic reforms in many countries, and having considerable success in avoiding crises and achieving macroeconomic stability, the region’s economic performance in the past 30 years has been below potential. This paper takes stock of the region’s relatively weak performance, explores the reasons for this out come, and proposes an agenda for urgent reforms.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper reviews the exchange regimes of five emerging market countries in the Middle East and North Africa region-Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia-and one oil-exporting country-Iran-to see whether they need to consider adopting more flexible arrangements as they further open their economies to trade and capital flows.

Mr. E. H. Gardner

Abstract

The population of the Middle East and North Africa is one of the fastest growing in the world, but jobs have not grown as fast as the region’s workforce. This paper addresses questions such as"Can current GDP growth generate more employment, or will higher GDP growth be required?"and "Will the current pattern of job creation-with much of the region’s workforce employed by the public sector-need to change?"

Ms. Susan Creane, Mr. Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Miss Randa Sab, and Rishi Goyal

Abstract

In this study, the authors assess financial sector development in the MENA regionand propose several policy measures, which include reinforcing the institutional environment and promoting nonbank financial sector development, to enhance this sector’s performance.

Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Kenneth Rogoff, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

This study provides a candid, systematic, and critical review of recent evidence on this complex subject. Based on a review of the literature and some new empirical evidence, it finds that (1) in spite of an apparently strong theoretical presumption, it is difficult to detect a strong and robust causal relationship between financial integration and economic growth; (2) contrary to theoretical predictions, financial integration appears to be associated with increases in consumption volatility (both in absolute terms and relative to income volatility) in many developing countries; and (3) there appear to be threshold effects in both of these relationships, which may be related to absorptive capacity. Some recent evidence suggests that sound macroeconomic frameworks and, in particular, good governance are both quantitatively and qualitatively important in affecting developing countries’ experiences with financial globalization.

Ms. Nada Choueiri, Mr. Klaus-Stefan Enders, Mr. Yuri V Sobolev, Mr. Jan Walliser, and Mr. Sherwyn Williams

Abstract

The 1990s saw the unification of the two Yemens into one nation and a burgeoning of the country's oil sector. This paper examines the structural changes in the Yemeni economy brought about by these and other developments and identifies the reforms needed to move the country toward rapid and sustainable growth, effectively manage its oil wealth, and reduce the widespread poverty. The paper addresses the issue of poverty reduction by providing background and drawing lessons from Yemen's adjustment experience to date.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Mr. George Kopits and Mr. J. D. Craig

Abstract

Transparency in government operations is widely regarded as an important precondition for macroeconomic fiscal sustainability, good governance, and overall fiscal rectitude. Notably, the Interim Committee, at its April and September 1996 meetings, stressed the need for greater fiscal transparency. Prompted by these concerns, this paper represents a first attempt to address many of the aspects of transparency in government operations. It provides an overview of major issues in fiscal transparency and examines the IMF's role in promoting transparency in government operations.