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Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Thorsten Beck, Mohammed Belhaj, and Mr. Sami Ben Naceur
The past two decades have seen a rapid increase in interest in financial inclusion, both from policymakers and researchers. This paper surveys the main findings from the literature, documenting the trends over time and gaps that have arisen across regions, income levels, and gender, among others. It points out that structural, as well as policy-related, factors, such as encouraging banking competition or channeling government payments through bank accounts, play an important role, and describes the potential macro and microeconomic benefits that can be derived from greater financial inclusion. It argues that policy should aim to identify and reduce frictions holding back financial inclusion, rather than targeting specific levels of inclusion. Finally, it suggests areas for future research.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
On March 23, the IMF’s Executive Board selected Horst Köhler as the new Managing Director of the IMF. The text of Press Release No. 00/21 follows
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Published since 1950, this authoritative annual reference is based upon a unique IMF database that tracks exchange and trade arrangements for the 187 IMF member countries, along with Hong Kong SAR, Aruba, and Curaçao and St Maarten. The Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions (AREAER) draws together information on exchange measures in place, the structure and setting of exchange rates, arrangements for payments and receipts, procedures for resident and nonresident accounts, controls on capital transactions, and provisions specific to the financial sector. The 52 countries covered in this special supplement have been selected as those where expanded information on the regulatory framework for capital movements was readily available to the IMF. They include countries that participated in a pilot data collection project on the regulatory framework for capital transactions conducted by the IMF in 1996, and member countries of the OECD.