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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Yegor Gaidar, and Jane Gleeson-White

Technology is generating a global convergence. A "big bang" of information—and education as well—is improving human lives. And with global interconnectivity growing by leaps and bounds, we are all witness to a rapid spread of information and ideas. But, as we have seen from the prolonged global financial crisis, our interconnectedness carries grave risks as well as benefits. This issue of F&D looks at different aspects of interconnectedness, globally and in Asia. • Brookings VP Kemal Devis presents the three fundamental trends in the global economy affecting the balance between east and west in "World Economy: Convergence, Interdependence, and Divergence." • In "Financial Regionalism," Akihiro Kawai and Domenico Lombardi tell us how regional arrangements are helping global financial stability. • In "Migration Meets Slow Growth," Migration Policy Institute president Demetrios Papademetriou examines how the global movement of workers will change as the economic crisis continues in advanced economies. • "Caught in the Web" explains new ways of looking at financial interconnections in a globalized world. • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde provides her take on the benefits of integration and the risks of fragmentation in "Straight Talk." Also in this issue, we take a closer look at interconnectedness across Asia as we explore how trade across the region is affected by China's falling trade surplus, how India and China might learn from each others' success, and what Myanmar's reintegration into the global economy means for its people. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Justin Yifu Lin, first developing country World Bank economist, and the Back to Basics series explains the origins and evolution of money.

Laura Jaramillo and Ms. Cemile Sancak

The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the island of Hispaniola and are broadly similar in terms of geography and historical institutions, yet their growth performance has diverged remarkably. The countries had the same per capita real GDP in 1960, but, by 2005, the Dominican Republic’s per capita real GDP had tripled, whereas that of Haiti had halved. Drawing on the growth literature, this paper explains this divergence through a combined approach that includes a panel regression to study growth determinants across a broad group of countries, and a case study framework to better understand the specific policy decisions and external conditions that have shaped economic outcomes in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. This paper finds that initial conditions cannot fully explain the growth divergence, but rather policy decisions have played a central role in the growth trends of the two countries.

Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo

Research summaries on (1) measuring inflation, and (2) strengthening Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) programs through poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA); country study on Spain; listing of contents of Vol. 53, Special Issue of IMF Staff Papers, summary of recently published IMF book entitled "IMF-Supported Programs: Recent Staff Research"; listings of recent external publications by IMF staff members, IMF Working Papers, and visiting scholars at the IMF during January-August 2006.

Ms. Laura Wallace

This paper reviews the resurgence of Latin America. The paper highlights that much of the region has witnessed a swift and robust recovery from the successive financial crises of 2001–02. Within two years, the region’s economic growth reached 5.6 percent in 2004, a 24-year high. Growth rates of about 4 percent in 2005 and 3¾ percent projected for 2006 are well above historical averages. Mexico and South American countries have gained, in particular, from the surge in fuel, food, and metals prices, and have generally been able to exploit these opportunities by expanding production.