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Mr. Ali M. Mansoor, Salifou Issoufou, and Mr. Daouda Sembene

Abstract

Economic transformation and diversification require solutions that take account of the political economy of reform. This book explores the process of economic transformation, using Senegal as an example. Sound macroeconomic and fiscal policies are prerequisites for achieving this kind of transformation, but these policies need to include the appropriate industrial policies and good economic governance, which provide incentives to help small- and medium-sized enterprises emerge from the informal sector and for foreign direct investment to use the country as a platform for globally competitive production. In many low-income countries extensive rent seeking and patronage have generated stability at the expense of inclusive growth and held back development. Although policymakers know what is needed to address these problems and achieve economic transformation and diversification, how to do it remains a challenge. This book shows how the political economy of reform may be navigated to achieve transformation. For example, the use of special economic zones may solve the problem if good global governance is emphasized, along with linking the zones to the global economy.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

In response to the Global Financial Crisis, the IMF launched many initiatives to strengthen financial surveillance and better advise member countries of vulnerabilities and risks. While these initiatives have not yet been tested by a major crisis, the efforts have delivered a substantial upgrade of the Fund’s financial surveillance, including giving the IMF clearer responsibilities over financial sector stability and cross-country spillovers; making periodic financial stability assessments mandatory for jurisdictions with systemically important financial sectors; invigorating efforts to integrate financial and macroeconomic analysis in bilateral and multilateral surveillance; enhancing cooperation with the Financial Stability Board and standard setting bodies to promote reforms and monitor agreed standards; and taking steps to recruit and train greater financial expertise. While recognizing these achievements, this evaluation finds that the quality and impact of the IMF’s financial surveillance has been uneven. The expansion of products and activities has presented the Fund with difficult trade-offs between bilateral and multilateral surveillance; between countries with systemically important financial sectors and other member countries; and between financial surveillance and other activities. Moreover, resource constraints have slowed the needed build-up of financial and macrofinancial expertise. These are critical issues, given the IMF’s position as the only international financial institution with the mandate and ability to conduct financial and macrofinancial surveillance over the full range of countries as well as the global economy, and given that these issues are at the core of the IMF’s responsibilities. Thus, to further strengthen financial surveillance, the evaluation recommends devoting greater resources to financial surveillance overall; further strengthening financial and macrofinancial analysis in Article IV surveillance; refining resource allocation for FSAPs; enhancing rigor and transparency in multilateral surveillance; intensifying efforts to be a global center of excellence on financial and macrofinancial research; and extending efforts to develop financial expertise among IMF staff.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses the IMF’s work on countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS), addressing both (i) its engagement through surveillance, lending, and capacity development and (ii) the frameworks and procedures for its engagement. It finds that the IMF has provided unique and essential services to FCS to restore macroeconomic stability and rebuild core macroeconomic institutions as prerequisites for state building, playing a role in which no other institution can take its place. In this critical role, it is broadly acknowledged to have had a high impact. While the IMF has provided relatively little direct financing, it has catalyzed donor support through its assessment of a country’s economic policies and prospects. Notwithstanding this positive assessment, the IMF’s overall approach to its FCS work seems to have been conflicted. Not only has it failed consistently to make hard choices necessary to achieve full impact from its engagement in countries where success requires patient and dedicated attention over the long haul, but past efforts have not been sufficiently bold or adequately sustained, and the staff has tended to revert to treating fragile states using IMF-wide norms, rather than as countries needing special attention. The report proposes six recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the IMF’s FCS work: (i) to issue a statement of high-level commitment to FCS work for IMFC endorsement; (ii) to create an effective institutional mechanism with the mandate and authority to coordinate and champion such work; (iii) to develop comprehensive strategies for individual FCS; (iv) to adapt its lending toolkit to deliver more sustained financial support to FCS; (v) to take practical steps to increase the impact of its capacity development support to FCS; and (vi) to take steps to incentivize high-quality and experienced staff to work on individual FCS and find pragmatic ways of increasing field presence in high risk locations.

Mr. Ali M. Mansoor, Salifou Issoufou, and Mr. Daouda Sembene

Abstract

Through 18 chapters, this book draws on policy lessons from successful countries that have managed to overcome political economy constraints and reach upper-middle-income emerging market economy status to examine how Senegal can achieve per capita growth rates of four to five percent per year over a 20-year period, as well as lessons for other low-income countries. Contributors working in academia, civil society, and government in Senegal, as well as at the World Bank, in peer countries like Mauritius, Morocco, and Seychelles, and the International Monetary Fund, address creating a sound, balanced, and efficient fiscal framework through new revenue-raising measures, expenditure rationalization, and more efficient public investment; promoting an inclusive and deeper financial sector; relieving constraints on doing business and promoting private investment, including foreign direct investment; and achieving high, sustained, and inclusive growth. They discuss Senegal's macroeconomic environment and what it means to be an upper-middle-income emerging market economy, including the country's industrial framework, the Plan Senegal emergent growth targets, and dimensions of inclusive growth; revenue mobilization, public expenditure efficiency and rationalization, and debt sustainability; ways to make Senegal's financial system more stable, deeper, and more inclusive in the context of the West African Economic and Monetary Union; aspects of structural reform in the country and ways to implement reforms to achieve growth; and social inclusion and protection in Senegal.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This report examines whether the IMF has effectively leveraged an important asset: data. It finds that in general, the IMF has been able to rely on a large amount of data of acceptable quality, and that data provision from member countries has improved markedly over time. Nonetheless, problems with data or data practices have, at times, adversely affected the IMF’s surveillance and lending activities. The roots of data problems are diverse, ranging from problems due to member countries’ capacity constraints or reluctance to share sensitive data to internal issues such as lack of appropriate staff incentives, institutional rigidities, and long-standing work practices. Efforts to tackle these problems are piecemeal, the report finds, without a clear comprehensive strategy that recognizes data as an institutional strategic asset, not just a consumption good for economists. The report makes a number of recommendations that could promote greater progress in this regard.