Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Ms. Svetlana Cerovic, Misael Galdamez, Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov, Franz Loyola, Zsoka Koczan, Mr. Bogdan Lissovolik, Mr. Jan Kees Martijn, Ms. Yulia Ustyugova, and Joyce Wong
Outward migration has been an important phenomenon for countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC), particularly those in Central America and the Caribbean. This paper examines recent trends in outward migration from and remittances to LAC, as well as their costs and benefits. For the home country, the negative impact from emigration on labor resources and productivity seems to outweigh growth gains from remittances, notably for the Caribbean. However, given emigration, remittance flows play key financing and stabilizing roles in Central America and the Caribbean. They facilitate private consumption smoothing, support financial sector stability and fiscal revenues, and help reduce poverty and inequality, without strong evidence for harmful competitiveness effects through shifts in the real exchange rate.
How to entrench hard-won gains, increase resilience to shocks, and improve growth performance to reduce poverty? As Central America moves forward in regaining macroeconomic stability, these are the challenges. This study analyzes Central America’s real, fiscal, monetary, and financial sector policies at the regional level, starting with a review of growth performance and the macroeconomic implications of remittances. It then looks at the sustainability of pension systems, financial system development, sovereign debt vulnerabilities, and ways to sustain progress in reducing inflation by strengthening the credibility of central banks.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Russia’s unexpectedly strong recovery since its 1998 crisis has left people wondering whether it is just a temporary result of higher oil prices and the postcrisis depreciation of the ruble or a sign ofdurable improvements in the much-battered economy. This question is addressed in the book Russia Rebounds, written by members of the IMF’s Russian team and due out later this year. John Odling-Smee, Director of the IMF’s European II Department, spoke with Laura Wallace about Russia’s prospects and its relationship with the IMF during the troubled 1990s. Odling-Smee, a U.K. national, joined the IMF in 1990 and took over responsibility for the IMF’s relations with former Soviet Union countries in 1992. Before that, he served in the U.K. Cabinet Office and Treasury for about 15 years.