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Erez Aiden, Jean-Baptiste Michel, and Coyle Diane

This chapter discusses the story of European integration in what is known as the European Union. The decision in 1951 by six European nations to pool coal and steel production under a common authority—the European Coal and Steel Community—marked the beginning of European integration. French statesman and political visionary Robert Schuman proposed the coal and steel community in 1950. The chapter also highlights that the 28-member European Union, built around common policies and shared institutions, has proved robust to many challenges and has accommodated great change used by 18 countries. The European Union was also awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. The study shows that the 2008 global financial crisis laid bare fault lines, exposing tensions between EU members and stresses and gaps in institutions and policies that Europe’s political leaders are working hard to address. The IMF’s chief for Europe argues that what Europe needs is more integration, not less.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Although the IMF is a specialized agency of the United Nations and participates in the Economic and Social Council of the UN, it operates independently and has its own charter, governing structure, rules, and finances.

Joel E. Cohen and David E. Bloom

The paper highlights that over the past century, access to education has increased enormously, illiteracy has fallen dramatically, and a higher proportion of people are completing primary, secondary, or tertiary education than ever before. But huge problems remain. About 115 million children of primary school age are not currently enrolled in school. Most are illiterate and live in absolute poverty—the majority female. Some 264 million children of secondary school age are not currently enrolled, and the quality of schooling is often low.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Although the IMF is a specialized agency of the United Nations and participates in the Economic and Social Council of the UN, it operates independently and has its own charter, governing structure, rules, and finances.

Mr. Dmitry Gershenson
Using a formal general equilibrium framework, this paper analyzes how sanctions imposed on the contestants in civil conflict affect the welfare of these contestants and the allocation of resources to conflict. It is shown that weak sanctions can hurt the contestant they are supposed to help, while strong sanctions augment the expected welfare of their intended beneficiaries. Moreover, sanctions are more likely to be successful if the contestant who is subject to sanctions can expect to derive a positive income in case of compliance. The likelihood of success rises as this income increases.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Mahbub ul Haq

This paper highlights that despite severe limitations of resources, developing countries have made substantial progress during the past three decades in sending more children to school and in generally improving their education systems. Enrollment of children in schools at all levels has expanded at unprecedented rates. There has been a significant decline in the proportion of adults who are illiterate—from 44 percent in 1950 to 32 percent in 1975. Public expenditures for education have increased steadily in developing countries to reach roughly the same share of national product as in industrialized countries.

Frances Stewart

The performance of developing countries in meeting the “basic needs” of their people varies greatly. This article provides a brief analysis of the results of World Bank studies on the determinants of such performance and discusses their implications for framing an approach to provide for these needs at a national level.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper discusses impact of purchasing power on deferred payments. The importance of the economic consequences for the economy of the adoption of purchasing power guarantees would, of course, depend on the range within which these guarantees were applied. Any practical proposals are therefore predicated on the assumption that, for the country in question, there is uncertainty about future general price movements. The problem which purchasing power guarantees are intended to solve is shown in its simplest form in the settlement of a private debt. In countries suffering from inflation, the improvement in the lender–borrower relationship would also be strengthened, since, with a purchasing power clause in the contract, the stigma of usury that would attach to any attempt to insist on high nominal rates of interest in order to ensure a proper real return would be avoided. The legal and social sanctions against usury in money terms give rise to a paradox in discussing the use of a purchasing power clause. The analytical discussion seems to show that, if anything, the borrower would gain more than the lender from the use of the clause—simply because interest payments are likely to be larger relative to his net income, and to have their real value stabilized would have a greater stabilizing effect on real income.