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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, Hans Weisfeld, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Mr. Martin Schindler, Mr. Nikola Spatafora, and Mr. Andrew Berg
This paper investigates the short-run effects of the 2007-09 global financial crisis on growth in (mainly non-fuel exporting) low-income countries (LICs). Four conclusions stand out. First, for many individual LICs, 2009 was not extraordinarily calamitous; however, aggregate LIC output declined sharply because LICs were unusually synchronized. Second, the growth declines are on average well explained by the decline in export demand. Third, if the external environment facing LICs improves as forecast, their growth should rebound sharply. Finally, and contrary to received wisdom, there are few robust relationships between the cross-country growth variation and the policy and structural environment; the main exceptions are reserve coverage and labor-market flexibility.
Ms. Annalisa Fedelino, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, and Marijn Verhoeven
This paper assesses whether the scaling up of aid and the resulting increase in government spending that is needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would be hampered by wage bill ceilings that are often part of government programs supported by the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Based on country case studies for 2003-05, the paper suggests that, in the past, wage bill ceilings have not restricted the use of available donor funds. Yet the paper offers a number of suggestions for further enhancing the flexibility of wage bill conditionality in PRGF-supported programs to respond to higher aid flows that may result in the future.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This first issue of Volume 51 for 2004 includes a new paper by Peter B. Clark and Jacques J. Polak, along with a tribute from the Editor to Mr. Polak in honor of his 90th birthday. This issue also launches a new featured section, "Data Issues," which will be devoted in future issues to on-going discussions of the latest in econometric and statistical tools for economists, data puzzles, and other related topics of interest to researchers.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews implementation of the Fund’s external communications strategy and suggests issues that the Board may wish to discuss at its third meeting since 1998 on the subject. The strategy has been shaped by the previous Board discussions and more recent decisions and discussions on transparency, conditionality, PRSP/PRGF, the Independent Evaluation Office, and other issues. This paper represents more of a stocktaking than a fundamental reconsideration of the Fund’s approach to external communications. It examines the progress made in recent years and steps that might be taken with current resources to increase the effectiveness of the strategy.
Mr. Odd Per Brekk and Mr. Ronald P Hicks
This paper applies, through a case study on Malawi, a simple methodology indicating the first-round (i.e., price) effects of macroeconomic policies on real earnings of the poor. As the economic program in Malawi has not involved substantial exchange rate action or cuts in subsidies, the real incomes of the poor have been most clearly affected by the pricing policies of the agricultural parastatal and the overall anti-inflationary measures incorporated in the program; developments in minimum wages have also been important. The study suggests that, on balance, these various factors have led to an increase in real incomes of the poor over the program period.