Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Rene Tapsoba, and Mr. Sampawende J Tapsoba
This paper proposes a new quality of growth index (QGI) for developing countries. The index encompasses both the intrinsic nature and social dimensions of growth, and is computed for over 90 countries for the period 1990-2011. The approach is premised on the fact that not all growth is created equal in terms of social outcomes, and that it does matter how one reaches from one level of income to another for various theoretical and empirical reasons. The paper finds that the quality of growth has been improving in the vast majority of developing countries over the past two decades, although the rate of convergence is relatively slow. At the same time, there are considerable cross-country variations across income levels and regions. Finally, emprirical investigations point to the fact that main factors of the quality of growth are political stability, public pro-poor spending, macroeconomic stability, financial development, institutional quality and external factors such as FDI.
This paper discusses a request from Congo for the Rapid-Access Component of the Exogenous Shocks Facility. Performance on the 2008 staff-monitored program was mixed, complicated by the effects of the exogenous shock. Although weaknesses remain, the authorities strengthened public financial management, particularly with regard to urgent government expenditure. They also made progress in addressing IMF staff’s concerns about the debt sustainability implications of the Sino-Congolese mining and infrastructure cooperation agreement. The authorities are committed to implementing appropriate adjustment policies.
Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Mr. Kevin J Carey
For policymakers around the world, finding ways to promote faster growth is a top priority. But what exactly do economists know and not know about growth? What direction should future research and policymaking take? This issue explores this topic, starting with a major World Bank study and research coming out of Harvard University that urges less reliance on simple formulas and the elusive search for best practices, and greater reliance on deeper economic analysis to identify each country's binding constraint(s) on growth. Other articles highlight IMF research on pinpointing effective levers for growth in developing countries and Africa's experience with growth accelerations. Also in the issue are pieces examining global economic imbalances, rapid credit growth in Eastern and Central Europe, and ways to boost productivity growth in Europe and Japan. In Straight Talk, Raghuram Rajan argues that if we want microfinance to become more than a fad, it has to follow the clear and unsentimental path of adding value and making money. Asian Development Bank's Haruhiko Kuroda sets out his vision for a new financial architecture in Asia. Finally, Picture This takes an in-depth look at global employment trends.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
Mr. Kevin J Carey, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Ms. Catherine A Pattillo
Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recently shown signs of improvement, but is still short of levels needed to attain the Millennium Development Goals. Economists have placed increasing emphasis on understanding the policies that promote sustained jumps in medium-term growth, and the paper applies this approach to African countries. The evidence presented finds an important growth-supporting role for particular kinds of institutions and policies, but also highlights aspects of growth that are still not well understood. The paper includes policy guidance for ensuring that the poor benefit from growth.
The paper finds a significant shift in the economic characteristics of civil conflicts during the1990s. Conflicts have become shorter but with more severe contractions and a stronger recovery of growth. The overall length and cost of the conflict cycle has probably declined. The stance of macroeconomic policy was an important factor while the underlying "conflict process" remained unchanged. This shift seems related to changes in aid flows since the Cold War: donors became disinclined to provide support during conflict, but more inclined after conflict. These findings are buttressed by the post-conflict experience of countries that received financial assistance from the IMF and of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These findings have implications for policy and aid priorities after conflict.