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Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. David Coady, Frank Eich, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Alvar Kangur, Baoping Shang, and Mauricio Soto

Abstract

Pension reform is high on the policy agenda of many advanced and emerging market economies. In advanced economies the challenge is generally to contain future increases in public pension spending as the population ages. In emerging market economies, the challenges are often different. Where pension coverage is extensive, the issues are similar to those in advanced economies. Where pension coverage is low, the key challenge will be to expand coverage in a fiscally sustainable manner. This volume examines the outlook for public pension spending over the coming decades and the options for reform in 52 advanced and emerging market economies.

Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. David Coady, Frank Eich, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Alvar Kangur, Baoping Shang, and Mauricio Soto

Abstract

Pension reform is high on the policy agenda of many advanced and emerging market economies. In advanced economies the challenge is generally to contain future increases in public pension spending as the population ages. In emerging market economies, the challenges are often different. Where pension coverage is extensive, the issues are similar to those in advanced economies. Where pension coverage is low, the key challenge will be to expand coverage in a fiscally sustainable manner. This volume examines the outlook for public pension spending over the coming decades and the options for reform in 52 advanced and emerging market economies.

Ms. Inci Ötker

Abstract

Many countries have moved towards more flexible exchange rate regimes over the last decade to take advantage of greater monetary policy autonomy and flexibility in responding to external shocks. Some reluctance to let go of pegged exchange rates persists, however, despite the benefits of flexibility. The institutional and operational requirements needed to support a floating exchange rate, as well as difficulties in assessing the right time and manner to exit, tend to be additional factors in this reluctance. This volume presents the concrete steps taken by a number of countries in transition to greater exchange rate flexibility and elaborates on the operational ingredients that proved helpful in promoting successful and durable transitions. It attempts to provide a better understanding (and hence a "road map") of how these various operational ingredients were established and coordinated, how their implementation interacted with macro and other conditions, and how they contributed to the smoothness of each transition.

Mr. Abdul d Abiad, Mr. Ashoka Mody, Ms. Susan M Schadler, and Mr. Daniel Leigh

Abstract

The central challenges facing the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia as they work to catch up to advanced European Union (EU) income levels are discussed in this new book. Focusing on the region’s growth performance, and outlining two growth scenarios that illustrate the range of investment and productivity growth rates under the income catchup objective, the authors draw upon extensive resources to identify strengths and weaknesses.

Mr. Philippe Egoume Bossogo, Mr. Jerald A Schiff, Ms. Miho Ihara, Mr. Tetsuya Konuki, and Ms. Kornelia Krajnyak

Abstract

More than a decade after the start of the transition process, unemployment rates remain in the double digits in a number of Central and Eastern European countries. That unemployment rates have failed to decline, even in countries experiencing good growth, is puzzling. In this paper the authors examine three interrelated questions: How has the transition from central planning to market economies affected labor market performance? How have labor market institutions and policies influenced developments? Why have regional differences in unemployment persisted? The authors take an eclectic methodological approach: construction of a new data set and a simple analytical model; econometric estimation; and case studies. They find that faster-performing countries have better unemployment records; that labor market policies have some, but not dominant, influence over labor market outcomes; that policies not typically viewed as labor market policies can nevertheless significantly affect labor markets; and that market processes cannot be relied on to eliminate regional differences in unemployment.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Upon entry into the European Union, countries become members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), with a derogation from adopting the euro as their currency (that is, each country joining the EU commits to replace its national currency with the euro, but can choose when to request permission to do so). For most of these countries, adopting the euro will entail major economic change. This paper examines likely economic developments and policy challenges for the five former transition countries in central Europe--the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia--that joined the European Union in May 2004 and operate under independent monetary policies but have not yet achieved policy convergence with the rest of the euro area.

Mr. Tamim Bayoumi, Mr. Hamid Faruqee, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Mr. Philippe D Karam, Mr. Alessandro Rebucci, Mr. Jaewoo Lee, Mr. Benjamin L Hunt, and Mr. Ivan Tchakarov

Abstract

Over the past two years, the IMF staff has been developing a new multicountry macroeconomic model called the Global Economy Model (GEM). This paper explains why such a model is needed, how GEM differs from its predecessor model, and how the new features of the model can improve the IMF’s policy analysis. The paper is aimed at a general audience and avoids technical detail. It outlines the motivation, structure, strengths, and limitations of the model; examines three simulation exercises that have been completed; and discusses the future path of GEM.

Mr. Richard Hemming, Mr. Axel Schimmelpfennig, and Mr. Michael Kell

Abstract

Fiscal problems have long been considered a central feature of financial--that is, currency, debt, and banking--crises. This paper addresses four questions: What are the fiscal causes of crises? Which fiscal vulnerability indicators help to predict crises? Can fiscal variables explain the severity of crises? And what are the fiscal consequences of crises? Its findings are based on statistical analysis of a large data set of fiscal variables for 29 emerging market economies over 1970-2000 and detailed case studies of 11 emerging market crises during the 1990s that focus on structural and institutional dimensions of fiscal vulnerability.

Mr. Mark Zelmer and Ms. Andrea Schaechter

Abstract

This report on Adopting Inflation Targeting describes the trade-offs raised in the formulation of an inflation targeting framework and states the approaches to these trade-offs used by inflation targeting countries. The inherent differences discussed in this report between the six emerging market inflation targeting countries—Brazil, Chile, the Czech Republic, Israel, Poland, and South Africa—and other emerging market countries may shed some light on the preferred starting point and conditions for inflation targeting. Most central banks in emerging market countries have taken important organizational steps to enhance their capacity to apply greater judgment and foster transparency and accountability. These steps can be particularly challenging for emerging market central banks that have traditionally operated with controls and regulations and have been reluctant to communicate their policy intentions and economic outlooks. During the transition to full-fledged inflation targeting, several emerging market countries have confronted the challenge of dis-inflating to the long-run inflation objective.

Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis, Mr. Thomas J Richardson, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Mr. Steven A Barnett

Abstract

Privatization has been a key element of structural reform in many developing and transition economies during the last decade. This paper examines the fiscal and macroeconomic issues involved in the privatization of nonfinancial public enterprises in these economies. It considers issues such as the factors determining the proceeds from privatization and the amount accruing to the budget, the uses of proceeds, the impact of privatization on the budget and macroeconomic aggregates, and the privatization component of IMF-supported programs. The empirical evidence draws on case study countries that reflect geographical diversity and are representative of a range of privatization experience in developing and transition economies.