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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This Selected Issues paper focuses on the Baltic model, Baltic–Nordic links, and convergence. The Baltic countries form a distinct group within a tightly integrated Nordic–Baltic region. They are following similar approaches to economic policy, broadly in line with those of Northern European and the Anglo-Saxon countries. Their macroeconomic policies are generally robust. The paper examines the possible causes of the creditless recoveries in the Baltic countries. It characterizes their experience in comparison with other episodes of creditless recoveries in both advanced and emerging market economies, and also investigates demand and supply constraints to credit expansion in the Baltics.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

One of the main points of contention surrounding globalization is whether the flow of technology, skills, culture, ideas, news, information, entertainment, and people across borders consigns many parts of the world to grinding poverty. On February 18, Jagdish Bhagwati (Professor, Columbia University), in discussing his new book, In Defense of Globalization, took on the skeptics, arguing that, when properly managed, globalization is the most powerful force for social good in the world today. The venue was an IMF Economic Forum moderated by Raghuram Rajan (Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department) and with commentary by Daniel Yergin (Chair, Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy).

Zia Qureshi

Greater integration of developing countries into the global economy will present some difficult challenges but is well worth pursuing. Industrial and developing countries alike stand to gain significantly.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Based on a simple but powerful promise—that international economic integration will improve economic performance—globalization has tremendous appeal to policymakers and world leaders as a development strategy, according to Dani Rodrik of Harvard University. Speaking at a seminar organized by the IMF Institute in Washington on May 15, Rodrik explained that as countries reduce tariff and nontariff barriers to trade and open up to international capital flows, the expectation is that growth increases. This, in turn, will reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for most of the population of developing countries.

Mr. Tamim Bayoumi, Maximiliano Appendino, and Jelle Barkema
All common real effective exchange rate indexes assume trade is only in final goods, despite the growing presence of global supply chains. Extending effective exchange rate indexes to include such intermediate goods can imply radically different effective exchange rate weights, depending on the relative substitutability of goods in final demand and in production. Unfortunately, the effect of these shifts in weights are difficult to identify empirically because the two currencies most affected—the dollar and the renminbi—have moved closely together. As the renminbi becomes more flexible, however, it will be important to determine which assumptions are the most realistic.