This paper presents a snapshot of changes in the world’s health and demographic conditions. The paper highlights that in most parts of the world, individuals are healthier and living longer, thanks to improved health services and living conditions and the more widespread use of immunization, antibiotics, and better contraceptives. Although this trend is likely to continue, hopes are fading in some regions where progress slowed or stopped in the 1990s, primarily as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Moreover, most regions of the developing world will not reach the Millennium Development Goals for health by 2015.
For three days in August, Rutgers University Professor Michael Bordo and a group of noted academics provided senior officials from 30 countries and a number of IMF staff with a historical context for the often contentious issue of globalization. Sponsored by the IMF Institute, “Globalization in Historical Perspective” reprised an earlier National Bureau of Economic Research conference. The seminar focused, in particular, on the forces unleashed in the nineteenth century and the ensuing backlash and looked for insights into today’s policy debates.