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BORIS BERNSTEIN and JAMES BOUGHTON

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo and Mr. Krishna Srinivasan

Abstract

Brazil is at crossroads, emerging slowly from a historic recession that was preceded by a huge economic boom. Reasons for the historic bust following a boom are manifold. Policy mistakes were an important contributory factor, and included the pursuit of countercyclical policies, introduced to deal with the effects of the global financial crisis, beyond the point where they were helpful. More fundamentally, it reflects longstanding structural weaknesses plaguing the economy, that also help explain Brazil’s uninspiring growth performance over the past four decades.

Mr. Ravi Balakrishnan, Sandra Lizarazo, Marika Santoro, Frederik G. Toscani, and Mr. Mauricio Vargas

Over the past decades, inequality has risen not just in advanced economies but also in many emerging market and developing economies, becoming one of the key global policy challenges. And throughout the 20th century, Latin America was associated with some of the world’s highest levels of inequality. Yet something interesting happened in the first decade and a half of the 21st century. Latin America was the only region in the World to have experienced significant declines in inequality in that period. Poverty also fell in Latin America, although this was replicated in other regions, and Latin America started from a relatively low base. Starting around 2014, however, and even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, poverty and inequality gains had already slowed in Latin America and, in some cases, gone into reverse. And the COVID-19 shock, which is still playing out, is likely to dramatically worsen short-term poverty and inequality dynamics. Against this background, this departmental paper investigates the link between commodity prices, and poverty and inequality developments in Latin America.

Mr. Ravi Balakrishnan, Sandra Lizarazo, Marika Santoro, Mr. Frederik G Toscani, and Mr. Mauricio Vargas
Over the past decades, inequality has risen not just in advanced economies but also in many emerging market and developing economies, becoming one of the key global policy challenges. And throughout the 20th century, Latin America was associated with some of the world’s highest levels of inequality. Yet something interesting happened in the first decade and a half of the 21st century. Latin America was the only region in the World to have experienced significant declines in inequality in that period. Poverty also fell in Latin America, although this was replicated in other regions, and Latin America started from a relatively low base. Starting around 2014, however, and even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, poverty and inequality gains had already slowed in Latin America and, in some cases, gone into reverse. And the COVID-19 shock, which is still playing out, is likely to dramatically worsen short-term poverty and inequality dynamics. Against this background, this departmental paper investigates the link between commodity prices, and poverty and inequality developments in Latin America.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Para estar al corriente del pensamiento actual sobre el sistema financiero internacional, la política monetaria, el desarrollo económico, la reducción de la pobreza y otros temas cruciales, suscríbase a Finanzas y Desarrollo. Esta amena revista trimestral ofrece análisis profundos del personal técnico del FMI y destacados expertos internacionales sobre estas y otras cuestiones. Los artículos están dirigidos a un público no especializado que desea comprender mejor el funcionamiento de la economía mundial y las políticas y actividades del FMI.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
International Monetary Fund
En distribuant des moustiquaires pour combattre le paludisme, en construisant des écoles, ou bien encore en offrant un assainissement de base, la philanthropie aide à transformer le monde en développement. De riches donateurs consacrent des fortunes — souvent bâties dans les logiciels, le spectacle ou le capital-risque — pour vaincre la pauvreté et promouvoir le bien-être, servant d’appoint à l’aide publique, ou parfois même la dépassant. De Bill et Melinda Gates et Warren Buffett à Aliko Dangote et George Soros, les titans du capitalisme financent de nobles causes. Qu’il s’agisse de créer de nouveaux vaccins, de construire des bibliothèques ou de protéger la forêt amazonienne, les philanthropes appuient l’innovation sous toutes ses formes pour améliorer les conditions de vie et nourrir les aspirations. Ce numéro de F&D examine le monde de la philanthropie ciblée et de l’entreprenariat social. «La philanthropie a un rôle d’amorçage», déclare Bill Gates, le cofondateur de Microsoft, et le plus généreux donateur de la planète. «La fondation s’efforce de mettre en place un système qui permette aux forces du marché d’œuvrer en faveur des pauvres». Selon lui, l’effet de catalyse de la philanthropie peut être déterminant. «Les bonnes idées ont besoin d’apôtres et les laissés-pour-compte de défenseurs». L’ex-président Bill Clinton explique que les réseaux de coopération créative entre les États, les entreprises et la société civile peuvent mieux réussir à résoudre les problèmes les plus pressants de la planète. Prakash Loungani brosse le portrait de l’économiste superstar Jeffrey Sachs, champion de l’allègement de la dette et des objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement. Nous examinons en quoi les pays pauvres peuvent avoir intérêt à distribuer une partie des recettes exceptionnelles qu'ils tirent des ressources naturelles au lieu de financer des investissements pouvant être source de corruption. La rubrique Gros plan explique ce que font les banques centrales pour combattre la crise dans les pays avancés. Enfin, nous découvrons en quoi la croissance chinoise est une source de créativité pour le monde occidental.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes the importance of luck, timing, and political institutions in beating inflation. The paper highlights that countries experiencing high inflation typically make several disinflation attempts, some of which succeed only temporarily. If a country trying to stabilize prices and wages is unlucky enough to be exposed to severe external shocks—for example, a decline in demand for its exports—during its disinflation, the likelihood of failure is increased. A shock such as an increase in U.S. interest rates makes failure more likely for a country with an open capital account.
International Monetary Fund
By combating malaria with mosquito nets or building schools and providing basic sanitation, philanthropy is helping transform the developing world. Rich donors are devoting fortunes—many of them earned through computer software, entertainment, and venture capitalism— to defeating poverty and improving lives, supplementing and in some cases surpassing official aid channels.From billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to Aliko Dangote and George Soros, the titans of capitalism are backing good causes with their cash. Whether financing new vaccines, building libraries, or buying up Amazon rain forest to protect the environment, philanthropists are supporting innovations and new approaches that are changing lives and building dreams.This issue of F&D looks at the world of targeted giving and social entrepreneurship.“ Philanthropy’s role is to get things started,” says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who is the world’s most generous giver. “We used foundation funds to set up a system to make market forces work in favor of the poor.” He says that catalytic philanthropy can make a big difference. “Good ideas need evangelists. Forgotten communities need advocates.” Former U.S. President Bill Clinton tells us that networks of creative cooperation between government, business, and civil society can get things done better to solve the world’s most pressing problems.Also in this issue, Prakash Loungani profiles superstar economist Jeffrey Sachs, who helped campaign for debt relief for developing economies and championed the Millennium Development Goals. We look at how, instead of spending commodity price windfalls on physical investments, which are often sources of corruption, governments of poor countries are sometimes well advised to hand some of the income over to their citizens. We examine moves by major central banks to ease our way out of the crisis enveloping advanced economies in our Data Spotlight column, and we hear about how China’s growth inspires creativity in the West.