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MARIAN E. BOND

Although sub-Saharan African countries differ greatly in their geographical and physical conditions, weather patterns, and cultural heritage, the similarity of their economic structures is striking. In particular, in nearly all these countries the agricultural sector remains dominant, and its well-being is crucial to the economy. It provides the earnings that support the industrial sector in its take-off into economic growth and the bulk of exports. Indeed, few countries have achieved sustained economic growth without first, or simultaneously, developing their agricultural sector. Nevertheless, over the 1970s the rate of growth of agricultural production in many of these sub-Saharan African countries declined from even the slow rates of the 1960s (Table 1).

Harry E. Walters

Despite prospects for relatively slow growth in the world economy in the 1980s, agricultural production, even in the low-income countries, can be substantially improved. This article is based on the World Development Report 1982.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that agreement on an important package of reforms of vital significance to the future of the international monetary system was reached at a meeting of the Interim Committee of the Board of Governors of the IMF on the International Monetary System in Kingston, Jamaica, on January 7–8, 1976. The reforms include a substantial quota increase for almost all members, as well as an increase in access to the IMF’s resources for all member countries in the period prior to implementation of the increase in their IMF quotas, and some other amendments.

SIJBREN CNOSSEN

In developing countries, an excess of industrial capacity is a disturbing phenomenon. Whereas at one time capital formation was believed to be the basis for economic development, recent attention has focused on the underutilization of existing capital stock.1 Thus, in Pakistan, where it is assumed that capital is critically scarce, the use of industrial capacity is reported to be much less than it is in the capital-rich United States—a paradox of no small significance.2 This finding has initiated a review of the accepted beliefs concerning economic development policies.3 Higher capacity utilization rates should be recognized explicitly as an alternative to saving, it is argued, and policies should be designed specifically to increase these rates as this “… holds great promise for increasing the level and rate of growth of income in underdeveloped countries.” 4

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper aims at discussing the impact of the oil windfall on Chad, with a focus on growth, poverty, competitiveness, and fiscal policy challenges posed by the oil revenue outlook. The paper discusses the reforms needed to remove structural factors that constraints the non-oil sector growth, in particular on civil and military services and the microfinance sector. The paper argues that Chad’s current growth potential is seriously limited by low levels of both human and physical capitals and by weak institutions and governance.

William R. Cline

Commodity Boom: How Long Will It Last?" asks how economies will fare after the record-high prices of key raw materials posted in recent months, which build on dramatic increases from their lows of 2000. The lead article warns that the impact on headline inflation levels might persist throughout 2008, even without further commodity price hikes. It urges policymakers to ensure efficient functioning of market forces at the global level, and to move swiftly to protect the poorest. Another article addresses the effects of climate change on agriculture, warning that farm production will fall dramatically-especially in developing countries-if steps are not taken to curb carbon emissions. Other articles on this theme argue that policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions need not hobble economies, and that financial markets can help address climate change. "People in Economics" profiles John Taylor; "Picture This" says the global energy system is on an increasingly unsustainable path; "Country Focus" spotlights South Africa; and "Straight Talk" examines early warnings provided by credit derivatives. Also in this issue, articles examine China's increasing economic engagement with Africa, and the outsourcing of service jobs to other countries.

Pierre A. Simonet

The sustained economic growth and financial stability of Thailand are often quoted as an example of successful development. This article comments upon some of the cultural, sociological, and economic factors underlying this harmonious development and shows how effectively foreign aid has been fitted into the process.

International Monetary Fund
This paper assesses the impact of a disruption to capital inflows by examining past episodes of capital inflows in New Zealand and other countries. It also reviews the IMF’s Global Economy Model (GEM), which is used to provide some estimates of the equilibrium relationship between New Zealand’s real effective exchange rate and real commodity prices. The analysis also suggests that permanent changes in non-energy commodity prices can have a significant impact on New Zealand’s equilibrium exchange rate.