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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

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.

Mr. Justin O Zake
Anglophone African countries have been implementing reform and modernization initiatives in their Customs administrations. This paper outlines the progression of key reform and modernization initiatives in these countries since the early 1990s, and assesses the gap between these reforms and those of more modern Customs agencies. The review suggests that Customs administration reform and modernization initiatives in Anglophone African countries generally lag behind international good practice and it is necessary to speed up implementation if revenue, trade facilitation, and trade chain security objectives are to be achieved. The findings also have implications on the design of reform programs and focus of potential technical assistance for the outstanding reform agenda.
Mr. Montfort Mlachila and Ms. Misa Takebe
Despite the rapid increase in FDI flows to LICs, there have been relatively few studies that have specifically examined these flows. This paper attempts to partially fill the void by throwing light on one particularly dynamic aspect of global FDI-flows from Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs). The paper finds that official data sources undoubtedly underestimate the volume and scope of FDI flows as many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not always register their investment. As a result, while it is difficult to estimate accurately the growth impact of BRIC FDI, there is case study evidence that it is increasingly significant. Second, while initial investment, mostly by state-owned companies, has often been destined for natural resource industries, over time, investment has been spreading to agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries (e.g., telecommunications). Third, FDI from BRICs flows into many non resource-rich countries in LICs and plays a significant role in growth in those countries.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Staff Papers draws on IMF Working Papers, which are research studies by members of the Fund’s staff. A list of Working Papers issued in 1995:1 follows.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In a press release issued on August 18, the IMF Executive Board announced that on August 3 it had discussed making the independent Evaluation Office operational (see Press Release No. 00/27) and agreed to the publication of the background paper that provided the basis for the discussion, as well as the Chairman’s concluding remarks.

Mr. Andreas Billmeier and Tommaso Nannicini

Studies of the impact of trade openness on growth are based either on crosscountry analysis—which lacks transparency—or case studies—which lack statistical rigor. This paper applies a transparent econometric method drawn from the treatment evaluation literature (matching estimators) to make the comparison between treated (that is, open) and control (that is, closed) countries explicit while remaining within a statistical framework. Matching estimators highlight that common cross-country evidence is based on rather far-fetched country comparisons, which stem from the lack of common support of treated and control countries in the covariate space. The paper therefore advocates paying more attention to appropriate sample restriction in crosscountry macro research.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

This paper reviews recent theoretical and empirical work on controls over International capital movements. Theoretical contributions reviewed focus on “second-best “ arguments for capital market restrictions, as well as arguments based on multiple equilibria. The empirical literature suggests that controls have been “effective “ in the narrow sense of influencing yield differentials. But there is little evidence that controls have helped governments meet policy objectives, with the exception of reducing the governments’ debt-service costs, and no evidence that controls have enhanced economic welfare in a manner suggested by theory.