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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes problems and prospects associated with urbanization. The paper sees the rapid urbanization in the less developed world not as a crisis that can be “dealt with” by urgent measures but as a major historical phenomenon that calls for analytical study as well as current action in the hope that it can be influenced to play a positive role in economic development. The paper also analyzes the exchange rates at the beginning of the 1970s.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes the IMF’s activities in developing countries. The paper highlights that there are several instances in which the Articles of Agreement require a member to consult on its policies with the IMF. Other actions by a member concerning the exchange rate of its currency, or its exchange regime generally require the IMF’s prior approval or concurrence. Under the IMF’s policy, a member also discusses with the IMF changes in its financial programs in support of which the use of the IMF’s resources has been pledged.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Mr. Sergi Lanau
This paper examines the effects of improvements in infrastrucutre on sectoral growth and firm-level investment, focusing on six Latin American countries. Exploiting the heterogeneity in the quality of infrastructure across countries and the intrinsic variation in the dependence of sectors on infrastructure, I find that better infrastructure raises growth and investment. Improved infrastructure could yield large economic benefits. For example, if the quality of infrastructure in Colombia increased to the sample median (Czech Republic), GDP growth would increase by about 0.1 percentage points.
Mr. Alberto Carrasquilla
After 25 years, the Colombian authorities decided to abandon the crawling peg exchange rate policy and implement a regime of nominal exchange rate bands. Initial conditions in Colombia contrast sharply with those of other cases in which bands were part of an ongoing effort to reduce high inflation. This paper argues that the change in regime was motivated by a change in policy objectives. Starting from a policy whose rationale implied targeting stable inflation, a simple analytical model of optimal policy is presented; initial results with the new regime suggest that inflation is now considered costlier and that policy implementation has been consistent with this new view.