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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.

WILLIAM H. L. DAY

Under the systems of pegged and managed spot exchange rates, short-term capital flows have frequently been disruptive. To relieve pressure on international reserves and the money stock, a policy of supporting both the spot and forward exchange rates has been undertaken occasionally. Experience suggests, however, that such a policy may be costly, as shown by the loss made by the Bank of England after the devaluation of sterling in 1967, and ineffective, as illustrated by the “merry-go-round” effect induced by the policy of the Deutsche Bundesbank.1 Owing to the experiences of the Bank of England and the Bundesbank, countries have become reluctant to give large-scale support to the forward market. Exchange controls and greater exchange rate flexibility have become the preferred means of combating disruptive capital flows.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix presents estimates of potential output and the output gap for Austria to identify the scope for sustainable noninflation growth and allow an assessment of the current stance of macroeconomic policies. The estimates of the cyclical fluctuations in Austria are compared with those of the other countries of the European Union to provide the basis for an assessment of the relative economic benefits and constraints for Austria in the context of its participation in European Monetary Union, both in the short and longer term.

Devesh Kapur John P., James M. Boughton, Roy Culpeper, Robert Picciotto, Alan S. Blinder, Mr. Manuel Guitián, Bimal Chakraborty, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Horst Ungerer, and Mr. Charles Enoch

Since it began operations in 1946, the IMF has steadily evolved in response to changes in the world economy. What steps is it taking to meet the new challenges posed by the Asian crisis?

Mr. Vito Tanzi

CORRUPTION distorts the role of government and is costly to society. Governments can minimize the opportunities for individuals to engage in corruption by reducing the role of the state in the economy.