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Mr. Robert Gillingham

Abstract

This chapter reviews the distributional impact of agricultural sector reforms in Africa. African governments have intervened in the agricultural sector for decades, but generous pricing policies and operational inefficiencies have often necessitated large budgetary transfers to parastatals. Over the past 20 years many African countries attempted to liberalize their agricultural sector, with mixed success. This chapter describes the forms of government intervention in agricultural markets, the liberalizing reforms undertaken in the past 20 years, the channels by which these reforms affected stakeholders, and the outcomes of the reforms on poor households.100

Mr. Robert Gillingham

Abstract

Trade liberalization and devaluation (TLD) policies have always been present in many IMF-supported programs. Tariffs, quotas, and other trade restrictions reduce the level of trade and tend to foster the development of import substitute industries that often fail to attain the degree of efficiency and flexibility shown by firms continuously exposed to international competition.66 Programs tend to promote the removal of trade restrictions in order to improve resource allocation and growth outcomes in the medium term. Devaluation policies in IMF programs tend to play a shorter-term adjustment role instead. The objective is in most cases to restore external viability by switching expenditures from the nontradables sector to the tradables sector.

Mr. Robert Gillingham

Abstract

The Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) is used by the IMF to provide support for countries’ implementation of their poverty reduction and growth strategies. A key requirement in the design of PRGF programs is understanding the effects of reform program measures on vulnerable groups—particularly the poor—and how to devise measures to mitigate any negative effects. Poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA) is a critical instrument for pursuing this goal. The IMF has therefore established a small group of staff economists to facilitate the integration of PSIA into PRGF-supported programs. In this book, the group’s members review analytical techniques used in PSIA as well as several important topics to which PSIA can make valuable contributions. These reviews should prove useful and interesting to readers interested in PSIA in general and the IMF’s PSIA efforts in particular.

Mr. Robert Gillingham

Abstract

It is common for governments in developing countries to manipulate prices of goods and services using a range of policy instruments and institutional arrangements. The motivations behind these price manipulations reflect varying objectives, such as the need to raise revenue, the desire to redistribute income toward the poor or toward politically important groups, the desire to provide protection to domestic producers, or the desire to influence the levels of supply or demand in other related markets where prices cannot easily be influenced.17 For example, the major source of revenue in most developing countries is commodity taxation such as domestic sales and excise taxes and taxes on international trade (Burgess and Stern, 1993; and Keen and Simone, 2004); food prices are often kept artificially low for consumers in order to increase the real incomes of poor households (Pinstrup- Andersen, 1988; and Gupta and others, 2000); and public sector prices (e.g., of electricity, gas, petroleum, coal, other fuels, fertilizers) are also often controlled by governments, reflecting either the perceived strategic importance of these inputs for development or the need to provide these sectors with an independent source of revenue and thus greater financial autonomy (Julius and Alicbusan, 1986).

Mr. Robert Gillingham

Abstract

The poverty and social implications of macroeconomic and structural reform policies are increasingly being recognized in IMF-supported programs and IMF policy advice. In 1999, the IMF replaced the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility, its assistance program for supporting low-income countries, with the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), which explicitly gives poverty alleviation more prominence in its operations. In addition to its focus on promoting macroeconomic stability and growth, the PRGF program focuses on the relationship between macroeconomic policies and their poverty implications.

James M. Boughton and K. Sarwar Lateef

Abstract

On July 1–22,1944, delegates from 44 nations met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to design a framework for future international economic cooperation. Faced with an exceedingly ambitious agenda—to agree on fundamental principles, to design a set of institutions capable of furthering those principles, and to draft the Articles of Agreement to govern those institutions—these delegates managed in just three weeks to realize nearly all of their goals. That “political miracle,” as Richard Gardner calls it (in Chapter 4 of this volume), was all the more remarkable for having been accomplished in the midst of a global war by delegates from countries with broadly diverse experiences and objectives. The design of the Articles was largely the product of the British and U.S. delegations, but many other countries—China, France, and India are prominent examples—put their stamp on the final product. As Jacques Polak—one of several veterans of Bretton Woods who gathered 50 years later in Madrid—noted in a tribute (see Box), for all who were there in 1944 it was one of the most intense experiences, perhaps the defining experience, of their professional lives. And “Bretton Woods” entered the lexicon as a symbol of international economic cooperation and stability.

Abstract

The third and final keynote speaker was Jacques de Larosière, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, former Managing Director of the IMF, and former Governor of the Banque de France. Introducing Mr. de Larosière’s speech on stabilization and reform of the international monetary system was Hans Tietmeyer, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

Abstract

The final afternoon began with a session on the role of IMF surveillance and, more specifically, on the functioning of the international monetary system. Two of the featured speakers had served in the late 1980s as deputies to their country’s finance minister for the international economic cooperation and surveillance activities of the Group of Seven: Canada’s Wendy Dobson and Japan’s Toyoo Gyohten. Ms. Dobson subsequently became Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto and authored a book on international economic cooperation for the Institute for International Economics; Mr. Gyohten became Chairman of the Bank of Tokyo and co-authored a book on international cooperation with Paul Volcker. The third speaker, Jacob Frenkel, participated in the work of the Group of Seven in his capacity as Economic Counsellor and Director of Research at the IMF before leaving that post to become Governor of the Bank of Israel. The session was chaired by Maria Schaumayer, Governor of the Austrian National Bank.

Abstract

This session brought together a distinguished panel of senior policymakers from different regions of the world to discuss the lessons that had emerged from the conference for the future work of the Bretton Woods institutions. Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, introduced and moderated the discussion. His opening remarks were followed by statements from the four panelists, each of whom played a key role in major economic transformations in his own country: Kwesi Botchwey, the Minister of Finance of Ghana; Moeen Qureshi, who has served both as a Senior Vice President of the World Bank and as Prime Minister of Pakistan; Leszek Balcerowicz, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Poland; and Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve System.