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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

IN THE PAST TWO YEARS, all the countries of former French West Africa1 and of former French Equatorial Africa,2 and also Cameroon, the Malagasy Republic (Madagascar), and Togo, have become members of the International Monetary Fund. Except for Guinea, which established its own central bank and national currency on March 1, 1960, and Mali, which did the same on July 1, 1962, the currencies circulating in all these countries, as well as those circulating in the Comoro Islands, the Island of Réunion, and the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, bear the name CFA franc. (The initials formerly stood for Colonies Françaises d’Afrique and now stand for Communauté Financière Africaine.) In these various countries and territories, however, CFA francs are issued by six different central banks or institutes of issue, and the one issued by each of these is legal tender only in the area in which it is issued. It is possible therefore to distinguish six different CFA francs:

Mr. Rabah Arezki, Mr. Klaus W. Deininger, and Mr. Harris Selod

Young people, hardest hit by the global economic downturn, are speaking out and demanding change. F&D looks at the need to urgently address the challenges facing youth and create opportunities for them. Harvard professor David Bloom lays out the scope of the problem and emphasizes the importance of listening to young people in "Youth in the Balance." "Making the Grade" looks at how to teach today's young people what they need to get jobs. IMF Deputy Managing Director, Nemat Shafik shares her take on the social and economic consequences of youth unemployment in our "Straight Talk" column. "Scarred Generation" looks at the effects the global economic crisis had on young workers in advanced economies, and we hear directly from young people across the globe in "Voices of Youth." Renminbi's rise, financial system regulation, and boosting GDP by empowering women. Also in the magazine, we examine the rise of the Chinese currency, look at the role of the credit rating agencies, discuss how to boost the empowerment of women, and present our primer on macroprudential regulation, seen as increasingly important to financial stability. People in economics - C. Fred Bergsten, American Globalist. Back to basics - The multi-dimensional role of banks in our financial systems.

Sylvia Ostry

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.

International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes the relationship among prices, income, and money in Madagascar over the period 1982–2004. It finds that a stable long-run relationship for the price level exists, but that the adjustment toward this long-term equilibrium is quite slow. The paper presents an assessment of the real effective exchange rate. It also presents some qualitative competitiveness indicators and examines the performance of exports in Madagascar at an aggregate and product level.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper shows how to utilize the data on trade structure to achieve the best possible estimates of the effects of price changes, given any reasonable array of elasticity estimates. The credibility of estimates of price effects depends on thorough and systematic use of these data, as well as on the statistical credentials of the elasticities assumed. The observations show that the impact of a given price change on a country's exports will be greater, the more that country's exports are concentrated in markets in which substitution elasticities are high, and vice versa, but for most countries strong correlations of this kind are not probable. The general conclusion to be drawn from the paper would seem to be that the information implicit in the base-period matrix is not enough to yield results in which a high degree of confidence can be placed. It remains essential to employ substitution elasticities that are supported by the historical record. Nevertheless, the role of trade structure is vitally important.
Paul A. Dorosh, Mr. David Coady, and Bart Minten
This paper uses a partial equilibrium framework to evaluate the relative efficiency, distributional and revenue implications of rice tariffs and targeted transfers in Madagascar, especially in the context of identifying their respective roles for poverty alleviation. Although there are likely to be substantial efficiency gains from tariff reductions, these accrue mainly to higher income households. In addition, poor net rice sellers will lose from lower tariffs. Developing a system of well designed and implemented targeted direct transfers to poor households is thus likely to be a substantially more costeffective approach to poverty alleviation. Such an approach should be financed by switching revenue raising from rice tariffs to more efficient tax instruments. These policy conclusions are likely to be robust to the incorporation of general equilibrium considerations.
Mr. Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo, and Mr. Devesh Roy
This paper describes the United States recently enacted Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and assesses its quantitative impact on African exports. The AGOA expands the scope of preferential access of Africa's exports to the United States in key areas such as clothing. However, its medium term benefits estimated at about US$100-$140 million, an 8 11 percent addition to current non-oil exports would have been nearly five times greater (US$540 million) if no restrictive conditions had been imposed on the terms of market access. The most important of these conditions are the rules of origin with which African exporters of clothing must comply to benefit from duty-free access.