Charles Karelis, Mr. Daniel C Hardy, Mohan Munasinghe, Anand Seth, Alan Greenspan, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Todd J. Moss, Mr. Calvin A McDonald, and Mr. Brian J. Aitken
'Global Governance: Who's in Charge?' examines the challenges—financial, health, environmental, and trade—facing the international community in the 21st century and asks whether today';s system of global governance is equipped to cope with them. The lead article asserts that the system that served as a model for much of the 20th century is out of date, and it explores what needs to be done to strengthen it. Other articles on this theme look at the recent U.S. subprime market crisis, the differences between financial crises of the 19th and 20th centuries and what future crises will look like, the need for a stronger system of multilateral trade, and how global health threats can be handled. 'People in Economics' profiles Michael Kremer; 'Picture This' describes the changing aid landscape; 'Country Focus' spotlights the United Arab Emirates; and 'Straight Talk' examines the impact of high food prices. Also in this issue, articles examine development in Africa, and 'backcasting' data in Latin America.
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.
This Joint Staff Advisory Note provides IMF staff advice on key priorities for strengthening the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) for Ghana and for ensuring its effective implementation. It highlights critical areas that could justify renewed focus. IMF staff commends the Ghanaian authorities for the breadth and scope of the document, as well as the candid treatment of some of the issues. IMF staff also welcomes the progress in several areas reported in the annual progress report.
This paper presents the Joint Staff Advisory Note on Guinea-Bissau’s Second National Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP II) covering 2011–15. The PRSP II, adopted by the government in July 2011, provides the framework for the implementation of a comprehensive strategy aimed at consolidating macroeconomic stabilization and strengthening recent improvements in economic governance. Its successful implementation would help the country enhance its economic growth conditions, strengthen the rule of law, and accelerate progress toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Joint Staff Advisory Note (JSAN) of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Progress Report for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) reviews the strengths and weaknesses of poverty reduction objectives and strategies. The Lao PDR National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy (NGPES) is the first full poverty reduction strategy prepared by the government. The NGPES describes the participatory process underpinning the development of the strategy. Capacity constraints, weak governance, and a difficulty translating strategic objectives into concrete actions are the main obstacles to the reform process.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on macro-critical issues related to governance and corruption in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Third-party indicators suggest that governance has been poor and corruption widespread in the country. Conducting an audit of the civil service and improving the transparency of its remuneration system, simplifying tax payment processes, and merging the activities of the numerous revenue agencies would boost public efficiency and improve the business environment. Contract enforcement and protection of property rights could be enhanced by insulating the courts from external influence. Limited information on the budget annexes and special accounts and little or no oversight by the central government, Parliament, and civil society, create scope for corruption. The multiplicity of special taxes and fees, some accruing to special accounts outside the Treasury, generate opportunities for corruption and informalization of economic activity. Despite some progress in strengthening public financial management, budget execution remains deficient. The government has formalized the four stages of the expenditure chain and introduced budget commitment plans to align expenditures with revenues.
Will Ghana’s oil production from 2011 accelerate progress toward middle-income status, or will it retard gains in living standards through a possible "resource curse"? This paper examines the likelihood of "resource curse" effects, drawing on a dataset of 150 low and middle income countries from 1973 to 2008 using static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. Results confirm that resource rich countries in Ghana’s income range do experience slower growth than their more diversified peers, an effect that appears to be related to weaker governance. Provided that Ghana can preserve and improve its economic governance and also strengthen fiscal management, prospects look good for converting its oil wealth into sustained strong economic growth.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has lagged in growth and globalization. Despite attempts to spur recovery and initiate structural reforms, many countries in the region remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration with the rest of the world. The benefits from oil failed to generate a sustained growth dynamic or bring about greater regional economic integration. The paper highlights that the slowdown in economic reforms is a key factor for the economic depression in the MENA region.
This paper highlights that despite severe limitations of resources, developing countries have made substantial progress during the past three decades in sending more children to school and in generally improving their education systems. Enrollment of children in schools at all levels has expanded at unprecedented rates. There has been a significant decline in the proportion of adults who are illiterate—from 44 percent in 1950 to 32 percent in 1975. Public expenditures for education have increased steadily in developing countries to reach roughly the same share of national product as in industrialized countries.
This Selected Issues paper for Peru shows that during the years of strong growth and high commodity prices, the Peruvian authorities have conducted a prudent fiscal policy, maintaining a broadly neutral fiscal stance. During 2004–08, while the revenue-to-GDP ratio increased 3.7 percentage points, the expenditure ratio rose only 0.9 percentage points. Expenditure control focused on current spending and coincided with increasing government investment aimed at enhancing public access to infrastructure and social services. Fiscal policy has also outperformed budgets approved by congress, owing to higher-than-anticipated revenue, as well as the need to limit inflation pressures.