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  • Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements x
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Mr. Michael W. Bell

Why do many people get so agitated by globalization? Speaking at an IMF seminar held on March 2, Jagdish Bhagwati, Professor of Economics and Political Science at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, took issue with the notion, held by many critics, that globalization may be good for economic prosperity but is definitely bad for social goals.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
On November 17, Timothy Geithner took over as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York after serving for two years as Director of the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department. Before that, he worked from 1988 to 2001 in the U.S. Treasury, including as Under Secretary for International Affairs. He spoke with Laura Wallace about the IMF’s strengths and weaknesses, and lessons on managing and resolving crises.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Following a series of international donor meetings aimed at helping Afghanistan stabilize and rebuild its economy, the IMF sent a mission to Kabul for four days in late January. The team was led by Paul Chabrier, Director of the IMF’s Middle Eastern Department. He speaks here about the country’s immediate needs and the IMF’s role.
Siddharth Kothari
The typical size distribution of manufacturing plants in developing countries has a thick left tail compared to developed countries. The same holds across Indian states, with richer states having a much smaller share of their manufacturing employment in small plants. In this paper, I explore the hypothesis that this income-size relation arises from the fact that low income countries and states have high demand for low quality products which can be produced efficiently in small plants. I provide evidence which is consistent with this hypothesis from both the consumer and producer side. In particular, I show empirically that richer households buy higher price goods while larger plants produce higher price products (and use higher price inputs). I develop a model which matches these cross-sectional facts. The model features non-homothetic preferences with respect to quality on the consumer side. On the producer side, high quality production has higher marginal costs and requires higher fixed costs. These two features imply that high quality producers are larger on average and charge higher prices. The model can explain about forty percent of the cross-state variation in the left tail of manufacturing plants in India.
Mr. Sonali Das, Ms. Sonali Jain-Chandra, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, and Naresh Kumar
This paper examines the determinants of female labor force participation in India, against the backdrop of India having one of the lowest participation rates for women among peer countries. Using extensive Indian household survey data, we model the labor force participation choices of women, conditional on demographic characteristics and education, as well as looking at the influence of state-level labor market flexibility and other state policies. Our main finding is that a number of policy initiatives can help boost female economic participation in the states of India, including increased labor market flexibility, investment in infrastructure, and enhanced social spending.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have acquired an impressive status in the past several years, both as powerful agents for reform and as tireless gadflies of officialdom. Have they, on balance, been a positive force for expanding global democracy or a threat to the established process of political representation? What should be their relationship to international financial institutions, such as the IMF?