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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Growth is strengthening and broadening across Europe, driven by buoyant domestic demand (Figure 1.1). Following a pickup in economic activity in the second half of 2016, the European economy accelerated further in the first half of 2017, with growth outcomes surprising on the upside in most countries.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

The countries of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) have made major progress in raising living standards over the past two and a half decades. This progress was supported by a radical transformation of their economies and institutions. Using case studies and empirical analysis, this chapter explores the role of internal and external factors, particularly accession to the European Union (EU), in supporting reforms to strengthen the effectiveness of the judiciary. The findings suggest that, beyond initial conditions, an enabling environment for judicial reforms was created by factors and policies that (1) improved the distribution of resources and opportunities, (2) upgraded rules and procedures to recruit and train civil servants, and (3) increased transparency and accountability. The European Union and the Council of Europe (CoE) acted as strong external anchors in catalyzing reforms. However, there were also some reversals of reforms, and the sustainability of reforms appears to depend mainly on domestic factors. These findings might offer insights in particular for countries aiming to join the European Union, but also for others seeking to improve the effectiveness of their judiciary.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Income convergence in the Western Balkans has stalled at low levels.1 Measured in purchasing-power-parity (PPP) terms, income levels in the region today are less than 30 percent what they are in the euro area (Figure 3.1). Equally noteworthy, the ratio has not changed since 2008. This is in sharp contrast to the experience of the New Member States of the European Union (EU), where relative incomes have continued to grow strongly since the global financial crisis and are now at nearly two-thirds those of the euro area. There are many reasons for this disappointing performance,2 including an unfinished transition, exemplified in some countries by a large swath of inefficient state-owned enterprises; shortcomings in the rule of law and the business environment; limited human capital, exacerbated in some countries by significant emigration of qualified human resources, or “brain drain”; and scant and poor-quality public infrastructure. While acknowledging these issues, this chapter focuses on another important plank for the region’s development: the health of its banking sectors. Implicit is the assumption that, even if reforms in the other areas bring about high-quality bankable projects, their potential, and with it overall economic growth, will not be fully realized if banks are not in a good position to fund them.

Bruce Rich, Andrew Steer, Anne O. Krueger, Mr. James M. Boughton, Jahangir Amuzegar, Bahram Nowzad, Jeffrey Sachs, Mr. Mark Allen, Ludger Schuknecht, L. Alan Winters, Mr. Michael P. Leidy, Derek Crabtree, A. P. Thirtwall, Alan A. Tait, Dominique Foray, Christopher Freeman, and Ashish Arora

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International Monetary Fund

Of the new members entering the European Union (EU) in May 2004, several had achieved a decade of impressive export growth, expanding significantly their shares of world markets. The empirical analysis shows that over the period 1994–2004, quality and technology upgrading associated with the structural transformation were, indeed, also associated with increased market share. Several bivariate relationships to motivate an empirical framework for analyzing the evolution of market shares are ascribed. It gives the basic regressions explaining the changes in market shares for 58 countries.

Mr. Barry J. Eichengreen, Ms. Inci Ötker, Mr. A. J Hamann, Mr. Esteban Jadresic, Mr. R. B. Johnston, Mr. Hugh Bredenkamp, and Mr. Paul R Masson

Abstract

In a world of increasing capital mobility and broadening and more diversified trade, many (but not all) developing and transition economies are likely to find it desirable to move from relatively fixed exchange rate regimes to regimes of greater exchange rate flexibility. This paper suggests why, and considers strategies that countries may consider for such a move. It reinforces this discussion with a review of experience from teh past two decades with alternative exchange rate regimes. The paper also identifies policies that can facilitate the transition to greater exchange rate flexibility for countries that wish to pursue this option.

Mr. Barry J. Eichengreen, Ms. Inci Ötker, Mr. A. J Hamann, Mr. Esteban Jadresic, Mr. R. B. Johnston, Mr. Hugh Bredenkamp, and Mr. Paul R Masson

Abstract

In a world of increasing capital mobility and broadening and more diversified trade, many (but not all) developing and transition economies are likely to find it desirable to move from relatively fixed exchange rate regimes to regimes of greater exchange rate flexibility. This paper suggests why, and considers strategies that countries may consider for such a move. It reinforces this discussion with a review of experience from the past two decades with alternative exchange rate regimes. The paper also identifies policies that can facilitate the transition to greater exchange rate flexibility for countries that wish to pursue this option.