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MOHAN MUNASINGHE, WILFRIDO CRUZ, and JEREMY WARFORD

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. External Relations Dept.

WHAT early warning signals should policymakers heed to avoid a repeat of a Mexico-type reversal of private capital flows? Experience suggests that a combination of indicators can provide powerful hints of approaching problems.

COLIN REES

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.

James Lee and Robert Goodland

This paper describes the World Bank’s mission in a changing world. Conditionality of the Bank is different in several ways as it operates over a longer timeframe and relates to the more comfortable issues of economic growth rather than financial stabilization. The longer timeframes of the Bank’s programs require reaching agreement with borrowing countries on the desirability of maintaining the course that’s being advocated for an extended period. Many developing countries are unduly sensitive about the possibility that they may have to exercise their sovereignty more forcefully in the future.

John Cleave

This paper examines the policy implications of structural changes in financial markets. Domestic financial markets have become less segmented, and the major financial centers more integrated. At the same time, the structural changes in financial markets have improved efficiency by lowering intermediation costs, increasing the ability to hedge financial risks associated with currency, interest rate, and price volatility and opening up access to new sources of savings. The widespread application of computer and telecommunications technology to financial markets has permitted markets to process a significantly larger volume of transactions.

Jeremy warford and Zeinab Partow

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.

Mr. Ved P. Gandhi

Abstract

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was founded in 1944 to promote international monetary stability and cooperation. It does this by providing policy advice, financing, and technical assistance to its member countries. The IMF’s policy advice is focused on members’ broad macroeconomic and structural policies. In recent years, observers have called on the IMF to pay closer attention to certain issues that do not fall directly within its mandate, such as the environment. The following questions and answers describe the IMF’s approach to environmental issues and when and how the IMF integrates environmental concerns into its work.

Mr. Ved P. Gandhi

Abstract

In recent years, observers have called on the IMF to pay closer attention to certain issues that do not fall directly within its mandate, such as the environment. This booklet reviews IMF's approach to environmental issues and when and how the IMF integrates environmental concerns into its work.

Ms. Jenny E Ligthart
This paper reviews recent literature on the macroeconomic effects of environmental taxes. It attempts to delineate the conditions under which a cleaner environment is compatible with attaining macroeconomic objectives, such as more employment and economic growth. The analysis reveals that an environmentally motivated fiscal reform—using the revenues from environmental taxes to cut labor taxes—may yield employment and environmental dividends if the tax burden can be shifted to agents outside the labor market, such as capitalists, transfer recipients, and foreigners. A cleaner environment and a higher rate of economic growth go hand in hand if the environment is considered an important public input into production.