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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy.

Mr. Timothy D. Lane, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Mr. Alexander Sundakov
This paper examines the coexistence of free prices and shortages for a range of consumer goods in Ukraine during 1992. Enterprises making consumer goods were substantially free to set market-clearing prices. Yet, Ukraine’s official consumer market experienced continued shortages, while the same goods traded at higher prices in parallel markets. The paper advances a model of enterprise behavior in an environment of central allocation of inputs at preferential prices. We show that central allocation of key inputs according to perceived “need” creates incentives for excess demand to be perpetuated despite formal price liberalization. The analysis brings forth the importance of abolishing allocation mechanisms for price liberalization to bring its full efficiency effects.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

'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 The lead article asserts that the system that served as a model for much of the 20th century is out of date, and it explores what needs to be done to strengthen it.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.