The capital needs that will enable Eastern Europe to catch up to EC standards of living are assessed within the framework of a constant elasticity of substitution production function. This function, parameterized on the EC, is assumed to apply, with certain inefficiency factors, to Eastern Europe in 1992. Quantitative results, given the heroic assumptions required, are bounded by large ranges. The approach provides a framework for assessing the factors that will determine future capital needs in Eastern Europe and underscores the crucial role of efficiency gains in this process.
Bulgaria’s potential output growth in future could be markedly lower, and it may take considerable time for the excess labor and resources to be absorbed by other sectors, in particular by the export sector. This suggests that the natural level of rate of unemployment will rise and remain higher, and the full employment level is likely to decline. There is a requirement of significant improvements in labor productivity and competitiveness, as well as reforms to further improve labor mobility and participation.
The extensive growth model introduced under central planning in the 1950s resulted in rapid industrialization and initially high growth. The efforts to bring the banking system on a sound footing following the 1996–97 crises have hardened budget constraints, but they have yet to result in a reorientation of banking sector activities toward private sector lending. The following statistical data are presented in detail: industrial sector, services by branches, income accounts, financial performance of state-owned enterprises, monetary survey, the exchange rates, and so on.
This paper discusses Bulgaria’s prospects for converging to the living standards of the more advanced members of the European Union (EU). The unfavorable economic environment of the early 1990s and the economic crisis in 1996–97 hurt Bulgaria’s output, employment, and investment. Following the crisis, structural reforms and a sound macroeconomic framework set the stage for a sustained recovery. The structure of the Bulgaria economy has shifted markedly over the last decade, and investment has become the main engine of growth.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The June 2007 issue of F&D spotlights gender equality. The lead article discusses progress toward fulfilling the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on redressing gender discrimination and empowering women and related MDGs. The section also looks at how budgeting with gender issues in mind can help countries promote gender equality and what needs to be done to get girls from 'excluded' social groups into school. Other articles focus on Asia 10 years after the financial crisis, the implications of China's and India's growing ties with Africa, and making remittances work for Africa. 'Country Focus' looks at the challenges facing Bulgaria now that it has joined the European Union, 'Picture This' highlights the globalization of labor, and 'Back to Basics' gives a primer on microfinance. Two other pieces discuss the efficiency of public spending in Latin America and how countries can use the public sector balance sheet approach to diagnose vulnerabilities that are not immediately visible in the budget.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For policymakers around the world, finding ways to promote faster growth is a top priority. But what exactly do economists know and not know about growth? What direction should future research and policymaking take? This issue explores this topic, starting with a major World Bank study and research coming out of Harvard University that urges less reliance on simple formulas and the elusive search for best practices, and greater reliance on deeper economic analysis to identify each country's binding constraint(s) on growth. Other articles highlight IMF research on pinpointing effective levers for growth in developing countries and Africa's experience with growth accelerations. Also in the issue are pieces examining global economic imbalances, rapid credit growth in Eastern and Central Europe, and ways to boost productivity growth in Europe and Japan. In Straight Talk, Raghuram Rajan argues that if we want microfinance to become more than a fad, it has to follow the clear and unsentimental path of adding value and making money. Asian Development bank's Haruhiko Kuroda sets out his vision for a new financial architecture in Asia. Finally, Picture This takes an in-depth look at global employment trends.
This study, another in the series focusing on special issues in transition, reviews the experience of output decline and recovery in the 25 countries of eastern and central Europe and the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Although these countries began the process of economic transformation with similar circumstances of output decline, the extent of decline, its duration, and the sustainability of recovery in growth varied considerably. The authors explore the factors behind this variation and find that the most important policies promoting early and sustained recovery were ones that supported financial stabilization and structural reforms in key areas such as private sector development, the tax system, economic liberalization, and secure property rights.
The transition from predominantly socialist ownership and central planning to a market economy with private ownership is a complex process involving profound changes in the political, economic, institutional, legal, and social domains. While there may not be a simple unifying theme to capture this complexity, the quest for economic recovery and sustained growth is certainly an important common thread for all the transition countries. This paper reviews the record of growth performance in 25 countries, comprising central and eastern Europe (CEE) and the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union (BRO).
A revival of interest in economic growth in the mid-1980s led to the development of a new wave of models that established a synthesis now known as endogenous growth theory, which has produced a large volume of empirical studies of growth. The first element of this synthesis is the earlier prevailing doctrine on economic growth, the “neoclassical” model of Solow-Swan and Cass-Koopmans from the 1950–60s, which attributed growth to the expansion of capital and labor, augmented by exogenous technological progress. Simple factor input and factor productivity calculations of the sources of growth are based on this paradigm and continue to be used widely, including in many IMF background studies.
The 25 countries of CEE and the BRO4 have been undergoing a process of transition from a centrally planned to a market-oriented economy for the better part of a decade. While this transition has been dependenl in all cases on major changes in the political system, particularly during 1989–91, there have been considerable differences across countries in the speed with which the old system of planning has been dismantled and market-oriented reforms have been introduced. In a few countries, such as Hungary and Poland, a number of market-oriented reforms were well under way long before 1989, and in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia a relatively high degree of market liberalization had existed for some time. In some countries, such as Belarus, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, comprehensive market-oriented reforms have hardly yet begun.