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International Monetary Fund

Using official data from the Australian Bureau of Economic Statistics and a formal growth accounting framework, this paper shows that the rapid accumulation of information processing and communication technology (ICT) capital over the last two decades in Australia has played a significant role in explaining the impressive, structural acceleration of labor productivity. The following statistical data are also included: household income, expenditure and savings, labor market, fiscal indicators, credit aggregates, capital and financial account, external assets and liabilities, export by commodity group, and so on.

Christine Ebrahim-zadeh

This paper analyzes why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has lagged in growth and globalization. Despite attempts to spur recovery and initiate structural reforms, many countries in the region remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration with the rest of the world. The benefits from oil failed to generate a sustained growth dynamic or bring about greater regional economic integration. The paper highlights that the slowdown in economic reforms is a key factor for the economic depression in the MENA region.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix on Bhutan underlie the macroeconomic impact of Tala, rapid private sector credit growth, and macroeconomic risks. In Bhutan, as the bulk of Tala-related flows go through the government accounts, this requires an appropriate fiscal stance and skillful expenditure management. Strong economic growth will require and lead to a deepening and further development of the financial system in Bhutan. The financial sector seems to be relatively shielded from adverse events, although risks remain.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper on Bolivia reports that it has experienced major increases in its gas reserves, production, and exports. Not only have their levels increased significantly, but also there have been extensive regulatory changes, which range from the privatization of the mid-1990s to the increase in the government’s tax take from the hydrocarbons industry. The government has reached new agreements with foreign oil companies that will allow foreign companies to continue recovering part of their old investments.

Mr. Paulo Drummond, Mr. Ari Aisen, Mr. Emre Alper, Ms. Ejona Fuli, and Mr. Sébastien Walker
This paper examines how susceptible East African Community (EAC) economies are to asymmetric shocks, assesses the value of the exchange rate as a shock absorber for these countries, and reviews adjustment mechanisms that would help ensure a successful experience under a common currency. The report draws on analysis of recent experiences and examines likely future changes in the EAC economies.
J. J. Polak and T. C. Chang

ONE OF THE main purposes of exchange depreciation in industrial countries is to lower export prices in order to increase the volume of exports. The question is to what extent and under what conditions exchange depreciation will achieve this objective.

TAMIM BAYOUMI

This section looks at the likely effects of changing from a floating exchange rate system to a (quasi) fixed exchange rate system such as the “hard” ERM.9 A simple, open economy macroeconomic model is presented, and the response of the economy to various shocks is computed for reasonable parameter values under both a fixed and a floating exchange rate regime. This approach allows the probable effects of the change in regime on the response of the economy to various shocks to be analyzed. In addition, the effect of the change in regime on the types of shocks faced by the economy is discussed in a rather less formal manner.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Annex examines the impact of cocoa taxation on cocoa supply in Ghana. The paper describes historical developments in cocoa production. The effects of the taxation of cocoa in Ghana are evaluated and a dynamic model of cocoa supply is estimated and used for simulations. The paper concludes that the most important factors adversely affecting the cocoa sector were government policies. Specifically, in the late 1960s and the 1970s, the effective cocoa duty rates were punitive and the cocoa sector was further hit by policies of overvalued exchange rate.

Mr. Charles Adams and Mr. Bankim Chadha

The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.