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Mr. R. B. Johnston, Mrs. Piroska M Nagy, Mr. Roy Pepper, Mr. Mauro Mecagni, Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Mario I. Bléjer, and Mr. Richard J Hides

Abstract

This study reviews Albania's historical and political background, as well as economic developments in 1991. It describes the centrally planned economic system up to the onset of reform and analyzes economic performance in the 1980s.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper reviews the influence of the tropical climate on economic development. The paper highlights that the effect of climate is clearly not the only ruling constraint on economic development. It is claimed that climatic factors severely hamper development through their impact on both human beings and their agriculture. Human economic activity is directly and adversely affected through the widespread extent and impact of diseases; and tropical agriculture suffers in the quality of its soils, its rainfall, and its multiplicity of pests and diseases.

James M. Boughton

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.

Gary O’Callaghan

From the perspective of 10 years of transition, the fifth annual Dubrovnik Conference on Transition Economies considered what had been learned from that experience and what lay ahead. The four-day gathering, held in late June, was sponsored by the Croatian National Bank and organized by Marko Škreb, Governor of the Croatian National Bank, and Mario I. Blejer, Senior Advisor in the IMF’s Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department. Experts from academia, multilateral financial institutions, and transition economies agreed that the economic transformation had often been more painful and prolonged than many expected. They pointed to a growing disparity of accomplishments across countries, with some in danger of falling into a corruption-induced transition trap, while others still struggled with institutional shortcomings that could yet undermine their stability and impede their convergence with the European Union.

E. Amid-hozour and J. Somogyi

This paper reviews the influence of the tropical climate on economic development. The paper highlights that the effect of climate is clearly not the only ruling constraint on economic development. It is claimed that climatic factors severely hamper development through their impact on both human beings and their agriculture. Human economic activity is directly and adversely affected through the widespread extent and impact of diseases; and tropical agriculture suffers in the quality of its soils, its rainfall, and its multiplicity of pests and diseases.

International Monetary Fund
The progress made by Moldova toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has not been uniform since 2007. Domestic economic and political crises are likely to undermine the achievement of several MDG targets set for 2010 and 2015. The goals were to reduce extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal access to general secondary education, promote gender equality and empower woman, and so on. After growing dramatically in 1998–1999, poverty in Moldova began to decline in 2000. Addressing the environmental challenges and risks is imperative for Moldova.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper assesses alternative auction techniques for pricing and allocating various financial instruments, such as government securities, central bank refinance credit, and foreign exchange. Before recommending appropriate formats for auctioning these items, the paper discusses basic auction formats, assessing the advantages and disadvantages of each, based on the existing, mostly theoretical, literature. It is noted that auction techniques can be usefully employed for a broad range of items and that their application is of particular relevance to the impetus in many parts of the world toward establishing market-oriented economies.
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. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Mr. Helge Berger
The likely enlargement of euro-area membership will radically change the environment under which monetary policy will be made in the euro area. Within less than a decade, the number of member countries in the euro area could more than double, with the vast majority of accession countries being relatively small in economic terms, compared with current members. Absent reforms, such a significant but asymmetric expansion could impede the effectiveness of the institutional policymaking process of the European Central Bank (ECB) and be seen by some as resulting in the overrepresentation of small member countries in the ECB Council. The paper illustrates these issues, describes the principles on which reforms of the ECB statute could build, and discusses four specific institutional reform scenarios. The analysis coincides with the ECB Council being scheduled to present suggestions for reform by late 2002.
Ms. Yan M Sun, Ms. Pritha Mitra, and Mr. Alejandro Simone
This paper studies the factors behind pro-cyclical but widely varying construction shares (as a percent of GDP) across countries, with a strong focus on European countries. Using a dataset covering 48 countries (including advanced and emerging economies within and outside Europe) for 1990-2011, we find that country’s geography, demographics, and economic conditions are the key determinants of a norm around which actual construction shares revolve in a simple AR(1) and error-correction process. The empirical results show that in many European countries, construction shares overshoot relative to their norms before the recent global crisis, but they have fallen significantly since the crisis. Nevertheless, there is still room for further adjustment in construction shares in some countries which may weigh on economic recovery.