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AASIM M. HUSAIN and RATNA SAHAY

Although key to the reform process in Central and Eastern Europe, large-scale privatization cannot be undertaken all at once. This paper analyzes the allocative efficiency implications of alternate sequences of privatization in a reforming planned economy with two sectors—an input-producing upstream sector and a final goods-producing downstream sector. The model focuses on the link, through an intermediate inputs market, between the two sectors. The impacts of exogenous shocks are highlighted to show how the inflexibility of public firms in responding to shocks constrains the production response of private firms operating in perfectly and imperfectly competitive markets.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

World economic growth is expected to slow next year, with recent turbulence in financial markets triggered by the fallout from the U.S. sub-prime mortgage market clouding prospects, the IMF said in the October 2007 World Economic Outlook (WEO) released on October 17.

International Monetary Fund
The technical note on Mexico’s Financial Sector Assessment Program update analyzes that the private pension system’s regulator in Mexico has introduced innovate rules. Mexico, as with many other countries in Latin America, has adopted an individual capitalization pension system. The design of these pension reforms confers the administration of pension funds to private companies. Under these schemes, competition plays a key role, keeping prices low, a good quality of service, and an efficient investment allocation.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Food Price Crisis, Inflation Risks, Mark Plant, IMF and the Food Crisis, Multilateral Initiative, Middle East Regional OUtllok, Emerging Markets' Resilience, Côte d'Ivoire's Comeback, Ghana's Financial Reforms, Islamic Banks and Financial Stability, Report on IMF Governance, Tom Bernes, News Briefs.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Food prices, Europe, Michael Deppler, Small States, Abdoulaye Bio-Tchane, Germany, Czech Fiscal Reform, Sustaining Growth, Decline in Funds to Emerging Markets, IMF Loan to Togo, Vietnam's New Challenges, News Briefs.
Alexander F. Tieman and Wilko Bolt
This paper presents a theoretical framework for analyzing pricing structures in debit card schemes featuring cardholders, retailers, their respective banks, and a network routing switch. The network routing switch controls the electronic debit card network and is jointly owned by the banks. In setting its prices, it needs to consider getting both consumers and retailers to participate in the market. In this two-sided market for debit cards, we show that the "double-monopolistic" network routing switch may want to supply consumers with cheap debit cards, deriving profits from charging a high retailer fee per transaction. This theoretic result resembles the current practice in the Netherlands where consumers pay no transaction fee, but retailers do. This corner solution carries over when we analyze socially optimal pricing.
Mr. Rudolfs Bems, Francesca G Caselli, Mr. Francesco Grigoli, Bertrand Gruss, and Weicheng Lian
Following a period of disinflation during the 1990s and early 2000s, inflation in emerging markets has remained remarkably low and stable. Was this related to a global disinflation environment triggered by China's integration into world trade and the broader globalization in these economies, or to better domestic policies? In this paper, we review the inflation performance in a sample of 19 large emerging markets in the past couple of decades and quantify the impact of domestic and global factors in determining inflation. We document that the level, volatility, and persistence of inflation declined significantly, albeit not uniformly. Our results suggest that longer-term inflation expectations, linked to domestic factors, were the main determinant of inflation. External factors played a considerably smaller role. The results are a useful piece of evidence as emerging markets craft their monetary policies to navigate the future shift in global financial conditions.