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Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, and Min Zhu


The “Gulf Falcons”—the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council—have high living standards as a result of large income flows from oil. The decline of oil prices between summer 2014 and fall 2015 underscores the urgency for the Gulf Falcons to diversify away from their current heavy reliance on oil exports. This book discusses attempts at diversification in the Middle East and North Africa and the complex choices policymakers face. It brings together the views of academics and policymakers to offer practical advice for future efforts to increase productivity growth.


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.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper reviews the World Bank’s graduation policy. Graduation of borrowers from the World Bank is a firmly established principle and has been a long-standing practice. Graduation is a logical step in the development process, and a clear set of guidelines for graduation from Bank lending is required. Graduation should be a flexible and fair process, sensitive to each country’s individual circumstances. The paper highlights that the graduation policy was reaffirmed at a meeting of the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.
Ruchir Agarwal, Ina Ganguli, Patrick Gaulé, and Geoff Smith
This paper studies the impact of U.S. immigration barriers on global knowledge production. We present four key findings. First, among Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medalists, migrants to the U.S. play a central role in the global knowledge network—representing 20-33% of the frontier knowledge producers. Second, using novel survey data and hand-curated life-histories of International Math Olympiad (IMO) medalists, we show that migrants to the U.S. are up to six times more productive than migrants to other countries—even after accounting for talent during one’s teenage years. Third, financing costs are a key factor preventing foreign talent from migrating abroad to pursue their dream careers, particularly for talent from developing countries. Fourth, certain ‘push’ incentives that reduce immigration barriers—by addressing financing constraints for top foreign talent—could increase the global scientific output of future cohorts by 42 percent. We concludeby discussing policy options for the U.S. and the global scientific community.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

During July 23-27, the IMF Institute offered a course on economic growth as part of its in-house training program. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Professor of Economics at Columbia University, came to the IMF for the seventh time to discuss growth from a theoretical and empirical perspective. As on previous occasions, there was a large demand for this very popular course. Sala-i-Martin spoke with the Alicia Jiménez of the IMF Institute about the main factors that need to be present in order to stimulate growth.

International Monetary Fund

The paper first uses the production function to analyze the sources of past growth in Singapore and compares it with the experience of other Asian and industrialized economies. This study also provides some thoughts on how to boost medium-term growth prospects in Singapore, and assesses the growth slowdown of the past few years in Singapore reflecting cyclical versus structural factors. The assessment given in this paper suggests that there are returns to be had from investment in education and structural reforms.