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Mr. Robert P Flood

In this paper we examine compensation schemes that prevent a threat of secession by any of a country’s regions. We prove that, under quite general assumptions on the distribution of citizens’ preferences, there exist transfer schemes that are secession-proof. Moreover, we show that these compensation schemes entail a degree of partial equalization among regions: the gap between advantaged regions and disadvantaged regions has to be reduced but it should never be completely eliminated. We demonstrate that in the case of a uniform distribution of the nation’s citizens, the secession-proof conditions generate the 50 percent compensation rule for disadvantaged regions. [JEL D70, H20, H73]

Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, Mr. Peter Wickham, Mr. Mohsin S. Khan, and Ms. Carmen Reinhart

Abstract

This paper analyzes global commodity trends and concludes that the marked decline in real commodity prices of the past decade should be regarded as largely permanent and irreversible. The authors contend that the analysis of commodity prices should be extended to include the role of the breakdown of major international commodity agreements. In addition, the authors analyze how developments in the former Soviet Union have affected commodity supply conditions.

STANLEY FISCHER

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