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Peter S. Heller and Muthukumaro Mani

This paper focuses on overcoming the challenges of globalization. The paper highlights that globalization has the potential to make all individuals better off. However, there is no assurance that all individuals will be better off or that all changes will be positive. The studies that show that, on average, poverty declines with economic growth are encouraging. But averages hide the negative impact on individual countries and on certain groups. In addition, there are important questions about the relationships between economic policies and outcomes, especially the impact of macroeconomic and structural reform policies on poverty.

Ian S. McDonald

This paper describes the need to broaden the agenda for poverty reduction. The broadening of the agenda follows from a growing understanding that poverty is more than low income, a lack of education, and poor health. The poor are frequently powerless to influence the social and economic factors that determine their well being. The paper highlights that a broader definition of poverty requires a broader set of actions to fight it and increases the challenge of measuring poverty and comparing achievement across countries and over time.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes Nicaragua’s social security system, which is projected to run out of liquid reserves by 2019, several years earlier than anticipated. To avoid burdening the budget, reforms to the system are urgently needed. A deep actuarial, economic, and operational analysis is needed to design a comprehensive reform program. Such a program must ensure that the defined-benefit, pay-as-you-go system can sustain itself for another generation of workers and that improved health care benefits can be maintained. A politically acceptable, pragmatic solution appears within reach. However, the authorities should act quickly to avoid a costly bailout of the system.
Mr. Michael Keen, Mr. Paul K. Freeman, and Mr. Muthukumara Mani
Natural disaster risk is emerging as an increasingly important constraint on economic development and poverty reduction. This paper first sets out the key stylized facts in the area-that the costs of disaster have been increasing, seem set to continue to increase, and bear especially heavily on the poorest. It then reviews the key economic issues at stake, focusing in particular on the actual and prospective roles of, and interaction between, market instruments and public interventions in dealing with disaster risk. Key sources of market failure include the difficulty of risk spreading and, perhaps even more fundamental, the Samaritan's dilemma: the underinvestment in protective measures associated with the rational expectation that others will provide support if disaster occurs. Innovations addressing each of these are discussed.
Roberto Luis Olinto Ramos, Lisbeth Rivas, and Mr. Gonzalo C Pastor Campos
This paper reviews the Latin American experience with the implementation of 1993 SNAand the updating of the national accounts' base year. It also makes a preliminary assessment of the possible estimation biases in nominal GDP estimates stemming from the use of outdated national accounts base years, downwards biases with household final consumption estimates, and an overestimation of gross fixed capital formation in construction activities.
International Monetary Fund

The paper is an elaborated report on Nicaragua’s potential economic growth. The challenges and idiosyncratic shocks were immense but the policies of better education, labor contracts, and accomplishments in public investments paved the way for movement of the economy. The external competitiveness and exchange rate assessment also have an important hand. The achievements in the electricity sector and the improvement in reforming the pension system are the prominent aspects. On the whole, the Board considers this growth as a positive trial of development in the global panorama.

Bension Varon

The Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, took place in Caracas from June 20 to August 31,1974. The conference failed, at least in the sense that none of the most important issues raised were settled, and no agreements were signed. Does this failure matter very much? Why did the failure occur and will later international conferences be able to produce better results?

International Monetary Fund

Nicaragua showed weak economic performance owing to trade shocks, a decline in investment, and slippages in the fiscal and monetary areas, under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Arrangement. Executive Directors noted that an effective implementation of the fiscal program under the Staff Monitored Program (SMP), together with the envisaged privatization and structural reforms, is crucial for maintaining macroeconomic stability. They welcomed the steps to deepen trade liberalization, improve liquidity management, and strengthen the banking system.