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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that in July 1975, an interdepartmental task force, chaired by the Director of the Bank’s Transportation and Urban Projects Department, had been established to develop an “urban poverty action program.” This task force published, in March 1976, an interim report containing tentative conclusions on the dimensions of the problem, and on the possible strategy the Bank might use to deal with urban poverty. The task force estimated that roughly 25 percent of the urban population of developing countries that are members of the Bank—some 150 million people—live in absolute poverty.

Kenji Takeuchi, Martin Ravallion, Shahid Yusuf, Robert Picctotto, Ajay Chhibber, Jean Drèze, Amartya Sen, Ezra F. Vogel, Mary O. Furner, Barry Supple, Anne O. Krueger, and Julian L. Simon

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.

Mr. Dennis P Botman, Mr. Stephan Danninger, and Mr. Jerald A Schiff


Japan’s revitalization plan, dubbed the “three arrows of Abenomics,” devises a three-pronged strategy—combining fiscal, monetary, and structural policies—to overcome that country’s apparent inability to sustain economic recovery. This book is the first comprehensive assessment of Abenomics and the reforms needed to make it a success, including aggressive monetary easing, growth-friendly fiscal consolidation, and structural and financial sector reforms.

International Monetary Fund


Political leaders have so frequently cried wolf over budgetary spending that voters are skeptical about talk of budgetary crises. This is unfortunate, since deficits should arouse genuine concern, particularly as their size in some industrial countries is daunting. Yet, the absolute size of deficits is not their most alarming aspect. In fact, most countries now run much smaller deficits (as a ratio of GDP) than they did during wartime. Rather, the persistence of budgetary shortfalls during a long period of peace, when governments traditionally pay off debts and save for the future, should set the alarm bells ringing. Furthermore, projected increases in the cost of government programs, as populations age and economic growth lags, give cause for further concern.