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Joseph Stiglitz, Mr. Paul Collier, Mr. Dani Rodrik, Willem Gunning, Jeffrey Sachs, and Eisuke Sakakibara

Over the past fifty years, the approach to development assistance has undergone a major shift, moving from a narrow focus on macroeconomic stabilization and liberalization to a comprehensive framework, encompassing all aspects of the economy—including social and environmental issues and poverty reduction—and tailored to the specific circumstances of each country. Along with this comprehensive approach has come the recognition that ownership of the development process has to lie with the people and their government, not solely with donors or the aid-dispensing agencies. Much of the discussion at the Annual [World] Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE), held in Washington on April 18-20, centered on these new directions for development assistance, partnership, and cooperation at the national and international levels. Following are some highlights from the conference.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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. Oleh Havrylyshyn and Mr. Donal McGettigan
This paper reviews a selection of studies on privatization experiences in transition countries. Empirical studies almost invariably show privatized enterprises outperform state enterprises. Moreover, the literature identifies de novo firms as being clearly the best performers, followed by outsider-dominated firms, while insider-dominated firms are the least efficient among those newly privatized. The importance of de novo firms in enlarging the private sector in transition economies is reviewed, along with the question of whether privatization efforts support or hinder de novo private sector development. Finally, the paper discusses the importance of providing a suitable market environment for successful private-sector development.
Mr. Alexander Sundakov, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Timothy D. Lane

This paper examines whether shortages may occur in an economy in transition, even for goods whose prices are free. The empirical relevance of this phenomenon is suggested by a case study of Ukraine during 1992. The paper presents a model of enterprise behavior in an environment where key inputs are centrally allocated at preferential prices. It shows that the allocation of key inputs according to perceived need may create incentives for enterprises to perpetuate shortages, despite formal price liberalization. The analysis suggests that central allocation must be abolished for price liberalization to have its full efficiency effects.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx

ANDREW STEER

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.