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J. SAUL LIZONDO and PETER J. MONTIEL

The growing literature on whether devaluation has contractionary effects on output in developing countries is evaluated. The paper explores links between the exchange rate and real output within a unified, fairly general analytical framework that incorporates several of the developing country features cited in the literature. The analysis suggests that many of the arguments on both sides of the debate about contractionary devaluation require modification, that some potential effects have been ignored, and that the direction of the impact effects of devaluation on real output is ambiguous on analytical grounds.

George M. von Furstenberg

This paper highlights that despite severe limitations of resources, developing countries have made substantial progress during the past three decades in sending more children to school and in generally improving their education systems. Enrollment of children in schools at all levels has expanded at unprecedented rates. There has been a significant decline in the proportion of adults who are illiterate—from 44 percent in 1950 to 32 percent in 1975. Public expenditures for education have increased steadily in developing countries to reach roughly the same share of national product as in industrialized countries.

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.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes the World Bank’s mission in a changing world. Conditionality of the Bank is different in several ways as it operates over a longer timeframe and relates to the more comfortable issues of economic growth rather than financial stabilization. The longer timeframes of the Bank’s programs require reaching agreement with borrowing countries on the desirability of maintaining the course that’s being advocated for an extended period. Many developing countries are unduly sensitive about the possibility that they may have to exercise their sovereignty more forcefully in the future.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The IMF Research Bulletin includes listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes. The research summaries in this issue are “Explaining the Recent Slump in Investment” (Mathieu Bussiere, Laurent Ferrara, and Juliana Milovich) and “The Quest for Stability in the Housing Markets” (Hites Ahir). The Q&A column reviews “Seven Questions on Estimating Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Low-Income Countries” (Bin Grace Li, Christopher Adam, and Andrew Berg). Also included in this issue are updates on the IMF’s official journal, the IMF Economic Review, and recommended readings from IMF Publications.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Israel’s economy is growing well with inflation remaining low and the housing market cooling. Growth of about 3½ percent in 2017 helped bring unemployment below four percent in early 2018, supporting robust wage rises averaging 3¼ percent. Yet, partly owing to the appreciation of the shekel, inflation remained below the 1–3 percent target range. House price increases slowed to below two percent as proposed tax measures deterred investor interest. Prospects for the next few years are for growth to remain around 3½ percent with inflation rising gradually.