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This paper explores sources of the output collapse in Russia during transition. A modified growth–accounting framework is developed that takes into account changes in factor utilization that are typical of the transition process. The results indicate that declines in factor inputs and productivity were both important determinants of the output fall. The contribution of the productivity drop was critical, but significantly smaller than previously reported.

International Monetary Fund
At its Spring Meeting, the IMFC reiterated the importance of implementing the program of quota and voice reforms in line with the timetable set out by the Board of Governors in Singapore. The Committee welcomed the initial informal Board discussions on a new quota formula and stressed the importance of agreeing on a new formula, which should be simple and transparent and should capture members’ relative positions in the world economy. It noted that this reform would result in higher shares for dynamic economies, many of which are emerging market economies, whose weight and role in the global economy have increased. The Committee also stressed the importance of enhancing the voice and participation of low-income countries, a key issue for which is an increase in basic votes, at a minimum preserving the voting share of low-income countries. The Committee called on the Executive Board to continue its work on the reform package as a matter of priority.
Michael Kuczynski

DEVELOPMENTS on the international cotton market are decisively affected by the cotton policy pursued by the United States, the largest single producer, consumer, and exporter of raw cotton. The world market price for cotton of the so-called American upland type, which is of medium-staple lengths and comprises about 85 per cent of output of all types of cotton outside the Sino-Soviet area, is closely related to the price at which U.S. cotton is sold for export; the prices of other types of cotton respond to some extent to changes in the price of American upland, though these price movements are by no means always closely correlated.