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  • Development Planning and Policy: Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy x
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R. Portes, A. Swoboda, W.M. Scammel, Robert Hormats, Bahram Nowzad, Philip Cagan, Frederick Ribe, Martin Feldstei, Lan Bovenberg, Sebastian Edward, Mr. Liaquat Ahamed, Anthony Lanyi, Susan Joeke, Masooma Habib, H.W. Arndt, and Robert Picciotto

This paper discusses the structural adjustment in low-income countries. In the first 20 months of its operations, the IMF’s structural adjustment facility (SAF) has provided concessional financial assistance to support the balance-of-payments adjustment efforts of 21 low-income member countries. Most SAF arrangements have supported policy reform programs that have also received support under other IMF facilities. The fundamental concept underlying the SAF is the notion that growth and adjustment are mutually reinforcing.

J. J. POLAK

I WOULD LIKE to respond to a question posed by the Managing Director in his opening remarks as to why the Fund has found it so difficult to make pronouncements on the exchange rates of major currencies. Some ten years ago the Fund did not hesitate to make such a pronouncement. For example, in August 1971 the staff felt sure enough of its ground to propose a new set of exchange rates. In the event, the rates proposed proved wrong: the changes were too small and did not produce enough adjustment. There was, however, a rather comforting explanation: it was not that the Fund’s model was wrong but that the size of the 1971 disequilibrium had been seriously underestimated. In the mid-1970s, the Fund staff started to calculate “underlying balances” for the major countries—i.e., balances that would materialize over the medium term with present exchange rates and at reasonably high levels of activity in all countries. The exercise proved generally right in predicting the fall in the deutsche mark/dollar rate from 1976 to September 1978 and it also correctly suggested that the further sharp fall of the dollar in October 1978 went too far. But the model was never good at predicting what would happen to the yen, and it broke down for the dollar in 1980. Since then, interest rates have been so dominant and so volatile over so long a time, with such wide-ranging effects, and with so much bandwagon riding in both the capital and the foreign exchange markets, that the kind of medium-term analysis in which the Fund had engaged has become largely irrelevant to what happens in exchange markets for the short term and also to what can be made to happen through, for example, intervention or any policy of bands or target zones.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that important changes have been made in the World Bank’s management systems since Mr. A. W. Clausen became President in July 1981. The changes reflect Mr. Clausen’s belief that there needs to be a more collegial approach to decision making and greater delegation of authority. The aim is that the World Bank should become more efficient and its activities should be more responsive to its clients’ needs. A Managing Committee was also established to take decisions on all key issues facing the World Bank.
International Monetary Fund

Serbia’s transition to a more sustainable growth model remains incomplete and fragile. A precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) has been requested to insure against external risks and to provide a policy anchor. The program represents a prudent step in the present uncertain global and regional environment. However, without improving Serbia’s difficult investment climate, the economy cannot deliver sustainable growth. Executive Directors expect that a steadfast program implementation along with responsiveness to new adverse developments will lead the Serbian economy to overcome its present difficulties.

International Monetary Fund

This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that in recent years, Singapore’s economy has been hit hard by a series of external shocks. These shocks—the Asian crisis, the bursting of the technology bubble, and the SARS outbreak in 2003—disrupted an economic expansion largely uninterrupted since the 1970s. The shocks have come at a time when Singapore is also facing increasing competition from regional low-cost economies. Looking ahead, economic activity is expected to moderate to more sustainable levels in the near term.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IEO on IMF exchange rate advice; GFSR: financial system risks and issues for regulators; good times in Belgium; Africa's oil exporters; outlook for Middle East and Central Asia; Caucasus and Central Asia:capital flows; lessons from a decade of crises.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
En mettant l’accent sur le travail du FMI et sur les grandes questions macroéconomiques et financières internationales, le Bulletin du FMI présente une analyse des développements nationaux, régionaux et mondiaux, des informations sur le travail, les politiques, les réformes et les activités d'assistance technique du FMI, les conclusions d'études de calibre mondial, des données essentielles qui ne sont souvent pas disponibles ailleurs, ainsi que des rapports sur les discussions économiques et financières au sein du FMI et ailleurs. Publié douze fois par an, ce bulletin de seize pages s'adresse à un large public : dirigeants, analystes, chercheurs, étudiants et journalistes. Disponible en anglais, français et espagnol.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
El Boletín del FMI aborda de manera específica el trabajo del FMI y los grandes temas macroeconómicos y financieros internacionales y ofrece análisis sobre la evolución en los distintos países y regiones y en el mundo; información sobre las operaciones, políticas, reformas y asistencia técnica del FMI; síntesis de las principales investigaciones económicas mundiales; datos fundamentales que no suelen estar disponibles en otras fuentes, e informes sobre debates económicos y financieros que tienen lugar dentro y fuera del FMI. Este boletín de 16 páginas, publicado 12 veces al año, está orientado a una vasta audiencia, que incluye autoridades de política económica, analistas, profesionales del mundo académico y de los medios de difusión y estudiantes. Disponible en inglés, español y francés.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses the unique aspects of Singapore’s financial, exchange rate, and wage policies during the period 1979-86, and attempts to quantify the impact of alternative policies on major macroeconomic variables. For this purpose, a simple short-term model is formulated and estimated, and various policy simulations conducted. It is found that the wage policy pursued by the authorities in the early 1980s played a significant role in influencing output and prices and that an appropriate wage policy is complementary to exchange rate policy in maintaining external competitiveness in Singapore.
Elin Baldárrago and Mr. Gonzalo Salinas
While trade integration has been an engine of global growth and prosperity, as suggested by theory, some sectors have been negatively affected by increased import competition. We test if this negative effect is significant in a context of high intranational migration, as theory indicates that labor mobility could reduce it. We focus on the 2004-14 period of trade liberalization in Peru (a major beneficiary of trade integration), which allows for methodological improvements relative to similar studies. We find that districts competing with liberalized imports experienced significantly lower growth in consumption per capita despite some emigration in response to increased import competition. This underscores the need to support the “losers of trade liberalization” even amidst high labor mobility.