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Hans P. Binswanger

This paper discusses quantitative indicators that measure such macroeconomic variables as the growth of national product, inflation. The importance of considering several indicators in a dynamic context becomes particularly relevant during periods when needed economic and financial adjustment measures are undertaken. Rationales given for maintaining negative real interest rates in developing countries range from keeping down the cost of servicing the public sector’s debt, or of investment, to avoiding the consequences of other policies.

Michal Andrle, Patrick Blagrave, and Mr. Ranil M Salgado

We assess the degree of cross-market price discrepancy (a proxy for market integration), its evolution over time, and proximate determinants, using monthly price data for 21 agricultural goods and 60 markets in India. Econometric analysis shows that cross-market price integration is positively associated with the level of transportation infrastructure, and distance between market pairs. There is no robust evidence that price integration has increased in recent years, suggesting that any positive effects of recent policy initiatives are either small, outweighed by the identified determinants of integration, or yet to come.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

The Sixth Five Year Plan, as outlined in Bangladesh's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, targets strategic growth and employment. The medium-term macroeconomic framework plan entails the involvement of both the private and public sectors. Human resources development strategy programs reaching out to the poor and the vulnerable population, as well as environment, climate change, and disaster risk management, have been included in the plan. Managing regional disparities for shared growth and strategy for raising farm productivity and agricultural growth have been outlined. Diversifying exports and developing a dynamic manufacturing sector are all inclusive in the proposed plan.

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.

Mr. Paul Collier

Africa's Middle-Class Motor finds growing evidence that a recent resurgence in the continent's economic well-being has staying power. In his overview article, Harvard professor Calestous Juma says the emphasis for too long has been on eradicating poverty through aid rather than promoting prosperity through improved infrastructure, education, entrepreneurship, and trade. That is now changing: there is a growing emphasis on policies that produce a middle class. The new African middle class may not have the buying power of a Western middle class but it demands enough goods and services to support stronger economic growth, which, as IMF African Department head Antoinette Sayeh points out, in turn helps the poorest members of society. Oxford University economist Paul Collier discusses a crucial component of Africa's needed infrastructure: railways. It is a continent eminently suited to rail, development of which has been held back more by political than economic reasons. But even as sub-Saharan African thrives, its largest and most important economy, South Africa, has had an anemic performance in recent years. We also profile Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's colorful economic czar. "Picture This" mines current trends to predict what Africa will look like a half century from now and "Data Spotlight" looks at increased regional trade in Africa. Elsewhere, Cornell Professor Eswar Prasad, examines a global role reversal in which emerging, not advanced, economies are displaying resilience in the face of the global economic crisis. The University of Queensland's John Quiggin, who wrote Zombie Economics, examines whether it makes sense in many cases to sell public enterprises. Economists Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago and Rodney Ramcharan of the U.S. Federal Reserve find clues to current asset booms and busts in the behavior of U.S. farmland prices a century ago.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix examines the main developments in the real sector of Cambodia since the mid-1990s. The paper describes the path of overall GDP growth since 1994, and discusses key sectoral developments and constraints that hamper further expansion of rice output and exports as well as the private sector development. The paper reviews inflation and labor market developments since 1998. It also provides a fresh look at fiscal developments in Cambodia since the early 1990s.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the annual meetings of the World Bank and its affiliates, the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and of the IMF, were held in September 1965 in Washington. At the Bank Group meetings, stress was laid on the urgent needs of the less developed countries and on the Group’s plans for increasing its help toward meeting these needs. In his annual address, the President of the three institutions, Mr. Woods, emphasized the widening spectrum of the World Bank’s lending.