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International Monetary Fund

The Selected Issues paper analyzes the determinants of growth in Albania, the macroeconomic underpinnings for growth, the role of remittances in the economy, and the policy response to rapid credit growth. It also analyzes the official estimates with estimates from various macroeconomic surveys, and discusses the implications for the structure of the balance of payments. It also provides a framework for analyzing the budgetary impact of remittances in Albania, and examines the acceleration of credit growth and the policy options available to address the resulting macroeconomic and prudential concerns.

CHAMI RALHA, FULLENKAMP CONNEL, and JAHJAH SAMIR

There is a general presumption in the literature and among policymakers that immigrant remittances play the same role in economic development as foreign direct investment and other capital flows, but this is an open question. We develop a model of remittances based on the economics of the family that implies that remittances are not profit-driven, but are compensatory transfers, and should have a negative correlation with GDP growth. This is in contrast to the positive correlation of profit-driven capital flows with GDP growth. We test this implication of our model using a new panel data set on remittances and find a robust negative correlation between remittances and GDP growth. This indicates that remittances may not be intended to serve as a source of capital for economic development.

Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson, Devesh Kapur, John McHale, Kern Alexanderh John Eatwell, Rahul Dhumale, Franco Modigliani, and Arun Muralidhar

Asia Rising -- explores Asia's role in the world economy, the challenges faced from globalization, the quest for greater regional financial integration, the problem of lagging investment, and why East Asia performed so much better than Latin America. It also looks at the recovery of Japan and the rise of India and China. The economies of the ASEAN-4 come under the microscope in Country Focus. Other articles examine financial sector reform in Africa and the remaining hurdles to financial integration in the European Union. People in Economics profiles Paul Krugman, Back to Basics focuses on hedge funds, and the Straight Talk column looks at the problem of underdevelopment.

Mr. Hans O. Schmitt, Mr. Manuel Guitián, Bahram Nowzad, Peter Miovió, and Carl Dahlman

This paper examines the IMF’s role in the changing world. Faced with mounting domestic and external financial imbalances, numerous African countries adopted adjustment programs supported by the use of IMF resources during 1980–81. Considerable emphasis has been given to economic growth in programs under consideration and most aimed for an increase in economic growth during the program year. Although programs generally emphasized an improvement in the external sector position, medium-term considerations did not always allow for an improvement in the current account position.

Kenji Takeuchi, Martin Ravallion, Shahid Yusuf, Robert Picctotto, Ajay Chhibber, Jean Drèze, Amartya Sen, Ezra F. Vogel, Mary O. Furner, Barry Supple, Anne O. Krueger, and Julian L. Simon

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.