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Trevor A. Manuel

This paper highlights that the Washington Consensus helped fill the need for an economic policy framework following the discrediting of central planning and import-substitution trade strategies. Latin American governments championed the Consensus in the early 1990s, and the policy agenda delivered some of the things it was supposed to—healthier budgets, lower inflation, lower external debt ratios, and economic growth. But unemployment rose in many countries and poverty remained widespread, while the emphasis on market openness made states vulnerable to the side effects of globalization.

Christine Jones and Miguel A. Kiguel

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.

Mr. Robert P Flood

This paper analyzes issues concerning the speed of adjustment and sequencing of reforms in a transition economy. It presents a dynamic general equilibrium model parameterized with Chinese data. The model is used to generate different policy simulations that highlight the importance of the policy instruments used during the transition period. The simulations consider privatization, tariff reform, and devaluation, as well as alternative speeds of introducing these policies. They show that different speeds of adjustment, as well as sequencing of reforms, will have very different implications for macroeconomic aggregates. [JEL D58, 21]

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper analyzes why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has lagged in growth and globalization. Despite attempts to spur recovery and initiate structural reforms, many countries in the region remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration with the rest of the world. The benefits from oil failed to generate a sustained growth dynamic or bring about greater regional economic integration. The paper highlights that the slowdown in economic reforms is a key factor for the economic depression in the MENA region.

Subimal Mookerjee, Margaret Garritsen de Vries, Bahram Nowzad, Mr. Liam P. Ebrill, Peter Knight, and Rattan J. Bhatia

The role of the World Bank in a changing financial environment is discussed. The World Bank has made several notable changes in its financial structure and operations to assure its continuing financial strength in changing circumstances. Both the front-end fee and the variable lending rate system permit the Bank to pass through to borrowers the consequences of adverse interest rate movements. The Bank’s new financial policy has significantly increased its flexibility and reduced its vulnerability to financial turbulence.

Dwight S. Brother, Adele E. Wick, Robert Goodland, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Susan M. Collins, Robert LaPorte Jr., Muntazar Bashir Ahmed, and Philippe Le Prestre

Providing economic opportunities for the poor and building up their capacity to take advantage of those opportunities can help reduce poverty and ensure sustainable growth