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Mr. Mark R. Stone
This paper summarizes the objectives, tasks, and modalities of large-scale, post-crisis corporate restructuring based on nine recent episodes with a view to organizing the policy choices and drawing some general conclusions. These episodes suggest that government-led restructuring efforts should integrate corporate and bank restructuring in a holistic and transparent strategy based on clearly defined objective and including sunset provisions.
Mr. Willem H. Buiter
Key medium– and longer–term fiscal issues faced by transition economies are reviewed, including government solvency and the sustainability of the fiscal–financial–monetary program. The paper aims to assist the design and implementation of future Fund programs and to contribute to the debate about fiscal policy in transition economies. After presenting a framework for evaluating the sustainability of the fiscal–financial–monetary program of the state, some numerical material is presented on public debt, (quasi–) fiscal deficits and monetary financing. Eight budgetary issues of special relevance to transition economies are considered next. The lessons from this study are summarized in a number of propositions.
Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, and Mr. Andrew Berg
What are the relative roles of macroeconomic variables, structural policies, and initial conditions in explaining the time path of output in transition and the large observed differences in output performance across transition economies? Using a sample of 26 countries, this paper follows a general-to-specific modeling approach that allows for differential effects of policies and initial conditions on the private and state sectors and for time-dependent effects of initial conditions. While showing some fragility to model specification, the results point to the preeminence of structural reforms over both initial conditions and macroeconomic variables in explaining cross-country differences in performance and the timing of the recovery.
Mr. Oleh Havrylyshyn and Mr. Hassan Al-Atrash
This paper looks at the progress in transition and the geographic diversification of trade, focusing on two issues--the degree of trade openness and trade integration--for a sample of countries in transition. It concludes that about half of the group of countries sampled are becoming as open as similar market economies, but that many others remain relatively closed. Geographic diversification (to the European Union) is found to be greater the closer is geographic proximity and the more advanced the country is with reforms. The analysis is then extended, in an illustrative way, to show how much larger would be the share of exports to the EU if structural reforms were more ambitious.
Mr. Anthony G. Turner and Mr. Stephen S. Golub
This paper attempts to extend the range of countries covered by the IMF’s multilateral real exchange rate indexes based on relative unit labor costs (REER-ULCs) in manufacturing. A data set was assembled that permits calculation of REER-ULCs for 23 newly industrialized, developing, and transition countries in addition to the 21 industrial countries covered by the current system. Although the results are mostly quite encouraging, they should be considered preliminary because of uncertainty about the reliability and comparability of the underlying data. Also, unit labor costs are not available on as timely a basis as consumer price indexes (CPIs), especially for nonindustrial countries. Thus, the ULC-based indicators should supplement rather than replace the current CPI-based system.
International Monetary Fund
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.