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Ian M.D. Little, Adrian Lambertini, and Carl Dahlman

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.

Alessandro Penati, Frederick Moore, Carl Dahlman, Leif Christoffersen, Ridley Nelson, James Blalock, and Shahid Yusuf

This paper reviews the increasing private capital flows to less developed countries. The share of developing countries in the foreign direct investment is small, perhaps less than 30 percent of the total. The effects of this decline in the volume of foreign investment and the continued problem of capital flight have been aggravated by the serious fall in commercial bank lending to developing countries as a group and by a decline in official development assistance.

Mick Silver

Unit value export and import indices compiled from returns to customs authorities are often used as surrogates for price indices in the analysis of inflation transmission, terms of trade (effects), and to deflate import and export value series to derive volume series. Their widespread use is mainly due to their low cost relative to establishment price surveys. This paper provides evidence of substantial errors and bias in their representation of such price changes. Their continued use would mislead economic analysis. The paper considers the efficacy of alternative strategies for their improvement, and argues for a move to establishment-based price surveys.

Johannes Eugster, Giang Ho, Ms. Florence Jaumotte, and Mr. Roberto Piazza

More rapid diffusion of know-how is an important benefit of globalization

International Monetary Fund

On April 26, 2006, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed an External Evaluation of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO).

International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Mr. Etienne B Yehoue and Gilles J. Dufrénot
We combine some newly developed panel co-integration techniques and common factor analysis to analyze the behavior of the real exchange rate (RER) in a sample of 64 developing countries. We study the dynamic of the RER with its economic fundamentals: productivity, the terms of trade, openness, and government spending. We derive a number of common factors that explain the dynamic of the RER in our sample. We find that while some fundamentals such as productivity, terms of trade, and openness are strongly related to these common factors in low-income countries, no such link is found for the middle-income countries. We also derive the misalignment indices, which seem to reproduce recent episodes of overvaluation and undervaluation in a number of countries.
Mr. Joannes Mongardini and Mr. Alexander Chudik
This paper presents a methodology to estimate equilibrium real exchange rates (ERER) for Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries using both single-country and panel estimation techniques. The limited data set hinders single-country estimation for most countries in the sample, but panel estimates are statistically and economically significant, and generally robust to different estimation techniques. The results replicate well the historical experience for a number of countries in the sample. Panel techniques can also be used to derive out of sample estimates for countries with a more limited data set.
Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, Mr. Andrew Berg, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, and Mr. Nikola Spatafora
This paper investigates the medium- and long-term growth effects of the global financial crises on Low-Income Countries (LICs). Using several methodological approaches, including impulse response function analysis, growth spells techniques and panel regressions, we show that external demand (ED) shocks are not historically associated with sharp declines in output growth. Given existing evidence that LICs were primarily impacted by such a shock in the global financial crisis, our analysis provides some optimism on the chances that LICs will avoid a protracted period of slow growth. However, we also show that there seem to be persistent output losses associated with ED shocks in the medium-run. In terms of policy implications, our analysis provides evidence that countries with lower deficits, lower debt, more flexible exchange rate regimes, and a higher stock of international reserves are more likely to dampen the effects of an ED shock on growth.