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Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Kenneth Rogoff, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

This study provides a candid, systematic, and critical review of recent evidence on this complex subject. Based on a review of the literature and some new empirical evidence, it finds that (1) in spite of an apparently strong theoretical presumption, it is difficult to detect a strong and robust causal relationship between financial integration and economic growth; (2) contrary to theoretical predictions, financial integration appears to be associated with increases in consumption volatility (both in absolute terms and relative to income volatility) in many developing countries; and (3) there appear to be threshold effects in both of these relationships, which may be related to absorptive capacity. Some recent evidence suggests that sound macroeconomic frameworks and, in particular, good governance are both quantitatively and qualitatively important in affecting developing countries’ experiences with financial globalization.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

This chapter explores the key relationships between participatory democracy and successful economic development and reviews the early steps of participatory decision making in Ghana. More generally, it sets the stage for a discussion of Ghana's main achievements and failures since 1992 in raising the standard of living of its population and reducing poverty. The high-profile political process that launched constitutional democracy in the 1990s and generated Ghana—Vision 2020 placed poverty reduction at the center of economic policy. Based on a set of price and unit labor cost indicators, Ghana's competitiveness improved in the early 1990s through 1994. The evidence for 1995–98 is quite strong. The Bank of Ghana is suspected to have used administrative means and moral suasion to influence the exchange rate, resisting the cedi's depreciation. The terms-of-trade shock forced the Bank of Ghana to focus more clearly on maintaining adequate foreign reserves. The depreciation may then have helped make the foreign exchange market more active and the nominal exchange rate more representative of market conditions.

Mr. Arvind Subramanian

Abstract

Since the early 1990s, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have made significant progress in opening their economies to external competition through trade and exchange liberalization, often in the context of IMF and World Bank-supported programs. African liberalization took place during a period of increasing globalization of trade and investment, the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, and the creation or expansion of a number of important regional trade arrangements in other parts of the world. These initiatives contributed to a revival of interest among African policymakers in regional integration, resulting in the establishment or renewal of regional organizations, such as the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the Cross-Border Initiative (CBI), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Commission for East African Cooperation (EAC), and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) (Table 1.1).

Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Kenneth Rogoff, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

The recent wave of financial globalization that has occurred since the mid-1980s has been marked by a surge in capital flows among industrial countries and, more notably, between industrial and developing countries. Although capital inflows have been associated with high growth rates in some developing countries, a number of them have also experienced periodic collapses in growth rates and significant financial crises that have had substantial macroeconomic and social costs. As a result, an intense debate has emerged in both academic and policy circles on the effects of financial integration on developing economies. But much of the debate has been based on only casual and limited empirical evidence.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

In 1992 Ghana held its first elections in over a decade, taking a decisive step in the return to democratic rule. Although many countries in Africa moved to democracy in the 1990s, Ghana had reached that point only after a virtual meltdown in the early 1980s. What has been all the more laudable in Ghana’s case is therefore the steady progress since the return to democratic rule in enhancing a democratic environment.

Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Kenneth Rogoff, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

Measures of de jure restrictions on capital flows and actual capital flows across national borders are two indicators of the extent of a country’s financial integration with the global economy. Understanding the differences between them is important when evaluating the effects of financial integration. By either measure, developing countries’ financial linkages with the global economy have risen in recent years.1 A relatively small group of developing countries, however, has garnered the lion’s share of private capital flows from industrial to developing countries, which surged in the 1990s. Structural factors, including demographic shifts in industrial countries, are likely to provide an impetus to these North-South flows over the medium and long terms.

Mr. Arvind Subramanian

Abstract

The 22 eastern and southern African countries covered in this study vary considerably in population, size, and economic profile (Table 2.1). Population size varies from fewer than 80,000 people in Seychelles to about 62 million people in Ethiopia. The average per capita income of about US$1,100 also masks large variations across countries. The Seychelles is the richest country, with a per capita GDP of about US$6,000 at 1990 prices, while the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) stands as the poorest country, with an income per capita of US$99 (a ratio of 60 to 1). There is also a wide variation in income inequality among countries. For example, the Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, varies from 29 in Rwanda to 59 in South Africa, the latter being among the highest in the world.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

The high-profile political process that launched constitutional democracy in the 1990s and generated Ghana– Vision 2020 placed poverty reduction at the center of economic policy. The main themes of Ghana– Vision 2020 were economic growth, investment in human capital, rural development, and an enabling environment for private entrepreneurship and investment. These themes were carried into the medium-term program for the first five-year period of the strategy, 1996–2000, with human development as the focus for efforts at poverty reduction (Government of Ghana, 1997a). The basic goals in this area were to improve health, life expectancy, and the capabilities of all persons; eliminate extreme deprivation; and ensure an equitable distribution of the benefits of development.

Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Kenneth Rogoff, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

Theoretical models have identified a number of channels through which international financial integration can help to promote economic growth in the developing world. It has proven difficult, however, to empirically identify a strong and robust causal relationship between financial integration and growth.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

In the period following the 1966 military coup that overthrew Ghana’s first president, political unrest and centralized, inward-looking development policies led to declining GDP per capita and soaring inflation. In the early 1980s, the difficult political situation was accompanied by a deterioration of the terms of trade, large fiscal imbalances, and rising inflation, which led the country to its worst economic crisis since independence. By 1983 real GDP per capita had fallen to close to half its level of the late 1960s.