This paper seeks to clarify what factors contributed to the macroeconomic gains and losses from privatization in transition economies over the past decade. In contrast to the original “Washington Consensus,” which had a tendency to equate change-of-title with privatization, we find that economic performance gains come only from “deep” privatization, that is, when change-of-title reforms occur once key institutional and “agency”-related reforms have exceeded certain threshold levels. We also find that as a result of different initial conditions the economic performance responses of countries to the same policies are different.
Common issues emerging from the recent experience with IMF-supported programs in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania are analyzed. These comprise the initial price overshooting and output collapse and the financial and structural problems associated with bad loan portfolios and sluggish implementation of privatization programs. Substantial success has been achieved in the initial microstabilization and opening-up effort. But difficulties with fiscal and monetary control may be emerging as a result of social and political pressures and unclear policy signals on the micro issues involving the structural transformation of the productive and financial systems.
This paper analyzes the issue of purchasing power parity using real effective exchange rate (REER) data for 20 industrial countries in the post-Bretton Woods period. The serial correlation-robust median-unbiased estimator yields a cross-country average of half-lives of deviations from parity of about eight years, with the REER of several countries displaying permanent deviations from parity. The paper analyzes integration of Africa into world trade. The high-yield spread as a predictor of real economic activity is also examined.
Forty years ago, Marcus Fleming and Robert Mundell developed independent models of macroeconomic policy in open economies. Why do we link the two, and why do we call the result the Mundell-Fleming, rather than Fieming-Mundell model?