Fifth IMF Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference: Policies, Institutions, and Instability

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

Abstract

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

If the IMF is to do its work well, it must keep apprised of the best ideas ever where, and get to know the people behind the ideas. We also, from our side, need to share, particularly our new ideas on policy issues, with external researchers and policymakers.

Jacques Polak, Opening Remarks, Fifth Annual Research Conference 2004

The Fifth Annual Research Conference was held at the IMF headquarters in Washington on November 4–5, 2004, From this year onward, this annual event has been named after Jacques Polak, Director of the IMF Research Department from 1958 to 1966.

The conference was inaugurated by Agustín Carstens, IMF Deputy Managing Director, followed by brief remarks by Jacques Polak. The first session, dedicated to finance issues, included the following presentations: “Systemic Risk and Growth,” by Romain Rancière, Aaron Tornell, and Frank Westermann, discussed by Carmen Reinhart; and “Financial Liberalization and Consumption Volatility in Developing Countries,” by Andrei Levchenko, discussed by Fernando Alvarez. The second session, “Debt: Micro,” included presentations by Hoyt Bleakley and Kevin Cowan on “Maturity Mismatch and Financial Crises: Evidence from Emerging Market Corporations”; and by Fernando Broner, Guido Lorenzoni, and Sergio Schmukler on “Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?” These papers were discussed by Peter Garber and Olivier Jeanne, respectively.

The third session was dedicated to globalization and included presentations by Irina Tytell and Shang-Jin Wei on “Does Financial Globalization Induce Better Macroeconomic Policies?” discussed by Hélène Rey; and by Rachel Glennerster and Yongseok Shin on “Is Transparency Good for You?” discussed by Campbell Harvey. The last session of the day was dedicated to the ever-important topic of banking. The first presentation during this session was on “The Real Effect of Banking Crises,” by Giovanni Dell’Ariccia, Enrica Detragiache, and Raghuram Rajan, discussed by Philip Strahan; the second was on “A Political Agency Theory of Central Bank Independence,” by Gauti Eggertsson and Eric Le Borgne, discussed by Allan Drazen. The day closed with a reception and dinner.

The last day of the conference began with a session on growth, which covered papers by Dani Rodrik and Arvind Subramanian on “From ‘Hindu Growth’ to Productivity Surge: The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition,” discussed by T.N. Srinivasan; and by Reza Baqir, Rodney Ramcharan, and Ratna Sahay on “IMF Program Design and Growth: Is Optimism Deliberate? Is It Defensible?” discussed by Michael A. Clemens. The final session was dedicated to exchange rates and covered papers by Parag Pathak and Jean Tirole on “Pegs, Risk Management, and Financial Crises,” discussed by Roberto Chang; and by Tamim Bayoumi, Michael Kumhof, Douglas Laxton, and Kanda Naknoi on “Exchange Rate Regimes, international Linkages, and the Macroeconomic Performance of the New Member States,” discussed by Christopher Erceg.

The day ended with the Fifth Mundell-Fleming Lecture; on this occasion it was delivered by Jeffrey Frankel on “Contractionary Currency Crashes in Developing Countries.”

The organizing committee for the Fifth IMF Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference was integrated by Robert Flood (Chair), Catherine Pattillo, Simon Johnson, and Carlos Vegh. Copies of the papers are available at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/staffp/2004/00-00/arc.htm. Videotapes of the entire conference are available from Rosalind Oliver (e-mail: roliver@imf.org).