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   DECEMBER 1997
Volume 34, Number 4


The Road to Effective Aid

Aid Spurs Growth—in a Sound Policy Environment
Craig Burnside and David Dollar
Foreign aid to developing countries has been criticized as wasteful and even counterproductive. Careful examination of the recent experience with foreign aid shows, however, that it can be an effective investment when a recipient country's economic policies are sound before aid is provided.

Capital Markets: Challenges for Developing Countries

Capital Flow Sustainability and Speculative Currency Attacks
IMF Research Department Staff
Private capital flows to the developing world reached a record $235 billion in 1996. Increased access to global financial markets has brought substantial benefits to many countries but it has also made them vulnerable to sudden shifts in investor sentiment and attacks on their currencies.

Sovereign Debt: Managing the Risks
Marcel Cassard and David Folkerts-Landau
Many developing countries that have borrowed heavily in foreign currencies are now faced with an important policy challenge: how to manage the currency, interest rate, and maturity risks associated with these debts.

Monetary Theory

The IMF Monetary Model: A Hardy Perennial
Jacques J. Polak
The IMF monetary model has been adapted to changing circumstances since its inception over 40 years ago. The model's chief architect examines why it still remains useful.

Guest Article

Are International Labor Standards Needed to Prevent Social Dumping?
Stephen S. Golub
International labor standards have become the newest point of contention in trade disputes between industrial and developing countries. Are they necessary or are they disguised protectionism?

Economic Issues in North America

Productivity Growth in Canada and the United States
Ranil Salgado
Since 1973, the growth of real output and productivity in Canada and the United States has slowed significantly. Understanding this slowdown is a vital concern for economists and policymakers in assessing the capacity for noninflationary growth.

Job Uncertainty, Unemployment, and Inflation in the United States
Charles F. Kramer and Yutong Li
In the major industrial countries, low unemployment usually creates inflationary pressures. But during the recent economic expansion in the United States, prices have held steady despite low unemployment. What is behind this atypical behavior?


Private Participation in Infrastructure: Lessons from Asia's Power Sector
Anil K. Malhotra
Many countries need to expand and improve their infrastructures in order to remain competitive and ensure continued high growth rates. Using illustrations from Asia's power sector, this article discusses approaches countries can take to accomplish the necessary upgrading.

A New Initiative to Promote Clean Coal
Peter Van Der Veen and Cynthia Wilson
The production and consumption of coal are increasing in some developing countries, even as concerns about coal's environmental impact mount. The World Bank has launched a new initiative to encourage reforms that will lead to a cleaner and more efficient use of coal.

Also in this Issue

Developing Rural Financial Markets
Jacob Yaron and McDonald Benjamin
Many developing countries have tried to spur income growth and reduce poverty in rural areas by making low-interest loans to farmers. The results have been disappointing. A broader approach emphasizing policy and legal reforms and savings mobilization has been more successful.

Can Public Pension Reform Increase Saving?
G.A. Mackenzie, Philip Gerson, and Alfredo Cuevas
Many economists think that countries can boost national saving by privatizing public pension plans. The evidence suggests, however, that less radical reforms may be just as effective.


Letter from the Editor

World Economy in Transition
Explaining the Dividend Yield in the United States
Charles F. Kramer

Development Focus
Egypt: Poised for Sustained Growth?
Arvind Subramanian

Readers' Comments

Index 1997—Volume 34


Masters of Illusion: The World Bank and the Poverty of Nations by Catherine Caufield
reviewed by Paul Streeten

The Coming Russian Boom: A Guide to New Markets and Politics by Richard Layard and John Parker
reviewed by Thomas A. Wolf

Can South and Southern Africa Become Globally Competitive Economies?, edited by Gavin Maasdorp
reviewed by Ataman Aksoy

India's Economic Reforms, 1991­2001 by Vijay Joshi and I.M.D. Little
reviewed by Deena Khatkhate

Forests in International Politics: International Organisations, NGOs and the Brazilian Amazon by Ans Kolk
reviewed by David Cassells